Always Time for a Quickie: Tabatas

by Khushboo on August 20, 2012

What better way to kick start the week than with a bit of Monday Morning Motivation (say that 5 times fast):

We’re all busy and it’s easy to fall back on the “I don’t have time to exercise” excuse.  Occasionally I do too, but deep down I know that it’s BS. The bottom line is that it comes down to priorities: If it’s important to you, you will make time for it, no ifs no buts.

Last week I mentioned that I’ve been incorporating tabata training into my workouts.  Especially as I prefer to get my day started early in order to make the most of my trip in London, this workout style is ideal.  As long as they are effective, workouts don’t need to be a long, drawn out affair.  Efficiency aside, tabatas can be done anytime, anywhere, without any special equipment.

As a form of high intensity interval training, tabata training can create similar health benefits to that of cardio workouts…in a fraction of the time. So what exactly is it?

It’s like ripping off a Band-Aid: it’s painful yet over before you know it.  Although each tabata is essentially 4 minutes, you can stack multiple 4-minute tabata routines together.  The key is to take a 1-minute break between each round in order to briefly recover.  While tabatas may burn fewer calories during the workout than a long walk would, they require your muscles to work harder.  As a result, it boosts your metabolism and enables it to continue burning calories even after the workout is over.

Especially as tabata workouts are completely customisable, there’s little room for boredom to creep in.  To get you started, here’s a workout I completed on Friday morning.  Hopefully this will enlighten my brother about why exactly I was jumping around our living room as he was leaving for work.:

If you don’t have a stop watch or timer, download the GymBoss Timer app.  Once you select the tabata setting, it will start beeping to indicate the start & stop of each interval.

How do you fit exercise into your busy days? 

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Alexandra August 20, 2012 at 4:35 pm

Tabata rocks! Usually, if I have a busy day ahead, I wake up super early to fit in my workouts– love starting the day off with endorphins! 🙂

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Khushboo Thadani August 21, 2012 at 12:57 pm

With you on that totally- no better way to start the day!

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Tessa@AmazingAsset (@Tessa8m) August 20, 2012 at 4:47 pm

Tabatas certainly do ROCK and are tough to say the least, but yeah, you get a bang for your buck! Great workouts here too 🙂 I haven’t done them in awhile though, as I need to do lower intensity stuff for now… but I will get back to them in time!

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Khushboo Thadani August 21, 2012 at 12:58 pm

I won’t lie, as much as I enjoy intense workouts like tabatas, it’s nice to scale it back with a simple walk!

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Alex @ therunwithin August 20, 2012 at 4:52 pm

Man you are so good at these!

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Khushboo Thadani August 21, 2012 at 12:58 pm

🙂

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Parita August 20, 2012 at 5:12 pm

I can personally attest that your living room tabata workout was a good one for sure! 🙂 Great post, K!!!

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Khushboo Thadani August 21, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Soo glad you enjoyed the workout :)…I”m going to try it today with burpees instead of jump ropes (ick)!

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forgottenbeast August 20, 2012 at 7:55 pm

I make sure to work out in the AM, then I know nothing will “come up” or get in the way of an afternoon workout. Although I work harder in the PM, it’s not a guarantee that I’ll be able to get to the gym, so I schedule it first thing. Love the quickness of Tabata workouts for those days when the gym just isn’t going to happen, though!

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Khushboo Thadani August 21, 2012 at 12:59 pm

I’m the same about morning workouts- the only thing that could come between me & a workout is sleep! I hate being at work with the antsy feeling of needing to rush to the gym!

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forgottenbeast August 21, 2012 at 8:22 pm

Plus evenings are always PACKED at the gym! Nothing like spending half your workout just waiting for machines, weights or space to be free…

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Khushboo Thadani August 22, 2012 at 3:00 am

THrilling way to spend an evening, eh ;)!

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Sable Weisman (@SquatLikeALady) August 21, 2012 at 1:18 am

Tabatas are such a love/hate for me! HAAATE them when I’m doing them, love them when I’m done. Lately I just don’t have the energy though!

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Khushboo Thadani August 21, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Haha I seem to have the same relationship with burpees ;)!

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sprint2thetable August 21, 2012 at 8:51 am

LOVE that first quote. So very true. And tabatas being like ripping off a Band-Aid is the PERFECT description some days. 🙂

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Khushboo Thadani August 21, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Isn’t it? Sometimes the thought of doing it is worse than the actuality!

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Jess August 21, 2012 at 5:53 pm

Awesome little workout! I laughed when you said now your brother knows why you were jumping round the lounge room! I hope you are enjoying London!!!!

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Khushboo Thadani August 22, 2012 at 2:59 am

Haha between that and the constant beeping, I think he was rather confused!

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Kym August 21, 2012 at 9:13 pm

I was totally the queen of “i don’t have time to exercise” excuse! Now, like you said, i just make it a priority and not surprisingly, there was time to exercise all along.. i just didn’t want to before. Haha! I’m going to have to try these tabatas soon!

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Khushboo Thadani August 22, 2012 at 3:01 am

Hope you enjoy tabatas :)!

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thescientistandthehealthnut August 21, 2012 at 10:32 pm

The only way for me to fit it in is to do it first thing in the morning, before my brain is awake enough to think of all the other things I could be doing. It’s hard sometimes but always, always worth it.

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Khushboo Thadani August 22, 2012 at 3:02 am

Hahah so true about the brain figuring it out ;)! Laughs aside, I can’t say I’ve ever regretted a workout!

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Sara @ Nourish and Flourish August 22, 2012 at 8:48 am

I LOVE tabatas! It’s been way too long since I’ve incorporated them into my routine though; I’ve been following a heavy lifting program 5 days/week, so I usually crave longer runs or elliptical sessions when I do cardio. However, I’ve been getting a bit bored with those, so it’s time to mix things up again! I’m a grad student, so I usually workout during the day, when everyone else is at work. However, after I graduate this coming December that’s going to change. I’ll be up at 5:00am hitting the gym! During my first job after college, I quickly learned that if I don’t workout in the morning, it never happens. 😉

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Khushboo Thadani August 22, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Please make the most of mid-day workouts while you can- I certainly miss those! Sounds like you’ll be all set when you enter the working world- I almost always opt for morning workouts because chances are something else will come up later on in the day!

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ko0ty August 22, 2012 at 11:14 pm

When I have no time for workouts or planning ones, I turn to Tabata too. It’s easy! Well not easy (while you’re doing it) but it’s easy to get into one. Tabata squats alwayssss make me super sore for days afterwards!

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Khushboo Thadani August 23, 2012 at 9:24 am

I’m yet to do squats with tabatas but I imagine they’d feel the same after a squat track at body pump- severe burning!!

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Nada (One Arab Vegan) August 26, 2012 at 11:15 am

Love that you included squats and lunges for your tabata intervals! I usually do pure cardio moves but can imagine those would be just as killer (if not more). Pinned to try soon!

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Khushboo Thadani August 26, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Hope you enjoy it…you’re in for some burning quads 🙂

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Tanvi November 2, 2012 at 1:39 am

I have been doing these for a while, just out of sheer need to keep changing up my routine, just didn’t know they actually had a name! Cute too, tabata! 🙂 Ha!

∞ © tanvii.com ∞

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Khushboo November 2, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Haha you were on board with tabatas before they became a trendy workout ;)!

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