The Tabata technique

Written by Andrea Pastorini
Artworks Diego Soprana

Week 01

We all know how important it is to maximize our free time. Unfortunately, the hectic pace of modern life often prevents us from maintaining proper nutrition, and often favours a sedentary lifestyle that can impair our wellbeing. If we then consider the amount of food consumed over the holiday season, it is easy to acknowledge that our fitness levels and mental energy to exercise have been compromised.
Fortunately there are some quick and simple remedies that will get you back into shape in no time at all. One method that has become popular in recent times is Tabata, an experiment started in 1996 by Dr. Izumi Tabata, a Japanese physician and researcher.

Subjecting two groups of athletes to two different types of interval training – a short course of high-intensity anaerobic exercises and a long cycle of aerobic exercises – amazing results emerged The Tabata group improved both its aerobic and anaerobic fitness levels. The anaerobic fitness level increased by 28%. The Tabata method, in other words, is a high-intensity cardio workout protocol that is undertaken in short intervals for maximum effect.

With only good intentions in mind, we decided to inaugurate the Recovery project – the first study of 2016 – by offering a training program based on eight exercises proposed by Crossfit Tabata.
Exercises should be conducted for 20 seconds, followed closely by a rest phase of 10 seconds.

Recap: 8esX (20s + 10s) = 4 minutes per cycle.
In Tabata training time is crucial! It is necessary undertake the maximum number of repetitions in those twenty seconds.

How to keep time?
With music. It is possible to find a dozen or so Tabata songs that will satisfy all musical tastes, from rap to military tunes
What exercises?
The routine that we have outlined is designed to tone, increase resistance and coordination.
What is needed?
One room, two dumbbells and two chairs.
How many times do I have to repeat the exercises? As we mentioned above, each cycle lasts four minutes. It would be ideal to repeat the cycle five times, and finish the training session in 20 minutes; only 20 minutes, you have no more excuses.

Tips before you begin:
1. Try the exercises individually, making sure you understand how to execute each one.
2. Prepare the room where you work out, removing any obstacles that could cause injury during your workout.
3. Warm up before you begin: jog on the spot for four minutes, and follow with shoulder rotations.
4. Be prepared mentally for the intensity, this is very important with Tabata.

Let’s start:

Running on the spot with high knees
Cardio exercise: working leg muscles and the cardiovascular system.


Cardio exercise: improves coordination and agility, and activates core abdominal, back and arm strength.


Classic exercise for the gluteus and quadriceps.

Air squat

Front Lunges
Complete exercise involving the quadriceps, gluteus and hamstrings.
NOTE: Keep your torso straight


Biceps with dumbbells (alternating)


Push-ups between two chairs
Great exercise for defining the triceps.


Push-ups with a wide base
Classic exercise that helps strengthen the pecks. Be sure to keep your hands much wider than normal push-ups. In this way you will really work the pecks, and work the triceps less.


Crunches with legs raised
This type of exercise will comprehensively work both the upper and lower abdominal muscles.


Some tips:
As you progress you can raise the weight of the dumbbells. For best results, you can wear ankle weights of 1 to 2.5 kg.