What Is Tabata

What is Tabata?

Are you short on time but still want to get in a workout?  Then you may want to read along and find out what a Tabata workout is and if Tabata will work for you.


So I sit down to write a Tabata Training workout and hey why not do a little more research with this first.

Well heck, I learned something. I was all set to load you guys up with what I thought was a traditional Tabata workout.  Going all out with all you have 10-20 minutes with short rest periods in between and repeating the work out if you are up to it one to three times.

Turns out, I was wrong!

what is tabata

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What is Tabata Training?

Well, I learned that traditional Tabata Workouts are 4 minutes long and you push until the ultimate max.  By ultimate max, I’m talking you are ready to puke in just four short minutes.

Yes you heard me right just four minutes for the workout.  Seems crazy right? Now this may seem glorious and quick but mind you its not for the faint of heart.  If you aren’t ready to pass out or have your lungs explode you are doing it wrong.

So I guess I have been doing a version derived from the original workout.  Which is fine with me.  Changing up workouts keeps them fun and interesting! However this article is going to teach you traditional Tabata.

The Ins & Outs of a Tabata Workout

The original workout is about 4 minutes long with interval of 20 seconds all out intensity, followed by ten seconds rest before jumping right into the next 20 seconds of work.  The total workout will be about 7 to 8 sets.

It’s awesome because it really works!  It’s hard and its fast and it’s done. Boom!

You and Tabata?

  • Is it for you?
  • Are you comfortable working out with rage face?
  • Thinking about buying a new workout shirt with type that says something about you being 100% cool with the piles of sweat you are soaking in?
  • Can you jump repeatedly?
  • Have you been working out for awhile?
  • Do you have good balance?
  • Do you push yourself ?

If this doesn’t sound like you or you are a beginner don’t worry there is plenty of hardcore  badassery for everyone.  You just have to progress to it.

Start with a lower intensity or try modifications if there are certain exercises you are still getting the hang of.

If you are ready to test yourself, what are you waiting for lets do this!

Tabata Workouts

Check out these sample workouts below or feel free to make you own. Please make sure to warm up before any conditioning portion of a workout.

You need to get your muscles warm and ready for the work you are about to do.  Aim for 5-10 minutes of warming up before you try these Tabata workouts.  Don’t forget to end your workout with a 5 to 10 minute cool down.

barbell tabata workout

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Barbell Tabata Workout

  • Reverse lunges (R)
  • 10 Sec Rest
  • Reverse lunges (L)
  • 10 Sec Rest
  • Shoulder Press
  • 10 Sec Rest
  • Romanian Dead lifts
  • 10 Sec Rest
  • Back Squats
  • 10 Sec Rest

Repeat starting over from the top until the 4 minutes is up.  The goal is to keep the barbell in your hands the entire workout.  Please set it down if you need to.  You also might want to hold the barbell in front of you in a clean position during lunges or back squats.

 Be careful your safety is of the utmost importance!

Not gonna lie after my final set of lunges with the bar behind my head resting on my upper back and shoulders I got stuck.  Yep it was an oh crap moment.  My arms were simply worn out and I couldn’t push the bar back over my head.  I was definitely in the danger zone.  Luckily there was a gentleman within range to help me get out of my predicament.

Embarrassing yes but its better than getting hurt! So please be careful and go a little light on your barbell because you will fatigue the further into the workout you get.  After that I kept the bar in front of me in a clean position which is a lot easier position to get out of if need be.

body weight tabata workout

  Bodyweight Tabata Workout

  • Downward Dog Push Ups
  • 10 Sec Rest
  • Push Ups
  • 10 Sec Rest
  • Triceps Dips
  • 10 Sec Rest
  • Plie Squats to Calf Raise
  • 10 Sec Rest
  • Walking Lunges
  • 10 Sec Rest
  • Donkey Kicks
  • 10 Sec Rest

Repeat starting over from the top until the 4 minutes is up.  Remember intervals of 20 seconds of all out intensity, followed by ten seconds rest before jumping right into the next 20 seconds of work.  The total workout will be about 7 to 8 sets.

Try these workouts and let me know how you feel after and if you would like to find out more about incorporating Tabata Workouts into your weekly schedule, don’t hesitate to contact me!

Tabata Workouts not your cup of tea?  Check out this Workout Wednesday Routine for a less intense fat burn!

Stay moving my friends,


Tabata workout for losing weight

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