What is Tabata Training – Use Quick HIIT Workouts To Burn Fat


Here is a great Tabata workout which is fun, fast and very effective for those of you who don’t have a lot of time to workout but still want great results in only 20 minutes or less with one of the hottest workout programs around!

If it’s difficult for you to find time during the day to get to the gym to workout due to your busy work schedule, family, kids, school and other responsibilities, then Tabata will be perfect for you! As a personal trainer and Tabata instructor, I understand how challenging it can be to carve out some personal time throughout the day. The thought of having to miss workouts due to time constraints can be extremely frustrating, especially if you’re working hard to lose fat and get lean. This is the main reason why Tabata-style workouts are so beneficial. If you can dedicate just 20 minutes, 3-4 days a week then that is all you need to get a killer workout and start seeing results!

I have included a fun Tabata workout below that you can do at home, with a personal trainer, at the gym and even while you’re on vacation! This workout can be performed several times per week and can also be modified based on your current level of fitness. It requires no additional weights or equipment so you won’t have to purchase anything and it takes up very little space because you will only need the length of your body which makes it ideal for doing a quick workout in the convenience of your own home! The results you can achieve by following Tabata can be awesome and when you include a healthy, nutrient dense diet that is rich in protein, clean carbs and healthy fats, you will not only feel better but you will see even greater results in overall muscle tone and fat loss in as little as 6 weeks!


Tabata is a great HIIT workout program that gets results! HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training and it’s an excellent way to burn maximum calories and body fat. There are several different forms of HIIT workouts that you can choose from but, in this article I will only be focusing on Tabata. I will also include some background information about this program, where you can find it, who should use it and why you should try it out.

History of Tabata
Let’s start with a little background information about the history of Tabata. This is a program that was created by Japanese scientist Dr. Izumi Tabata and a team of researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo in 1996. By incorporating Tabata training, you will workout at increased levels of intensity for a certain amount of time, rest for a short period and then rev it back up. This type of training is a great way to tap into body fat stores, increase lean muscle mass and boost your cardio capacity to get great results fast! Tabata has taken the fitness industry by storm and thousands of people are now using it to get in the best shape of their lives!

What is Tabata?
Tabata can be performed in different formats but generally the workouts are anywhere between 4 minutes and 20 minutes in length. Yes, that’s right, only 4 to 20 minutes for the entire workout! But trust me, you will feel it within the first round so don’t think it’s going to be easy. The great thing about Tabata is that you will not have to commit to an hour workout like you would normally do with boring “steady state” cardio and you won’t have to wait around for cardio machines if the gym is packed. As a personal trainer, I really like to throw in some Tabata training into my clients’ routines and since there is no equipment needed, we can focus on the workout without having to run around the gym looking for machines to use.

Do not mistake Tabata for an easy workout because it’s not! Tabata instructors design programs based on their clients’ abilities and specific needs. Instructors will generally provide three levels of training which include beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. The workouts usually start with 3 rounds each and they can go up to 8 rounds depending on your level of fitness, how strong you are and which exercises work the best for your body. Keep in mind that there are some parts of this workout program that might be a little difficult for certain people, so it’s important to work within your own abilities in order to be safe at all times. Your instructor should always show different modifications to the movements based on the fitness level of the clients in the class.


Below is a sample 12-minute Tabata workout that you can incorporate right away and use 3-4 days per week. I suggest giving your body a little rest in between your Tabata workouts by incorporating regular cardio such as walking, running, hiking or biking. You can also incorporate 1-2 active rest days by going to the mall, gardening or walking the dogs around the neighborhood. If you want, you can add in an additional workout at your local gym or pop in your favorite workout DVD like Zumba, TurboKick, Cize or any other cardio workout you enjoy. Just make sure to listen to your body so you can avoid any overtraining issues that might arise from working out too much. You need to respect your body’s limitations and avoid pushing yourself too hard, too quickly or you might burn out and hit a plateau from too much exercise. Tabata is a very high intensity routine and even though you’re only doing 20 minute workouts, it can still be hard on your body so take additional rest days if you feel you need it. It’s always better to take a few days off to fully recover!

12-Minute TABATA Workout

Each round is 1 minute in length. There are a total of 4 rounds which you will do 3 times which makes this a 12 minute Tabata workout!

Round 1:

  • 20 seconds – Squats or Squat Jumps
  • 10 seconds – Rest
  • 20 seconds – Jumping Jacks
  • 10 seconds – Rest

Round 2:

  • 20 seconds – Mountain Climbers
  • 10 seconds – Rest
  • 20 seconds – Push-ups
  • 10 seconds – Rest

Round 3:

  • 20 seconds – Alternating Side Lunges
  • 10 seconds – Rest
  • 20 seconds – Burpees
  • 10 seconds – Rest

Round 4:

  • 20 seconds – High Knees
  • 10 seconds – Rest
  • 20 seconds – In-Out Squat Jumps
  • 10 seconds – Rest

Remember to follow up your workout with a 5 minute cool down period with several full body stretching exercises and always drink plenty of water so you can stay fully hydrated before, during and after your workout. If you have any questions regarding Tabata training, how to find an instructor in your area or how to get started, please contact me on my profile page and I will be more than happy to help you!

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About Author

Lisa Lorraine Taylor

I’ve been in the fitness, health and nutrition field for over 18 years and have been certified for 18 years. I live in the beautiful city of Ocean Beach, California. My goal is to assist and reach people who are ready to make a positive change in their lives by providing various types of fitness programs. See my profile page for more information!

1 Comment

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    This is the perfect exercise routine for my busy and very hectic schedule. So glad I found this post! Keep it up.

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