Dear Billy & Hudson,
I’ve been hearing a lot about this new exercise called Tabata, what is it? Will it help me drop a dress size in time for the holiday season?
Janet Bowden

Tabata is a new name for a way of training that we’ve talked about before: Basically it’s high intensity training with 10 seconds of rest every four minutes you work out, and it’s becoming increasingly popular. It is named after a Japanese researcher who showed that four minutes of intense exercise improved cyclists’ fitness quicker than steady, moderate exertion.

The 10 seconds of rest in between each repetition isn’t long enough for your heart rate to drop, therefore it stays elevated and builds cardio strength. The kind of exercises you do strengthen muscle at the same time, so you get the best of both worlds while making you look more sculpted and leaner.

Instead of having to spend hours on the treadmill, Tabata style training only takes about 20 minutes and, because you don’t need any equipment, you can do it anywhere.

As far as using it for weight loss, it ticks the boxes in terms of burning calories while you’re working out and building muscle, which burns more calories overall. Combine this exercise with a healthy eating plan and yes, you should be able to tone and tighten up.

As with all new exercises, make sure you’re healthy before you start and that you’re using the correct form to avoid injury.

Here is how you do it:

  • Warm up for 3-5 minutes
  • Do 8-12 repetitions of exercise*, depending on your fitness level
  • Rest for 10 seconds, repeat the interval
  • Rest for 1 minute, move on to next exercise*
  • Each interval should take4 minutes.

*Exercises recommended include: burpees, jump squats, push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, monkey jumps and super lunges.

Billy Katz and Hudson Ellis are the co-owners of Simply Fit gyms. Read more tips from them in Renaissance Publishing’s e-newsletter. Sign up by visiting