Keep Up The HIIT This Winter With These Full-Body Tabata Workouts

They'll help you burn fat and build muscle.


Megan Flemmit |

Tired of your regular workout routine? Why not add a tabata style workout to your fitness programme. The variety of the moves, plus the intensity at which you’ll train will keep things interesting, helping you maintain your fitness this winter.

Related: Why Ice Baths Can Help You Bounce Back From Tough Workouts

When it comes to tabata, Ian Pienaar founder of Thrive Fitness, a new gym based in Hout Bay that offers tabata style workouts, cautions against over-training. “The objective is progression. You want to keep pushing your body a little bit harder with each session, but if you push your body too hard in the beginning, you’re bound to fail,” he explains. “If you have stress levels that are already high because of work, adding in more stress to your body is going to cause it to shut down.”

For those who haven’t trained in a few years, he recommends starting out with two HIIT sessions a week. If you’ve led a sedentary lifestyle for a few months, then he suggests starting with three sessions a week, resting for one day between sessions. Once your body gets used to the sessions you can progress to four or five sessions a week.

To help you on your quest to burn fat and build muscle, Ian along with trainers, Brent Janari and Brad Tooley devised these workouts. The best part? Both workouts are around 30 minutes each – short enough to fit into your lunch break.

Related: Do You Skip Your Lunch Break? Then You’re Losing Out On R500 000

Workout 1

1. Perform each exercise for 20 seconds and then rest for ten seconds.

2. Perform Circuit A twice, then rest for 40 seconds before moving on to Circuit B.

3. Continue until you’ve worked through all the circuits.

4. Repeat the entire workout.

Circuit A:

  1. Assault Bike
  2. Incline Dumbbell Press
  3. Goblet Lunge
  4. Jackknife

Circuit B

  1. Medicine Ball Slam
  2. TRX Low Row
  3. Barbell Squat
  4. Plank Hip Taps

Related: Why Ice Baths Can Help You Bounce Back From Tough Workouts

Circuit C

  1. Air Runner
  2. Resistance Band Bent Over Row to Lateral Raise
  3. Kettlebell Swing
  4. BOSU V-ups

Circuit D

  1. Rower
  2. Pistol Squat
  3. Kettlebell Shoulder Press
  4. Russian Twist with Ball

Workout 2

This tabata workout consists of ten exercises. Five of them are complex exercises and the other five are isolation exercises. “With the complex exercises if you push really hard you’re going to be really tired,” explains Ian. “You’re using all your muscle groups and giving it your all. While the isolation exercises are more for recovery, but it’s active recovery – you’re not getting the heart rate as high.”

Related: Build Major Strength With This Full-Body Kettlebell Workout

Perform each exercise in the circuit for 20 seconds, then rest for ten seconds before moving on to the next exercise. Complete the circuit twice, then rest for 60 seconds. Perform the entire workout thrice.

The Moves:

  1. Sled push
  2. Bicep curls
  3. Hammer Slams
  4. Plank Build Ups
  5. Battle Rope
  6. Side Plank Dips
  7. Push Up and Tyre Flips
  8. Reverse Crunch
  9. Chin Ups
  10. Shoulder Press

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