Personal Training

Body Blitz Tabata

Welcome to the Cuban Cardio complete guide to the body blitz Tabata training Method. We are focussed on everything associated with the interval training method known as the Tabata Protocol and often called the 4 Minute Workout. We found out it has a huge demand following clients, and it is a quick effective and killer workout. If you have short of time and want a fast way to get seriously fit or want to spice up your training with an extreme endorphine high hit like no other then you are at the right way and you will enjoy!

  • Be warned this type of workout is not for the faint hearted, Most basic form the Tabata Method is 20 seconds of hard training followed by 10 seconds of rest repeated 8 times. Hence the alternative name of the 4 minute workout 8 x 20 seconds effort + 8 x 10 second rest = 4 minutes formula. We have a comprehensive training guide to the Tabata protocol as well as information about the tabata training
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The name comes from the original author of the study around this interval training method called Izumi Tabata. His work was published in 1996 and so has been around for years but is seeing a lot of renewed interest. if you are new to this method of training and would like to know more we will have some adives for those just starting and also for those more experienced in advance training that want the most up-to-date information and research.

The Workouts: The original workout was based around using a stationary bike but there are many alternative forms of cardio that can be used.
There are two types of Tabata workouts ones using weights and ones without weights, please bear in mind that the weight training workouts are different to the original Tabata method


Standard Tabata Workouts: Without weights which are compatible with the original Tabata method are below
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Treadmill
 Running Track
. Swimming
, Punchbag, 
Rowing machine (ergo)
Skipping rope, Cross Trainer
, Cycling
, Stepper, 
Arm bike, Jump squats, Burpees
, Martial arts movements, 
High Knees
, Jumping Jacks
, Weight Bearing

Tabata Workouts: including body weights are 
Push up, 
Chin ups underhand narrow grip and overhand wide grip, Kettlebell swings
 Tricep dips
, Squats
 Lunges
 Situps


The Tabata Method or Protocol: is a form of High-Intensity Interval Training or HIIT, which alternates from short bursts of high intenisty anaerobic training followed by even shorter recovery and less intense recovery periods. The high intensity interval should be performed at or near maximal effort and the low intensity period is typically at 50% of your maximum capacity. One of the earliest reported protocols for this method of training is the Tabata method.

History: The Tabata method is often accredited to Izumu Tabata, however this is not entirely true. Although the original method was published by Izumu Tabata in a peer reviewed journal (see the reference at the end of the page) the idea was originally pioneered by the head coach for the Japanese Olympic speed skating team, Irisawa Koichi. Irisawa Koichi was the head coach of the Japanese Speed Skating team in the 1990s and was using an unusual training technique of short bursts with even shorter rest periods. It is reported that this method not only increased short term explosive strength but also long term endurance. Izumu Tabata, a coach under Koichi, was asked to analyse his rotation of short burst with maximum effort followed by a short rest. So if we are to be rigorously correct we should call it the Koichi method. The Tabata method is named after the coach who measured the effectiveness of the training method devised by Irisawa Koichi. He was a researcher at the National Institute for Health and Nutrition and is currently a professor in the Faculty of Sport and Health Science at Ritsumeikan University in Japan. His research. According to his papers this technique has a very fast increase in VO2 max.

The Tabata method work was published in 1996 in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. entitled, Effects of Moderate-Intensity Endurance and High-Intensity Intermittent Training on Anaerobic Capacity and VO2max.” The High Intensity work phase for the Tabata protocol was originally performed at approximately 170% of VO2 Max. The VO2 max is a measure of the maximum capacity of your body to transport and use oxygen during a period of exertion or work. In simple terms this is an extreme intensity workout, you are working at close to your maximum heart rate. According to Dr Tabata the session should be An all out effort at 170% of your VO2 max. If you feel ok after the session you have not done it right.

The first three sessions should be easy and the last two should feel impossibly hard When this was repeated over a period of six weeks, four times a week, the athletes saw a 28% increase in their anaerobic capacity and 15% increase in their VO2 max which is considered a good measure of cardiovascular fitness. The control group performed a steady state cardiovascular workout lasting one hour, five times a week. Their VO2 max scores increased by just 10% and their routine had no significant effect on their anaerobic capacity. Over the six week period the Tabata group recorded 120 minutes of training compared with the control gourp that recorded 1,800 minutes.

  • You should find it difficult to talk and breathe as you have oxygen debt.
  • Significantly increased sweating
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Increased lactic acid and the muscle burning sensation
  • In real terms you will feel shattered but if you like your endorphin rush this will give you your weekly hiit

Working at VO2 max: The higher the number, the more cardiovascular strength you have and is thought to be the gold standard for fitness testing.
Words of Caution, You may have noticed the original Tabata protocol research was performed on serious athletes with a professional sports scientist. If you have any doubts about operating at your maximum intensity, or if you have any medical concerns in particular a history of heart disease please contact a registered and qualified health professional. This type of exercise regime should be acceptable to most people of average fitness. Remember be strong, be fit and be safe.


