I was in Spinning class tonight when my instructor told us that we were going to finish the class with some Tabata training. We worked through eight 20-second intervals after already completing several hills, sprints, and tempo work. I felt like I had a great workout after finishing the intervals and decided to do a little research on the topic.
According to Muscle & Fitness Magazine, the basic premise behind Tabata training is that it is four minutes of high intensity interval training. An example of this training includes 20 seconds of intense training and 10 seconds of recovery, repeated eight times. According to Muscle & Fitness:
Tabata Training can be done with a number of different exercises. The idea is to use an exercise that gets the whole body involved, or at least the major muscle groups. Tabata Training can be done with barbells, dumbells, kettlebells or just bodyweight exercises.
A study by Japanese scientist Dr. Izumi Tabata, who founded Tabata training, found that high intensity training improved VO2 max (or your maximal oxygen consumption) by about 14%, while anaerobic capacity improved by 28%. These effects will help you shed those extra pounds of fat, while also building lean muscle.
Here is a sample Tabata workout from Popsugar:
Source: Muscle & Fitness Magazine