Do Tabata Workouts Work?

I have been using Tabata training for the better part of two years for myself & various clients, from those that wish to lose fat (not weight), to those that wish to increase of improve their Cardio-Vascular fitness to those that wish to improve their ability to endure physical demands.

I was introduced to Tabata by a close friend who runs a local boxing club and at the time was doubtful that this “new” style of training would be that challenging. After the first session in my back garden and sitting there sweating and puffing, I started to question my fitness and was I really that out of shape?

The answer was no, but I was not ready to meet the demands that Tabata puts on your body.

The pure or correct way of using Tabata is more than often not followed by those that set out to use it on their own, due to the fact that as the body starts to fatigue, form and discipline tend to go out of the window, therefore the role of the PT is vital to support and motivate the person using Tabata to continue, when all normal rationale is saying “quit” or “stop”.

There are many people out there that knock Tabata and question whether it really does give the results claimed. No doubt there are some errors in what has been reported but I would expect that the same can be said for just about any training method being used, remember, what works well for one person does not necessarily work for the next person!

I have seen results and felt results from using this training protocol and would make a calculated presumption that everyone that uses Tabata will make an improvement in someway towards their goals. The pure intensity of the protocol alone leaves you feeling like you have just reached a massive goal, enough to release those endorphins!

Remember when starting out with Tabata, use one exercise only and make sure that it uses one of the big muscle groups; I normally start with body weight squats. Using a “GymBoss” stops the clock watching and also makes it harder to cheat yourself, when it beeps start working!

Remember that you need to record the lowest amount of reps completed as your Tabata score. The aim is that as your fitness improves you should be able to increase the lowest score, an example might be that on week one, your lowest squat count is 12 (in 20 seconds) but by the forth session your lowest is 15, this is a good way of seeing yourself making progress.

I never use more than 5 different exercises in one sitting and always have a 1 minute rest between each exercise. Take the lowest count in each exercise and then make a grand total, which is your Tabata score that you MUST beat the next time round.

Tabata WORKS!!!


hard working, self motivated professional Personal trainer & football coach......always pushing the limits and looking to learn something new each day! You can reach Jim at his website

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