What's Your Workout: Tabata

20 seconds of exercise? Sold!

By Lauren Dunn
|  Wednesday, Feb 8, 2012  |  Updated 5:57 PM EDT
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A workout where you only have to exercise for 20 seconds? Yes please!

A workout where you only have to exercise for 20 seconds? Yes please!

Me + treadmill = death.

Me + spin class = B-O-R-E-D.

Me + elliptical = not sweating enough.

Fine, fine ... math has never been my strong point. But as you can see from the above formulas -- yes similar to the Pythagorean theorem -- I find working out at the gym to be pretty monotonous. I mean, who wants to spend 45 minutes feeling like a hamster on the treadmill?

Enter Tabata, the answer to my muffin top!

This is a workout that only requires 20 seconds of exercise! Yes, I repeat, 20, 10+10, 5X4... 20! Seconds!

Well, I guess I should clarify. Tabata = ((20 seconds X 8) + (10 seconds X 8)) x 20. So if you can figure that out then you should go for some sort of nerdy math award. But if not, let me translate. You do each exercise for 20 seconds and then rest for 10 seconds. And you do that eight times, then move on to the next exercise, all for an hour.

The exercises aren’t easy. We’re talking lunges, squats, planks and push-ups. It’s no joke. But here’s the thing -- you only have to do each exercise for 20 seconds and then you get to rest. It makes the whole workout totally doable. As Sport & Health instructor Tara Taylor says, “You can do anything for 20 seconds.” Soooo true!

But here was the clincher. I was SOOOOOO sore the next day. My legs hurt. My abs hurt. My arms hurt. And for me Tabata + soreness = love.


Lauren Dunn is News4's medical producer.

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