Can a 4 minute tabata workout be more effective than a 60 minute workout? You will be surprised be, as the answer is! Tabata training is not a simple 4 minute miracle workout. Nevertheless, I am convinced that a 4 minute Tabata workout can be harder than anything you’ve done in 4 minutes! You can find out more about this exciting topic here!

What is Tabata training?

Tabata training or Tabata intervals is a form of high-intensity interval training, or HIIT for short . The body is stressed to the maximum in the shortest possible time.

In detail, this means: Full exercise for 20 seconds and 10 seconds break. The whole thing is divided into 8 successive intervals and therefore takes exactly 4 minutes. Sounds very simple – but it’s not! In these 240 seconds you really have to give everything and go to your absolute limit.

What are the advantages of a high-intensity tabata workout?

The advantage is that tobacco training activates the metabolism and thus fat burning to the maximum in the shortest possible time.

For this reason, a 4 minute Tabata session is also ideal as a “workout finisher” after muscle training or in the morning to activate body and mind.

TIP: Exact adherence to the time is particularly important during Tabata training. I therefore recommend that you use a Tabata timer / stopwatch, for example in the form of a sports watch / smartwatch.

What do studies say about the effectiveness of Tabata training?

The term Tabata comes from Dr. Izumi Tabata, who in 1996 published a very interesting study [1] on Tabata training. In this study, exercisers were divided into 2 groups:

The first group should do classic endurance training for 6 weeks, 5 days a week and this at around 70% of VO2max * for 60 minutes a day.

The second group also trained for 6 weeks, 5 days a week. However, this second group carried out 8 x 20 second sprints with 170% of the VO2max alternating with a 10 second break, so that a total training duration of 4 minutes per day was achieved (without 10 minutes warm-up and cool-down).

The result: Dr. Tabata found that the first group to do classic endurance training increased their aerobic * performance by 9%, while their anaerobic * performance remained the same. The second group, who trained much more intensely for a significantly shorter period of time, was able to increase their aerobic capacity by 14% and even increase their anaerobic performance by 28%!

Conclusion: This study shows that a shorter but more intensive tobacco training can achieve a significant increase in performance in less time.


  • * VO2max: maximum amount of oxygen that a person can absorb, transport and use in the cells during exercise.
  • * aerobic energy supply: Here the body can provide energy over a longer period of time with the help of oxygen, free fatty acids and glucose.
  • * anaerobic energy supply: Means that energy can be obtained WITHOUT oxygen. However, lactate (lactic acid) is produced here, which forces the athlete to take a break if the load is too high.

Is tabatatraining suitable for beginners?

Tabata is suitable for beginners as well as professionals. However, before you, as a beginner, do a high-intensity interval training in the form of a 4-minute hardcore tabata workout, you should have a doctor check you out!

If the doctor tells you his “Go!” then it is best to start with a Tabata exercise that has a very low risk of injury. Before each workout, a warm-up session !

of at least 10 minutes applies

In each of the 20 seconds of exertion, you really have to give everything to achieve the maximum intensity of the training.

Example of a Tabata training plan

Anyone who still has a few energy reserves after muscle training can use this Tabata training plan to work out:

1. – 20 seconds Burpees – 10 seconds break
2. – 20 seconds sprint – 10 seconds break
3. – 20 seconds burpees – 10 seconds break
4. – 20 seconds sprint – 10 seconds break
5. – 20 seconds burpees – 10 seconds break
6. – 20 seconds sprint – 10 seconds break
7. – 20 seconds burpees – 10 seconds break
8. – Sprint for 20 seconds – rest for 10 seconds

– Finally let out a little to loosen up the muscles.

TIP: You can also choose other exercises for this Tabata training plan. For example, 8 intervals of cycling on the ergometer or rowing on the rowing machine !

are perfect for home

Tabata exercises – these are my top 5

As mentioned above, in addition to the sprints, many other exercises are also suitable for Tabata intervals! You can even mix up exercises, for example by choosing a different exercise for each interval.
My top 5 tabata exercises are:

Tabata exercise No. 1: Rowing on the rowing machine

Tabata Exercise No. 2: Jump Squats

Tabata exercise No. 3: jumping rope

Tabata exercise No. 4: Pushups

Tabata exercise No. 5: Burpees

Conclusion & tip at the end

In the 20 seconds of Tabata exercise, you really have to give 110% to get the most out of it. To put it simply: If you can continue to train after a Tabata workout, you have definitely done something wrong or not done a proper Tabata workout!

TIP: For maximum motivation during Tabata interval training, there is even special Tabata workout music . My favorite among the Tabata tracks, which lasts exactly 4 minutes, is this one:

Recommendation: Finally, I would like to point out Tobias, a blogger colleague of mine. He has written a very extensive guide on the subject of Tabata, with more than 20 training plans. You can find all information about this here !

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