The other day, I wanted to add a lot of variety to my workout routine. I drive by a track almost every day on the way to our house, but I had never actually used it. So I decided to jog there from home and make up a Tabata-style workout.
It proved to be such a good workout that I walked most of the way home afterwards instead of jogging the mile back because I was so wiped!
For those unfamiliar with Tabata, it uses high intensity intervals to get maximum burn in a short amount of time. You can "tabata" any exercise by performing it at maximum intensity for 20 seconds, resting 10 seconds, then repeating 8 times through for a total of 4 minutes.
For the workout I did above, I paired two exercises together for the 4 minutes total. So for instance, after warming up with a mile jog to the track, I did my first Tabata set. I sprinted as fast as I could for twenty seconds, then completely rested for 10 seconds (round 1). I then did walking lunges for 20 seconds and rested for 10 seconds (round 2). For round 3, I sprinted as hard as I could for 20 seconds, then rested for 10 seconds. I completed this alternating pattern for 8 rounds, or a total of 4 minutes, before moving onto Tabata Set 2.
And I also definitely rested for a couple of minutes in between Tabata sets to catch my breath!
Another helpful hint is to use a timer that can keep track of your intervals for you and will beep when each interval is complete and when a new one starts. I use the Gymboss app on my iPhone because you can customize the interval times for a Tabata workout.
Links explaining some of the exercises are below:
Warm-up: Jog 1 mile
Complete each exercise in the Tabata set for 20 seconds at maximum intensity followed by 10 seconds of rest. Alternate between the two exercises, repeating for 4 rounds of each exercise (8 rounds total) for a total of 4 minutes.
Cool down: Walk/jog 1 mile