Efficient Tabata Workout Catching On in Fitness Facilities

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Copyright 2014 Dayton Newspapers, Inc.
Dayton Daily News (Ohio)

If spending hours in the gym sounds like torture, then how about minutes?

If that's more to your liking, then Tabata might be the workout for you.

Tabata, which got its start in Japan decades ago, is a type of high-intensity interval training, which is done in 4-minute blocks. Tabata classes held at local fitness facilities typically last between 20 and 30 minutes and consist of multiple 4-minute blocks.

"It has become very popular because people know they can get the most bang for their buck," said Doug Jones, co-owner of The Studio Fitness in Vandalia. "Time is precious and you don't need to spend hours working out to get benefits."

The Studio Fitness, in Vandalia, the YMCA of Greater Dayton and Turbo Zone Fitness, in Centerville, are just a few local fitness facilities that offer Tabata classes. And while the Tabata trend has been featured in Shape, Men's Health and Muscle & Fitness magazines, you don't need to be a fitness fanatic to give it a try.

"We have people come in here who don't have a clue what Tabata is and it's not long before they're hooked," Jones said.

Efficient workout

You will get out of a Tabata workout what you put into it.

It's about going all out for 20 seconds - whether you're running, lunging, jumping, lifting - followed by 10 seconds of rest. That process is repeated seven more times to hit the four-minute mark.

Sound easy? It's not.

"It's an intense, full body workout," said Englewood resident Linda Maio. "You are working every muscle in your body and getting a cardio workout at the same time."

Maio, 53, added Tabata to her workout regimen a few years ago.

"It's a physical challenge, different from the other classes I take," she said.

Tara Cassel, 34, of Oakwood agrees.

"I like that I get to push myself," Cassel said.

Tabata can increase your aerobic and anaerobic capacity, resting metabolic rate, and can help you burn fat even long after you've left the gym.

Adaptable workout

Don't let the high-intensity label be a stumbling block - people of all ages and fitness levels can practice Tabata.

Instructors can offer a variety of modifications for people who need them. That might mean a turn and squat instead of a 180-degree jump squat or simply using a lighter set of weights.

"That's what's so great about it, anybody can do it," Jones said.

And there's no chance

- and no time - to get bored, as the exercises change for every 4-minute set.

And classes are often accompanied by upbeat music to help you take your mind off your fatigue.

"It's something a beginner can definitely do," Maio said.

Beneficial workout

From increased stamina to a decreased waistline, Tabata benefits are numerous. "I definitely see a difference in my muscle tone," Cassel said. But it is more than just the physical benefits that she enjoys from this high-intensity workout. "It's really a great group setting, I look forward to it every week," she said. Maio feels the same way. "You work hard, but it's definitely a lot of fun," she said.

Contact this contributing writer at [email protected]


January 24, 2014


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