Popular workouts seem to be getting shorter and shorter in duration. With long work-weeks and hectic schedules, short workouts are appealing from an efficiency standpoint. But are they effective?

medball-russian-twistAn ACE (American Council on Exercise) sponsored study examined this question. The Wisconsin study involved 16 people between the ages of 20 and 47 who were considered moderately fit to very fit. These men and women completed two Tabata style, 20-minute workouts. Tabata is a form of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) that began with speed skaters in Japan. The study subjects performed:

  • 5 minute Warm-Up
  • 4 Rounds of Tabata with each Round including:
    • 8 Cycles: 20 seconds Work/10 seconds Rest
    • During Work – performed as many reps as possible of pre-practiced exercises (with proper form mastered)
    • 1 Minute of rest between each round
  • 10 minute Cool-Down

Researchers measured participants’ heart rate, blood lactate, and RPE (rating of perceived exertion). All results fell within industry standards for being effective for improving cardio fitness and body composition, as well as promoting weight loss. Subjects burned between 240 and 360 calories in 20 mintues.

Researchers concluded these challenging, short Tabata style workouts are an effective total body workout. They said to perform them 2 to 3 times per week with 24-72 hours of rest between sessions.

The ACE Study Workout

Tabata-workout

  • Warm-Up (5 minutes)
  • Round 1 (4 minutes)
    • 2 sets High Knees
    • 2 sets Plank Punches
    • 2 sets Jumping Jacks
    • 2 sets Side Skaters
    • REST 1 MINUTE
  • Round 2 (4 minutes)
    • 2 sets Jump Rope
    • 2 sets High/Low Boat
    • 2 sets Line Jumps
    • 2 sets Push-Ups
    • REST 1 MINUTE
  • Round 3 (4 minutes)
    • 2 sets Burpees
    • 2 sets Russian Twists
    • 2 sets Squats
    • 2 sets Lunges
    • REST 1 MINUTE
  • Round 4 (4 minutes)
    • 2 sets Mountain Climbers
    • 2 sets Push-Ups
    • 2 sets Split Squats
    • 2 sets Box Jumps
  • Cool-Down (10 minutes)

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