TABATA TIME! Let’s Get Back to those Full Body Workouts, shall we?

Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happiest of any and all holidays and may your upcoming year be chock full of good fortune and fun. You deserve it. You’ve earned it.

THAT being said, let’s get back to those full body workouts every other day. Shall we?

Just to review, I do a full body strength training slash HIIT workout every other day. I do 2 exercises per muscle or muscle group and I do 2 sets per exercise. I spend 10-15 minutes warming up and I push myself past failure on almost every set. I also remix every workout to keep things interesting and to keep my muscles guessing.

That being said I’m in better shape today than I was in my 20s when I was doing “bro splits” working out 5 days a week at Crunch Fitness… or Golds Gym… or 24 Hour Fitness… I’ve been a member at almost any gym you can think of.

BRO SPLIT- a method of organizing your training. The basic strategy is to dedicate an entire days session to 1-2 body parts. A typical bro split might consist of Monday (Back & Biceps) Tuesday (Chest & Triceps), Thursday (Shoulders & Abs), and Friday is Leg Day. Although I would make MONDAY your Leg Day so you can get it over with and not be sore all weekend while you are trying to hit the clubs. For decades, the bro split has been the golden standard for organizing your weekly workouts, and people from all over the world praise the approach.

I’m all about the full body routines these days. I feel like they are more efficient and more effective and I highly recommend them.

So I’ve been sharing a few random variations of my full body routines. There are hundreds of ways you can modify each workout to not only suit your needs but to keep yourself motivated and entertained. I’ve posted a few workouts here and there for you to try… and today is no different. So, Ladies and Gentlemen, today I want to introduce you to: TABATA

Tabata style training, also known as the “Tabata Protocol” is a form of training that organizes your exercises sets and reps into 4 minute sessions. Sounds kind of easy right? Ha ha. No. On paper these Tabata workouts sound simple but once you get rolling you will be breaking a sweat, I promise.

So let’s say you warm and your first exercise is the Curtsy Lunge. You do 20 seconds of curtsy lunges, and then rest for ten seconds. It’s 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off for FOUR MINUTES. Then you move on to the next exercise. How about push ups? Oh Man when I do push ups Tabata style I’m eventually doing them from my knees and I’m struggling to even squeeze a few half reps to get to the end of those four minutes.

These workouts move pretty fast. You don’t necessarily have to speed through your reps, although many suggest you do. Because you are pretty much “on-the-clock” for this entire session, you can complete a thorough, high intensity, full body workout in 30 minutes or less.

Here is one good full body routine for you to try- Tabata Style….

  • Jumping Jacks: 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off for 4 minutes
  • Squats with a 1-2 punch at the top (Keep fists in fighting position, touch elbows to the inside of your knees at the bottom. Stand up and throw 2 punches): Same cadence for 4 minutes.
  • Alternating Reverse Lunges.
  • Glute Bridges.
  • Supermans with a towel (stretch the towel out above/beyond your head and pull in as of you are doing a pull up from a lying position. Chest and knees should be lifted off the floor)
  • Push ups. This is a tough one so if you struggle with push ups, try to do them from your knees… or even standing push ups from the wall….OR…. try a lateral plank walk
  • Lateral Plank Walk. Hold yourself in a plank with straight arms (like the top of a push up), cross your hand to either the inside or the outside of your opposite hand and plank-walk sideways two steps and back two steps.
  • Backpack Bicep curls (fill a backpack with books. Hold each side of the bag and do curls with 2 hands or alternate arms using the top handle on the backpack. You can also try this with a fabric reusable shopping bag. If you do one arm at a time, brace yourself against a chair or the wall.
  • Chair dips.
  • Bicycle Crunches.

There you have it. This is just one good example of a Tabata style training session. Some people do more of a circuit where they jump from exercise to exercise inside of each four minute block but I like to focus on one exercise for the entire four minutes and really light up that muscle group.

I would suggest doing a Tabata style workout 2-3 a month. Maybe once a week? You definitely don’t want to overdo it with these. Plus the idea behind MY training philosophy is aim for more variation so adding a Tabata workout to your more conventional sessions is a great way to mix things up.

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