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tabata intervals

Tabata Intervals: 5 Mistakes Most People make when doing Tabata Intervals

Tabata workouts take only four minutes to complete, bringing excitement to someone with busy schedules. It’s a golden opportunity to fulfill their fitness goal. As easy as Tabata intervals seem, you may deny yourself the benefits by deviating from the actual process.

Many trainees without substantial knowledge of Tabata workout do it the wrong way. Some are comfortable with an interval training type without understanding the basics. The 4-minute ultra-intense protocol created explicitly for Olympic speed skating differs from what people do nowadays.

This is the chance you’ve got to correct what you have been doing wrong for a long time. We will discuss five mistakes you might be making with your Tabata interval.


Key Takeaway

Tabata intervals are high-intensity workouts that anyone can complete in under four minutes. Although it is a short and simple exercise, trainees make mistakes that prevent effective results. These mistakes include not continuing your routine, inconsistency, not pushing yourself enough, and doing it for fat loss.


What are Tabata Intervals?

If you have ever heard of the 20-10 formats, they talked about the Tabata interval. A workout pattern sees you engage in active exercise for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds of rest. This continues for eight rounds until you complete the four minutes interval. That makes a Tabata cycle.

What makes Tabata’s interval unique is the flexibility. It doesn’t have to be the same set of exercises every day. After achieving a particular fitness goal, you can shuffle the intervals to work towards a new objective. Exercises variation is allowed when doing the active intervals.

However, it is advisable to warm up for five minutes before starting the Tabata interval. Bringing cold muscles into high-intensity workouts can cause a tear, leading to muscle soreness. After the warm-up, relax your nerves for another five minutes before beginning the exercises.


A Four-Minute Interval! Can it be Effective?

This question pops up every time, especially from novices. You think about people who spend hours in the gym for many days, and the time it takes to see desirable results. It makes you wonder if Tabata interval can offer you anything.

We have the answer to your skepticism. Although Tabata workouts run for four minutes, it is an ultra-intense protocol. Not doing it the right way is what denies you the fitness benefits.

Tabata intervals offer you cardiovascular benefits and improved anaerobic threshold simultaneously. It implies that you can exercise beyond your limit without feeling tired based on lactate accumulation. Every athlete wants to be active in their respective niche without fatigue. That is what you get from Tabata exercises.

As a high-intensity workout, Tabata intervals force your body to use more energy. After the exercise, you will burn more calories, which increases your metabolism. These are just a few of the benefits it offers. You can boast of living a healthy life if you make Tabata workouts a habit.

tabata intervals

Image Source: Yuri Elkaim

The Mistakes that People make when doing Tabata Interval

Funnily, people who make these mistakes can’t see it themselves. They believe they are doing the right thing. Now, let’s see if you follow the real Tabata protocol created by Coach Izumi Tabata.


Lack of Continuity

People based their expectations on the assertion that Tabata intervals as an ultra-intense protocol are highly effective. So they want to start seeing results after a few days of starting the exercise. It doesn’t work that way in this situation. That mindset is wrong and has been why many people stop doing the exercises.

If you are in this category, you are making a big mistake. Keep doing the exercise and enjoy every bit of it. Once you become passionate about it, it becomes a must-do workout for you. In the long run, you will start benefitting from your perseverance.


Lack of Consistency

Doing a workout is one thing; being consistent is another. Consistency is the key to achieving your fitness objectives. It is wrong to miss your routine and expect to realize your fitness objectives. Spending a week doing your Tabata intervals and skipping one or two weeks is a waste of time.

Apart from fitness, we need to stay focused to realize significant results in anything we do. So, if you want to be successful with your Tabata interval, create a schedule and adhere to it strictly. Staying away for days brings you back to the starting point.


Not Pushing Yourself Enough

As you already know that the exercise lasts for four minutes with active 20 seconds and 10 seconds rest. Within that moment, you need to give it your all. Always have it in mind that you are doing it for a purpose – to stay fit. Don’t start thinking about the resting period.

Try to get better at what you do after every round. Make it a seamless activity without thinking about other things. The thought of the calories you want to burn or rest as soon as possible is not ideal.


Omitting the 10-seconds rest

We quickly develop the mindset that we are pro after doing some exercises. As such, we believe resting is not a must since we still can continue. Your adrenalin is on the high side, and you want to keep pushing hard. If you are the one, you are deviating from the Tabata protocol.

It is a process purposely divided to help you maximize the fitness benefits. The 10-second rest is a must because your body needs to relax after the energy burst. Omitting the 10 seconds rest implies that you are not doing Tabata interval. You are already on another workout plan.


Doing Tabata for Fat Loss

What you need to understand is that everyone has different body systems. So it is only normal to see different results even when we do the same thing. Without any doubt, you will get excellent results from Tabata intervals. However, it may not be weight loss for you.

No one ever mentioned that Tabata helps with losing fats. We think it would work for fat loss, but no research supports our thought. What you can expect from these exercises is aerobic and anaerobic performance.



Tabata intervals offer many benefits to your body, considering you do what is expected of you. Be ready to push yourself to the limit and never feel you are too good to get some rest. To become fit is a long process that requires patience, perseverance, and focus. Keep this in mind and develop a passion for what you do. The result is what matters.


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