Interval training has been around for a long time. It is often referred to as High Intensity Interval Training (or sometimes as High Intensity Intermittent Training) or HIIT. One of the earliest journal articles using the term HIIT and studying the positive effects was from a sport scientist in Canada, Angelo Tremblay back in 1994 (see references). Tremblay showed amongst other things a greater fat loss for HIIT subjects compared with those following an endurance training or low intensity workouts. This was inspite of the actual exercise burning fewer calories compared with the lower intensity workout.
A typical interval training session can be summarised as short burts of vigorous exercise followed by typically shorter periods of rest repeated a number of times. The typical bursts of power last from 20-30 seconds up to a couple of minutes with recovery times between ranging from 10 seconds again up to a couple of minutes.

Why are Tabata Intervals Different?

  • The difference with the tabata intervals is the short length of the intervals. Typically intervals were between 30 seconds to a minute in something like a circuit class.
  • The tabata intervals are 20 seconds of power maximun effort followed by 10 second recovery or low intensity rest.
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Workout: A 20 minute high intensity, scientifically-proven, head-to-toe workout. Led by motivated and passionate, we will ensure your:

  1. The class and clients work to maximize their fitness levels in a seriously maximun effort in a short amount of time. Proven to achieve greater results than one hour steady state exercise, calories are burned for up to 12 hours post-exercise. Our classes are time efficient, exhilarating, and most of all effective and enjoyble.

Music: We understand the importance of music when working out, the challenge is about staying with it, and reaching that endorphin high that makes it all seem so easy. Every Tabata track has its own unique, and specifically designed soundtrack to engage the class and clients and inspire the motivation needed to finish your challeging workout. And what’s more, we’ll keep you updated with new movements with quality and quantity, effective and save.

Convenience: 20 minutes. Whether you’re on the bike, with kettlebells or on the gym floor, that’s all it takes for Tabata to transform body and fitness levels. Fitter, faster.

Indoor Cycling  it’s how Tabata was born, tested, and proven in the Lab: The authenticity and athleticism behind the 4 minute protocol is how results are not only made, but also guaranteed. In every Tabata Cycle Powered By ICG session, you’ll start with a surge of movement, music and unrivalled motivation  every pedal stroke gearing you to rush to your max during the 4 minute Tabata protocol. After you’ve gone all out, you’ll ride for strength and recovery to a sequence of movements that bring your heart rate back down while receiving maximal tone, strength and conditioning.

  • Tabata Body workouts are exhilarating, intense, and scientifically proven to maximise your fitness levels in only a short amount of time.

The cubancardio training programme will lead through an energetic cardio warm up that will get you moving and your heart rate up before motivating you to deliver 4 minutes of your highest intensity, the one and only Tabata protocol. The session ends with a focus on the core and cool-down, as we believe having a strong core is important for stability and stretching improves flexibility for every Tabata Body move. What’s more, Tabata Body kicks your metabolism into overdrive, meaning you reap the benefits of the work you put in long after you leave a session. And before you know it, you’ll be back for more.

Professor Tabata is the pioneer scientist behind the Tabata protocol and the clinical trials which proved that Tabata. is the best way to get fit, fast. A world renowned expert on exercise physiology, responsible for ground breaking work on diabetes prevention, his most famous discovery is the one that bears his name the Tabata Protocol. Now Head of the Sports and Health Science Faculty at Ritsumeikan University Japan, in his 35 year career he has regularly worked as an advisor to the Japanese government on public health issues. He continues to research the effects of exercise on calorie consumption, and how Tabata can benefit those suffering of heart disease and strokes.

The Science: Professor Tabata conducted a pioneering piece of research on the effectiveness of a short but gruelling workout with the Japanese Olympic speed-skating team. Professor Tabata’s original research involved two different trials.

  1. The first group was asked to cycle at moderate intensity five times a week for 60 minutes.
  2. The second group took a more radical approach: alternating between 20 second bursts of maximum effort work and 10 second rest phases for a total of four minutes or eight rounds four times per week.
  3. one 30 minute moderate intensity cycling session once a week. Other forms of HIIT will have you working harder for longer  for worse results fact.

How do we know that?

Professor Tabata's other clinical trial compared two different types of HIIT one using the Tabata protocol of 20 seconds high intensity, 10 seconds recovery and the other using 30 seconds high intensity and 2 minutes recovery in between bouts.

  • Experiment 1 The Tabata protocol (20/10"): Using a group of young athletes, they worked out (on a bike) to exhaustion at 170% of their VO2max (how can you have more than 100% of VO2 max? Because 100% is reached when you are still in the aerobic zone – literally 'with oxygen', so breathing easily. Above that and you hit the 'anaerobic' zone - literally meaning 'without oxygen', so using oxygen stored in the muscles rather than through breathing.) for  20 seconds, then rested for 10 and repeated for eight bouts.
  • Experiment 2: Used the same group of volunteers, but this time the intervals were 30 seconds long and even tougher pushing them to a VO2 max of 200%. They then rested for 2 minutes and repeated 4-5 times until they reached exhaustion.

Results: The Tabata protocol produced much better improvements in fitness  even though the subjects worked out for less time and at a lower intensity. It improved both aerobic and anaerobic capacity, whereas the second experiment did not. Professor Tabata concluded that it's not the intensity per se that results in improved fitness but the shorter recovery time  and this specific system of 20/10  that is the most effective at improving aerobic and anaerobic fitness.