Tabata Workout

Look in the Mirror… Lion or a Kitten?

I am always amazed by the various FACEBOOK posts on “TABATA” days :). People of all fitness levels – for some this is their first workout of this magnitude in their lives—others marathon runners who have done a few “hill intervals” in their day!   When it’s over—no matter who you are—YOU ARE PROUD!

Recently, we discussed being very careful not to “let out” that it was a Tabata day, as the evening classes would lighten up  How come?

Misinformation?  Fear?  Just not liking 20 seconds of intensity followed by 10 seconds of rest?

Tabata Protocol is a scientifically proven method to boost endurance in a short time. It’s based on studies of high-intensity intermittent training by Japanese researcher Izumi Tabata.  Tabata is designed to be done “to the MAX”.  Pushing yourself as hard as you can, almost to the point of exhaustion or nausea—yup, I said it!  And it’s tough!  BUT…your body burns calories at a higher level for 24-36 hours post workout!!  More than one day later, your metabolic rate is still amplified!!  THAT’S AMAZING!!

The good news is, you can adapt “tabata day” to fit your fitness level.  You don’t need to do the push ups with a clap in between, if your best push up is done going down on your toes and pushing up on your knees—you give max effort every time, and you’ll reap the benefits!

Tabata doesn’t happen every day, or even every week—but we put it in the mix about 1x a month to BLAST Calories and REV Metabolism!  Are you going to let the a little fear stop you?  The next time the cat’s out of the bag and you second guess getting into the gym, look in the mirror and out loud say “I can do this”.  When you’re looking in that mirror, look yourself in the eye and remind yourself of the reason you started this journey toward health.  Don’t give up on it and don’t let anyone talk you out of it.  You’re worth it!  Make your last set your best set and fill me on that conversation you had with yourself in the mirror!


You Need to be HIIT!!!

Last month I attended a Science behind Fat Loss seminar hosted by Alywn and Rachel Cosgrove, owner of Results Fitness in sunny Southern California.  While I would have loved to spend some time at the beach, the seminar was a great opportunity to meet and learn from other fitness professionals from all over the world. Mike Wunsch, Program Design Specialist at Results Fitness said it best at the seminar “We reserve the right to get BETTER!”  –So, I was there to learn and “GET BETTER” at helping our members lose fat! Over the next few weeks I plan on sharing more of what we learned to help you on your path to better health and fitness.  For this post, I would like to talk about the benefits of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), and how to incorporate it into your workout routine.

The idea of HIIT is quite simple.  Work your body as hard as you can for a short period of time, rest…and repeat.  The technique is commonly used when training professional athletes, and is now starting to be embraced by personal trainers and fitness professionals as it’s a very effective way to improve cardiovascular health, build lean muscles and increase your metabolic rate.

While HIIT is very challenging, there is one significant benefit.  You burn fat faster. In fact, some studies indicate HIIT can burn up to 9x (yes, nine times) more fat than traditional training methods.

What are some ways to practice HIIT?

One common technique is TABATA J.  I can hear you moaning already! TABATA is where you do a particular exercise as hard as you can for 20 seconds, followed by a 10 second rest.  This is repeated 8x over a four-minute period.  See the video for an example! You’ll be seeing PLENTY of TABATA at Ellipse on Fridays for this reason!

Another way to practice HIIT is circuit training.  In circuit training, you complete a series of exercises at set intervals.  I’d like to share a recent workout we did at one of our K-Bell classes utilizing Kettlebells and only 40 minutes including warm up and cooling/stretch incorporating HIIT concepts:

1 Arm Kettlebell Swing

High Pull

1 Arm Row

Kettlebell Swing

1 Arm weighted Squat




Kettlebell Swing

Clean and Press

For this routine, we completed two circuits and each exercise was performed with both the left and right arm.  The first time through the circuit exercises were done in 20-second intervals (each arm back to back) followed by a 20 second rest.  The second time through we increased the intensity as exercises were done in 45-second intervals followed by a shorter 15-second rest every :45.

With this type of training you are performing the exercises at maximum effort.  When you work with a Kettlebell, not only are you lifting a moderate to heavy weight and strengthening your muscles, you also have to balance yourself thus strengthening your core.  It can be a great way to burn calories, reduce body fat and increase muscle mass thus increasing your metabolic rate.  This is a great way to achieve results faster and also have fun doing it.

If you have questions on the concept and would like to learn more about the benefits of HIIT, or would like to try HIIT training at any of our Ellipse Fitness locations, feel free to email me at  Reminder that K-Bell is beginning this week at several Ellipse locations! Consider adding it to your routine for MAXIMUM Fat Loss benefit!