Tabata Training Exercises – Variations, Tools & Vast Benefits


All about Tabata training exercises – The crisp 4-minute workout

Anyone who has ever tried Tabata training exercises will appreciate the benefits of this concept. Tabata training has an impressive cost-benefit ratio, because it achieves many effects in a short time.

However, it takes some willpower to endure the four minutes at full intensity. You will notice, however, that it is worth it.

Starting point of the concept were the fascinating results of the so-called Tabata study from the year 1996. Since then, Tabata enjoys ever greater popularity.

Is this interval training suitable for you? Can you lose weight fast with Tabata, improve your stamina or build muscle? You can find the answers below.

Tabata training is a form of high-intensity interval training (HIIT). It lasts four minutes and is divided into eight intervals of 20 seconds load and 10 seconds rest.

In the stress phases, you go 20 seconds to your limits and get your absolute maximum out of you.


Tabata training is a form of high-intensity interval training – in short: HIIT.

High-intensity stress is even completely normal for the organism. Our body has always had to be able to use all systems in a short time. Already our ancestors had to lift enormously heavy objects, go hunting or escape from danger.

Such intense stress has made our body a multifunctional marvel with strong muscles, strong bones and powerful organs.

One would like to achieve this effect quasi “artificially” with high-intensive interval training. Tabata training is a particularly effective workout.

In doing so, the body you expose your body to intense stress for a short time (for example in the form of sprints or push-ups), more precisely for four minutes divided into eight intervals. The 30-second intervals include 20 seconds full load and 10 seconds rest.


Why are Tabata training exercises so effective?

Tabata training is not primarily a workout to build muscle. Nevertheless, there are studies that confirm the development of muscle mass. Especially beginners can expect an increase of lean body mass in an intensive interval training. Isn’t that what we’re all aiming for?

Burning many calories in a short time

Interval training, like Tabata training, is highly effective when it comes to burning calories. Studies show the benefits of interval training. They are up to 30% more effective in calorie-burning than other forms of exercise, such as classic strength training or jogging. Tabata can be extremely helpful in losing weight.

Fat burning

Furthermore, Tabata training is useful to tackle love handles. The intensive interval training also reduces less visible fat reserves, i.e the body fat.

Increase endurance

One of the main reasons to make Tabata training exercise is to increase endurance. The famous Tabata study is a good figurehead. The effects are truly impressive.

“I use Tabata Workouts in preparation for stamina runs and I am impressed by the effects each time. Despite the low cost of just 4 minutes per workout, I feel ready anytime to complete more extensive runs without special running units. ” ~ An Acquaintance of mine.


In the next chapter, you will learn more about the notorious Tabata study.

Lowering blood pressure and heart rate

Due to the metabolic activity during the workouts, adjustments of the cardiovascular system take place. Studies prove the positive effects on heart rate and blood pressure.

One study even found the superiority of interval training over moderate endurance training recommended by the WHO. The effects on blood flow, blood pressure and cardiovascular performance were significantly better.

Reduction of blood sugar

The above-mentioned superiority over classical forms of training also manifests itself in the subject of blood sugar: Interval training, such as Tabata training, is very effective in terms of reducing blood sugar and increasing insulin sensitivity.

This form of exercise is, therefore, suitable for people who have problems with their blood sugar – diabetics included.

Other advantages

Takes little time

High fun factor

A large number of exercises available

Workouts everywhere feasible

Useful Tools for Tabata Training

Tabata Songs: There are now numerous motivating Tabata songs including time announcements. If you are mostly offline, then the download is worthwhile. Here is a selection of 40 songs (whatever they say…Nothing beats the 80s, though!):

40 Tabata Songs Best Ever: 80s Hits For Fitness & Exercise (20 Sec. Spin and 10 Sec. Rest Cycles With Vocal Cues / HIIT Selection for Fitness & Workout)

Honmax 8200 IP66 Programmable Interval Timer, Stopwatch, Kitchen Timer, HIIT, Running, Sports and Outdoor Workout – 100 Hours Countdown – Includes rechargeable Lithium battery & charger

Or for the perfect HIIT experience indoors:

BESTLED – Crossfit Interval Timer, Stopwatch, Wall Clock w/ IR Remote Control (14″x4″x1.5″)

Smartwatch/Fitness App Android:

FITVII Health & Fitness Smart Watch with Blood Pressure, Heart Rate Monitor, ip68 Waterproof Bluetooth, Smartwatch for Android, iOS Phone, Sleep Tracking, Calorie Counter, Pedometer, Stopwatch for both gender

Smartwatch for Apple & Android (less expensive, but way better than Apple Series, IMHO):

Fitbit Versa 2 Health & Fitness Smartwatch with Heart Rate, Music, Alexa Built-in, Sleep & Swim Tracking, Black/Carbon, One Size (Includes S & L Bands)

The fascinating result of the Tabata study

His scientific foundation received the Tabata training in the famous study of Dr. med. Izumi Tabata. This was already published in 1996 in the journal “Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise”.

Dr. Tabata compared two groups:

Group 1 performed moderate endurance training for 5 x 60 minutes per week. The total exposure time over the course of the week was, therefore, five hours.

