Six-new-tabata-workouts-for-fast-fat-loss

Here's what you need to know...

  1. Tabatas are four-minute intervals of brutal metabolic conditioning.
  2. They sound simple, but if you're doing them correctly, you will finish in a state of breathlessness and your lungs will feel like they're on fire.
  3. Traditional Tabatas consist of one exercise. Better Tabata options allow you to rotate between multiple exercises.
  4. Pick the Tabata option that's right for you, and destroy fat in just four minutes.

Effective Burn. Endless Options.

It's the most effective way to incinerate body fat and raise your work capacity.

It doesn't matter what space or equipment limitations you're facing, the following Tabata options include barbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, or your own bodyweight. Choose your weapon.

But First, a Review: What's a Tabata?

Barbell Thruster

If you don't already know what a Tabata interval is, it's a high intensity interval training protocol originally created by Japanese researcher Dr. Izumi Tabata.

Each Tabata interval consists of 20 seconds of high intensity (as hard as you can go) exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest. This is repeated for eight rounds, totaling four minutes time.

Four Minutes to Freedom

The Tabata method is easy to understand, but it's not easy to do. Many folks don't make it through the full four minutes, and others who do often end up puking following the first few workouts.

This is why it's necessary to gradually progress (periodize) your Tabata training. Below I'll provide you with both an 8-week and 12-week progression model designed to help you maximize your Tabata training efforts while avoiding excessive fatigue and overtraining.

That being said, progression or no progression, in order to use the Tabata method successfully, you must be willing to work hard!

Fat Loss vs. Conditioning

Push-Up

There's almost no difference between fat loss exercises and metabolic conditioning exercises, both should be very intense in nature and demand a total body effort.

The only thing that separates a conditioning program from a fat loss program is the diet. You can improve your endurance and conditioning without going on any special diet. For fat loss, do the same workouts but fix your diet.

Untraditional Tabata Training

Traditional Tabata protocols contain only one exercise, such as squats, and repeating that same exercise throughout the entire Tabata interval. But there are other options:

  1. Use two different exercises performed four times each.
  2. Use four different exercises performed two times each.
  3. Use eight different exercises each performed once within a Tabata workout.

Here's why the three options beat traditional Tabatas:

  • When you only use one exercise such as squats for the entire Tabata, the legs gradually fatigue with each working set. This centralized leg fatigue reduces the overall intensity of the Tabata and its intensity.
  • Using more than one exercise prevents centralized muscle fatigue and helps you maintain the same high level of intensity in each round.
  • Mixing in more than one exercise boosts the overall metabolic demand because it involves more muscles. Put simply, more muscles worked means greater energy demand, which in turn means faster fat loss.
  • Doing the same exercise eight times for four minutes straight is just plain boring. The workout is already brutal, why make it monotonous too?

The Tabata Six

Barbell Tabata

#1  Barbell Tabata Complex (4 Exercises)

Pick four barbell exercises that you can easily transition between.

Perform the first exercise for as many reps as you can in 20 seconds.
Rest 10 seconds.
Perform the second exercise as fast as possible for 20 seconds.
Rest 10 seconds.
Repeat this process for the following two remaining exercises.

Once you've completed all four exercises you're only half way done, because you'll only be two minutes into the Tabata. Go back to the first exercise and repeat the entire complex again without ever dropping the bar.

Barbell Tabata Complex Example:

1. Reverse Lunge (alternating legs) (rack position)
2. Shoulder Press or Thruster
3. Romanian Deadlift
4. Hang Clean
5. Reverse Lunge (alternating legs) (rack position)
6. Shoulder Press or Thruster
7. Romanian Deadlift
8. Hang Clean

#2  Barbell Tabata Complex (8 Exercises)

This complex is performed exactly the same as the previous complex, only you perform eight different exercises once instead of four exercises performed twice.

Example:

1. Reverse Lunge (barbell on shoulders; back squat style)
2. Good Morning (bar still on shoulders)
3. Shoulder Press or Thruster
4. Hang Clean
5. Front Squat
6. Bent Over Row
7. Romanian Deadlift
8. Push-Up

Note: When performing barbell complexes like the one above, it's okay not to use "perfect" Olympic lifting technique on moves like cleans and snatches. Why?

  • We're not Olympic lifting, we're doing a barbell complex.
  • We're not trying to build peak power, we're trying to build conditioning and lose fat.
  • Good Olympic lifting form is needed to help you lift heavy loads as fast and efficiently as possible. The loads used in the complexes above are not heavy at all, and therefore don't require you to have "perfect" form.

Related:  The Truth About Olympic Lifts

As long as you don't lose optimal spinal alignment and maintain good rhythm, you're fine.

#3  Kettlebell Tabata Complex (4 Exercises)

Kettlebell Tabata

You can swing kettlebells, squat with kettlebells, or thrust them over your head. So pick your favorites and just rotate with 20 second intervals.

