Log In

Tabata Builder

This 4-week full-body program combines Tabata intervals and reverse-linear periodization for great gains in size, strength, fat loss, and conditioning.

Tabata Builder full body

This isn’t just another Tabata program. Those are a dime a dozen these days on social media. This program is different.

First of all, it’s not a one-off workout like the ones you typically see on Instagram and Pinterest. This is a structured 4-week program that combines foundational lifting exercises, Tabata intervals, and reverse-linear periodization to boost muscle growth and fat loss, as well as strength.

What also makes this routine different is that I’ll be doing it alongside you, posting daily on my social media accounts, as part of my ongoing Train With Jim series here on JimStoppani.com.

So get ready to Tabata in a different way than you ever have before for results you’ve never experienced with fast-paced interval training. Get ready to build more muscle and more strength with my Tabata Builder program.

Tabata Refresher

I’ve covered and incorporated Tabata intervals in many of my programs on JimStoppani.com, but just to make sure we’re clear, here’s what a full Tabata protocol for a given exercise consists of:

8 rounds (sets) of 20 seconds of reps alternated with 10 seconds of rest

Or, expressed in even simpler terms:

8 x 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off (where the 20 seconds on consists of continuous reps of the exercise for the duration)

It only takes 4 minutes (per exercise), but it’s as intense as any type of resistance training you’ve ever done.

Tabata Background

Tabatas were created by Japanese scientist Dr. Izumi Tabata. Dr. Tabata was looking for a method in the gym that would give the Japanese national speed-skating team an edge on the ice. What he discovered was that when he had his athletes perform eight cycles of 20-second high-intensity bouts followed by 10 seconds of rest, they increased both their aerobic (endurance) capacity and anaerobic (quick power) output – two things speed skaters need in spades to be successful, but which don’t typically go hand in hand. In other words, training one usually means the other is taking a backseat.

Tabata isn’t just for athletes, though. It offers many physique-oriented benefits, too. Since it enhances endurance, it boosts your body’s ability to burn more body fat. And since it bolsters explosiveness, it can help you get more reps with a given weight and/or use more weight to get a given number of reps – in other words, what used to be a set of 10 with 200 pounds could soon be 10 reps with 225. This not only crosses over to more strength, but more muscle growth as well, since a greater overload on the muscles will eventually lead to them increasing in size.       

Most people associate Tabatas with aerobic-type exercise (running, cycling, etc.) or with bodyweight calisthenics-style exercises. Yet if you’ve completed my Tabata Weight Blast program, you already know that Tabatas can be done with pretty much any lifting exercise, from bench press to biceps curls and even deadlifts.

Tabata Meets Periodization

With my Tabata Builder program, you don’t start off with the full 8 rounds of 20 seconds of exercise. Instead, you’ll start with just two rounds and increase the number of rounds by two each week. By Week 4, you’ll be doing the full 8 rounds, as described below.

The reason for starting out with lower volume (only 2 rounds/sets of 20 seconds at first) isn’t simply to ease you into Tabatas. It’s because that first week, the weight you’ll use is too heavy to complete eight rounds without needing extra rest – and if you’re resting more than the prescribed 10 seconds between rounds, you’re not really doing Tabatas anymore.

Each week, the weight gets lighter while the number of Tabata rounds (volume) you perform will increase – a reverse-linear periodization scheme. Because you’re starting out with lower volume and gradually working your way up, in Week 4 you’ll be doing full 8-round Tabatas for every exercise, likely with more weight than you’re currently using.

The escalating volume and increasing workloads of the reverse-linear model will help you systematically boost muscle size and strength over the course of the program. By adding in more rounds each week, your body’s ability to recover between rounds is enhanced.

Tabata Add-On Rounds

One element I’ve thrown in for Weeks 1-3 to make up for the lower volume are two “add-on” rounds for each exercise, with additional rest added in (1-2 minutes). So instead of doing only two, four, and six rounds/sets total per exercise, respectively, in Weeks 1, 2, and 3, you’ll be doing four, six, and eight rounds total. (These add-on rounds

... Subscribe to read more!

Train With Dr. Stoppani

Related Articles