New Obsession: Tabata Workouts


During high school I played Fall and Spring sports. Between seasons I ran occasionally to stay in shape. When I got to college and didn’t have organized team sports anymore, I took up running as my main form of exercise. I would do the same exact thing every time I worked out. Run 3 miles on the treadmill then lift weights, mostly arms, and do abs. I did pretty much the same weight exercises and ab exercises every time too. I did this roughly 3 times a week. I continued to have this exact workout schedule all throughout college and after. I got right back into this routine after having Alyssa. It wasn’t until after I had Cassidy 7 months ago that I started switching up my workouts. After almost 10 years of doing the same workout, I got bored, go figure! Running with a good lift afterwards still is probably my favorite workout but I have started trying different things as well. Who knows, maybe I’ll find something I love even more. Circuit workouts are a close second. Last week I tried a Tabata workout for the first time. And Today, I did one again. And I have to say, I really liked it. Like maybe as much as my running and lifting routine?! It doesn’t get anymore time efficient than these workouts and thats right up my alley as a busy mom!

A Tabata work out is 20 seconds full on, 10 seconds rest repeated for a total of 8 times, which totals 4 minutes. During that 20 seconds you go full out as hard as you can exert yourself then have a short recovery and repeat. You do the same exercise during each 20 second interval. Then you rest for a minute and start again with a different exercise. Most of the ones I found on the internet were more cardio based, using a rowing machine or treadmill. However I don’t belong to a gym and sprinting intervals on my treadmill would have woken Cassidy up from her nap (which would mean no workout for me). So I made up a Tabata workout that used a variety of strength and cardio exercises that I could complete in my garage.

tabata 1

Since Tabata workouts are very intense make sure you do some sort of warm up beforehand. I did 1 minute jumping jacks, 2 minute stretch, 1 minute high knees, 2 more minutes of stretching as my warm up. I used 10 lb dumbbells for the bent over rows, a 10 lb dumbbell for the squats, and this random tape line in my garage for the side to side jumps. I didn’t even have to put that tape down…not a clue why it was already there.


I also downloaded this awesome app for free! I just searched “Tabata Timer”. It beeps to begin then beeps after the 20 seconds is up, then counts down with 3 beeps when the 10 seconds is over and the next 20 begins. When the 4 minutes is up it beeps quickly a couple of times. I made that sound way more confusing than it is. It is really simple and helpful! Its nice not to have to watch a clock and instead just listen for the beep. If even shows you what number repeat you are on by filling in a little numbered bubble. Just try it out, trust me.


And please ignore my nasty iphone. I have an otterbox (which I highly recommend if you have kids, drop your phone daily, or let if fall off your jogging stroller then proceed to kick it across the road like I did yesterday) and I need to disassemble it and clean it.

My tabata workout today was just as great as the first! This morning I dropped Alyssa off a drop in preschool for 2 hours. By the time I ran some errands and got back home I needed to be back out the door in 45 minutes. That left 30 minutes for a workout so I could save the last 15 minutes for a shower and getting some snacks together for the kids while they sat at the dentist with me, fun fun. A tabata workout was the only thing that made sense. It looked like this.

I have a feeling I will be doing many more of these Tabata workouts, they were fun, quick, and exhausting!

And as always, only work out to your personal fitness level. If you have never done a circuit style, HIIT, or tabata workout then start out smaller. Maybe pick 2-4 of the exercises and give them a try. Don’t worry about how short your workout may seem, its intense so the duration does not need to be nearly as long. I have been this sore from a workout in a long time and it feels great! Yes, I love being sore. Its a reminder of the awesome workout I completed and I know it did its job!

Have you ever done a Tabata workout? Give it a try and let me know what you think!


4 responses »

  1. I LOVE tabatas! And the ones you came up with look awesome! I’m totally going to have to try the heel clickers. I do tabata workouts a lot because they are so effective and you can do them in a short period of time :). Hope you have a great weekend!

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