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Does tabata training work for weight loss?
Do you work out for hours and hours, and still are unable to lose weight? What if there was a workout that you could do that only took 4 minutes, and still allowed you to get rid of the extra pounds? Well, the good news is that there is a form of high intensity interval training that can give you a great workout in only 4 minutes! So, what’s the bad news? You are going to have to work very, very hard in those 4 minutes. The exercise is called Tabata training.
What is Tabata Training?
Tabata training was founded in Japan by Izumi Tabata and it is a form of high intensity interval training. It is different from other interval training because it can be completed in 4 minutes. A typical Tabata training session is 20 seconds of intense training followed by 10 seconds of rest. 8 sessions are performed for a total of 4 minutes.
High intensity interval training is good for weight loss
When Tabata training first came about, Izumi Tabata and some of his colleagues conducted a study comparing moderate intensity training and high intensity training.
The moderate intensity group performed workouts at 70% intensity for 6 weeks. The duration of each workout was 1 hour and they exercised for 5 days on a weekly basis.
The high intensity group performed 8 rounds of 20 seconds of training at 170% intensity followed by 10 seconds of rest. They worked out for a total of 4 minutes, 4 days per week.
The conclusion of the study was that the moderate intensity group only had an increase in cardiovascular functions, while the high intensity group had improvements in both cardiovascular functions and muscle mass. High intensity exercise also continues to burn calories even after the workout has ended.
Tabata training is a form of high intensity interval training. A study, published in the International Journal of Obesity, looked at the effects of a 15 week high intensity intermittent exercise program on body fat. The subjects included healthy, nonsmoking and inactive women between the ages of 18 and 30. They were divided into 3 groups: the high intensity intermittent exercise group, the steady state exercise group, and the control group. The high intensity interval training (HIIE) group performed 20 minutes of HIIE and the steady state exercise group performed 40 minutes of steady state exercise.
At the conclusion of the study, both exercise groups had improved in cardiovascular fitness, but only the high intensity interval training group showed a substantial reduction in total body and fat mass. This indicates that high intensity interval training is superior to steady state exercise for weight loss.
Another article, published in the Journal of Obesity, reviewed studies that looked at the effects of high intensity intermittent exercise. It concluded that regular HIIE improves aerobic and anaerobic fitness significantly, produces significant skeletal muscle adaptations, and promotes subcutaneous and abdominal fat loss. The article also stated that since many people do not exercise because of time, HIIE is something that could interest those who wish to lose weight, but have tight schedules.
What are the benefits of using Tabata training?
Tabata training has several benefits including:
- It can significantly increase both your aerobic and anaerobic systems.
- It’s quick.
- It’s efficient.
- It increases your metabolism even after you’re done working out.
- It can fit into almost any fitness program.
What exercises do you do in Tabata?
You have to do 8 rounds of 20 seconds of intense training with 10 seconds of rest in between. But what kinds of exercises do you do for the 20 seconds?
There are several exercises that you can choose to do for the intervals. Some examples include: barbell squats, pushups, chin ups, sprinting in place, burpees, skaters, pushup jacks, mountain climbers, etc. You should try to do a variety of exercises and try to involve your whole body. You can use no equipment or you can use barbells, dumbbells, or kettle bells.
What else do you need to keep in mind?
As Tabata training is very hard on your body, it is important to make sure that you eat something before and after working out. Also, as with any exercise, make sure that you properly warm up and cool down.
You also have to be mentally ready before beginning this type of workout. Initially, you are probably going to be sore, and it may also cause you to feel sick to your stomach, and you may even throw up. Hopefully, these symptoms will subside once you become more used to the workout. Other than the initial side effects, Tabata training doesn’t have many other negatives.
Always check with your doctor before starting an exercise program though as some types of exercise, such as this one, are not suitable for people with certain health conditions. Tabata training can be dangerous for people who have high blood pressure or people who are prone to strokes and heart attacks.
So, is it worth it?
Based on the evidence from the studies, high intensity interval training or high intensity intermittent exercise offers several benefits – one of them being weight loss. It is definitely going to get you better results than you would get from walking, running or biking for an hour.
You need to be dedicated to it and you have to be consistent to get results as it is only 4 minutes long. You may even want to consider doing it for longer than 4 minutes, or doing it in addition to your current workout program to get quicker results.
References used in this article