Welcome to the latest edition of Workout Wednesday! You may have noticed I am a little obsessed with the Tabata protocol. Tabata is 20 seconds of work, followed by 10 seconds of rest for 8 rounds totaling four minutes. I use them a lot on my Workout Wednesday posts, I use them at my bootcamps (great for group fitness!) and even in my own workouts. 

I must point out that a true Tabata is a near 100% effort for 20 seconds/followed by complete rest for 10 seconds. This is not exactly what we are doing here, so it is more of a play on the Tabata protocol, than an exact Tabata workout. 

If four minutes doesn't seem like enough of a workout for you, try doing burpees (or other intense exercise) during the 20 second work periods and see how you feel after four minutes. Hah. Otherwise, I stack them with a one minute rest period between each four minute Tabata.

This is a treadmill workout using my version of Tabata protocol. You can download a free Tabata timer app for your phone to easily track the intervals or use a (---> affiliate link) GymBoss timer like I do.

I don't like to assign speeds (mph) or paces to workouts published on this blog because everyone is so different. A 6.0 mph speed (10 minute mile pace) on the treadmill may feel like a leisurely jog to one person and be an all-out sprint to another. Always work at your own level. Please don't try to hit some arbitrary pace because a workout on Pinterest told you to. 

This is why I prefer the RPE chart. The RPE chart levels the playing field. Rate of Perceived Exertion allows you to work at the level that is appropriate for your fitness levels based on how you feel and your breathing rate. 



Start by warming up for four steady minutes (no Tabata) at a 2-3 on the RPE chart. This is to get your blood circulating and prepare your body for a more intense workout. 


We will start to increase the intensity in this four minute Tabata. Choose a speed that will put you at a RPE 4-6. This may be a jog. You should be able to carry on a conversation at this pace. Cycle through the 20 seconds work/10 seconds rest protocol for four minutes. 

*During the rest intervals you can choose to lower the speed on the treadmill to a walking pace but with only 10 seconds to rest it doesn't give you much time for the belt to slow down before you need to speed back up into the work phase. Some people may choose to simply jump to the sides of the treadmill during the 10 second rest phase and let the belt roll. This could be dangerous, we don't want to fall off the back of the treadmill when we hop back on. Try at your own risk. I personally always choose to go with staying on the slowing belt during the rest. Safety first. 


Active rest at RPE 2-3 for one minute before starting your next cycle. This is usually a walk or very slow jog.


This cycle we are going to up the intensity a little more to a RPE 7-8 from the above chart. You should be working hard during the 20 second work intervals. 


Active rest at RPE 2-3 for one minute before starting your next cycle. 


This is your last high intensity cycle. Work at a RPE 7-8 again during the 20 second work intervals and RPE 2-3 during the 10 second rests. This is your last Tabata. Make it count. 


Cool down for at least two minutes by walking.

Give it a try! Like this post? Please consider sharing or saving to your favorite Pinterest workout board.