Blast Fat & Build Muscle In 4 Minutes!
23October/2013

Blast Fat & Build Muscle In 4 Minutes!

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TABATA TAKES INTERVAL TRAINING TO A WHOLE NEW LEVEL —LEAVING YOU FITTER THAN EVER WITH TIME TO SPARE
BY GLEN PETERSON

 

What if someone told you that you could train for just four minutes and get better results than your current workout? Chances are, you’d think it was too good to be true, but it’s not. Tabata may sound like some weird sex position straight out of the Kama Sutra, but it’s actually a workout named after its inventor, Izumi Tabata. In 1996, Tabata (a trainer from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo) was looking for a more effi cient way to condition the Japanese speed-skating team. He devised a new form of interval training in which participants do eight 20-second sets with 10 seconds of rest in between each set. Total training time? Four minutes.

“People look at Tabata training and think it’s so simple that it couldn’t possibly work,” says Rich Butkevic, owner of Fat Loss Labs and a Tabata devotee, “but the beauty of Tabata training is its simplicity.” And it delivers. The speed skaters started to use Tabata and were quickly convinced that it was the best way for them to get leaner and stronger. In fact, studies have compared the results of Tabata training with a more-orthodox training regimen of 60 minutes and found that doing Tabata for six weeks improved maximum aerobic capacity by 14% (compared to 10% for the participants training for an extra 56 minutes).

Tabata training also delivered a 28% increase in anaerobic capacity simultaneously. The 60-minute workout group? No increase in anaerobic
capacity. “It’s very unusual to fi nd a workout that is eff ective at muscle building and fat loss,” says Butkevic. “Usually, you need to take in calories to support muscle building or cut out calories to lose fat.” Because Tabata builds muscle and elevates the heart rate in such a short burst of time, participants can lose fat while building muscle. “You can save a ridiculous amount of time and get better results,” says Butkevic. “It’s quality over quantity.”

Not convinced? I did a four-minute Tabata workout and could barely lift my arms at the end of it. Later in the day, my hamstrings started to ache. Th e next day, I felt like I’d put in a hard hour at the gym doing a new strength training program rather than just four short minutes. Tabata is a great way to train when you’re short on time. “And, because so little time is needed, anyone can stick with it, no matter how busy they are,” says Butkevic.

Make Your Own 4-Minute Fat-Blasting, Muscle-Building Tabata Workout

The magic of this Tabata workout is that you choose your own destiny. You decide when you work out. You decide the duration and frequency of your workouts—and the intensity is up to you as well. The key lies in four short minutes. You should shoot for each interval of this workout to last four minutes. That means one minute for each exercise or one exercise for four minutes, or two exercises for two minutes each. You
get the idea. Bottom line: Go hard, go intense and use sparingly. Some of you might consider doing one or two circuits in the morning before you shower, during your lunch break or even after work when you’re unwinding. Just remember to use a stopwatch, don’t worry about counting reps and work hard throughout the whole four-minute workout.

 Squat Jump

Targets Glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and core muscles

Set-Up Stand with your feet hip distance apart and your feet turned out slightly. Place your hands behind your head and your elbows out to your sides.

Action Keeping your torso tall, bend your knees to lower your body into a squat position. Stop when your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. Transfer most of your weight to the balls of your feet and push off, propelling your body into the air. Land with a slight bend in your knees. Repeat.
 
 Body-weight Squat

Targets Glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and core muscles

Set-Up Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your toes turned out slightly. Extend your arms directly in front of your shoulders.

Action Keeping your abs contracted, bend your knees and lower your butt as if you were sitting on a chair. Stop when your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. Return to the start position.
 
 Thruster

Targets Shoulders, glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and core muscles

Set-Up
Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip distance apart and your feet turned out at a 45-degree angle. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, lift weights so that they are directly above your shoulders, with your palms facing forward. As for weight, use about half of what you would normally use for 10 to 12 repetitions.

Action Keeping your body tall, bend your knees and lower your bum toward the floor. (Stop when your butt is a few centimetres from the floor.) In an explosive movement, straighten your knees and elbows, simultaneously standing up and pushing the weights upward into a shoulder press. Return to the start position.
 
 Burpee

Targets Chest, glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and core muscles

Set-Up Stand with your feet together and your arms at your sides.

Action Bend your knees and lower your body into a crouched position, bringing your hands to the floor just ahead and to the sides of your feet. Transfer your body weight to your hands and spring off your feet, extending your legs behind you. Your body should be in a plank position. Contract your abdominals to keep your body in a straight line; then, keeping your knees together, push off the balls of your feet to return to a crouched position. Stand up.
 

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