Posts Tagged ‘Interval training’

With the holiday season in full swing, everyone is busy and time is limited.  Between work, social gatherings, shopping, cooking, company, and everything else in between, it can be hard to find time to fit in a workout.  Tabata to the rescue!  Without getting into too much detail, Tabata training can be applied to just about any type of exercise:  cardio (sprints, intervals on an elliptical/bike, etc.), body-weight exercises (push-ups, pull-ups), and resistance training (dumbbell/barbell/cable exercises).

Tabata is a total of 4 minutes broken down like this:

  • 20 seconds of max effort
  • 10 seconds of rest

It is essential to have a timer for this.  I use my GymBoss Timer but there are many apps that you can use on your phone too.  I just like the GymBoss because there is a vibrate option and it doesn’t interrupt my music 🙂  I clip it right to my shirt and go…


The 20 sec on/10 sec rest is repeated 8 times for one complete 4 minute Tabata cycle.  Ok, so enough of that; here is a quick shoulder workout that I put together today because I was stuck at home (snow day for my kids) and short on time (ahem, snow day for my kids).  So before the “Mom I need this” and “Mom I’m hungry” fun-stuff started, I decided to squeeze in a quick, but super-intense workout:

Make sure you are completely warmed-up before diving into this:  not only is it intense, but it is very high volume!  Ready and warm?  Don’t forget your Top Secret Nutrition Pump Igniter!  Let’s go!  So each of the exercises below was completed using the 4-minute cycle (8 sets of 20 on/10 off for each exercise).  I completed as many reps as I could in the 20 seconds.  Another note:  use a lighter weight than you’re used to.  The first 2 sets are deceptively easy but trust me, by the end, you are going to wonder why a 10 pound dumbbell is causing you so much pain!

  • Hang Cleans
  • Standing DB Shoulder Press
  • DB Lateral Raise
  • DB Front Raise
  • DB Bent-Over Raise
  • Behind-the-Back Barbell Shrug

So, with each exercise lasting only 4 minutes with a few minutes rest between each cycle, the entire workout lasted about 45 minutes for me.  It was fast, it was intense, and I literally couldn’t lift my water bottle to my mouth.  So, give it a try!  And, if you’re like me and have to wash your hair upside-down in the shower when you’re done, you did it right!