The Tabata Protocol: The Workout You’re Not Doing, But Should

Is Tabata Right for You?


Due to the intensity of Tabata, however, it is not recommended for everyone. “I would recommend some variation of interval training to anybody. They are even starting to use this type of work with cardiovascular rehab patients,” explains Baca, “but the joints would be the only real deal-killer for this type of training. A total beginner should have a solid month to six weeks of training before they integrate any variation of interval training.” In order to tell if your joints are too much of an issue, Baca advises ” if you can not run across the street in a hurry without your joints stopping you, then using anything close to the Tabata Interval Protocol may not be for you.”

If you are interested in working Tabata into your current fitness routine, Baca says it’s best to ease into it. “I recommend at a low fitness level to just throw in four to six short periods of speeding up 10 percent outside of your comfort zone. If you always walk at 3.5 miles an hour for 45 minutes on the treadmill, simply walking at 4.0 miles per hour for 30 seconds every 3 minutes starting at minute 10 would justify cutting that treadmill workout short while still getting extra cardiovascular, anaerobic and fat-loss benefits.”

FTC disclosure: We often receive products from companies to review. All thoughts and opinions are always entirely our own. Unless otherwise stated, we have received no compensation for our review and the content is purely editorial. Affiliate links may be included. If you purchase something through one of those links we may receive a small commission. Thanks for your support!


  1. Tabata is good stuff, all high intensity interval training is.

  2. Fatso says:

    Oh yeah. One of my Spinfit instructors (Sammi, every third Wednesday night) sometimes incorporates a track like this into our routine. It’s a KILLER track. She divides the room in half, and it’s 8 seconds for either side of the room, as fast as we personally can go, with a 30 second slow-down pedalling break in the middle of the track.

    It’s the only track I’ve ever known where EVERYBODY’S gasping for breath afterwards. But it’s also the only one where my legs REALLY feel like jelly, too.

  3. Samantha Wallace says:

    I am going to try this workout tomorrow morning! I may even convince my hubby to give it a shot (insert evil laugh here).

  4. D Baca says:

    My brother knows his stuff!

    I do a variation of Tabata with just breathing exercises! I breath very hard for 20 seconds and then commence normal breathing for 10 seconds. I don’t know if this is beneficial or even healthy, but boy is it INTENSE!

  5. I love Tabata! And the looks I get from getting a butt-kicking from 4 minutes on the elliptical are priceless! These sprints have revealed my abs like nothing else ever has.

  6. Kellie Stalker says:

    I LOVE TABATA. My instructor does this and its amazing.

Comments are closed.