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Here in Central Florida, the cooler months are upon us and if you are anything like me, training or running a triathlon in the cold weather is not really something that sounds like fun. So what do you do if you want to maintain your excellent fitness that you acquired over the summer? I am a busy parent myself and I love finding workouts that enable me to gain a lot from a minimum amount of work. Allow me to introduce you to Tabata-style workouts.

You can perform these routines at home or whenever you want. They will work both your anaerobic fitness and will allow you to accomplish what you need to do in exactly four minutes. Yes, you read correctly…a four-minute workout. Let me explain. Tabata workouts consist of twenty seconds of high-intensity interval training (often referred to as H.I.I.T.) followed immediately by ten seconds of rest. Eight of these sets result in a four-minute workout that will have you gasping for air and collapsing on the floor by the time you are done. You can do any type of exercise during a Tabata, but there are some great videos on YouTube out there. My favorite Tabatas involve multiple movements at the same time. My four favorite exercises are sit-ups, pushups, jump squats and high-knee jumps. My favorite tabata style workout is from fitness pro, Brad Guothro. 

If you are training or trying to maintain fitness for a sprint race or triathlon, these workouts are great because they are purely anaerobic and will help you simulate how you will during your race. In addition, you will work your type 2b muscle fibers, which are your fast-twitch muscle fibers that enable you push your intensity. For recovery, be sure to have a protein smoothie within twenty minutes after your workout (plant-based protein is my favorite) and take it easy for a day or two if you are not used to them. Four minutes of all out, 100% effort can really take a toll on you if you are not ready for it. Visit my YouTube page for a quick Tabata for busy parents.