Tabata Tuesday

After last night’s sunset, I knew we were in for a beautiful Tuesday here in Brisbane!

To start the day off right before Body Pump, I had one of my favourite snacks/light breakfasts:

Vanilla Yogurt
Cottage Cheese
(opt for a low GI/healthy/low sugar kind)

I stopped for a latté after class and saw this sign outside of the café. Lots of my friends back in Canada have been posting on Facebook about Christmas shopping, songs, baking, parties…but I am still having such a hard time getting into the festive spirit when the temperature keeps rising by the day here (not that I’m complaining about the warmth… 😉  When you spend 28 years of your life associating the holiday season with the snow and cold, then it’s definitely an odd adjustment.
It’s funny seeing Christmas decorations in the store, while directly besides them is a bin of boogie boards!

I was talking to my friend the other day about TABATA workouts, as she was interested in my opinion of them. If you haven’t done tabata or heard of it before, it’s basically a form of high intensity interval training. Typically, tabata is done with a 20:10 second ratio (intense work : rest). It is amazing for maximizing your workout and reaching an anaerobic state. I loooove integrating tabata into fitness classes I’ve taught, and even doing them within my own workout routine.


There are obviously some limitations. I would never recommend tabata training for people who may have any cardiovascular issues (age, health, level of fitness, obesity), are brand new to exercise, or those who are pregnant. It purposefully elevates the heart rate. However, it’s frequently used by fitness instructors and personal trainers for anyone who is in good physical condition and has been exercising regularly for several months.

You realistically couldn’t do a complete 1 hour workout using strictly tabata training (or shouldn’t be able to if you are giving it 100%). That’s why I suggest incorporating it into a fitness regime, not basing an entire class or program around it. Buuuuut, that’s just my personal opinion :)

I like to use it to increase cardio capacity and to target a specific area, usually rotating between 2 exercises for a full 4 minutes of work. Here are three tabata workouts that I’ve used while teaching group fitness or done on my own at home, as none require any equipment!

One to target the chest (aka “the armpit pudge”):
*also works the shoulders!

One to target the triceps (aka “the batwings”):
*also works quads and hamstrings!

One to target the core:
*use this one as a second tabata routine, as it doesn’t elevate the heart rate enough!

The combinations and possibilities are endless!

I find it is difficult to keep track of time when I’m completing a tabata workout, as it requires a lot of focus and intensity. There are a couple of great (and free!!!) tabata apps for your smart phone that you can set and listen to while working your way through the 4 minutes. My favourite is Tabata Timer :)

  • Does anyone have a favourite workout app?
  • Have you used Tabata in any of your workouts or classes?

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