You want to know what’s the best exercise for losing weight and getting rid of unwanted fat. You’ve tried countless of methods but none of them ever seem to give you the results that you are looking for. If you are tired of spending countless of hours torturing yourself on the treadmill, there is a faster and more effective way to reach your goal.
In fact, this workout only takes 4 minutes to complete.
And; it’s completely free.
Get to know the Tabata Method
The Tabata Method was originally invented by a group of Japanese researchers who came up with an interval program that activates the anaerobic and aerobic system – simultaneously:
“this study showed that moderate-intensity aerobic training that improves the maximal aerobic power does not change anaerobic capacity and that adequate high-intensity intermittent training may improve both anaerobic and aerobic energy supplying systems significantly, probably through imposing intensive stimuli on both systems” 
In other words, this workout contributes to improving both your strength and conditioning levels – in the shortest time possible.
The high intensity also makes it a perfect way to burn off plenty of calories.
How to perform Tabata
The concept of Tabata is simple and very straightforward.
You choose one exercise and then you execute it in the following order:
1) Do as many repetitions as you possibly can – for 20 seconds
2) Pause and rest – for 10 seconds
3) Repeat 6 to 8 times/sets
At first glance, this might sound easy – but you’re going to be working harder than you ever have before. As mentioned, the idea is that you do as many repetitions as possible, so each set will most likely look different. If you end up doing +15 repetitions every round; you picked a too light weight and should increase it the next session.
The fact that you only have 10 seconds of rest between each set means that you will be staying in the same spot throughout the whole 4 minutes.
There’s no time to walk away or play around; just put the weight back, try to gather as much breath as you can, and then pick up the weight once more.
Which exercise should you do?
For the best effect, you should preferably select an exercise that involves large muscle groups. At the same time, your body will be exposed to heavy stress during time pressure, which means that the exercise shouldn’t be too complex.
This leaves the front squat as one of the most optimal choices.
The back squat is another excellent exercise; however, the position you use during the front squat makes it both easier and faster to re-rack the barbell during the limited breaks.
Here’s how you perform the front squat (Olympic grip):
1. Grab the barbell with a width that leaves your thumbs at the edge of your shoulders
2. Place the barbell so that it rests on/above on your clavicles
3. Point your elbows high
4. Inhale, place your feet below the bar, tighten your core, and lift the barbell off the rack
5. Take one step back, then do the same with your other foot, so that both your feet are in line with each other
6. Squat/sit down as far as you can go without rounding your back
7. Get back up
Of course, you can also apply the Tabata method to several other exercises. The front squat is just one (very suiting) option. Some other suggestions brought by the elite-level strength and weightlifting coach Dan John  includes:
- Stationary exercise bike
- Kettlebell swings
- Goblet squats
- Farmer’s walk
The same principles of 20 seconds active work, 10 seconds rest, repeat 6-8 times, applies to these exercises.
However, before attempting any of them, you should ensure that you know the proper technique to avoid and prevent serious injuries.
How Much Weight Should You Use?
This is individual and depends on your previous experience and current strength levels, as well as how confident you are in your squat technique.
Still, with the demanding nature of the Tabata method, you probably won’t have to load the barbell very heavily to get a proper challenge.
In fact – to begin with – a 20kg barbell alone could be enough to push you to your limits.
If you go heavier, you might end up doing 2-3 repetitions per set; with a total of 16-24 repetitions.
If you go lighter, you might do 8-12 repetitions per set; with 64-96 total repetitions.
In other words, when the 4 minutes have passed, you will either have lifted a large amount of total weight; or performed a massive amount of repetitions.
After that, you’re pretty much ready to go home.
Summary and Tabata recommendations
Before you attempt your first Tabata workout, there are some things that you should keep in mind.
For starters; counting becomes surprisingly difficult when you’re physically exhausted – or about to collapse on the gym floor.
That’s why the best way to keep track on your set (20 seconds) and rest time (10 seconds) is by using one of the following options:
- Program the timing/alarm on a sports-watch or your phone
- View a nearby wall clock
- Have a reliable spotter keep you on track
Try to camp by your barbell until you are finished (after 4 minutes), this way you’ll avoid wasting energy or getting distracted.
Secondly, when you are finished, don’t expect to do anything else or to continue with another exercise.
The Tabata workout alone will challenge both your anaerobic and aerobic system more than enough.
For the same reason, you don’t need to Tabata very often.
If you can manage to do it once a week, that already highly impressive.
Ready to go and burn some calories?
Try out the Tabata routine and leave a comment if you got out alive!
 John, Dan (2009) – Never Let Go: A Philosophy of Lifting, Living and Learning
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mattias Johansson is a Nutrition and Fitness writer, a personal trainer that applies latest research to optimize performance and help you excel.
Here are some highlight of Mattias Johansson’s qualification.
*Specialized Sports Educator
*Physical Education Teacher
*Bachelor of Sports Science & Psychology at Halmstad University. Courses included: Applied & Social Psychology, Sports Psychology, Cognition, Motivational Strategies, Exercise Training, Anatomy & Physiology, Nutrition, Scientific Methods
*Studied Advanced Studies in Sports Medicine & Nutrition at Linnaeus University. Courses included: Nutritional Recommendations for Performance Enhancement, Nutrition & Diet Analysis, Client Collaboration, Supplements, and Athlete’s Diet
*Sports Science & Management at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, 11th World Ranking. Courses included: Sports Marketing & Sponsorship, Conditioning for Physical Fitness, and Principles of Strength Training
*International Nutrition & Fitness Copywriter