Fittest Loser Workplace Tip: Tabata a short, powerful workout

If you're looking to get healthier at work, you might consider trading your spreadsheets for tabata.

Never heard of it?

Tabata training is a high-intensity interval training workout that lasts just four minutes. You go nuts for 20 seconds, take a 10 second rest and then repeat that cycle until you hit 4 minutes.

Tabata workouts are perfect for the office. You can get your heart pumping no matter how limited your time is, and you'll burn calories fast - 300 calories in a lightning-fast 20-minute workout. They're also good for lowering your blood pressure. Who doesn't need that at work?

It's critical you really push yourself for the 20 seconds. If you phone it in, you'll miss out on the benefits.

It's easy to craft your own tabata workout. Just pick something you like to do, like running, squat jumps, mountain climbers or burpees. (OK, no one likes burpees, but you get the idea.) Do them all for a cycle and repeat, or just do one for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 and repeat.

The timing is important. You'll lose track if you try to count in your head. There are lots of timers and timer apps out there. I use Totally Tabata app, which comes with a few workouts, plus lets you craft your own. It keeps your time and tells you the next exercise in your routine. You can also extend your workout beyond 4 minutes if you want.

Don't want to be a sweaty mess at work? You can also use the tabata method for strength training or an ab workout.

Here's one I like for triceps:

Exercise 1: Tricep dips (use stable chair or stairs at work)

Exercise 2: Leg extensions

Exercises 3: Chair or wall squats

Exercise 4: Leg extensions (sit in chair or on step and extend one leg at a time)

Do 20 seconds of each exercise, one at a time, followed by 10 seconds of rest until you hit 4 minutes.

Fittest Loser workplace tip: Hit the stairs without breaking a sweat

Fittest Loser Workplace Challenge

More than 50 teams are competing in our Fittest Loser Workplace Challenge. Each week, we'll share tips on getting fit at work. For more, see

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