What’s the deal? Tabata training
Perfect for the busy woman, Tabata sessions at Fitness First are just twenty minutes in length. The classes begin with a short warm-up followed by a teaching of the moves, a four-minute work out and a cool down. ‘Some of the moves are taken from copoeira and body-weight training,’ explains Tabata training expert Richard Scrivener.
A bit of background
Based on a 20 seconds on, ten seconds off principle, Tabata is the first fitness system to be created around Professor Tabata’s exercise programme. The science-backed method of 20-10 is said to be one of the most effective ways to burn calories and boost fitness – what’s not to like?
The class starts with a gentle warm-up featuring lots of ankle and hip-rotation before things really start to get tough. Today’s move is a variation on the plank (feet and forearms resting on the floor with your body in a straight line between); once you’re in position, you touch each shoulder then jump up, spin around 180 degrees and resume plank position again.
Once we’ve repeated this a few times, I really start to get out of breath. When it’s time for the four-minute workout (Tabata focuses on just one move or discipline – so you can run flat-out for 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds recovery, or sprint on a bike, or use your favourite plyometric move such as a jumping lunge) a whistle blows, loud music starts and we’re off. After four minutes, I’m struggling to keep up and very sweaty. When, mercifully, the whistle blows again to indicate the torture is over, I’m exhausted. Judging by the bright red faces around me, everyone found the class tough.
My muscles didn’t feel too stiff the next day. Having an instructor pushed me harder and I’d definitely sign up for more classes – what else can get you that fit in four minutes?