Friday 5 ~ Tabata Intervals

Good Morning!

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of high intensity interval training (HIIT). The short burst/high intensity workouts have been my go-to, especially post-baby, since my time in the gym has been limited!

What are Tabata intervals?

Tabata inervals are a form of HIIT created by Izumi Tabata using 20 seconds of ultra-intense exercise (at an intensity of about 170% of VO2max) followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated continuously for 4 minutes (8 cycles).

In the original study, athletes using this method trained 4 times per week, plus another day of steady-state training, and obtained gains similar to a group of athletes who did steady state (70% VO2max) training 5 times per week. The steady state group had a higher VO2max at the end (from 52 to 57 ml/kg/min), but the Tabata group had started lower and gained more overall (from 48 to 55 ml/kg/min). Also, only the Tabata group had gained anaerobic capacity benefits.

The original Tabata Protocol requires the following:

  • 5 minutes of warm-up
  • 8 intervals of 20 seconds all-out intensity exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest
  • 2 minutes cool-down

These workouts originated with experienced athletes. With that being said you should be advised to ease into this workout slowly, and perform it using your own body weight and cardio equipment.


Here are 5 fun workouts using Tabata intervals:

*always consult a physician before entering into a new exercise program*


1. Heavy Bag


2. Full Body Workout:

This chick is badass and she does a great job of explaining the workout. This is a great bodyweight workout to try using Tabata! Remember, consult a physician before starting new exercise and ALWAYS warm-up properly before beginning.


enough said



4. Tabata Treadmill Workout

One of the safer ones I saw was the one Gina posted last week. I was watching some of the treadmill workouts and they were not something I would recommend. Try this Turkey Tabata workout. It’s 20 minutes and it’s awesome. If you have any issues with your hips do not put the incline up so high, or try another method like the bike or elliptical.


4. Here’s an cute online timer for your tabata workout of choice. Try doing it with some calisthenics! Jumping jacks, high knees, jump rope, burpees or a combo of each!!!

Have you tried tabata training? What’s your favorite way to utilize it?

Have a great weekend!


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  • Reply kat

    I looove tabata!! I generally use it after a weight session, especially legs. I love pulling everything out of them. Just when I think all the weights did me in, I love proving to myself that I have more in there by doing tabata. It burns so good šŸ™‚

    December 2, 2011 at 11:58 am
    • Reply laury

      You rock, Kat! Have a great weekend, girlfriend!

      December 2, 2011 at 4:15 pm
  • Reply Maria@healthydiaries

    I LOVE HITT workout, but have never heard of tabata. So excited to try it! Thanks once again Laury!

    December 2, 2011 at 12:34 pm
    • Reply laury

      You’re welcome! You will LOVE it…great way to get in a quick workout!

      December 2, 2011 at 4:15 pm
  • Reply Liz @ Southern Charm

    I’m a huge fan of HITT but have yet to try tabata. I’d love to do some ab stuff with it! Intense!

    December 2, 2011 at 12:41 pm
    • Reply laury

      definitely is!!

      December 2, 2011 at 4:16 pm
  • Reply susan

    Great post Laury, I love HIIT type workouts too. My favorite would be Cathe Friedrich’s HIIT dvd. Have a fun weekend.

    December 2, 2011 at 2:54 pm
    • Reply laury

      I need to try those! Have a great weekend, Susan XO

      December 2, 2011 at 4:16 pm
  • Reply thehealthyapron

    Happy Friday LAury! Sorry I’ve been MIA from the blog world (for the most part)….will send you an email later!

    December 2, 2011 at 3:16 pm
    • Reply laury

      Happy Friday! YES! We need to catch up!!

      December 2, 2011 at 4:16 pm
  • Reply Kelsey @ Snacking Squirrel

    that’s so crazy because i took my yoga mat outside today to do some stretches and a couple little workouts! ah thank God for the sun too huh šŸ™‚

    xoxo <3

    December 2, 2011 at 11:20 pm
  • Reply Pure2raw twins

    Girl you know we are huge HIIT lovers and that is pretty much all we do for workouts with a few other things mixed in. We love bodyrock šŸ˜‰

    December 3, 2011 at 10:02 am
  • Reply Kathleen

    I’ve actually never heard of the tabata workout. I love HIIT and circuit training though. šŸ™‚

    December 3, 2011 at 5:00 pm
  • Reply Alisa

    Love the full body workout one. Just pinned it. Thanks for posting these Laury!

    December 3, 2011 at 5:04 pm
  • Reply Keri @ Blue-Eyed Runner

    I am doing tabatas with my bootcampers on Tuesday!

    December 4, 2011 at 5:07 pm
  • Reply Kris |

    I really think I want to add in more HIIT to my routine, I heard its the best way to keep lean so I can spend more time on muscle building šŸ™‚ WOO HOO!! I much prefer weights over cardio anyways šŸ˜‰

    I’m going to try this, thanks lovie!!


    December 5, 2011 at 12:03 pm
  • Reply Quickie Booty Buster

    […] performed the following workout with 4 strength exercises and 4 Tabata cardio drills. I use my gymboss interval timer for Tabata intervals, there are free timers on the computer or on […]

    December 8, 2011 at 3:31 pm
  • Reply Decadent Chocolate Mousse

    […] Minute Tabata Intervals with the jump rope [<–20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest for 8 […]

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  • Reply Sparkly Soul Headbands Review & Giveaway!

    […] started with a 4 minute tabata interval session which went like […]

    January 24, 2012 at 11:12 pm
  • Reply The Undulation Rope

    […] things up and down. Since Ella was born I have been doing a lot of different workouts. Many of them tabata style, which I am […]

    January 31, 2012 at 1:24 am
  • Reply HIIT versus Endurance?

    […] workout, for example, I started with a tabata-style warm-up like I usually do. I love switching up between jump rope, high knees, burpees, side shuffle. I […]

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