As a fitness professional and weight lifting enthusiast, I often like to shake things up with a new and different form of exercise. For a change of pace, I have been experimenting with Tabata training. Tabata is a variant of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). Tabata training consists of four minutes of 20 second intervals with 10 seconds rest (20/10). Of all the high intensity interval training options out there, Tabata meets my needs the best because I feel like I can do anything for 20 seconds!
Research shows that Tabata can burn up to 13.5 calories/minute, and can potentially double your metabolic rate following exercise (even after just four minutes). I'm not trying to say that you all need to burn billions of calories, because that's not what fitness is all about, but that is a pretty sweet little tidbit. So if your goals include fat loss and cardio capacity, Tabata might be just what you're looking for! Just a little disclaimer: Tabata style training is designed to push you to your max. It is not recommended for beginning exercisers.
The following is my most recent Tabata workout. This workout consists of four 20/10 intervals with five minutes of static cardio as a recovery between. As a somewhat newbie to this type of training, I needed a little more rest time between intervals.
Each Tabata consists of two exercises. Complete 20 seconds of the first exercise, rest for 10 seconds, then complete 20 seconds of the second exercise, rest 10 seconds. Complete intervals eight times total (four minutes). Push yourself as hard as you can for the 20 seconds and stop completely for 10 seconds. Use whatever cardio machine you'd like for the static cardio intervals, just make sure to keep difficulty to a moderate level and recover completely.
Photo credit: Flex and Shout Fitness