Tabata Method Workout

Tabata Method-What’s that?

Many of you want a quick workout that kicks your booty and gets you results soon.  Well, assuming you do your due diligence to know your own limits and your doctor has been well informed of your exercise plan, meet the Tabata Method-JZ’s favorite workout modality for improved everything!

Think very quick movements for periods of time lasting for 20 seconds followed by 10 second recoveries in between sets.  Izumi Tabata was the founder and creator of Tabata.

Method: In short, Tabata conducted research using two groups of athletes. The first group was assigned moderate intensity exercises (such as jogging, skipping, swimming) at 70%  of their maximum heart rate (220-age-resting heart rate x 70% + resting heart rate).  These workouts lasted an hour for each training day, five days a week for a total of six weeks. The RESULT?  There was a significant improvement in this group’s aerobic system, however no significant improvement in their anaerobic system.

The second group was assigned to train 4 days a week for a total of 6 weeks at a high intensity (170% YES, 170% which is 100% harder than the first group) each training day lasting 4 minutes total. There was a significant improvement in this training group’s aerobic system, more so than the other group, with a 28% increase.  Anaerobic fitness also improved significantly.

Conclusion:  The second group (the 170% max output) proved more significant improvement in both aerobic and anaerobic fitness compared to the moderate intensity group.  Tabata Method was born from this study.

Here’s the culprit.  You still have to be careful because the workout includes short bursts of energy.  So if you have any injuries, I know I said it before but you must consult your doctor first.  If you are just tight and these exercises are too hard to do, then simply go at a slower pace than what Tabata originally outlined.  Remember, this is YOUR body.  Do NOT destroy it!  You can repair it, but you can’t replace it.

So, without further a due, here is how you do it (please note this workout is longer than 4 minutes, but not by much.  Be sure you warm-up first!!!):

Get a clock/timer: set it for 20 seconds in the work zone, with a 10 second recovery.

Location: I chose exercises that allow you to be at home (yes I know, music to your ears!)

Equipment: (you should own this stuff anyway!)

Light and medium dumbbells

A yoga mat (I didn’t use a yoga mat in my videos, but whenever you are on the ground, you should!)

What to expect:

4 sets of 3 exercises performed 3 sets each.  In other words, do Group 1: exercise 1, 2, 3 REPEAT 3 times and then go to Group 2, etc…Get it?  Got it?  Good!

The title of the groups have hyperlinks so click on them to see demonstrations done by your one and only…

Here we go:

Warmup exercises after your warmup: (20 seconds each x 3 sets through)

5 sun salutations

Open stance squat with shoulder stretch

Low squat alternating side to side

Groups 1-4 (20 seconds, 10 seconds recovery x 3 sets each group)

Group 1Body weight only


Jumping Jack Clicks

Spiderman Jumps

Group 2: Dumbbells with compound movements

Staggered stance running man  (switch legs for another 20 secs)

Squat to step out with a lateral raise

Twist and Shouts

Group 3: Booty Booty

Sumo squat to forward jump and back


Closed legged kickbacks with hip extension

Group 4: Upper body

Pushup to knee/elbow kiss

Staggered stance dumbbell rows

Single leg side front side

Make sure you stretch after this program.  You always want to hold your stretches for a minimum of 30 seconds for effectiveness.  The main stretches to do are as follows:

5 Sun Salutations (this is dynamic vs. static)

Forward fold (Hamstrings and calves)

Wide stance with right side then left side stretch (lower body)

Forward fold with legs together knees bent and hands clasped overhead (shoulders and chest)

Hip flexor stretch or dancers pose (psoas and quads)


Soles of the feet together (butterfly stretch for the groin)

Legs forward and reach (hamstrings)

Supine spinal twist (on your back for lower back and chest)

Shavasana (just lay there for 1 minute and focus on breath!  Welcome to “me” time)