Quick…what is the fastest workout?
I mean hurry up, I have to go to a meeting like now!
Have you ever felt soo rushed during the day that exercise doesn’t even have a chance to fit into your schedule? When I was working in the corporate drain I always felt like I had to push through the day, no breaks, barely time to eat, and keep pushing through that five o’clock bell.
Does this sound familiar?
I mean, everybody wants to have time to go to the gym, take a fitness class, or bootcamp, but sometimes our days get away from us.
And that is ok! We live busy lives and with balancing work and family, life sometimes gets in the way.
Fear not my friend, there is a solution out there and it just might work for you on those busy days.
What Is The Fastest Workout?
What is the fastest workout you ask? The answer is Tabata! If you haven’t heard of Tabata by now, it is a new fitness trend that has morphed into several different fitness programs. Essentially it is H.I.I.T Training or High Intensity Interval Training.
HIIT training is short bursts of a series of exercises followed by a short rest period. And it is not a moderate pace like you see people doing at the gym, it involves quick and explosive movements to get the most out of your time.
And Tabata is the program outline for this HIIT training. A Tabata is 4 minutes long pushing as hard and fast as you can on a given exercise.
Here is the Tabata breakdown:
- 4 Minute exercise intervals
- 20 seconds of exercise
- 10 seconds of rest
- Repeat 8 Times
That is it! Sounds simple right? Well, I can tell you that although it is only 4 minutes, it can be the longest 4 minutes of your day!
Here is an example of a Tabata workout you can complete in 20 minutes:
- Pull-ups or Rows
Do each one of these exercises singularly as hard as you can for 4 minutes. Take a minute rest between each one, and move on to the next exercise.
Pressed for time? Do one Tabata in the stairwell while you boss is out on their smoke break!
The History Of The Tabata
The name Tabata seems quite odd right? Yep, then it must be someone’s name. And that is the absolute truth. Dr. Izumi Tabata took a team of researchers from a sports institute in Japan and studied two groups. (Doesn’t it always include two groups?)
These groups had different workout routines:
Group 1: Moderate exercise for an hour in the gym
Group 2: HIIT Training in 4 minute segments as explained earlier
What did the Doc find out?
Group 1 had moderate results in their cardiovascular fitness while Group 2 had increased their cardiovascular fitness and strength by almost 30%! (source: Active.com)
BOOM! The Tabata HIIT trend was born!
What Is The Fastest Workout For Me?
Now I am not saying that you should only do 4 minutes of exercise a day. But if you did that on a really busy work day, it would be better than nothing!
There are some really great HIIT programs out there and I find that the best ones you can do in your living room! How’s that for a time saver?
The best part about Tabata:
- It can be integrated into your workout routine
- You can add it to your running routine – Don’t wait for the stop light, do some pushups!
- It can be a great health fix for your busy day
- Tabata is a guideline, beyond that there are no rules…mix up your favorite exercises!
Tabata really can help you to squeeze in a workout and improve your strength and endurance. Want to get the creative juices flowing at the beginning of a meeting? Try a group Tabata, you may just create your next best thing.