4-Minute Workout: Build Lean Muscle Mass With The Tabata Protocol

There is the belief that weight training is the best way to build lean muscle mass, but this is a myth. Plyometric training, which incorporates jump movements into body weight training exercises, is an effective way to build lean muscle mass, as is high intensity interval training (HIIT). Tabata Intervals, aka the 4-minute workout, are very tough, and it might just be the hardest 4-minutes of your entire life packed into one workout, but the research behind Tabata protocols is encouraging since its founder, Izumi Tabata, discovered that fat burn is far higher when exercise intensity is pushed to its limits. As the oxygen is depleted after just a minute of high intensity training (which you will feel as you pant heavily), and the body has depleted its glycogen (blood sugar) stores, the body seeks to regain that energy by turning to fat. Tabata protocols are anaerobic training, as this type of exercise does not use oxygen to burn fuel. During the first two 20-second intervals, the body is using the aerobic system to burn fuel, but when the oxygen is soon depleted, the anaerobic system sustains the workout. The heart rate is pushed far higher than the target heart rate zone, but it is best to consult a doctor before practicing this type of training, as it does require a general level of fitness.

The Tabata Protocol

Remember to warm up the muscles before this 4-minute workout. Gentle skipping is an effective way to loosen the muscles. Choose body weight training, including press-ups, body weight squats, burpees, or even perform the high intensity-training workout with a jump rope.

20-seconds of high intensity training

10-seconds rest

20-seconds of high intensity training

10-seconds rest

20-seconds of high intensity training

10-seconds rest

20-seconds of high intensity training

10-seconds rest

20-seconds of high intensity training

10-seconds rest

20-seconds of high intensity training

10-seconds rest

20-seconds of high intensity training

10-seconds rest

20-seconds of high intensity training

10 seconds rest

It’s only a 4-minute workout, but at completion you should be feeling absolutely exhausted…even nauseous.

Useful Equipment To Use for an Effective Tabata Workout

Tabata training is best performed on cardio equipment, e.g. a bike, rowing machine, or cross trainer. A treadmill will not work as efficiently, as by the time it takes the treadmill to slow down and provide the 10-second break; it’s time to go all out on the 20-second high intensity training again. It is important that the body is given that short rest to regain oxygen levels. However, body weight squats are the perfect way to build lean muscle in the legs and butt. Aim to perform twenty squats in 20-seconds, and you will gradually find that you can’t complete as many, as lactic acid starts to build in the muscles. The next day you should feel Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) after this intense 4-minute workout.

How Often Should Tabata Be Performed?

Do not aim to perform the 4-minute workout more than three times per week, as the heart and lungs require time to heal from such intense training. Remember to train as hard as you can, even if you feel like you want to vomit, as this training is incredibly taxing on the body, but the fitness benefits it brings is worth the pain. As a bonus, this type of training creates a magnificent “after burn”, which ensures that the body is continuously burning fat for up to 48-hours afterwards, dependent on the exercise intensity.

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About the author: Audacious Angel

I write erotica under the pseudonym, Audacious Angel. I am also the author of "The Horny Book of Happiness", a fun empowering sex guide for men, women and couples, available as an eBook on Bibliocracy, Smashwords, and Kindle, paperback on Amazon, or hardback on Lulu. I run a sexually informative website, "Girl With A Dirty Mind" and health and fitness website, "Tough Workouts." I enjoy writing content on sexuality, spirituality, and health and fitness.


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