Tabata training is a form of interval training that involves short bursts of all out effort (20 seconds) followed by a brief period of rest (10 seconds). This sequence is repeated 8 times for a grand total of 4 minutes for each exercise. The great thing about Tabata training is that it can be done with almost any exercise (strength and/or cardio) and can be completed quickly for those who don't have a lot of time to work out any given day. I usually try to do about 5 different combos of strength/cardio Tabatas for a total workout time of 20 minutes.
The key to Tabata training is being sure you are going all out during those 20 seconds, pushing out as many reps as possible while still maintaining proper form. Here are just a few examples of some exercises that work great for Tabatas...
Burpees (or squat thrusts)
The possibilites are endless and your results can be amazing. High intensity interval training (or HIIT) has been shown to be more beneficial for fat loss as compared to steady-state cardio activities. The reason for this is that HIIT causes more calories and fat to be burned POST workout meaning that you will still be melting that stubborn fat long after your workout is over. This has to do with what is called EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption). With aerobic training, once you're done exercising, you're body is done burning calories. With HIIT, your body continues to burn calories from your workout as long as 2 days later. Pretty neat, huh?
So give Tabata training a try. It certainly isn't for the weak-hearted, but it will give you a great fat-blasting workout in very little time!