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Try out Tabata

Try out Tabata

Tabata is a high-intensity work-out that's perfect for busy mums and career women who can't always find the time to visit their local fitness centre. A mix of cross-training and CrossFit, Tabata, which was created by Japanese physician Dr. Izumi Tabata, is ideal for the woman who want the best results in a hurry - and is prepared to put in the maximum effort.

Most devotees limit their workouts to 30 minutes and include up to seven different exercises, like squats, lunges, or push-ups. The idea is to create a rigorous interval training routine of a suggested 20 seconds on, 20 seconds off for eight rounds.

Dr. Tabata came up with the new workout trend after studying two sets of athletes using an interval-based training model over a six-week period. One group performed 20 seconds of full-on exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest over the course of four minutes, while the others trained moderately five times a week.

Tabata discovered his trendsetters' anaerobic fitness levels over 120 minutes increased more than they did for his control group members, who worked out for 1,800 minutes over the same period. He was so stunned by the results, he put his name to the training regime, and now Tabata is fast becoming the next big metabolism-burning, fat-crunching, heart rate pounding thing.

Of course, it's not for everyone - you have to be relatively fit to even think about this workout, but it's worth it. Advanced fitness buffs have discovered you're asking so much of your body that your metabolism will stay in overdrive for hours after your workout, burning fat while you go about your life outside the gym.

It's also great for those planning to run a first marathon or take part in an Iron Man contest, as Tabata is a quick way to build endurance and stamina, because the work-out helps the body tolerate lactic acid, the enemy for all long-distance runners.

Tabata devotees suggest cycling on a stationary bike, sit-ups, pull-ups, squats, sprints, stairs and deadlifts as a good place to start - and push through the pain of the first few days; your body will eventually get used to this high-intensity workout.

And good nutrition is key, too - make sure you seek advice about what to put into your body before and after workouts to achieve the best results. If you've been looking to change up your fitness levels and give yourself a new challenge, this could be just what you've been looking for.

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