Here’s the Perfect Bodyweight Workout Plan to Help You Get Fit
Ever since I became a personal trainer six years ago, I’ve seen a lot of different workout fads come and go. It seems like there’s always a new trend out there, like SoulCycle, Barry’s Bootcamp, hot yoga, etc. Although there isn’t necessarily one perfect workout for everyone out there, there are certainly some that are generally more effective than others. Tabata is one of them. If you’ve never heard of it before, settle in while I explain all the benefits of this incredible workout.
What Is Tabata?
Tabata is a high-intensity workout that uses a 20/10 system. That means you work for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, and repeat this for eight rounds in a row. Generally you choose eight different exercises to go through for one cycle, then you rest for 30 seconds before repeating the same cycle a few more times (usually three or four).
This type of high-intensity workout isn’t meant to be done with weights, but rather with bodyweight exercises that you can do at a quick pace for 20 seconds straight. Because the rest interval is so short — trust me, 10 seconds goes by really quickly! — you’ll be out of breath pretty quickly.
What Are the Origins of Tabata?
This workout wasn’t just made up out of the blue. It’s been highly researched and carefully crafted by experts. A man named Dr. Izumi Tabata collaborated with the Japanese Olympic Speed Skating team to study the effects of short high-intensity bursts of exercise in athletes. He worked with the head coach of the skating team, Irisawa Koichi, to design the workout and publish a groundbreaking study that laid the path for Tabata to be widely accepted and implemented around the world.
The study looked at two groups of amateur male athletes in their mid-20s. The first group sprinted for 20 seconds on a stationary bike called the cycling ergometer, rested for 10, and repeated this for eight rounds. This equaled only four minutes of work. They repeated this session five times a week for six consecutive weeks. The other group instead did a steady-state training on the ergometer and maintained a moderate intensity for 60 minutes.
The Tabata group saw the same effects on their aerobic performance improvement as the men who trained for 60 minutes. Even more than that, the Tabata guys saw a 28 percent improvement in their anaerobic capacity as well, while the other group didn’t see any growth in that area.
What Are the Benefits of Tabata?
As you can probably guess, this specific type of high-intensity training improves your aerobic capacity. It also speeds up fat loss, helps reduce blood pressure, reverses the risk for metabolic syndrome, and increases levels of testosterone, which helps you maintain lean muscle mass.
Besides, the work you’re able to get done in such a short amount of time leaves you with no excuses to exercise! You can do this kind of workout anywhere, even in your own backyard. And in a world where we’re all drowning in work, personal life, and endless responsibilities, you can be efficient with your time and knock out a killer workout in just a few minutes.
What’s a Good Tabata Workout Plan?
If you want to do a full Tabata session, choose four bodyweight exercises to go through. I would recommend these to my clients: burpees, plyo lunges (or step back lunges if there are any knee limitations), push-ups, and air squats (or jump squats if you feel comfortable). Do one cycle of burpees, 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, eight rounds. Rest for 30 seconds and then continue to plyo lunges for the same time format for eight rounds. And so on and so forth until you’ve completed all four exercises. You’ll be dripping in sweat by the time you’re done. And it will have only taken you 16 minutes to complete the session.
Make sure you take 5-10 minutes to warm up before you start with some hip mobility, light cardio, and dynamic stretching. Keep plenty of water close by so you can stay hydrated as you go through the session. As always, speak to your medical professional before making any major changes in your workout or diet.
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