In contrast, group 2 performed a four-minute, high-intensity interval training (sprint training). Five times a week they completed the workout, which consisted of eight intervals (20 seconds high load, 10 seconds rest). The total load time within a week was, therefore, 20 minutes.


The amazing result of the study:

Group 2, who only exercised for 20 minutes a week, boosted anaerobic performance (under maximum exercise) by an impressive 28% on average.

In contrast, Group 1, which struggled five hours a week, did not achieve any improvements in anaerobic performance.

As a result of the study, it can be said that the cost-benefit ratio of Tabata training is unbeatable. If you want to train your stamina, you can do more with Tabata workouts than with classic 60-minute sessions.

Sometimes less is more!

Keep in mind that the key is training intensity. The more intense the workout, the more effects you can achieve – so give it all!

You can transfer Tabata training (a 30-second shift all in and short relaxation phases) to many types of routines. It is possible, for example, on the bike or with the dumbbell.

The CrossFit also integrates HIIT training. So you can try yourself in many ways and will never get bored.

Is Tabata training suitable for beginners?

You can customize the workouts of the Tabata. Thus, newcomers, too, can start with the interval training. Advanced students have the opportunity to vary and intensify the exercises of the training plan.

Tips for beginners:

Start with simple exercises, such as rope jumps, sprints on the spot or squats

Do not do complex exercises that you do not master yet

Start slowly and increase over the eight intervals

Do not go completely to your performance limit in the last interval (about 80% of your subjective performance suffices)

After a week of training, you can try the 90%, and in the last interval, you give 100%

If you have completed some training, you give 100% at each interval

For Tabata Training to work, you have to feel an intense strain


– Short and crisp, is the motto!

If you are advanced and want to reach your limits, then choose more complex exercises like pushups. If you want to achieve sustainable results, such as losing weight or gaining muscle, then progression (increase) and variation are particularly important.

Here are some examples of progression and variation:

Pushups Wall Pushups Kneeling Normal Pushups Feet Increased

Half squat deep squat lunges one-leg squat

Running on the spot heels to butt Knee lever Sprints

Three Tabata logs/routines for your start

Tabata Sprints

This Tabata workout thrives on its simplicity. If you do not want to think big about which exercises you want to do, just sprint. Sprints place high demands on the cardiovascular system because all muscles are active.

Do the sprints outdoors or on the spot – both are effective. Also, make sure that your arms resonate in high frequency, so you increase the speed and the load.

20 sec. – Sprint

10 sec. – break


8 intervals


Building muscle with Tabata

At first, I mentioned that Tabata training was not designed primarily for muscle building. Nevertheless, you can tackle this goal with the right workout program. That’s why I have selected large muscle groups for the following training, which you should target maximal twice.

20 sec. – Squat

10 sec. – break

20 sec. – push-up

10 sec. – break

20 sec. – Rowing on the cable

10 sec. – break

20 sec. – Crunch

10 sec. – break

Repeat again

Mixed Tabata Set

This Tabata training plan combines many different exercises that you can increase as desired. If you like variety, then you will certainly find this joyful.

20 sec. – Mountain Climbers

10 sec. – break

20 sec. – Jumping Jacks

10 sec. – break

20 sec. – pushups

10 sec. – break

20 sec. – Squat

10 sec. – break

20 sec. – Plank + leg raises

10 sec. – break

20 sec. – lunges

10 sec. – break

20 sec. – Crunch

10 sec. – break

20 sec. – Burpees

10 sec. – break


How often Tabata training for the best results?

How often you do Tabata training exercises a week depends on your personal circumstances and goals.

Would you like to supplement your previous training? If so, it is important that you do not overdo it. Because even after “only” four minutes of training, your body needs time to regenerate, provided you have really accelerated.

For example, in addition to my normal three fitness units, I do not do more than two or three Tabata workouts per week.

If you only train with Tabata exercises or otherwise with low intensity (long bike rides, long-running sessions), then you can also do Tabata training more often.

In the Tabata study described above, the participants held five sessions per week. This number is also good for you. If you plan two days of regeneration then that’s perfectly fine.

Pay attention to the signals of your body and then decide whether the training is good for you.

After training, you should support your body in the regeneration process (good proteins, vitamins, minerals, healthy sleep). This way, you will start recovering your next training session.

Green Smoothies - Detox, Enhanced Metabolism, More Energy & My Favorite Recipe


Short, sweet and crisp – that’s the best way to describe Tabata Training. Who wants to train with a high cost-benefit ratio, which is well-advised with Tabata. Because you can achieve so much with little time effort, whether you want to lose weight or increase your stamina.

In the long run, Tabata is probably too one-sided. Therefore, I recommend it more as a supplement to previous fitness training or as an emergency program for days where no other training is possible.

Dear co-creators

Do you have 4 minutes? Then get to the training and have fun! Tabata training exercises is challenging at first, but you will get used to them after a while. Just imagine your self-confidence rising at the same level as your workout stamina and endurance. You have a lot to look forward to and to be proud of.

I am incorporating Tabata five times per week into my regular workout routine. I’m already seeing and feeling many positive changes, from a more stabilized core, enhanced muscle tone and overall feeling of happiness and more energy.

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