Using Tabata training for fat loss

4 Minute Fat Loss: Using Tabata training for fat loss

Using Tabata training for fat loss

Fat loss – the most common reason to join the gym and start a diet. Everybody has heard that losing weight is a simple math and if you consume less calories than you burn, you lose weight. Yes, this is true, but if you are working out it means that you do not just want to lose weight, you want the lost weight to be fat. You want to look fit, shaped and lean, while keeping your muscle mass. A combination of the right meal and workout plan is the best way to get there, but the best way can always be upgraded. In case you want to boost your progress, experience the “afterburn” effect, spend less time working out and achieve outstanding results, consider including Tabata training in your workout week.

The Tabata Protocol is a form of high intensity interval training (HIIT) and it was first described by the Japanese scientist Izumi Tabata in 1996. Every round in the Tabata Protocol is performed for 4 minutes in the following order:

-20 seconds of high intensity work

-10 seconds of rest

-repeat this 8 times (total of 4minutes)

-rest one minute

*make as many 4 minutes rounds as you need (in the original version there are 8 rounds)

There are tons exercises that you can choose for a Tabata workout, such as jump rope, squats, push ups, mountain climbers, pull ups, different kinds of jumps, deadlifts, sprints, swings, power cleans, and many others. Anything that you can perform at a high intensity and with proper technique could be included. There are literally thousands of combinations, so a Tabata workout can never be boring. With such variety, it is very easy to challenge yourself in a different way and avoid adaptation, when you start feeling like it’s getting too easy.

Why Tabata is more efficient for weight loss compared to other training methods?

Tabata is a method of HIIT, which is known for the fact that it increases your metabolic rate for longer than a non-HIIT workout, due to its intensity. People with fast metabolism tend to burn more calories not only during activity, but also while resting. Moreover, interval trainings like Tabata increase your short-term post-exercise metabolism more than any other type of workout, which leads to higher “afterburn” effect. The only thing better than burning lots of calories during your workout is continuing to burn more calories after, and with Tabata, this is possible for up to 24 hours! Furthermore, research studies also reveal that interval trainings like Tabata have a positive impact on the aerobic fitness.  The amount of oxygen the body can absorb in a minute (VO 2 max) has been significantly improved in only two weeks, compared to a moderate intensity workout, according to a study in a clinical population. (1)

When you are trying to lose weight, you should focus on many different things and your cortisol level is one of them. Long workouts might seem reasonable, but it is not the length of the workout that determines its efficiency. Exercise is perceived by the body as a form of stress and it stimulates the release of cortisol. In response, cortisol stimulates fat and carbohydrate metabolism for fast energy, and encourages insulin release, and maintenance of blood sugar levels. This leads to increase in appetite, cravings for sweet and salty foods. Long workouts that are over 40 minutes can make your cortisol level go too high and if you stress your body that much on every workout, at some point this could sabotage your diet. Shorter but intensive workouts like Tabata seem to be a lot better option for people, who aim to lose fat fast. An interesting study was conducted to investigate which physical activity would burn more calories: aerobic, resistance or combined high intensity interval training. The results suggest that caloric expenditure was significantly greater when performing HIIT and the participants in the other groups burned almost 30% less calories than those in the high intensity group. (2)

Tabata workouts are a lot more than doing a bunch of exercises in the gym. The working intervals are short and strict, and so is the time for rest. When you only need to push yourself for such short periods and you know that you are going to rest soon, it is very easy to give 100% effort in each interval. There is not much time for your mind to come up with excuses holding you back from performing on “beast mode” and there are less distracting thoughts about giving up. It is in our human nature to look for those “reasons” to quit when it is getting hard, so you should always look for ways to ignore such thoughts. It is a bit more difficult to do so, when you are in the beginning of your fitness journey, because you still have not developed strong sports discipline. Short workouts could be the stepping stone that helps you get into the habit of being consistent with your training plans. Even the busiest person can find half an hour for a workout, and even the mindset of a beginner in the gym, can handle a workout that lasts only 30 minutes.

Will power is one of the things responsible for our consistency with the gym. You might be thinking that yours is strong enough to work out consistently and you enjoy an hour and a half in the gym, but when you decide to cut down some pounds, things get more complicated. Losing weight is a complex process, where the organism is constantly depleted because of the calorie deficit. This depletion changes the way your brain thinks, in order to protect you from the change. Since losing weight is perceived by the body as a potential danger, it actually does everything it can to keep its current weight and avoid the stress of making it lower. Training differently and faster than usual, during a period of losing weight is essential, if you want to avoid will power tests and skipping workouts.  Switch to Tabata trainings, which are a lot easier to stick to than long workout sessions.

If you are from Allen, Plano or Dallas there is some great news for you! You can come and visit us at [Hidden Gym] and join our Tabata classes or hire a personal trainer to push your limits! Come and see for yourself that losing weight can be easy; the group trainings are motivating and fun, and the professionals at [Hidden Gym] are willing to bring out the fittest version of you!

Key words: Tabata, HIIT, High intensity interval training, Dallas, Allen, Plano, Hidden Gym, Gym, Fitness, Diet, Workout, Fat Loss, Personal Trainer, Group class, Tabata Class


  1. High-intensity interval training to maximize cardiac benefits of exercise training?
  2. Caloric expenditure of aerobic, resistance, or combined high-intensity interval training using a hydraulic resistance system in healthy men.