High Intensity Interval Training, otherwise known as HIIT has become one of the most popular forms of exercise. Tabata workouts also fall into the category of HIIT type workouts. These are workouts that alternate between intense bursts of activity and short periods of less-intense activity or even complete rest. Any form of HIIT is said to torch fat, enhance metabolism, and define muscle tone. But what are the true benefits of HIIT and Tabata workouts?
1.) Efficient. These workouts are great for any schedule ranging from only being able to workout during a lunch break to trying to get in shape for that event that is just around the corner. Research shows you can achieve more progress in about 15 minutes of interval training done three times a week, than jogging for an hour. Another study claimed that just 2 weeks of high-intensity intervals improves your aerobic capacity as much as 6 to 8 weeks of endurance training. If that doesn’t scream efficient then we don’t know what else would! (Source)
2.) Say Bye-bye to Fat and Calories All Day. HIIT & Tabata burn more calories and fat than a traditional card io workout for a full 24 hours after working out by putting your body into “after burn” where it requires more oxygen and calories for recovery. They preserve your muscle and works off your fat.
3.) Fun Workouts. HIIT & Tabata makes your workout more enjoyable and challenging. Breaking workouts into intervals helps prevent your routine from getting boring.
4.) No Equipment? No Problem. HIIT & Tabata is so great that you do not need any equipment to get it done. High knees, fast feet, or anything plyometric like jumping lunges work just as well to get your heart rate up fast.
5.) Healthier Heart. “Most people aren’t used to pushing into the anaerobic zone that lovely place where you can’t breathe and you feel like your heart is trying to jump out of your chest. But in this case, extreme training produces extreme results.” – Shape Magazine. The more HIIT & Tabata type exercises you do, the more you are training your heart to become even tougher.
So what exactly does an HIIT and/or Tabata workout look like? Here are a few examples. To get the most out of it, repeat the exercise 2-3 times unless otherwise stated. Tabata is typically 20 seconds of work, followed by 10 seconds of rest, then repeated about 4 times.