First of all, there is no such thing as Tabata squats and Tabata pushups, but I get so many questions that I decided to write this post. Tabata is a protocol, a method by which to exercise. You could say it’s a form of extreme HIIT.
Second of all, a warning. The Tabata protocol is not for beginner’s, when done correctly. Always consult your doctor first.
The Tabata protocol was developed by Dr. Izumi Tabata, a Japanese researcher along with Irisawa Koichi, Japan’s speed skating coach.
The protocol consists of twenty seconds of extremely high intensity exercise. Working as hard as you possibly can. All out. Balls to the wall. You’ll be close to passing out or throwing up. If a picture of Jillian Michaels yelling at you popped into your head, you’re close, but you’ll still need to work harder.
When those excruciatingly hellish 20 seconds are up, you take 10 seconds to catch your breath. That’s it, 10 seconds and you’re finished with round 1. Only 7 more rounds to go.
That’s right, the Tabata protocol consists of 8 rounds that will take 4 minutes to complete. During Dr. Tabata’s research, his method included 10 minutes of warm up and then 8 rounds of 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest. The workouts were done on a stationary bike.
Although Dr. Tabata’s research was not originally for fat burning, his findings showed that following his method you continue to burn calories long after you’ve completed your workout.
Dr. Tabata had his guinea pigs use a stationary bike. The stationary bike is great for Tabata training since you can easily hit it hard for 20 seconds and then slow down for 10 seconds. The protocol could also be applied to the treadmill or rowing machine. I’ve never used an elliptical machine, but I imagine it would work too.
Technically since Tabata is a protocol, you can apply it to almost any sort of exercise. I’ve seen people do curls, dips, calf raises. It’s acceptable as long as you are properly following the protocol. That is 20 seconds working as hard as humanly possible and 10 seconds of rest. Just make sure to use proper form and really push yourself.
However, in order to get more bang for your buck, it’s best to use exercises that work out multiple muscle groups. Below is a list of exercises that will work out multiple body parts including your arms and legs which is probably why you were looking for Tabata squats and Tabata pushups. 😉
Nowadays almost everyone has a smartphone, so if you do, you can download a timer app and set it up so you can focus on your exercises and not worry about the time. The app I use is called Round Timer. I originally bought it for boxing workouts, but it’s flexible and allows users to create multiple timers and rounds.
Congratulations, you have finished your Tabata workout.