Blog Weight Loss Tabata Weight Loss: Action-Packed Workout That Leaves No Trace Of Excess Fat

Tabata Weight Loss: Action-Packed Workout That Leaves No Trace Of Excess Fat

tabata weight loss

Tabata Weight Loss

Yanking yourself back in shape in just 4 minutes a day? No, it’s not just another hyperbolic eye roll-worthy promise you tumble into when casually skimming over a fitness-related article. Tabata is skyrocketing in popularity and rightly so. This hardcore fat-frying workout requires a ball-to-the-wall effort but it’s guaranteed to tone you up in a laughable amount of time.  If you’re burning with curiosity, keep on reading to find out all the details about this game-changing tabata weight loss.


What Is Tabata Weight Loss?

Tabata belongs to one of the most popular types of workouts thanks to its effectiveness. This is a high-intensity training that aims to increase your heart rate in a short bout of time. It was created in 1996 by Izumi Tabata, a Japanese professor from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo. As a rule, this workout includes several exercises and lasts for 4 minutes – 20 seconds of high intensity exercise, 10-second pause, 8 cycles. After performing these 4 minutes you can either stop your training session, or repeat the set again. This workout allows your body to burn calories even after you finish your training session (an after-burn effect). This happens through excess post-exercise oxygen consumption process, more commonly known as EPOC (9). This effect can last for 16-24 hours (4).

tabata weight loss

Why It Works?

Tabata is a sort of high-intensity interval training, more commonly known as HIIT. This type of workouts includes both maximum and low intensity exercises, following each other. HIIT workouts are far more effective than regular cardiovascular exercises. They shift your metabolism into ovedrive after you finish your training session (5,8, 10). According to the study, this type of workout helps to burn more calories than cardio and strength workouts. For example, HIIT exercises burn 25-30% more calories during a 30-minute routine than other types of exercises (3). It is an extremely efficient way to burn excess body fat and build muscles. The number one rule is to give a 100% effort during the training session.

Read More: Why Am I Gaining Weight Doing HIIT: Here Is How Too Much Exercise Throws Your System Off-Kilter

workout for weight loss

Tabata Weight Loss Workout Sample

Tabata workout can include exercises you like most of all, just make sure they shoot your heart rate up to the necessary level. Below you can see a Tabata workout sample for advanced-level fitness lovers. It includes three popular exercises:

  • Push-Ups

This exercise is a great way to tone your body with no equipment. It lowers your risks of cardiovascular disease and strengthens all major muscle groups. To perform a push-up properly, you need to place your hands on the mat shoulder-width apart. Get into a plank position, fully extending your body. It should be straight and form one line. While keeping this position, lower your body bending your elbows. When your chest reaches the mat, get back to the starting position. That’s one rap (12).

  • Squats

This is one of the most popular and effective exercises in the weight loss world. Squats improve your performance, posture and bone density, make you stronger, and burn calories (7). Start standing with your hips shoulder-width apart. While keeping your chest up, you should hinge your hips and bend your knees. Your knees and toes should be pointing in one direction. You can bring your hands up to your chest. Make sure you don’t arch your lower back and your knees don’t extend past your toes. When your hips are parallel to the mat (or when you feel uncomfortable in your hips) get back to the starting position. That’s one rep (11).

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tabata weight loss

  • Jumping Jacks

This exercise is a perfect way to burn more calories. The best thing is that you can do them anywhere, as they are completely zero-equipment. You also use your entire body to perform them (2). Stand with your hands on your sides and keep your legs together. Slightly bend your knees. Jump so that your arms are above your head and your legs are wider than shoulders. Get back to the starting position. That’s one rep.

You should start your Tabata training session with push-ups – perform them for 20 seconds. Remember to work as hard as possible. Then make a 10-second pause. Basically, that’s one set. You should do 8 sets and take a 1-minute break. Next, you should stick to the same routine, replacing push-ups with squats. Make one more 1-minute pause and repeat the same with jumping jacks. It will help you burn more calories.

However, if you are a newbie, this workout will be way too tough for you. If you have decided to try Tabata, it’s better to start with simpler training sessions. For example, you can try push-up Tabata. The outline of this workout is as follows: perform push-ups for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, and repeat 8 sets total. The same goes for squat Tabata. When you get used to this volume of physical load and feel like you can handle more, simply add more sets. Later you will be able to throw in any exercise you want.

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A Small Recommendation

As you know, warm-up is highly important for your body and safety during training. It helps to prepare your body for physical activity. It raises your body temperature, increases blood flow to your muscles, and lowers your risk of injuries as well (1). The length of your warm-up usually depends on the workout you are going to perform. The most optimal time is 10 minutes (6), it is especially important if you are going to perform advanced level workouts. Tabata requires warm-up as well. You can jump rope for at least 5 minutes. It’ll do the trick.

Possible Mistakes

  • Not Working Hard Enough

As it was mentioned above, Tabata workouts need your 100% effort. Many people neglect this rule, and this is probably the biggest mistake. You should keep in mind that moderate pace is not enough, just give these 4 minutes the best you can. It’s quite easy to understand whether you work as intensively as needed. You should be out of breath and shouldn’t be able to talk during your workout.

If you are a newbie, it is better to start form simple exercises and gradually increase your fitness level. You can find some Tabata workouts for beginners and after you get used to them, try a full Tabata workout.

tabata weight loss

  • Avoiding Weights

Tabata belongs to cardiovascular workouts, and that’s why many people don’t even think about using weights. Many supporters of this type of workout prefer more traditional cardio exercises. It is just a missed opportunity to lose more weight and gain muscle mass. The best option will be to use kettlebells. You can add such exercises as thrusters or kettlebell swings to your Tabata workout for weight loss. 

