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What EXACTLY happens in the new 4-minute workout? Clue: a near death experience


What would you say to an amazing fat-burning workout that you can do whilst waiting for the tube in the morning? You’d probably say “Sign me up!”, but you may want to sit down for the details…

Tabata was developed in Japan by Professor Izumi Tabata and has gained A-list followers including “Superman” Henry Cavill and Elle McPherson, as well as being the workout of choice for athletes.

Dubbed ‘The 4-Minute Miracle’ by Kyra Sedgewick, what does Tabata consist of? First off, you can tailor make your tabata regime depending on what you want; weight loss, muscle endurance, cardio, all of it can be achieved. The main idea is the same though – 20 seconds of intense – think almost-be-sick intense – exercise (intervals) followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated 8 times. Here’s a taster for you :

Pushups for intervals 1 and 3

Body weight squats for intervals 2 and 4

Medicine ball slams for intervals 5 and 7

Sprinting or jumping rope for intervals 6 and 8


Shown to improve aerobic and anaerobic fitness better than a hour-long cycle, Tabata is also clinically proven to help prevent diabetes. See the research here.

So while you’re on the Central line platform tomorrow, why not give it a go? Okay, we’re kidding, no one deemed sane is going to break into a jump squat in white hot pants while waiting for the 8.51 to Waterloo.

But it’s a great workout to do first thing in the morning to increase your metabolism throughout the day – before you leave for work.

You can download the Tabata Timer app. Official Tabata classes are being offered at Fitness First nationwide.

lydia headshotLydia Jones blogs at

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