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Tabata training, also known as Tabata protocol) is a type of HIIT (high-intensity interval training) that aims to yield the most benefits in a short amount of time.

It is originated in the research of Japanese scientist Dr. Izumi Tabata and his team from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports at Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan, on high-intensity exercise during the early 1990s.

In 1996, Dr. Tabata was hired by the head coach of the Japanese speed skating team to analyze the efficacy of the teams training program, which was characterized by rotations between short bursts of high activity and short rest periods. Their objective was to find out if short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by shorter rests might condition the body better than a continuous moderate-intensity exercise.

HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) can be performed for 15 to 30 minutes.

It is a form of a cardiorespiratory training technique that involves short bursts of intense exercise followed by even shorter rest periods

Accounts of HIIT training with Olympic athletes date back to the early 20th century. In the 1924 Olympic games Paavo Nurmi, a finish athlete, used interval training in his preparations leading into the games where he won several gold medals.

Tabata VS. HIIT

Tabata was created to take just 4 minutes! The 4-minute Tabata workout consists of 8 rounds of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off. Each round of 20 seconds should be the highest intensity possible.

It aims to get your heart rate above 100%, really pushing the limit on the percentage of your maximum heart rate.

HIIT generally requires you to work for anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes, followed by a 30 second to 2 minute recovery period (depending on the work duration). 

It has a slightly more conservative effect on the heart generally pushing 80% to 95% of your maximum heart rate. The maximum number of times your heart will beat in a minute without overexerting yourself. The workout continues with the alternating work and relief periods totalling 20 to 60 minutes.

5 Benefits of Tabata and HIIT

  • Burn fat and calories

One of the most popular reasons people choose tabata or HIIT is that, through the training, you burn fat even when your training has stopped.

  • Increase metabolism

By pushing your heart rate and oxygen consumption during HIIT workouts. You’ll both strengthen and improve your heart and cardiovascular activity and oxygen intake.

  • Improve heart health

By pushing your heart rate and oxygen consumption during tabata and HIIT workouts. You’ll both strengthen and improve your heart and cardiovascular activity and oxygen intake.

  • Build different muscle groups

Most tabata and HIIT workouts involve many different movements. This allows you to work out different groups of muscle during the same workout — for example, a HIIT workout might have you do squats, push-ups and burpees — which all target different muscles.

  • Improve oxygen and blood flow

VO2max is important because it affects the physical capacity of your athletic performance. With a higher VO2max, your body has better endurance in aerobic exercises. Besides improving athletic conditioning, an increased VO2max also brings us better overall health.

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