  • Prioritizing High-Impact Exercises Only

Yes, high-impact exercises are perfect for your Tabata routine. For instance, jump squats or burpees will be a perfect option for increasing your heart rate and building your muscles. But it doesn’t mean that your Tabata should include only this type of exercises. Low-impact moves (like pull-ups or dumbbell walking lunges) are a great option as well. Even cycling and swimming can become a part of your Tabata routine.

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tabata weight loss

  • Neglecting Recovery Period

As it was mentioned above, Tabata is a high-intensity workout. This intensity makes it one of the most effective types of exercises. Your muscles work at full capacity for 4 minutes straight. However, oftentimes people tend to take the rule “work as hard as you can” too literally, and end up overstraining their muscles.

It is important to take care of your health. Performing high-intensity exercises too often will be stressful for your body. As a result, you might get injured and extremely exhausted. With constant feeling of fatigue and pain in your muscles you won’t be able to continue your weight loss journey and stay healthy. Take care of yourself and give your muscles time to recover. 

  • Using A Treadmill

Yes, exercises are always great for your health and well-being. But sometimes, some of them can spoil the effect you get from other workouts. This is the case for Tabata and treadmill. If you use treadmill for your warm-up or just as a cardio workout, it will definitely bring you a bunch of health benefits. But by using a treadmill for your intervals, you won’t get the desired effect from your Tabata routine. It happens because active intervals are too short for the machine – it needs approximately 5-6 seconds to get up to the necessary speed level. You’ll also spend some time to get on and off the treadmill. This time is nothing for regular cardio workouts. But when you have only 30-second cycle for your exercises, this will significantly mess up your routine.

That’s why it is much better to choose a jumping rope or kettlebell swings for this purpose. Sprinting on the ground will be a nice option as well.

Read More: Hot Yoga Weight Loss: Become The Fittest, Leanest, And Strongest Version Of Yourself

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How Often Should I Perform Tabata?

It is important to keep in mind that all people are different, especially when it comes to their health state or fitness level. The volume of your physical load also depends on your age and goals. That’s why it is hard to say how often you should include this type of training to your workout routine. The best option will be to consult a personal trainer. However, since you can create your own Tabata exercise sets, you can include various workouts to alternate muscle groups every training session. This means that if your fitness level is high enough, you can perform Tabata every day. But it is critical to remember the mistakes listed above. You can harm your body and lose motivation to train. That’s why it is always better to practice moderation and combine Tabata routine with other types of workouts.

Is Tabata Suitable For Everyone?

You already know that Tabata belongs to one of the most difficult types of workouts because of its high intensity. It significantly increases your heart rate and demands a high fitness level. It is not for everyone. If you’re are a beginner, you should choose simpler exercises with lower intensity as a start. Then you should gradually increase the load and after your body gets stronger, you can give Tabata a try.

tabata weight loss

What Is The Difference Between Tabata And Hiit, And What Is Better?

Many people are interested whether Tabata and HIIT are the same things. HIIT can include a wider range of exercises and you can vary the time of performance. Tabata cycle usually includes up to four exercises, performed during a fixed amount of time – 20 seconds with 10-second pauses. Sometimes people use one exercise for the first cycle, and another for the second one. Some people also continue adding more cycles using different exercises in order to amp up their fitness level. Others prefer simplicity, that doesn’t require time for planning workouts, and stick to only one exercise.

It is hard to say what workout type is better, as both of them bring a number of benefits for your health and body in general. So, everything is up to you, and if you want, you can even include both of them to your weekly workout routine.

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Can I Use Weights For My Tabata Training Session?

Yes, it can be performed with weights. You can make your Tabata more focused on strength training, that will help you to gain muscle mass and get stronger.



In conclusion, as you can see, Tabata weight loss has a number of benefits. It is an extremely effective way to trim off unwanted pounds. It offers you a number of health benefits and will help you to achieve your fitness goals. A small training session performed several times a week will make your dream about a strong and healthy body come true. Only four minutes per training session will improve your health and body composition. All you have to do is lift your booty off the couch and put some effort into your goal. This workout style is perfect for busy people who can’t find the time to squeeze in a training session into their schedule. On top of that, you can do Tabata wherever you want as it doesn’t require much space or equipment.



This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. Aerobic exercise: How to warm up and cool down (2019,
  2. Benefits of Jumping Jacks (2019,
  3. Caloric Expenditure of Aerobic, Resistance, or Combined High-Intensity Interval Training Using a Hydraulic Resistance System in Healthy Men (2015,
  4. Effect of an acute period of resistance exercise on excess post-exercise oxygen consumption: implications for body mass management (2002,
  5. High-intensity Interval Exercise Induces 24-h Energy Expenditure Similar to Traditional Endurance Exercise Despite Reduced Time Commitment (2014,
  6. How Long Should a Warm-Up Last? (2019,
  7. Is This the World’s Greatest Exercise? (2019,
  8. Oxygen Consumption, Substrate Oxidation, and Blood Pressure Following Sprint Interval Exercise (2013,
  9. 7 Things to Know About Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) (2014,
  10. The Acute Effect of Exercise Modality and Nutrition Manipulations on Post-Exercise Resting Energy Expenditure and Respiratory Exchange Ratio in Women: A Randomized Trial (2015,
  11. The 30-Day Squat Challenge Helps You Sculpt Leaner Legs (2020,
  12. What Are the Benefits of Push-Ups? (2019,
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