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Tabata Training: The four minute road to results

It’s time to reach higher! If you want to reach your fitness potential, then you must constantly evolve with new exercise programs, new techniques and new training systems.

What if you could burn an average of 14 calories per minute? What if you could increase your body’s metabolic rate significantly for a half hour after your workout? What if you could push your muscles to new levels of growth by burning them out like you never have before?

Welcome to Tabata training!

In the ’90s, a Japanese doctor developed a new, cutting-edge format of training to help the Olympic speed skaters get a performance advantage in competition. The doctor set up a basic interval based workout program that helped to push these elite athletes to brand new levels of athleticism.

Fitness enthusiasts and athletes all over the world have since embraced Tabata training. Now it is making its way into more mainstream fitness programs.  Trainers are using Tabata training to help clients burn fat and build metabolism at record rates.

The traditional Tabata program is very simple: each exercise is four straight minutes of short 20 second bursts with brief 10 second rests performed eight times. After each exercise is completed there is usually a longer rest of about one minute before the next eight sets of a new exercise begins.

Any exercise can be used for Tabata training intervals.

It’s a great tool for personal trainers because there is no need to count repetitions, which allows the trainer to communicate freely with clients on technique and motivation as they perform the specific exercise.

There are many advantages to Tabata training.  It is a very versatile workout that produces amazing results. You will burn more calories in a shorter amount of time because of the increased intensity and shorter rest periods than traditional training.

It will raise the metabolic rate of the body for a longer period of time after each workout. This translates to more efficient fat burning.

Tabata is as much of a mental challenge as it is a physical one. Take a break from counting repetitions and focus on staying in constant motion. This new approach to training brings a freshness to workouts.

One obstacle of Tabata training is needing diversity within the eight sets of each exercise. For example, if you are doing traditional bicep curls then keep it fresh by alternating between the traditional exercise and hammer curls (using a side grip as if the hands are gripping hammers) each round. On the odd sets do traditional curls. On the even sets do hammer curls.

Have fun with it! The main objective is to stay in motion.  Utilizing slight variations in exercise technique is great for Tabata training.

Tabata training is for everyone! Some people may train more intensely than others but whether a workout is four minutes or an hour the benefits are extremely powerful.

If you are just starting a fitness program for the first time then ease into a Tabata routine with just one or two exercises for 4-8 minutes. Gradually add a new exercise each week.

High Intensity Interval Training is extremely effective for burning calories and maximizing the efficiency of the cardiovascular system. Tabata is taking everything to the next level. It will change the way you think about training as it changes your body.

Become the elite version of yourself with Tabata!

Tabata Sample: Full Body Workout
1. Jump Squats – 20 sec. with a 10 sec. rest per set x 8
2. 60 sec. rest
3. Pushups – 20 sec. with a 10 sec. rest per set x 8
4. 60 sec. rest
5. Pullups – 20 sec. with a 10 sec. rest per set x 8
6. 60 sec. rest
7. Dips – 20 sec. with a 10 sec. rest per set x 8
8. 60 sec. rest
9. Planks – 20 sec. with a 10 sec. rest per set x 8


Sammy Cusimano is the founder of Genesys Training based out of New Orleans, Louisiana, and has been a professional trainer since 2001. His experience with training clients ranges from competitive athletes to senior citizens. Cusimano’s goal as a trainer is to help clients safely reach their fitness potential and become the best version of themselves for overall health and wellness.


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