Tabata and strength workout! Build and burn

Hi! How’s your afternoon going? Hope you’re having a great one so far! I stayed back from hiking to catch up on some work, and also enjoy a rare treat: a nap! So good.

Today, I have a new workout for you that’s a mixture of two of my favorite things: Tabata and strength. You can read more about Tabata training here, but it’s a time-efficient way to maximize your cardio sessions. You work as hard as possible for 20 seconds, rest for 10, and complete 8 rounds for a total of 4 minutes in each Tabata rounds. Since you’re working to your personal maximum effort, you are huffing and puffing (ready for a break) when the 4 minutes are over. This is where the strength training kicks in. It will give you a chance to recover slightly before hitting the next Tabata round, but keep your heart rate elevated for a higher calorie burn during the entire session.

Here’s what the workout looks like:

Tabata and strength workout


Some guidelines:

-Do not do interval training if you’re just getting started in the fitness world. (And if you are just getting started in the fitness world, here is a big virtual high five from me!!) Interval training and Tabatas are a next step option for those who already have a solid cardio and fitness base. If you’re just getting started in fitness, build up your cardio by completing 30 minutes of moderate cardio most days of the week. (It’s not an all at once thing: start with 5-10 minutes and increase your time slightly each week until you reach 30 minutes.) Beginner friends: you can still totally do this workout. Just skip the Tabata intervals and instead do 4 minutes of cardio of your choice, whether it’s on the spin bike, Stair climber, treadmill or rowing machine. If you need to keep things low impact, taking the jumping out of any jumping moves. For example, instead of jump squats, do regular squats. Instead of jumping lunges, roll with quick (with awesome form) walking lunges.

-As always check with a doc before making any fitness changes. Honor your body and modify as needed!

-Tabata intervals can be completed by totally resting in between each 20 second round, or continuing to move at a low intensity. You could either stop squat jumping entirely for the first round, or continue to squat and keep momentum for 10 seconds. Totally up to you! For some people, they enjoy to continue moving, yet enable themselves to drop their heart rate, while others (like meeee) just like to stop and rest for 10 seconds. 

-Need some burpee and pushup options? Here are some ways to switch it up!

-Don’t forget, we’re almost through the September workout calendar too. Hope you’re enjoying it so far!

Have a lovely night!



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  1. Carrie (This Fit Chick) on September 24, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    I love tabata!!! Quick question, Gina… how do you make your workout graphics? They are so cute!

  2. Amanda @ Slimplify Life on September 24, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    One of my fall goals is to incorporate more strength training into my daily exercise routine. Half the battle is coming up with the exercise, so praise you for this! I’m going to try this one tomorrow morning!

  3. Katie Hood on September 24, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    Oooooh, excited to try this one out!! I love me a quickie…workout, that is. 😉

  4. Linda @ Fit Fed and Happy on September 24, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    Plank then a burpee? Are you Cray Cray?

    I love you for it. 🙂

  5. Noelle @ The Rebel Manifesto on September 24, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    I just gave this one a try – huffing and puffing is an understatement! One of those burns so good kinda deals 😉

  6. Alex @ Get Big, Go To Work on September 24, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    I rarely do Tabata’s as I get stuck in my rut of lifting weights during the week and hitting the track for workouts on the weekend, but I need to mix it up. I was already thinking of switching things up next week, and I think this is a good one to kick off with. I won’t have to think at 5am, just move 🙂

  7. Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment on September 24, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    Hope you are enjoying Canada! Thanks for the workout. 🙂

  8. Maria on September 24, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    Looks like a great workout!! I’ll have to fit it into the schedule some time next week!

  9. Farah on September 24, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    trying this tomorrow! Perfect timing – love your workouts and they always keep me motivated when I “get into a workout rut”! Thanks for posting these!!

  10. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on September 24, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    Are you doing this workout in Canada? Lol! Hope you’re having a great time!

    • Fitnessista on September 24, 2014 at 11:06 pm

      hahah no! hiking owns me this week 🙂 i tested this one out before i left

  11. Livi @ Eat, Pray, Work It Out on September 24, 2014 at 10:29 pm

    This workout is awesome! I’ll definitely be doing it soon!

  12. Katie on September 24, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    love tabata! Can’t wait to try this!

  13. Ashley @ A Lady Goes West on September 24, 2014 at 11:16 pm

    Jump squats, plyo lunges, burpees, planks and push-ups? This sounds like a Les Mills BODYATTACK class. 🙂

    • Fitnessista on September 24, 2014 at 11:29 pm

      just need to choreograph it to the music 😉

  14. nancy wang on September 25, 2014 at 12:55 am

    Hey Gina – I know how much you love and stress strength training, and i’m curious what you think about mixing tabata with strength for the elevated heart rate factor. i’ve read in some places that incorporating cardio into strength can cannibalize your strength and muscle gains – what are your thoughts? especially since i know you like to balance strength and cardio in a reasonable way for yourself (maybe all that bodypump is your non-cardio-integrated strength for now?). curious if fat loss and muscle gain are my goals, if i should split up the two!

  15. Lucie@FitSwissChick on September 25, 2014 at 5:31 am

    I love Tabata!! Great idea to include some strenght, definitely going to hit that this weekend!! Thank you!

  16. Tina Muir on September 25, 2014 at 7:41 am

    Cool! I had always wondered about what Tabata was, and how to do it, now I know. I am starting my taper for chicago, and I want to destroy my 2:49PR so this is out of the question for me right now, but maybe in my down time I can give it a go. I need to switch up my strength routine!

  17. Carly on September 25, 2014 at 9:11 am

    I love short and sweet (okay..not really that sweet) workouts like these, especially since you can do them at home! I often wonder why I pay for a gym membership…. oh right, its for the spin/pump/shred classes. Thanks for posting it!

  18. Erin @ Her Heartland Soul on September 25, 2014 at 9:53 am

    I hope you’re having so much fun in Canada!

  19. Angela @ HonestlyAngela on September 25, 2014 at 10:35 am

    Thanks for the workout Gina! I live strength training but have been getting a little bored with it lately. This looks like a great way to switch it up

  20. Caitlin on September 25, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Your tabata workouts have always been my fave!!!

  21. Tracy @ sprinklesandsquats on September 25, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    This workout looks like a doozy! I used to incorporate tabata into my training a lot, and I somehow got away from it. I’ll definitely have to add this into my weekly workouts! I love rediscovering old workout styles that I used to love – so much fun!

  22. Laura @SheEatsWell on September 25, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    Thanks for this new work out – I often do your Tabata workouts in my living room ha ha…when I am trying to switch up my workout. They leave me feeling amazing (and sore!). Love these workouts so keep em coming!

  23. Laura B @ FitMamaLove on September 25, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    Love Tabata! This looks like a great workout! I love quick and effective!

  24. Sana on September 25, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    This looks like a free workout!! Think it will be just as effective if I don’t jump (I had knee surgery and can no longer jump)

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