If you’re like most people looking to lose weight, you gained it in the first place because of work or lack of free time. You’re interested in getting fit and burning fat, but you simply don’t have a whole lot of free time to devote to exercise. Lucky for you, recent scientific research confirms that the fastest, most efficient way to burn fat, lose weight, and get fit is through high-intensity exercises. The Tabata sprint routine is perhaps the most efficient high-intensity exercise around – clocking in at a mere four minutes, even the most time-strapped individual can find the time to work a Tabata sprint session into his or her day for the ultimate fat burning.
The name comes from Dr. Izumi Tabata, who pioneered the HIIT (high intensity interval training) movement with his 1996 study on the effectiveness of high-intensity exercise. He found that maximum output sprints, interspersed with short periods of rest, were the best, fastest ways to burn fat and get fit – even more effective than traditional, low-impact moderate-intensity cardio.
We now know that Tabata sprints are the ultimate weight loss workout. All you need is open space, a good pair of shoes, and the motivation to work out as hard as you can for just four minutes. The name might sound confusing, but they’re actually incredibly simple to perform:
1. Sprint for 20 seconds.
2. Rest for 10 seconds.
3. Repeat 7 times, for a total of four minutes of work.
And that’s it. It may not look like much, but rest assured that you will be doubled over in pain, sweating buckets, and gasping for air by the end of the workout. It’s only four minutes long, but it’s four minutes of the ultimate weight loss workout.
You can perform Tabata sprints anywhere, but here are some suggested places to maximize your fat burning:
1. Uphill – puts extra focus on your thighs and glutes, plus you’re working against gravity.
2. In the snow – the only option for some during winter, plus it makes you work a bit harder to fight through the powder.
3. At the beach – reduces the wear and tear on your joints, plus you’ll be working harder to make your way through soft sand and up dunes.
4. On a trail – take the scenic route for a more pleasant workout, but be sure to watch out for roots and rocks.
5. On a treadmill – just make sure your flailing limbs don’t hit your fellow gym-goers.
6. With a weight vest – for ultimate weight loss.
But really, what makes the Tabata sprints such a great fat burning workout is that they only take four minutes. Anyone, no matter how busy they are, can find four minutes out of the day to burn fat. So next time you’re lacing up your shoes for the dreaded hour-long jog around the neighborhood, opt for Tabata sprints instead.
For some other ideas on how to integrate Tabata routines into your daily workouts, check out this video.