Categories: Muscle Exercises

We build muscles in a few minutes

No time to exercise? It's not a problem! Six workouts in the Tabata-style will cause an anabolic explosion of all major muscle groups in a few quick and furious minutes.

Author: Alex Savva

I confess. It was more difficult to finish this article than I thought. As the deadline approached, I desperately tried to unpack things after a recent move and did a bunch of cases from an endless list, so I did not have time to sit down and finish writing the material. But all the same, I knew that one fragment was already completed, and was not going to allow the priority goals – or their training! – disappear from the radar.

The bottom line is that we have much in common. Unless you are the child of the founder of some trust fund, who fools around the whole day, you know with what enviable constancy life interferes with our plans. You always have to do something, and this endless chain of things steals precious moments of your day. And now it's already nine in the evening, the sun has long since set, and you have not even thought about starting a daily training session.

I constantly face such problems and like you, I hate to miss training. Therefore, I found an elegant solution to the problem, which is guaranteed to lead me towards fitness goals and does not allow me to skip training. How did I do it? Well, I showed cleverness: I combined the principles of cardio training of Tabata with power training and got a fast, heavy and effective training, which allows you to meet in time equal to a short fragment of the usual training session.

If you've read my previous articles, for example, "The Four Most Effective Ways to Burn Fat," you've heard about the Tabata training. As a specific training method, Tabata training appeared in 1996 year after the research conducted by the Japanese researcher Dr. Izumi Tabata in the group of skaters-Olympians with very high level of functional training.

The subjects passed 7-8 rounds from 20-second cycling on the bike with 170% of the maximum oxygen consumption, and after each lap relaxed 10 seconds. Short-term training – about four minutes for everything about everything – proved to be more effective in terms of increasing aerobic and anaerobic endurance than longer cardio workouts of moderate intensity, performed the same number of times per week.

Another experiment, published in 2013, raised the training of Tabata to a new level. The study used the basic protocol of Tabata, but in one training was included four full 4-minute rounds with a minute rest between them. For this 20-minute training, the subjects burned 240-360 calories, and at the same time received a colossal rise in energy consumption for the next few days.

Each training from the following is only four minutes long, but you can combine them into one – with a minute rest between sets of exercises – for the same intensive and effective session.

Although it is predominantly used with aerobic exercise, the benefit of Tabat training goes far beyond cardio and fat burning. 20-second assaults are great for lifting weights, forcing the muscles to work at a submaximal level. You just need to find the right weight, which is what you need in this super-effective training plan.

In the proposed exercises, I advise you to start with 50% of the weight that you usually use to cause instant muscle failure in the standard approach of 10 repetitions. And only after getting used to these Tabata training, you can methodically increase the load. In other words, do not let your self-esteem push you to too much weight!

As for the rate of repetition, make it explosive – but controlled – a positive reduction, followed by a controlled negative phase, without long pauses. Your goal is to perform the maximum possible number of clean, technical repetitions in an 20-second interval.

6 examples of workouts in Tabata-style

To get the most out of your workouts in Tabata-style, make sure that you have a good stretch, and group several exercises that will work out several muscle groups at the same time.

Each of these trainings lasts only four minutes and consists of four exercises. You are given 20 seconds to perform one exercise, then 10 seconds of rest during the transition between exercises. In total, you perform eight rounds.

Of course, the exercises listed above are not carved in stone. You are free to change them to similar or favorite ones in order to bring a fresh stream into every workout, especially if you have already used the exercise several times.

For example, a bench press bench press can be replaced by a bench press on an incline bench, a dumbbell press, a bench press in a Smith simulator, or a press of dumbbells with a hammer grip; the information of hands with free weight can be replaced with information of hands in the simulator (butterfly) or crossover. And the usual push-ups can be replaced by push-ups on the uneven bars. The key moment is following the protocol of Tabat, and not any specific choice of exercises.

Here are some alternatives for each exercise:

  • Tightening: traction of the upper block to the chest, traction of the upper block behind the head, pull-ups with a counterweight

You can use these trainings at any time, as soon as you have a free minute. You can perform one complex for a quick explosion or combine a couple of sessions if you want to pump more muscle groups. And if you are lucky enough to get more than a few free minutes, you can try to spend a hell of training on the whole body, having performed all the proposed complexes one by one. In this case, I advise you to start with the legs and back, and finish with the arms and trunk muscles.

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