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lovemygirlies
08-20-2012, 07:15 AM
Here's another one of our wonderful weekly tips! :)

Tight on time?

Don't give up on your workout today. If you have a mere four minutes—that's just 240 total seconds—to spare (and who doesn't), then you do have time to squeeze in a super effective workout that provides major health, fitness and weight-loss benefits.

What is this 4-minute miracle workout?

Tabata.

Tabata is a specific style of interval training that has you alternating between:

-20 seconds of the highest intensity you can handle (all-out effort)

-10 seconds of total rest (no movement)

You repeat the 20-second "hard" intervals and 10-second "recovery" intervals for a total of eight rounds, which equals just four minutes.

Research shows that athletes who performed these specific time and intensity intervals saw significant increases in fat burning, increases in metabolic rates, and improvements in cardiovascular fitness that were comparable or better to exercisers who go for longer, more sustained workouts.

While no one would recommend that you swap out that hour on the treadmill for a four minute workout all the time, Tabata intervals are easy to incorporate into your existing cardio plan or a way to squeeze in a workout that still makes a big difference if you're really short on time. Personally, I'd recommend no more than there Tabata-style interval sessions per week (along with the inclusion of more traditional and longer-lasting cardio workouts).

Here are some ideas to help you incorporate Tabata intervals into your workouts.

ON THE BIKE: Sprint with high resistance for 20 seconds, then recover with leg speed as slow as possible for 10 seconds. Repeat for a total of four minutes.

ON THE TREADMILL: Sprint as fast as possible for 20 seconds, then recover by walking or standing still for 20 seconds. Repeat for a total of four minutes.

WITHOUT EQUIPMENT: You can do "all-out" efforts of jumping jacks, burpees, mountain climbers, box jumps, jumping rope, high-knee jogging in place—any activity that gets your heart rate up will work for 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of total rest. You can stick to four full minutes of one move OR alternative between a few. It doesn't matter what you're doing—as long as you are pushing yourself to your highest possible intensity. Repeat for a total of four minutes.

OUTDOORS: Run or sprint (on a flat or up a hill) for 20 seconds, then recover by coming to a complete stop. Repeat for a total of four minutes.

The great thing about Tabata is that YOU control the intensity of your intervals. You go as hard as you can feasibly go—that's what it takes to get the benefit. So even if that is 20 seconds of power walking, you're doing it right. Cater it to your own level.

As a standalone workout, Tabata is great way to fit in a nice fitness challenge (and calorie burn) when you're too busy to do anything that takes longer than 5-10 minutes. It gives you a big bang for your fitness buck.

And as a way to up the ante of your regular workouts, try incorporate a 4-minute round of Tabata 1-3 times a week into your runs, walks, or other cardio workouts to take your fitness to the next level. It could be just the thing you need to bust that plateau and start seeing the pounds drop off again.

By: Nicole Nichols via Sparks (EPXBody Email)


Samie8183
08-31-2012, 12:31 PM
I actually tried this on my treadmill the other day, it was very fast and seemed to go by extremely quick. I felt very good afterward, like I worked out for 20-30 mins. Definitely recommend for those just getting started or who don't have a lot of time :)



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