If you haven’t tried a Tabata workout yet, but skipping workouts on busy days, this cardio workout for women will change your world. Having an arsenal of workouts in our “tool box” is a great asset.
This workout is the “microwave” version of your workouts, instead of a slow cooker style.
You may be scratching your head with that metaphor. My kids used to laugh at my metaphors when I would teach them something using some off the wall metaphoric example.
Hopefully, it kept them interested, though!
So this “microwave” workout is what Andrew did the other day, and I look forward to trying it myself as soon as my back allows it.
It is the Tabata workout. Have you heard of it before? It has been around a while since the 1990s. It was originally designed to train Olympic Speed Skaters.
The Tabata workout is similar to the HIIT workout in that it is also a high-intensity workout but in an incredibly intense, awesome way.
Women over 40 often don’t realize the amount of intensity required to lose weight and build the muscles necessary to sustain weight loss. For me, the Beachbody workouts have been life changing. Never would I have been able to be this fit without them.
Now, I lead women through the program every month who are losing weight and keeping it off.
Beachbody incorporates the principles of Tabata and HIIT workouts in many of programs.
Men’s Fitness made an excellent comparison of the two workouts.
The Facts About Tabata
Work: 20 seconds
Rest: 10 seconds
Heart Rate: Above 100% (Subjects in the original study trained at 170% of VO2 max)
Total Workout Time: 4 minutes
The Facts About HIIT
Work: 1-2 minutes
Rest: 30 seconds to 2 minutes is a general range. I like a 1:1 or 1:2 ratio, meaning 1-minute work, 1-minute rest or 1-minute work and 2 minutes recovery. You can mix it up and do 2:1, meaning 2 minutes work and 1-minute rest. The harder the work interval, the longer the rest will have to be.
Heart Rate: 80-95% of maximum heart, according to American Council on Exercise (ACE)
Total Workout Time: 20-40 minutes
If you are in the initial steps of getting in shape, this beginner’s HIIT could be perfect for you.
Some say the Tabata workout is more at an advanced level since it is geared to going over your max heart rate; however, Tabata himself (the scientist who invented the workout, Dr. Izumi Tabata) doesn’t agree that the Tabata workout is only for the advanced. He believes almost anyone can do the workout, just manage the intensity as needed.
In short (literally), the Tabata workout is 4 minutes, 8 rounds of exercises performed for 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest. The 20 seconds on is an intense push yourself, can’t talk, about to pass out, the longest 20 seconds of your life, harder than you ever thought possible time.
The exercises you choose to do during the workout ideally target different muscle groups, but you could decide to stick to one exercise for the entire workout.
There is even a Tabata app (this one is for Apple, there is also an Android app available) that helps you keep up with the workout and rest times.
Tabata Workout Benefits
- Burns an extra 150 calories in the 12 hours following the workout due to the effect of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption.
- Increases the BMR (Basil Metabolic Rate) which is the rate your body burns calories. When your body is exerted at such an intensity on a regular basis, the fat your body burns even at rest increases.
- Encourages your body to burn fat instead of muscle since the workout puts stress on the muscle, thus requiring the muscle tissue to repair itself causing the muscle size to increase rather than break down as it can with longer steady exercise.
- Doesn’t require a lot of your dedicated time.
Tabata workouts are intended as a supplement to your regular exercise program and should be done a few times a week. Some experts recommend 1-2 days, others 3-4 days per week.
As always, consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise program and make sure to include a proper warm-up and cool down.
Design Your Tabata Workout
Choose 1-4 of these exercises, or your favorite exercises, to incorporate into your Tabata workout.
What is your favorite Tabata workout combination?
Additional workouts for Women Over 40
- This Metabolism Boost Wake-Up Workout Will Change Your Life
- It’s Not Too Late Ab Workout for Women Over 40 + Printable Workout
- 30 Minute Indoor No Equipment Cardio Workout for Women Over 40
- Lose Weight by Walking 30 Day Fat Burning Plan