Tabata is a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) fitness protocol that increases VO2 max, burns 15 calories per minute, increases excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) and is adaptable to most fitness levels. One Tabata lasts four minutes and consists of eight 20/10 intervals (referred to as rounds). During the 20 seconds, an all-out effort (get breathless) is encouraged, or an RPE of 9-10 on a modified Borg scale. Every 20 seconds of work is followed by a 10-second rest. You can use a Tabata timer app or download Total Body Tabata (TBT) timed music from Muscle Mixes to keep everyone focused and on time.
Although the park we used in this video features stairs, curbs, a dock and a park bench, you can adapt these exercises for your location to meet the needs of your participants. Always check to make sure the outdoor workout area is safe for hands and feet (no holes or gravel).
Spend five to seven minutes warming up with movement in all three planes of motion, planks for upper-body and core warm-up, and dynamic stretching. Each Tabata features two exercises—urge your participants to focus first on form, next on range of motion and, finally, speed. Between Tabata rounds, have participants take one minute to recover and hydrate while they keep moving; during this time, demonstrate the next pair of Tabata exercises. If you notice participants getting too breathless, encourage them to lengthen their recovery time by resting through one 20/10 round.