New exercise craze – Tabata in the UK

Tabata – if you haven’t heard of it – is a form of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) that lasts for only four minutes. No, really – four minutes.

The official tabata ‘system’ was developed by Japanese scientist Professor Izumi Tabata (recognised as the ‘father’ of HIIT) while he was working with the Japanese Olympic speed skating team on their fitness programme.

The prof published a study in 1996 detailing his discovery: that short sharp bursts of intense exercise are the best way to get fitter faster and more effectively. His tabata method consists of a combination of 20 seconds of intense exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated 8 times.

Although the tabata formula was developed in response to athletic training, Prof Tabata’s authentic exercise program has been specially adapted for mainstream gym use, which is great news for those of us looking to improve our fitness.

Tabata in the UK, officially launched by Fitness First, will consist of a 20 minute classes that will include a mobilisation, warm up and cool down routine, all of which aim to get participants up to their maximum heart rate over the crucial four-minute tabata section.

Instructors will work with a highly qualified tabata master trainer to ensure they are fully equipped to deliver the 20 minute class.

To find out more on Tabata in the UK and its principles (fascinating stuff!), visit and keep an eye out for classes at your local fitness First gym – or visit Fitness First.