Lifestyle: Start A HIIT (& Tabata) Workout Routine Today

If you are finding a new way to replace time time usually spent in the gym, or are looking at new methods to burn those fat from all your deliveries and snacking this Circuit Breaker (CB) period, why not try out these HIIT or Tabata exercises at home? All that’s required is just 4 -15 minutes.

If you exercise regularly, you may be familiar with the terms HIIT and Tabata workout routines. If not, we are here to share with you the similarities and differences, as well as a few routines you can try at home without the need of gym equipment.

What is a HIIT workout?

HIIT stands for High- Intensity Interval Training, also called high-intensity intermittent or sprint interval training where you push through for that short period of time in order to yield the maximum benefits. It is a form of a cardiovascular exercise strategy, alternating short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with less intense recovery periods.

These workouts tend to feel so intense that there is no need to make a long training session.

What is a Tabata workout?

Tabata is a type of HIIT training. Specifically, It consists of eight rounds of ultra-high-intensity exercises in a specific 20-seconds-on, 10-seconds-off interval. It may only take four minutes to complete a Tabata circuit, but those four minutes is a taste of hell.

Technically, you are repeating the same movement for four minutes at maximum intensity in that 20 seconds, then a 10-second rest for a total of eight rounds. You should be toast after those four minutes and if you are not, it means you didn’t go hard enough.

The main difference is the rest period between the intervals. Tabata workouts have shorter rest periods compared to HIIT as it pushes the limit on the percentage of your maximum heart rate.

Having said that, first and foremost – please LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. Stop and rest when necessary. It is always good to motivate yourself to go harder, but do not push yourself to the point where you are too exhausted to do anything.

Benefits of HIIT (and Tabata) exercises

Effective way to burn fats

Burn, fat, burn! If your goal is to burn away stubborn fat, then consider adding high-intensity exercises into your routine. These exercises increase your metabolism and heart rate almost instantly and thus your body has to work much harder to keep up. This means your body is burning fat right at the start and even after you have finished as well.


These short bouts of exercises are great for the busy bees. For Tabata workouts, you literally just have to dedicate 4 minutes of your time to complete a round. That’s even a shorter period than the advertisements you have to sit through on Channel 5. You don’t even have to do it every day – training twice or thrice a week is enough to reap the benefits. Sounds good, yeah?

Flexible (no equipment needed)

Okay, for HIIT workouts, perhaps a dumbbell, kettlebell or a skipping rope is recommended, but you don’t need them to get it done. High knees, fast feet, or anything plyometric like jumping lunges work just as well to get your heart rate up fast and get the fat burning. For Tabata, all you need is a space big enough for your body to move around and you’re good to go!

Healthier heart

Most people aren’t used to pushing themselves into the anaerobic zone (active or existing in the absence of free oxygen) and HIIT workouts - which are rather extreme in nature - does just that, by expanding your aerobic capacity. And of course, improving your heart health has a ton of benefits such as reducing the risk of heart problems like heart disease.

Protects muscle tissue

When you lose weight or go on a diet, you are most probably losing fat and muscle too. In order to retain your muscles in tip-top condition, it is important to constantly work them, and high-intensity training helps in developing and protecting muscle tissue.

Tips for beginners

HIIT workouts are aimed for those who have been working out, or are comfortable with high-intensity exercises. However, we understand that there is always a first time for everything including something so intense like these workouts. Perhaps, it is better to go for morning jogs or venture into other cardio exercises first before diving right into a HIIT or Tabata workouts to prep yourself physically and mentally.

Warm up

Like most studios and gyms, it is always important to warm up. Breathing, stretching and light movement exercises are important to get your body feeling warm and your muscles fired up.

Start slow

Nobody is expecting a full-out routine on your first attempt. Pacing yourself is critical because the last thing you want is an injury. Vary the intensity if you need to and find the right schedule to allow your body to adapt. Remember to give yourself enough rest periods in between as well. Gradually increase the workout duration and speed when your body and gets more in tune to the routine.

Focus on form

If you concentrate too much on the pace of your workouts or the intensity of your reps, you may lose the essence of these exercises by losing track on the form and proper alignment. If you are not doing it right – toes not in line with your knees or not squatting low enough – then you not only don’t reap the benefits but may end up injuring yourself in the process instead.

Download a time app for Tabata

If you don’t want to lose concentration by counting the seconds of your sets, try a Tabata timer. There are several timer apps and website to help you keep track of your workout. That’s one less thing to fret about.

Now that you are all set, try out HIIT and Tabata workouts by referencing the videos below!



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