Having a #crazy lifestyle, it’s always a struggle to find enough time to work out. But at the same time, no one wants to fall out of schedule, and lose the results and that great feeling they get when they are full of energy, and in a positive mood for the day after a workout.  That is why High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has become widely popular in the last year. It all began with the research results, which has totally changed the concept of power and endurance training. Now, we shall talk about the sensational Tabata Protocol.  Never heard of it? It’s all good, we got you.

How does it work?

The original Tabata protocol takes ONLY 16 minutes including warm-up and cool down.  This can sound very attractive for those who hate doing cardio sessions. Don’t be fooled though, as short does not mean easy in this case. Even though the time of this workout is not long, you basically train yourself to exhaustion.

This type of training allows for a lot of variety. The choice is always yours, and you should definitely do what’s best for you and your body. These Tabata sessions will considerably increase the amount of oxygen consumed within the next 24 hours after finishing the workout… AKA: it allows for more calories to be burned at rest after training.

How should you begin?

If you’ve never tried anything like Tabata or your last cardio session was a long time ago, you should first prepare your body well. Choose some moderate level of loads in order to cope with the task and to estimate your physical condition level.

Workout routine scheme:

 1. 10 minute warm-up.

  • This can be a run, elliptical work out, or stationary bike spin


2. Interval workout:

  • 20 second intensive work, then a 10 second rest
  • Repeat this round eight times (4 minutes total)
  • EXAMPLE: Squats
    • Making sure you have the proper form, perform high-intensity squats for 20 seconds.  Rest for 10 seconds.  Repeat 8 times.
    • You can do this with other exercises, such as push ups


  1. 2 minute Cool Down
    • Recover your breath rhythm by lightly jogging, walking slowly and stretching


Tabata-style training can be considered as a separate type of training. But you can also add some exercises in Tabata-style before and after a weight workout. It is important to estimate how well your body copes with this type of activity. Tabata can also be a great way to “explode” the body part being trained. It always important to try to ‘kill the muscle’ after some basic exercises to fully benefit from your workout. Tabata protocol looks attractive considering results, scientific approach and novelty. Looking for a way to diversify your training process, Tabata can be the perfect solution. Just remember one thing – Tabata protocol should never be like a walk in the park. People often use this method incorrectly. Their 20 second intervals are too easy to increase their aerobic and anaerobic rates, as well as to increase post-workout oxygen consumption. That is why you should try different variants, choose exercises carefully and be result-oriented.

Additional benefits:

In Diabetes research, it was found that the protein, gluco-transporter, which is found in skeleton muscles, helps glucose to absorb into those muscles faster. This fact is important for diabetics, as this type of protein production stimulation they can improve their glucose metabolism. This is one of the most important reasons for such people to start physical activity on a regular basis. Izumi Tabata conducted additional researches and discovered that high-intensity exercises were effective because it caused an increase of production of the gluco-transporter.


In the mid 90s the head trainer of a Japanese speed skating team addressed the doctor Izumi Tabata in order to get help in analyzing the effectiveness of the training conditions arranged. During the research process, Tabata studied several different protocols, but he chose the specifically important eight sets of intervals where 20 seconds of intensive work alternated with 10 second intervals of rest, which was the best option for improving levels of VO2max (index showing how effectively you can take in and assimilate oxygen), endurance, etc. The research was conducted on stationary bicycles, but this protocol is now applied to all the variety of functional movements including squats, chin-ups, push ups, row, kettle bell training, running and so on.  As a result, this scientific research gave an impulse to developing a new flow – HIIT.

Stay healthy, strong, and try Tabata,

Darya Karelina

Trainer, Nutritionist, Model, Journalist, Blogger, Fitness Coach


Instagram: darya_karelina



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