It’s been a while since I’ve tried something that was out of my comfort zone. For the first year and a half of Kevin’s life I had such limited time that I used the time I had to do what I love: running. I didn’t branch out much from there, even though I kept telling myself I would. Finally, a friend encouraged me to try a class she had been taking at the gym called Tabata Bootcamp. After she told me about it I realized it was actually taught by a friend of mine, Gina, and I was even more excited about trying it out. Gina is the instructor at my gym who first introduced me to cycling and body pump over 3 years ago. Throughout the last few years she’s become a friend who I feel so lucky to know!
At my gym, Tabata Bootcamp is a 30 minute high intensity interval training (HIIT) class. It consists of short periods of hard work followed by even shorter periods of rest. The exercises are done for either 40, 30, or 20 seconds, and since you’re working for a short period of time you really try to do it at an all-out effort. As Gina says, “You can do anything for 40 seconds!” Each set or cycle of exercises has 8 rounds, and we usually do 4-5 sets in a class… I think! Sometimes it’s just a big blur of sweat and I don’t know what’s happening 🙂 Besides being an awesome full-body workout it also has another benefit. Because it’s a HIIT based class you continue to burn 250-350 additional calories once the class is over. That’s a great after burn! Here’s a good article that explains how this type of interval training works and helps you burn so many calories and fat.
Here are all the exercises I could think of that have been used in Tabata Bootcamp at my gym. This isn’t all of them, obviously! Gina is always looking for new ones for us to try and I can’t remember them all!
- High knee run
- Burpees (with or without a pushup)
- Mountain climbers (with or without gliders under feet- OUCH!)
- Push-ups (on or off the Step 360)
- Tricep push-ups (on or off the Step 360)
- Tricep dips
- Walking plank
- Plank jacks
- Crab walk
- Squat pulse
- Squat bicep curl
- Squat overhead press
- Squat jump
- Walking lunges
- Lunge hop
- Russian twist (with or without a ball)
- Bicycle crunches
- Toe-touch crunch
- Jump on and off Step 360
- Step up and down Step 360
- Speed skaters (with or without gliders under feet)
- Froggy jump
- Split jumps
Some of these exercises require only body weight to do, and some require other equipment as you can see in the photo below. We have used an Ugi ball (similar to a medicine ball), resistance bands, gliders that go under our hands or feet (those things are the death of me), a mat, a Step 360 (platform with inflated chambers underneath, weights, and of course- WATER! Every exercise can be made harder or easier with modifications, and Gina always demonstrates that. I’m not going to lie, I had to (and still do) modify these frequently. I’ll do some of my pushups on my knees or will opt to not hold a ball or resistance band. I’m slowly letting go of the modifications as I get stronger though!
I have been going to class for about 6 weeks now, and since it changes every time it really doesn’t get much easier. It still kicks my butt and leaves me totally empty, but in a good way. I finish class completely spent and drenched with sweat. Knowing that I only have to work hard for 30 minutes really keeps me motivated and helps me get the most out of the workout. I asked Gina how she plans what we will do during class, and she said part of her training to teach this style of class is to learn which exercises compliment each other and how to pair them up to work the whole body. She does a great job, because I can feel it everywhere when I am done and especially the next day! Since starting to incorporate this type of workout into my weekly routine I’ve noticed changes in my body and have lost a few pounds too. Crazy, because it’s only a 30 minute class! Burn baby burn!
If you are interested in this type of class there are a ton of Tabata-style workouts online to try. Searching “Tabata” on Youtube (one of my favorite free online resources for exercise) 315,000 results come up! You can also find Tabata timers online (here and here) or download a Tabata timer app. I definitely recommend trying it in a class with a fitness professional first though, because it’s important to learn proper form and to do it safely since it is so intense.
I am so glad I tried this new class that took me out of my comfort zone! I know it has already made me stronger, inside and out.