15/30 tabata workout + super-easy timing trick

by Kim on January 2, 2014

Hey, it’s National Workout Day!

Well, not technically (and that might not actually exist), but I think there are traditionally a couple extra faces at the gym on January 2.

For those of us who are used to being spoiled by rows of empty treadmills and tons of extra elbow room in group classes: let’s be cool about this. No secretly wishing early failure upon the New Years Resolution crowd, or looking forward to the place clearing out again in a few weeks.

And if you’re a fresh National Workout Day participant: BRAVO! Just try to look extra irritated and bored at the gym today, so no one gives you the stink eye for taking their favorite elliptical. (Just kidding.)

In either case, if you’re not up for joining the pandemonium at the gym, I have a quick at-home workout for ya.

This workout was born out of the fact that I recently discovered something called the Tabata Timer. Have you seen this thing?? It’s amazing.

I hate it when workouts are too logistically challenging, with lots of patternless rep counting or clock-watching, but this website (also an app) manages all the timing for you. It tells you exactly when to start, when to rest, when to switch to the next tabata, and when you’re done. Too easy.

During the time you should be doing an exercise, it looks like this:

And it says “WORK” in a weird little robot voice. So that’s a perk.

During rest time, it looks like this:

When there are 3 seconds left before a switch, it starts beeping to warn you. There’s a buzzer sound at the end of the work portion and a whistle sound at the end of the rest period.

Not only does this method save you brain juice, but it can give you a greater sense of urgency, upping your workout intensity, and it forces you to stay on track, so you’re not tempted to take extra-long rests. Triple win.

Anyway, here’s the workout I put together to use with it (not that you have to). There are 15 exercises that you do for 30 seconds each. Repeat twice for a 20 minute workout or 3 times for 30 minutes.

P.S. I’m calling this a tabata because of the timer, even though I think tabatas are technically 4 minutes long, not 10 like these are. My apologies to any tabata purists out there.

tabataHere’s what you want to plug into the Tabata Timer:

tabata timer
Enter 2 or 3 tabatas, depending on the number of times you plan to run through the circuit (aka whether you want a 20 or 30 minute workout).

Also, since you don’t have to count reps or seconds anymore, you might as well throw on some high-tempo jams in the background to keep your intensity up and boredom level down. When I did this workout last night, I used this fun techno workout mix and highly recommend it!

Happy Thursday/Monday! (Right…?)


{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Katie @ Daily Cup of Kate January 5, 2014 at 8:18 pm

Nice workout! Pinned! :) Stay warm tomorrow!
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Carrie @ Eight Crazy Soles January 3, 2014 at 9:24 pm

I LOVE Tabata and I am do happy you shared the Tabata timer!!!!!! I usually do 20 sec then 10 rest 8 times per exercise for 45 minutes. Killer! Interesting all the variations there are. Thanks so much for sharing!
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Giselle@myhealthyhappyhome January 2, 2014 at 11:03 pm

Thursday/Monday… So right! I love Tabata! I use the gymboss app and really like it. Although the robot voice sounds enticing :-) I used to work out at 24 hour and it was a madhouse after the New Years! I just joined a crossfit/Golds gym and it wasn’t too bad today. It’s on the outskirts of town and is pretty small so I’m hoping it continues this way. I hate fighting the crowds!
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Melissa @ Fit 'n' Well Mommy January 2, 2014 at 5:45 pm

I love tabata workouts! When I belonged to a gym, I always dreaded the crowd after Jan 1st. It was so frustrating, but at the same time, I had to give credit to those folks for getting their bums to the gym! Happy New Year!
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Kim January 2, 2014 at 5:06 pm

This Tabata workout looks awesome!! I love that you went 30/10 instead of the traditional 20/10 and I’m definitely in on the 10 minutes over 4!!! That app looks pretty cool – I usually just use my Gym Boss but I might have to check that out!
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Katie @ running4cupcakes January 2, 2014 at 12:50 pm

ahhhh it totally seems like Monday to me!! 2 Mondays in one week isn’t cool. . . except for the fact that tomorrow is Friday, so that helps!


Ali January 2, 2014 at 10:40 am

Haha I love your metaphor for all the new people at the gym – national workout day. So true. That tabata workout looks like a great workout. I love doing those.
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