6 Ways to Increase Tabata Intensity

The original Tabata training is based on 20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest for 8 sets; lasting 4 minutes. But as you get stronger, faster and fitter, you’ll need to be challenged even more to keep on improving your fitness levels. There are a number of ways you can increase intensity of your Tabata workouts.

Add More Sets

If you feel like you’ve hit the repetitions plateau, add more sets. Do your routine for 5 minutes instead of 4. Increase by a minute each week.

Add More Rounds

A HIIT Tabata round is 4 minutes. Most beginners will start with 2-3 rounds of Tabata. If you feel like you’re just blasting through the first rounds, do more.

Add More Exercises to Each Round

Most Tabata rounds consist of 2 exercises working agonist and antagonist muscle groups. A common round would be Pushups and Let Me Ups, targeting chest and back muscles. But if you add additional exercises whether to work same muscle groups or different ones your workout’s intensity will skyrocket. One of my favourite shoulder torching Tabata routines includes:

  • Seated Military Press
  • Lateral Dumbbell Raise
  • Face Pulls, and
  • Front Dumbbell Raise

Try that for 8 minutes straight.

Add More Resistance

By adding additional weight, stronger bands or heavier medicine balls you’ll notice that you can’t perform just as well. Work with additional resistance until you’ve reached your previous level of performance. Rinse and repeat.

Cut Your Rest Time

Try cutting your time each week by one second. Go from 10 to 9 seconds. Eventually you’ll have to stop at 4 or 5 seconds so that you have enough time to move and get in position for the next exercise, unless you structure your routine that requires almost no time to switch.

Increase Your Work Time

Opposite of cutting rest time, try increasing work time. Add a second each week, or two if you have the courage. To make it even more intense, cut the rest time and increase work time simultaneously.

Let me hear from you? How do you increase your Tabata workout Intensity?