4 minutes of exercise-Tabata

In search of a new workout class, I had the opportunity to try Tabata at Equinox with Julie for the first time about a month ago.  After warnings from co-workers about how it was a “ta-brutal” experience,  I went into class with high expectations of a hard workout and low expectations of actually enjoying it.   True it was one of the hardest classes I have ever taken, but false in that I didn’t enjoy it.

What is Tabata?

Tabata is a form of exercise training that is 4 minutes of intense interval training/circuit training, repeated.  It was developed by Izumi Tabata at the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo, Japan. The institute did a study on comparing the effects of moderate intensity endurance (aerobics) and high endurance intermittent training (tabata training intervals).  The conclusion of the research was that just four minutes of Tabata interval training could do more to boost aerobic and anaerobic capacity than an hour of endurance

What to expect in a Tabata class

Warm up, 20 seconds of maximum intensity exercise, followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated without pause 8 times for a total of four minutes.

Warm up (jumping jacks)

Squat jumps


Burpees with arm extension

Push ups on bosu ball

Mountain climbers

Hard right?  Fun? Yes!  It was reminiscence of old high school soccer practices, but in a good way.  Julie challenged everyone in class to count how many squat jumps they do in 20 seconds then beat that number next round.  The class pushes you to be competitive, with not only the person next to you, but yourself!  The best part of this workout, it is only 30 minutes then you are done.  Youare left feeling tired, yet energized, and encouraged that you just successfully pushed yourself that hard.

Why take Tabata?

Killer workout, increased overall health, strength and calories burned (even at rest!).

Where can you find Tabata in Chicago?


3 thoughts on “4 minutes of exercise-Tabata

  1. We’re a big believer in the tabata programming as well. We’ll incorporate it into our warm-ups and put 4 rounds of tabata (32 minutes) as a workout. You can also find tabata in boxing and mma classes too. Nice article.

  2. Along the same lines (sort of), I saw a deal this morning on Buyzooka.com. It’s $25 for a Personal Training Session with CityWide SuperSlow — which sounds like a pretty intense 20 minute workout. $57 value. Ever hear of it? The deal is only available today.

    • Olivia, I haven’t tried SuperSlow however according to the website, it is a strength training workout. It pushes your muscles to fatigue thus working each muscle to its max. Tabata on the other hand incorporates cardio as well as strength training. Superslow sounds like a good workout however if you medically can, it is important to also incorporate cardio in your exercise routine.

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