Eleventh Week of Fitmas – Eleven Tabatas Sweating Like a Pig

Tabatas rock.

Whenever I complete tabatas I feel like a sweaty superhero. On days when I barely have enough time to do more than warm up and shower, tabata workouts are my go to workout.

This week Tara from Sweat Like a Pig has taken over the blog to bring us some tabata challenges.

Don’t let that smiling face beguile you. She’s an awesome personal trainer who pushes her clients and always goes the distance herself. Find out for yourself by reading her blog, following her on Twitter, or connecting with her on Facebook.

Without further ado, take it Tara.

Eleven Tabatas

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a fan of traditional steady state cardio. I used to jog at a steady pace for an hour every single day, and yet my physique did not respond positively until I introduced high intensity cardio to my weights program.

High intensity interval training (HIIT) has been all the rage in recent years, as more people have clued on that quality beats quantity when it comes to aerobic exercise.  A typical HIIT session lasts 15 to 20 minutes and can involve flat sprints (at a 1:1 sprint/recovery ratio), hill sprints, sled pushes and pulls, battling ropes, and other metabolic finishers.

The very wise have implemented the Tabata training protocol, which is a ramped up version of HIIT. Tabata training is based on the findings of a 1996 study, which proved that cycling for 20 seconds at an extremely high intensity (170% of your VO2 max) followed by 10 seconds of rest maximizes athletic performance. There are usually eight rounds in total, meaning your Tabata workout will take just four minutes!

A four minute workout that will give you better results than a standard 60 minute treadmill session? Sounds too good to be true!

Herein lies a warning.

Tabata training is tough. If you feel as though you could do another round or two, you are not working hard enough. Your legs should feel shaky and your lunges should feel ready to explode during the mental battle that is the final round.

To put it in perspective, I typically perform a typical steady state run at a 11 km/hr (7 miles/hr) pace. In a traditional HIIT workout, I perform my sprints at around 13km/hr (8 miles/hr). When I perform Tabatas, my average pace is 20km/hr (12.5 miles/hr).

Try this workout, which factors in a short warm up and cool down:

Note: Do not attempt to waste time lowering the speed during your 10 second rest periods. Simply jump to the sides of the treadmill while you briefly catch your breath, and then jump back on when it’s time to sprint again.

Although Tabata training is most efficient when performed as running or cycling sprints, you may also incorporate some of the metabolic finishers I mentioned above. As these exercises are not as intense as all-out sprints, to achieve the same Tabata effect you must increase the number of total rounds to two or three, meaning that your workout will take 8-12 minutes to perform instead of just four.

Try one of these workouts: 

Grab the PDF of all Tara’s Tabatas and hit the gym tabata-style.

Win a Consultation with Tara.

Tara is giving aways a free consultation to someone that participates this week!

If you try one of these workouts, please leave a comment below. I will be giving away a free consultation to one lucky participant, during which I will help you to overhaul your diet and exercise routine!

Enter by leaving a comment below.

Tenth Week’s Winner.

Sport Chek’s Kettlebell workouts killed more than just me last week. Only 5 people took up the challenge to win the coveted $250 gift certificate to ‘start your better’, but we have 6 entries.

Here are the possible winners:

  1. Elle
  2. Kris
  3. Crystal
  4. Karl
  5. Mari
  6. Elle

And the winner is….drum roll…

Crystal for the win!

I will be emailing both you and Sport Chek later today. Congratulations lady.

The Get In Shape Girl’s healthy eating  tip for week eleven.

Enjoying a little too much holiday cheer?  When hungover I know you just want to eat junk, but you are in full on fat storing mode then so the best thing you can do is get your electrolyte levels up (insert banana and coconut water here) and get your blood sugar levels level.  Go here for more information.

Are you working out tabata-style this week?

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  1. this was such a great post 🙂 i love the current HIIT you have me doing with the suitcase carries, etc – they’ve also helped me improve lugging my groceries in the house hahah

  2. I’m just about to head off for my training and will definitely include a Tabata w/o at the end! Thanks for the non-treadmill inspiration 🙂

  3. I’m going to try this with my cardio treadmill workout today…but I don’t think it will be as intense as you mention given that I’m still a newbie. My steady state cardio on the treadmill is only 5.5 mph but I will bump it up to at least 8.5 for the tabata portion. Wish me luck!

  4. I like to do some high intensity training at home in the morning before heading off on the school/work run. Definitely adding in the tabata workout with the burpees tomorrow. Thanks for the info! 🙂

  5. Great post! I will give Tabatas a go on the bike today – I’m too likely to be spat out by the treadmill 😉

  6. I did mine today!

    Started with skipping double unders in place of running, then moved on to the 3rd combination and had some ‘fun’ with the drills. Thanks for the post, it was fin to hit the intervals again.


  7. I am a total newbie and I will try a tabata workout!

  8. Did Tabata’s twice this week, LOVE how I had just enough time to fit it in after my workouts, still trying to find my max speed – makes ya sweat like a pig alright!!!

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