Twenty seconds doesn’t seem that long, does it? Well, you might be tempted to say “Bad!” after a few Tabata sessions.

Named after Dr. Izumi Tabata, the Tabata workout is a high-intensity interval workout lasting a total of four minutes. “Tabata training breaks down a workout into clearly defined intervals, it challenges your body with bursts of intense exertion separated by short breaks – it’s a training program that crams maximum muscle burn into a short period of time. minimal,” says Certified Pilates Instructor Zaineb Ali. This is a more intense version of HIIT, with shorter, more rigidly defined workouts.


“Tabata develops cardiorespiratory endurance in a short time, increasing aerobic and anaerobic capacity, resting heart rate and VO2 max (the most accurate measure of cardiorespiratory fitness),” says Zaineb, adding, “ It improves sports performance and glucose metabolism and acts as an excellent fat burning catalyst – more so than a traditional 60 minute aerobic workout.


It’s an ideal workout on the go, given that it’s quick and can be done without equipment. “The Tabata protocol can be used for core strength as well as bodybuilding. It teaches your body to tolerate lactic acid. When you train in a high intensity zone, your threshold gets higher. It also keeps your metabolism high. With proper training and planning, Tabata workouts are safe and can definitely improve your ability to use oxygen effectively during a workout,” says Zaineb.


Tabata is grueling. “You have to be in shape to meet the physical demands without injury; your posture and form have to be correct,” says Zaineb. “It’s not for beginners,” she warns. Make sure you warm up well and cool down well. Your diet and sleeping habits should also be designed to get the most out of this workout.