tabata™ is fast becoming the most popular form of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) in the world amongst both professional athletes and enthusiastic amateurs.

The official tabata™ method will initially be available as both group exercise classes and small group training sessions, via 50 Fitness First gyms in London. This gives Fitness First’s 110,000 plus London members the chance to experience the official tabata™ method before anyone else in the UK. The class will then be available in the rest of our clubs early 2014.

The official tabata™ method was developed by renowned Japanese scientist Professor Izumi Tabata (recognized as the ‘father’ of HIIT), whilst he was working with the Japanese Olympic speed skating team on their fitness programme. He discovered that short sharp bursts of intense exercise are the best way to get fit fast and effectively. His tabata™ method consists of a combination of 20 seconds of intense exercise, followed by 10 seconds of rest to a rotation that lasts just 4 minutes. The tabata™ method has been scientifically proven to be the most effective way to increase both aerobic and anaerobic fitness.

For the UK launch of the official tabata™ method, Fitness First’s instructors will work with a highly qualified tabata™ master trainer to ensure they are fully equipped to deliver the 20 minute class. The workouts will feature dynamic new moves that have a heart-pumping effect at their core, which aims to get participants up to their maximum heart rate over the crucial four-minute tabata™ rotation. Each 20 minute class will include a mobilisation warm up and cool down routines and once activated, instructors will be introduced to new routines and moves every 6 weeks to ensure participants are kept actively engaged and motivated.

The science:

Tests using the tabata™ system increased VO2 max – the gold standard test for fitness – by 13% in 6 weeks. In contrast a trial using 30 seconds bursts of intensity, with 2-minute rest periods was not as effective even though the exercise was more intense and longer lasting. tabata™ classes will also be short and effective at 20 minutes with the most intense section being just four minutes long. Professor Tabata’s latest research shows that if this is followed correctly, using the authentic tabata™programme, the body will continue to consume more calories for up to 12 hours after the exercise class. These are additional calories to those consumed by the body at rest – so over and above the so-called RMB or Resting Metabolic Rate.


Please consult your doctor before beginning tabata™ exercise routines, especially if you are pregnant, have a history of heart disease or suffer from any other medical condition. tabata™ exercise routines may result in injury, particularly if they are not preformed correctly.