Tabata High-intensity Interval Training – Love It, Hate It

I described what a Tabata workout is in an earlier post. A Tabata is high-intensity interval training (HITT) and is basically 20 seconds of ultra-intense exercise and then 10 seconds of rest, repeated for 8 cycles continuously for 4 minutes. It really packs a ton of cardio and fat-burning exercise into the longest 4 minutes of your life. Today we did it for 4 exercises back to back (Squat Cleans, Pull-ups, Burpees, Kettlebell Swings), so that makes it the longest 16 minutes of your life. Who would think you would be completely drained after just 16 minutes of exercise? But, try it sometime and I think you will discover the same thing. I have a love/hate relationship with the Tabata. More than a lot of other conditioning WOD’s, you really do feel like you’re competing against yourself (if you track your progress as you should be doing!). I love that and, looking back at my past performance, I see improvements that motivate me a lot. That includes physical changes that I can see; burning off fat and getting a lot more muscle definition. The hate? The Tabata workouts really wipe me out and, like I said, you would never imagine how long 4 minutes can feel.


  • Stretching
  • Burpee Pull-ups
  • Air Squats
  • Short run

Strength Training:


A set of 4 different Tabata exercises (8 cycles of 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off for each of the following):

  • Squat Cleans (video here)
  • Burpees
  • Pull-ups (see a kipping pull-up video here)
  • Kettlebell swings (see video here)

  • Cool Down & Recovery:

    My lower back was super tight after the conditioning. Painfully so. I probably got sloppy with my form at some point when I was going fast. Learn from my example: Never sacrifice form, even when you’re going for speed.

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