An introduction to Tabata Training: The 4 minute workout!

Tabata Training was invented by Japanese professor Dr. Izumi Tabata in the late 1990s. He used it to train olympic speed skaters! Since then, it has been used by athletes and gym bunnies alike to make fitness gains in a short amount of time. The great thing about Tabata training (apart from the obvious appeal of how brief the workout can be) is that it is accessible to everyone! As long as you are working as hard as you can then that is all that matters 🙂

It is essential to warm up before doing any kind of intense activity so I would encourage you to circulate all your joints and move slowly through all ranges of motion before you start. Five minutes warming up should have you raring to go! 

What will you need? 

  1. Enough space to do a star jump
  2. Fitness or Yoga mat if possible
  3. Glass of water
  4. Towel for sweat
  5. Inspiring tunes! 
  6. Timer or clock near by

The Workout

Here is a Youtube clip of Freespirit Person Trainer Lauren Murphy doing it in real time so grab your towel and join her! Rock it together!

In the above workout, Lauren is doing:

20 seconds Burpees as fast as you can, 10 seconds rest

20 seconds Criss-cross Star Jump, 10 seconds rest 

20 seconds Mountain Climbers, 10 seconds rest

20 seconds Squat Jacks, 10 seconds rest



Still feel like you can do more?! Take a 1 minute rest and do another round! Over time you can build up to doing up to four sets of tabata training and you can mix in different exercises, just be sure to rest for a minute between rounds 🙂 

After you have finished the workout, do a gentle 10 minute cool down such as slow exercises or a brief walk around the block! 


Can I just do Tabata Training? 

A lot of people keep fit just doing small amounts of work at higher intensities. It is recommended to do either 75 minutes of high intensity exercise every week or 150 minutes of moderate intensity. Try both and see what makes you feel good. Some people feel amazing after Tabata Training and are “buzzing” for the day whilst others just feel exhausted and prefer exercise with a more steady pace. We all have different lifestyles, stress levels and exercise preferences – it is important to find something that you enjoy and that fits in with your lifestyle.

My body prefers lower intensity exercise like yoga, weights and moderate cardio.

Tabata Training is not suitable for anyone with high blood pressure or for the faint hearted! 


Victoria Mairiaux-Jones

I'm a Personal Trainer dedicated to improving my clients health and fitness. I work with people of all ages and levels of fitness, across Leamington, Warwick and Warwickshire. Lose Weight and get fit with Free Spirit Fitness Culture.

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