Tabata – The Best Fat Burning Workout You’re Not Doing

Tabata – The Best Fat Burning Workout You’re Not Doing

Tabata burns fat, builds muscle, and boosts your metabolism in just FOUR minutes a day.

Looking for the best fat burning workout? Do you eat clean and spend hours in the gym but still have no progress? Then it’s time to tweak your workouts and try something new! A few days from now on, steady state cardio will be just a bad memory.

What if you could torch fat, build muscle, and boost your metabolism in just 4 minutes a day? Believe it or not, you can do it. Actually, you don’t even need fancy gym machines or special gear. This powerful fat burning workout is called Tabata and can transform your body in no time.

Build Muscle and Burn Fat with Tabata Training

Not too long ago, I’ve discovered Tabata training. Even though I’ve heard about it before, I wasn’t really interested in it. I’ve thought it was just another fitness craze. As some of you know, I’m not a big fan of cardio. Strength training comes first on my list, followed by HIIT. I would rather spend three hours lifting weights than doing 20 minutes of cardio or other aerobic exercises.

One day I’ve told myself that a little variety doesn’t hurt. And so I’ve tried Tabata for the first time. It was mind-blowing! After just four minutes, I was out of breath and covered in sweat. I’ve found it way more effective than traditional HIIT or another type of cardio.

Now, I do Tabata three or four times a week after strength training. I also dedicate a full day to cardio training. This session includes two Tabata workouts plus 30-40 minutes of high-intensity cardio.

The results are above my expectations. My body fat levels dropped, my endurance increased, and I haven’t lost a pound of muscle. Not to mention that I have more free time since I don’t have to do steady state cardio anymore. I was already happy with HIIT, but Tabata is even better. It’s perfect when I’m short on time or when I work out at home.

The best part is that you can apply this training to most bodyweight exercises, which allows you to work out anytime, anywhere. A typical Tabata session can include push-ups, burpees, plank jacks, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, squats, rowing, and much more. It’s ideal for both cardio and strength training, and takes just four minutes. That’s right! No matter how busy you are, it’s impossible not to have four minutes available for exercise.

How Does Tabata Work?

In case you wonder how Tabata works, you should know that it’s really simple. Just like HIIT, this fat-burning workout alternates between short, intense bursts of exercise and short periods of rest and slow-paced exercise. The high-intensity interval lasts 20 seconds, while the rest period lasts 10 seconds.

Basically, Tabata involves 20 seconds of high-intensity training followed by 10 seconds of rest. Repeat this cycle for up to four minutes. As your endurance increases, complete two sessions (eight minutes in total) with a short break in-between. For instance, you can try the following Tabata workouts:

• 20 seconds of push-ups + 10 seconds of rest followed by
• 20 seconds of mountain climbers + 10 seconds of rest
• 20 seconds of plank jacks + 10 seconds of rest
• 20 seconds of push-ups + 10 seconds of rest
• 20 seconds of mountain climbers + 10 seconds of rest
• 20 seconds of plank jacks + 10 seconds of rest
• 20 seconds of plank jacks + 10 seconds rest
• 20 seconds of mountain climbers + 10 seconds of rest


• 20 seconds of sprinting + 10 seconds of walking – repeat for four minutes


• 20 seconds of rowing / treadmill running/ burpees/ rope jumping / box jumps + 10 seconds of rest – repeat for four minutes

I typically use the first workout or similar variations. The order in which you perform the exercises is up to you. As long as your heart rate stays high, you’re on the right track.

If you’re having trouble losing stubborn fat, do another 15-30 minutes of cardio after Tabata training. Don’t forget about weight lifting, which helps build muscle and sends your metabolism into overdrive. Remember to eat clean. Tabata can not offset the damage caused by poor nutrition. In fact, no workout can do that. No matter how hard you’re training, you still need to watch your diet.

Due to its intense nature, Tabata isn’t meant to be performed daily. Three to four weekly sessions are more than enough. The high-intensity intervals should be completed at 100% effort. If you aren’t dizzy, shaking, and out of breath after four minutes, you’re doing it all wrong.

Even though you won’t burn a ton of calories in just four minutes, you’ll still lose fat. Tabata triggers the so-called afterburn effect, which can last for 24-36 hours after exercise. In layman’s terms, you’ll keep burning calories long after finishing your workout. On top of that, you’ll feel stronger, sleep better, and boost your overall fitness. Without a doubt, Tabata is the best fat burning workout you can do.

"tabata fat burning workout"
With Tabata, you won’t lose muscle or mess up your hormones – as it happens with steady state cardio.

The Science Behind Tabata – The Best Fat Burning Workout

Surprisingly, most gym goers are not familiar with Tabata. Even those who have been training for years have never tried it. I was one of them. This fat burning workout is a form of HIIT (high-intensity interval training) but takes things even further.

When done right, it maximizes aerobic and anaerobic capacity, taxing the cardiorespiratory system. It also boosts anabolic hormones, such as testosterone and HGH, which helps improve body composition aka muscle-to-fat ratio.

According to a 1996 study, this fat burning workout can boost VO2 max by over 14 percent and anaerobic capacity by 28 percent in just six weeks. If workout intensity is high enough, you can get lean in a very short period of time. Tabata training engages both the aerobic and anaerobic systems. This increases your oxygen uptake and elevates metabolism.

With Tabata, you won’t lose muscle or mess up your hormones – as it happens with steady state cardio. As I have mentioned in a previous post, too much cardio burns both muscle and fat, causes fatigue, and slows your metabolism. It also raises the stress hormone cortisol levels, which in turn, lowers testosterone levels and promotes fat storage. Cortisol increases hunger and decreases your metabolic rate, making weight loss difficult.

Besides its fat burning effect, Tabata can be used to blast a muscle group at the end of your workout. For instance, if you’re training chest, finish your workout with a Tabata session consisting of push-ups. Try a mix of standard push-ups, diamond push-ups, superman push-ups, and other variations. Use your smartphone’s timer, a dedicated Tabata app, or a stopwatch to ensure your intervals are consistent.

This training method works best with bodyweight exercises. Stair sprints, hill sprints, swimming, cycling, and jumping rope are a great choice too. The key is to throw maximal effort into the movement.

Have you ever tried Tabata? Did it work for you? Share your experience below!


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