ELi5: Tabata

The Tabata protocol is the single best way to burn fat.

However, 98% of Bootcamps, Crossfit classes and personal trainers are DOING IT WRONG.

This type of exercise was designed by a doctor in Japan who had people riding a spin bike at ABOVE their highest possible work level.

How is that possible? Studies are mysteriously unclear on this question, but I choose to believe that Dr. Tabata was using a combination of rewarding the good subjects with chocolates and unicorn plush dolls, and beating the slow subjects with a riding crop.

The bouts of exercise were only 4 minutes long, with each subject working as hard as they possibly could for 20 seconds, then resting for 10 seconds. This was repeated for 8 rounds.

After the 4 minutes of hell was over, subjects were finished with the testing. This was not a warmup, they did not do 4 different Tabata exercises, nor were they able to chat with their neighbor Susan about what a hot summer it’s been so far.

Tabata is possible the single most brutal, painful, trip outside your comfort zone that you could possibly experience in a workout setting, right up there with 20 rep front squats.

So no, you didn’t do “tabata jump rope” or “tabata crunches” in your Pilates session.

This method can burn more calories of fat than a 50 minute yoga session but you pay dearly for it, proving that once again, nothing good in life comes cheap.




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