Example:

20 seconds 1-Arm swing (right arm)
10 seconds rest
20 seconds 1-Arm swing (left arm)
10 seconds rest
20 seconds Front Squat (right arm)
10 seconds rest
20 seconds Front Squat (left arm)
10 seconds rest
20 seconds Push Press (right arm)
10 seconds rest
20 seconds Push Press (left arm)
10 seconds rest
20 seconds 2-Arm swing
10 seconds rest
20 seconds 2-Arm swing

You can also do this same Tabata workout without switching sides each time like this:

20 seconds 1-Arm swing (right arm)
10 seconds rest
20 seconds Front Squat (right arm)
10 seconds rest
20 seconds Push Press (right arm)
10 seconds rest
20 seconds 1-Arm swing (left arm)
10 seconds rest
20 seconds Front Squat (left arm)
10 seconds rest
20 seconds Push Press (left arm)
10 seconds rest
20 seconds 2-Arm swing
10 seconds rest
20 seconds 2-Arm swing

#4  Resistance Band Tabata (8 Exercises)

Resistance bands are simple, versatile, and inexpensive. They may look harmless but don't be fooled, this will be tough if you're doing it right.

Example:

1. Squat and Row
2. Swimmers (back straight, arms straight, touch band to shoulders)
3. Tight Rotations (right side)
4. Tight Rotations (left side)
5. Punches (right leg forward)
6. Punches (left leg forward)
7. Swimmers (back straight, arms straight, touch band to shoulders)
8. Squat and Row

#5  Fighter's Band Tabata (4 Exercises)

This Tabata is a favorite among fighters because it develops the upper-body conditioning necessary to continually throw punches, push, pull, and clinch with your opponent for the entire fight.

Related:  HLC: The Ultimate Workout Finisher

It's also a non-leg dominant way of improving conditioning and accelerating fat loss. Bodybuilders and figure competitors love this Tabata after an upper-body lifting day.

This entire Tabata is performed with a staggered stance. Switch your lead leg each round.

Example:

20 seconds punches (left leg lead)
10 seconds rest
20 seconds punches (right leg lead)
10 seconds rest
20 seconds alternating row (left leg lead)
10 seconds rest
20 seconds alternating row (right leg lead)
10 seconds rest
20 seconds punches (left leg lead)
10 seconds rest
20 seconds punches (right leg lead)
10 seconds rest
20 seconds alternating row (left leg lead)
10 seconds rest
20 seconds alternating row (right leg lead)

Another Fighter's Band Example

20 seconds punches (left leg lead)
10 seconds rest
20 seconds alternating row (left leg lead)
10 seconds rest
20 seconds punches (right leg lead)
10 seconds rest
20 seconds alternating row (right leg lead)
10 seconds rest
20 seconds punches (left leg lead)
10 seconds rest
20 seconds alternating row (left leg lead)
10 seconds rest
20 seconds punches (right leg lead)
10 seconds rest
20 seconds alternating row (right leg lead)
10 seconds rest

#6  Bodyweight Tabata (4 Exercises)

Need to train at home, outside, or while traveling?

Even if you do have access to gym equipment, sometimes it's nice to get away from all that stuff and just allow your body to move the way it wants.

20 seconds Speed Squat
10 seconds rest
20 seconds Burpees
10 seconds rest
20 seconds Mountain Climber (keep neutral spine)
10 seconds
20 seconds Speed Skips (in place) (lift knee above hip)
10 seconds rest
20 seconds Speed Squat
10 seconds rest
20 seconds Burpees
10 seconds rest
20 seconds Mountain Climber (keep neutral spine)
10 seconds
20 seconds Speed Skips (in place) (lift knee above hip)

When to Use Tabatas

For fat loss: You can use Tabatas up to three times per week. But you can also do multiple Tabata intervals one workout. I've used up to three different Tabata intervals in a workout.

Related:  7 Metabolic Conditioners to Burn Fat

Remember to do them after strength training so that you have the energy to keep your current amount of muscle size and strength.

For conditioning: You can use Tabatas throughout your workout, either before, during, or after your strength training.

During most sports (football, MMA, etc.) you're often required to call upon every ounce of strength you have and explode throughout the entire competition, even when you're tired. So, mixing conditioning and strength work together can help prepare you specifically for this challenge.

This is especially important for MMA fighters and other combat athletes because you have to lift up, take down, and push your opponent around the entire fight, no matter how gassed you may be.

Tabata Progressions

If you're not able to do the entire 4-minute Tabata, gradually build up your stamina with the following progression.

So you understand the chart, here 's what each figure means:

10/20 x 6 means 10 seconds work and 20 seconds rest for 6 rounds.

Week 1 10/20 x 6
Week 2 10/20 x 7
Week 3 10/20 x 8
Week 4 15/15 x 5
Week 5 15/15 x 6
Week 6 15/15 x 7
Week 7 15/15 x 8
Week 8 20/10 x 4
Week 9 20/10 x5
Week 10 20/10 x 6
Week 11 20/10 x 7
Week 12 20/10 x 8

Now, if you're a better-conditioned athlete, you may need only eight weeks to build up to the full Tabata. Here's an eight-week Tabata workout progression:

Week 1 10/20 x 6
Week 2 15/15 x 4
Week 3 10/20 x 8
Week 4 15/15 x 6
Week 5 20/10 x 4
Week 6 15/15 x 8
Week 7 20/10 x 6
Week 8 20/10 x 8

Now, take this arsenal of Tabata workouts and use them to incinerate fat and smoke the competition.

02/04/10