All about the Tabata method to lose weight

One of the main obstacles to our desires for sport is often the lack of time. Work, family life, friends, social life… It's not easy to run regularly or go to your gym every day. Fortunately, new solutions are available to those who want to lose weight despite their busy schedule. One of these alternatives is the Tabata method, an intensive training method that will only take you 4 minutes.

Indeed, the Tabata method is more and more talked about. Considered a high-intensity interval training, this method invented by Professor Izumi Tabata would allow you to lose weight with the help of sessions of only 4 minutes. But what about its effectiveness? Does this training program really contribute to weight loss? We tell you all about the Tabata method.

What is the Tabata method?

tabata method To understand the genesis of this method, we must go back to 1996 and the time of Dr. Izumi Tabata, professor at the Faculty of Sports And Health Sciences at Ritsumeikan University in Japan. This learned professor wondered if short periods of high-intensity exercise, followed by short periods of rest (so-called HIIT or High intensity interval training) would improve the athlete's performance compared to conventional cardio.

To test this idea, Dr. Izumi Tabata took 2 groups of athletes and trained them 5 days a week for a total of 6 weeks:

  • Group 1: These athletes pedaled on a stationary bike at 70% of their physical capacity for one hour a day for 5 days.
  • Group 2: these athletes spent the first 4 days doing 8 intervals including 20 seconds of maximum effort followed by 10 seconds of rest, then on the 5th day, they made a moderate journey of 30 minutes, followed by an additional 2 minutes consisting of a maximum effort of 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds of rest.

At the end of the 6 weeks, the observation is final for Dr. Tabata:

  • Group 1 saw its maximum aerobic capacity improve by 9.5%.
  • Group 2 saw its maximum aerobic capacity increase by 14% and its anaerobic capacity by 28%.

As a reminder, aerobic capacity is the time you can maintain the effort, that is, the time you can cycle continuously. On the other hand, anaerobic capacity is the time during which you can maintain maximum effort, that is, the duration during which you can sprint.

Clearly, group 2 who followed a Tabata training could work harder and longer than group 1 who followed a "regular" cardio training. In addition, Group 1 trained for a total of 300 minutes per week, while Group 2 trained only 88 minutes per week (not including a 10-minute warm-up). Thus, not only did Group 2 achieve better results, but it also achieved these results in a short period of time.

Why adopt the Tabata method?

You should know that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) makes it possible to target more muscle groups than traditional exercises. Much more, the Tabata method not only helps you maintain a healthy weight, but it will also burn more calories during and after your workouts.

To burn more fat

This form of training puts a lot of pressure on your body and, as a result, you burn more calories in a short time. According to a study conducted at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, practicing the Tabata method can help you burn 15 calories per minute. This workout regimen can be great for people who are trying to lose pounds.

In addition to burning calories, the Tabata method also contributes to increasing your endurance. According to one study, doing a Tabata session four times a week can improve anaerobic capacity (the amount of energy produced by the body by burning carbohydrates) by 28% and VO2 max (the amount of oxygen consumed during exercise) by 15%.

To preserve your musclesThen, when you want to lose weight with the help of sport and a slimming diet, you lose not only fat but also muscle mass. However, it has been proven that the Tabata method has the particularity of increasing testosterone levels. This male hormone is essential for preserving your muscle mass.

How to use the Tabata method to lose weight?

tabata method to lose weight Although Izumi Tabata's study was performed on a stationary bike, you can still apply this method in almost any exercise. Here's what the ideal Tabata training looks like if you want to use sport to lose weight :

  • 4-minute push-ups;
  • 4-minute squats;
  • 4-minute jumping jacks.

So it's worth starting with push-ups, which you need to perform for 20 seconds at high intensity, and then rest for 10 seconds. Perform push-ups again for 20 seconds, then rest. Repeat the same pattern for eight sets of push-ups, then rest for a minute. Do the same with squats and jumping jacks.

Tabata method: what is the difference with conventional HIIT?

Many people wonder what the difference is between the Tabata method and HIIT. Well, the most notable difference is in the timing. Indeed, during a Tabata training session, the periods of effort and rest are shorter than they are in HIIT. The Tabata method is based on the principle that a short session is accompanied by a high intensity. Remember that during Izumi Tabata's original study, the complete training consisted of providing 170% effort for 4 minutes.

In contrast, in HIIT, only 80 to 95% of the maximum heart rate is targeted. In this case, the effort/rest ratio is usually divided between 1 minute of work, followed by 30 seconds, up to 2 minutes of recovery.

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