20-Minute Tabata Workout

20-Minute Tabata WorkoutNow that summer is all but gone, your busy schedule is about to get busier.  The kids are back to school, work is demanding, and there are simply more people in town needing services.  With a busy schedule, how do you cope and manage day-in and day-out?  Do you keep up on your workout or do you skip until the time is right?

Exercise is one of the best ways to stay healthy year round, but in all honesty, it takes time every day to maintain or gain fitness benefits.  This is where quick workouts come into play.  One quick workout you may have heard of is Tabata.  A Tabata workout is a type of exercise that incorporates very high intensity training with little rest periods.  The general rule of thumb with a typical Tabata workout is 20 seconds of all-out exercise with 10 seconds of rest for a total of four minutes (or eight sets).  Most gyms offer Tabata classes so that you can be familiar with this training.

Health Benefits

A Tabata workout is one of the most time-efficient workouts you can do.  For one, a complete Tabata workout should last about 20 minutes (not including a warm-up or cool down) and they will certainly get you results.  The results of a 20-minute Tabata workout can burn about 240 to 360 calories per workout, so if you are looking to use energy, trim down, and you are in need of a fast workout, then consider a Tabata workout as part of your training program during the busy times of the year.  Listed below is a sample 20-minute Tabata workout you can add into your program once per week or on those days when everything seems to be happening.

Efficient 20-Minute Tabata Workout

  • Warm-up. Always start your exercise with a warm-up.  Going into exercise with a “cold” body could cause you serious harm, especially since the intensity of exercise is near maximal effort.
  • High-Knee Jogs. What better way to increase your heart rate than to run in place with high knees?  Do this for 20 seconds, as hard as you can, lifting your knees as high as you can.  Rest for 10 seconds and repeat for a total of four minutes (total of eight sets).
  • Push-ups. This will be challenging following a good cardio exercise.  Do as many as you can in 20 seconds and keep a mental note of how many you did on that first set.  Rest 10 seconds and repeat for a total of four minutes (eight sets).  Try to do as many push-ups as your first set throughout the exercise.
  • Burpees.  Following up your push-up and cardio with burpees is just brutal, but great for your arms, core, and endurance.  The Tabata workout should be hard on this part of the exercise, but stick with it.  Try to complete as many burpees as you can in 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds.  Do this for a total of eight sets totaling four minutes.
  • Medicine Ball Slams. You will want to grab a medicine ball for slamming and make sure to select a weight that you normally use.  Your goal is to slam it as hard as you can, while keeping a tight core.  Slam it hard for 20 seconds, picking it up each time off the ground, then rest for 10 seconds.  Complete eight sets for a total of four minutes.
  • Mountain Climbers. This will be the finishing touch to your Tabata workout.  Perform as many as you can, while maintaining a good form with your hips down, in 20 seconds.  Rest for 10 seconds and repeat this for a total of eight sets or four minutes.


If you struggle with getting to the gym for any workout, consider a quick version so that you can still enjoy all of your appointments, events, and gatherings.  Give a Tabata workout, like the one above, a try for at least once per week for a total of two months.  How do you feel after each 20-minute session?  Was it too hard, too easy, or just right?  Keep up with this high-intensity exercise and take note on how your energy levels are during this time and also how your weight is being maintained.



[1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3772611/

[2] http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/20-Minute-Total-Body-Tabata-Workout-32789731

[3] http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/high-intensity-tabata-workout/



About the Author

, Celebrity Personal Trainer and Fitness & Nutrition Expert headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. He specializes in helping men and women achieve weight loss, muscle building, toning and other customized fitness & nutrition programs to create a Healthy Lifestyle. James offers private luxury personal training, 12-week custom workout plans, and personalized nutrition meal plans. Follow on Google+.

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