What is the Tabata method

The Tabata method has become popular thanks to its advertising as the 4-minute fat burning method.

And this method can really achieve great results.

In this post we are going to talk about how to put it into practice to obtain its benefits.

What is the Tabata method?

The Tabata method is a training program based on a reduced but very intense work period that follows the following pattern for 4 minutes: 20 seconds of work + 10 seconds of rest (8 rounds).

20 seconds of work
10 seconds rest

Total= 8 rounds (4 minutes of training)

We could say that this training methodology is nothing more than hiit training (high intensity interval training). 

And they are characterized by alternating short periods of intense exercise (intervals) with short breaks as well. By definition, the Tabata method establishes a scheme of work, but does not determine the exercises to be performed.. It can be with a single exercise, in combination with one or several, or with as many exercises as work series.

tabata how to do it

Benefits of Tabata training

These benefits are the same as those demonstrated in HIIT workouts, as Tabata is a HIIT class:

It is efficient

Improves aerobic endurance as would a long cardio session but using much less time.

At the same time, it improves anaerobic capacity. 

EPOC effect

Studies show that after interval training our body continues to burn more calories than at rest thanks to the EPOC effect (Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption).

This type of training increases your body's metabolism for several hours afterwards because the body needs some time to recover its normal metabolic rate after being so high during training.

Creates a more favorable hormonal response to fat burning

Produces higher testosterone and growth hormone compared to other workouts as explained by this study.


Beyond the benefits, this training has several advantages over others.

It is fast

If you compare it to a typical gym routine: cardio machines + weight circuit, Tabata takes much less time, especially if you can save the trip to the gym and do it from home.

what is tabata


Yes train from home You don't need a gym to get a great workout.


For those people who are bored with the routine, you can invent the Tabata from a myriad of combinations of exercises. If you want to constantly vary, you can.


Use a specific Tabata to test your progress. For example, a Tabata of burpees. How many more can you do in 6 months?

Only that which is measured can be improved. If you are one of those who use pen and paper this agenda for you to write down your workouts will be your best training partner.

How to do a Tabata training?

  1. Choose the movement:

You can train with or without equipment. There are basic strength training exercises that don't need extras: sprinting, push-ups, squats, pull-ups, pull-ups, burpees

You can base Tabata on 1 exercise, 2, 3... or do as many different exercises as rounds. 

  1. For 20 seconds do the exercise at maximum intensity.
  2. Rest 10 seconds.
  3. Complete all 8 rounds.

Write down the total score of the 8 rounds to know your result.

tabata - youtube

Tips on how to do a Tabata

As good as everything we've talked about Tabata sounds, I don't recommend that you only train this way. You can use this method 1-2 times a week, or as ancillary work.

  • If you only have 20 minutes to train:

Using Tabata will make you efficient because you won't have to think, just hit the timer and get the job done. Leave everything prepared before you start to make sure you don't waste any time.

  • If it is an accessory to your training:

I advise you to leave it for the end of the workout, as it can leave you too tired for more technical exercises.

  • No need for anything extravagant

I find it easier to remember when there are only two exercises. With fatigue in the middle of the workout it is more difficult to remember a sequence of 8 exercises.

For two exercises, it is only 4 minutes. The next Tabata use others for a change.

  • Use a free app

Download a free stopwatch app that has Tabata times. There are many free options for both Android and iPhone so you can focus on training and nothing else.

  • Eat well to see the best results

No one wants to give their all in training and then not see their body composition improve.

Many people for a long time strive also in the kitchen, but do not get the results they deserve because they simply do not yet know what they are doing in nutrition.

I advise you to learn forever with the I am Paleo. Once you see the results, there is no turning back.


I'd like to give you some ideas with these Tabata charts to give you a place to start.

Abdominal tabata

The hollow rock in all its versions, is a star exercise to strengthen the core. Here is a video so you can see how I use it as an accessory in my workouts.

Sprint tabata

As "easy" as going outside and setting the timer. Only 4 minutes, but this Tabata is one of the hardest you can do. It also leaves a good reward and it's the best way to burn fat.

Tabata without material

A good option is to choose exercises that combine upper and lower body. 

Example 1:

  • squat
  • bending

Example 2:

  • funds 
  • strides

Tabata with material

If you also have a pull-up bar, dumbbells, a kettlebell... the options multiply. If you need to get some equipment to make your workouts more intense and varied at home, I recommend KingsBox.

Example 1:

  • Pull-ups
  • Jumps

Example 2: 

  • Kettlebell swing
  • Sumo high pull
tabata with material

History of Tabata

Curious to know where this name came from? 

This training technique was developed by Izumi Tabata, Ph.D., at the National Institute of Fitness and Sport, Tokyohence the name of this workout. 

Izumi found a way to simultaneously develop aerobic and anaerobic capacity in training. This method is useful for accelerating your fat burning.

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