Tabata for Fatloss


This 4-minute read discusses Tabata training and why its great for some and detrimental to others. 

1. What is Tabata?

2. Why does it work so well?

3. Why it may NOT work for you.

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What is Tabata? 

Tabata is a form of conditioning training that has often times been employed as a tool for fatloss by a lot of personal trainers.

But why do Coaches utilise this form of torture? 🀒

Do you understand why you are in a heap on the ground after it?

Do you understand why you hate your PT so much as you curse their name post workout?

OR  even worse.. do you struggle to see results from doing it.

So First thing we need to do is understand how it works. 

To do this, firstly here is an example of Tabata:


Tabata Workout example:



20 seconds at 90 - 95% max speed 10 seconds rest x 3 sets

1:40 rest


20 seconds at 90 - 95% max speed 10 seconds rest x 3 sets

1:40 rest

Ball Slams

20 seconds at 90 - 95% max speed 10 seconds rest x 3 sets

= 1 set DONE!

3:40 rest

REPEAT for 2 sets


Why does it work so well?

The energy system that is being used here is called your Anaerobic system. in which you produce lactic acid.

Here the anaerobic system goes beyond using oxygen as a tool to produce energy and rapidly uses up your muscle glycogen (carbohydrate) stores. 

Then from here it taps into fat stores. Sometimes during but also after the workout. 

It leaves the body in a high state of stress to recover. This is when the body starts burning adipose tissue (fat). πŸ•ΊπŸ»πŸ’ƒ

Also its short, fast, its done in no time really when done properly.

After all not everyone is crazy enough to run a marathon or 10k. Some of us just want the results fast and / or, don't have the time to run mile after mile.

Hence why PT's tend to like them as it allows them to work on other aspects of the client's fitness and health like rehab, strength nutrition. 

Why it may not work for you

Sometimes its an absolute waste of time. Sometimes you'd be better off walking the dog and chatting to a friend than doing a Tabata if fatloss is your goal.


Firstly not everyone can hit lactic acid or Anaerobic training (i.e Tabata). πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

They cant get the result of lactic acid as they simply are too physically weak. Hence why strength training is pushed so hard by Personal Trainers in North Dublin. 

If you cant do a push up then doing a burpee is going to be slowww and tedious. Also if you cant squat relatively heavy (close to your bodyweight) then shuttle runs will again have no power. (Strength comes before power). 

If you want to know if you are strong enough for it simply ask. Share your strength numbers. Even a 1 RM bench press can be used as a marker to determine the likelihood of you getting results from Tabata...


If you are an individual who struggles immensely with stress then this is a NO GO. Why? Tabata spikes your Cortisol levels. If you are an individual who struggles with anxiety for example or consistent stress of any kind then the last thing you need is you hitting those adrenal glands. 

This messes up your hormone system (endocrine system)... and whats the hormone that drastically effects body fat around the abdominals?.. yes you've guessed it, Cortisol. Stay clear of it and maybe stick to aerobic power work (like an e.m.o.m of 30 seconds work 30 rest of air squat, sit-ups and light rowing (monitor fatigue) moderate breathing is the aim here. 

Finally, it's not a one size fits all model. You are more than likely not a client of mine while you are reading this but I do know this about you. 

You've tried a lot of things before. This is probably the 5th or 6th article youve read about your health and fitness. 

Go and grasp it with both hands through guidance. Dont spend all day educating yourself. 

IF you are seeking a Personal trainer here is a guide on how to do it:

If that helps please let me know. Or if you would like more help on looking for a PT near you just message below and ill be more than willing to give you names of highly talented personal trainers.

Heres to your health. 


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Larry BradyLB Fitness