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Shred Body Fat with Tabata HIIT Cardio

As you all know by now, I’m a huge fan of high intensity interval training, meaning I believe in training with maximum output in the shortest amount of time possible. This is beneficial because it keeps the workout duration short, which means I can quickly knock it out of the way and get on with my day. Of course, many people opt to train at moderate intensity for longer durations because it’s less challenging. If you want fast results, though, you’re going to have to train with some grit, and that entails pushing your body to the limit. There is no better way of getting that done than through Tabata HIIT cardio.

What Is Tabata?

Tabata is a HIIT variation named after Japanese scientist Dr. Izumi Tabata. The workout was tested by Tabata and his team at Tokyo’s National Institute of Fitness and Sports.

In the study, subjects were divided into two groups; one group performed Tabata four days a week for six weeks; each training session lasted 4 minutes and 20 seconds. The second group also trained for six weeks but exercised five times a week at moderate intensity. At the conclusion of the study, the latter group improved their aerobic endurance but showed no increase in anaerobic strength. The Tabata group improved their aerobic conditioning as well but also saw anaerobic strength improve by 28%.

You can learn more about Dr. Tabata and his research here.

The Training Regimen

As indicated in the study, Tabata sessions are short; only 4 minutes and 20 seconds. Make no mistake, though, during those 4 minutes plus, you are going to feel like you’re going to die. As such, it is not for the faint of heart and newbies. If you’re a beginner or returning from a long layoff, I strongly suggest you ease into it using one of my other HIIT routines for beginners.

Watch the video below for a beginner-friendly HIIT session.

If, on the other hand, you feel like you earned your stripes in the gym, then here is how a Tabata session works:

  1. Exercise at maximum intensity for 20 seconds
  2. Rest for 10 seconds
  3. Begin another 20 second set with another exercise
  4. Rinse and repeat for a total of eight sets

It’s that simple. Believe me, though, those four minutes will be the longest of your life. As far as exercise selection goes, that’s up to you. Whatever exercise you do, just go 100%; otherwise, you’re only cheating yourself.

Tabata Training Sample #1 (With Weights)

Barbell squats
10 second rest
Dumbbell press
10 second rest
10 second rest
Cable pulldown ab crunches
10 second rest
Barbell lunges
10 second rest
Weighted pushups
10 second rest
Rows on machine or cables
10 second rest
Decline sit-ups with weight plate

Since weights, cables, and machines are being used, you need to have everything ready and in place before beginning the workout. The 10 second rest practically only gives you enough time to move from one station to the next. Since your concentration should completely be on the 20 second exercise sets, have a friend time you and let you know when the 20 seconds are up.

Tabata Training Sample #2 (Without Weights or Machines)

Deep knee bends (or one-legged pistol squats depending on your fitness level)
10 second rest
10 second rest
10 second rest
Janda sit-ups
10 second rest
Sissy squats
10 second rest
Towel flys
10 second rest
10 second rest
Leg raises on dip station

Whether you use weights or bodyweight exercises, I strongly recommend you stick to compound movements. Remember, you want to push yourself to the max during those brief 20 second sets. Isolation exercises that target the smaller muscle groups, such as bicep curls and tricep extensions, simply do not push you to maximum exertion.

Though not included in the sample workouts, exercises can also include aerobic activity, such as sprinting, jump roping, or burpees. Other ideas include isometrics, such as planks or wall squats.

Here is someone that has followed a protocol very much like what you see here in this blog post.


Go Cody!
Now Cody is dedicated & religiously does the workouts I provide. He also has the edge by taking Rebellion & Tea Rexx.

It doesn’t mean you have to take supplements to get these results, but as you can see it can help speed things up in a healthy way.

Give It a Try (If You Dare)

I must warn you once again, Tabata HIIT isn’t a beginner’s routine. Don’t jump into the training cold turkey if you have been physically inactive.

If you do commit to Tabata and put in a wholehearted effort (combined with strength training and a diet), then I absolutely guarantee you will see results in no time.

Tabata HIIT is also a routine you can incorporate as part of a complete muscle building and fat loss program.

Check out my program The Simple Shredded Solution for more information about burning fat and building muscles.