The Workout You Can Do in 20 Minutes

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The Workout You Can Do in 20 Minutes

By Lindsey Theis. CREATED Mar 25, 2014

Omaha, NE- Mcklayala is a single mother of two, owns her own business, has another job she works full time, and volunteers.

"When it came to time, workouts would be the first to go," she said.

Then she heard of this thing called Tabata.

"Everyone has 20 minutes," she said.

Tabata is one of the many workouts trainer Dan Wells designs for his clients at Real Results Fitness Omaha, near 132nd and L.

"Tabata works like this. You work for 20 seconds on. And you rest for 10 seconds," Wells said.

Tabata training was discovered by Japanese scientist Dr. Izumi Tabata and a team of researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo.

The Tabata workout lasts only four minutes, but is one of the longest four minutes you'll encounter. The structure of the program is workout hard for 20 seconds, and rest for 10 seconds. You do this for 8 rounds. The idea is to pack as many repetitions as possible into the sets of 20-second work periods. As a result, when the sixth effort rolls around, your muscles will be filled with lactic acid, making a simple exercise like lunges more difficult that you could've imagined.

It's a form of high intensity interval training (H.I.I.T.), and has shown to be a good choice for people who don't have the time to spend an hour on the treadmill:

-A 2011 study presented at the American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, just 2 weeks of high-intensity intervals improves your aerobic capacity as much as 6 to 8 weeks of endurance training.
-One 2006 study found that after 8 weeks of doing HIIT workouts, subjects could bicycle twice as long as they could before the study, while maintaining the same pace.
-A 1996 study that found, in just six weeks of testing, a 28 percent increase in the subjects' anaerobic capacity, plus a 14 percent increase in their VO2max.

This difficulty is by design. In Tabata workouts, you never have a full recovery between sets. Your heart rate should be at or near the max and you should be out of breath by the end of a four-minute session.

"Seeing people just push past it and get to those last few seconds is very amazing to see," Wells said.

"As opposed to, you know, one of those 45 minute classes where you look at those clocks and it's 15 minutes and you're thinking, 'I haven't even had a rest yet!' So sometimes these 20 seconds, ten seconds off, it's kind of nice. It's like all I have to do is go for 20 seconds and I'm going, I'm going. Push, Push, Push!" Spore said.

For more information on Real Results, visit: