It is all in the timing; the clock matters and makes an exercise regime more challenging and intense than usual, and different from each other in approach while being similar in benefits. Tabata and Grit are both HIIT programmes (high-intensity interval training). In a HIIT programme, workouts are performed with intense burst exercises followed by less intense or rest/recovery periods. These workouts are short, intense but get your heart rate up and burn more calories in less time. Both forms have caught the fancy of fitness enthusiasts across the country.
In a Tabata workout, one works out hard for 20 seconds, rests for 10 seconds, and completes eight rounds of one exercise spread over four minutes followed by one minute of rest before starting another round of a different exercise that spans to 20 minutes in total. “A sample Tabata workout includes four minutes each of push-ups, bodyweight squats, burpees, and mountain climbers. One should start with push-ups. Perform them for 20 seconds at high-intensity. Rest for 10 seconds, and then go back to doing push-ups for 20 seconds.
Once you complete eight sets of push-ups, rest for one minute. Next, move on to squats and repeat the sequence of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off. Once you finish eight sets of squats, rest for one minute, and then do burpees. After burpees, finish the workout with mountain climbers,” says Kiran Sawhney, Delhi-based personal fitness trainer and founder of fitness studio Fitnesolution. The Les Mills Grit series, on the other hand, includes Grit strength, Grit cardio and Grit plyo. “Les Mills Grit workout uses barbell, weight plate and body weight exercises to blast all major muscle groups. It takes cutting-edge HIIT and combines it with inspirational coaches who will be down on the floor with you, motivating you to go harder,” says Farah Vohra, certified fitness trainer, co-founder and partner of F2 Fitness in Mumbai.
But what makes these workouts such a hot favourite? Sawhney explains, “Tabata is a high-energy HIIT workout. It transforms you in not just the way you look at exercise but also the way you perceive it. For years, we’ve been focusing on calories burned during exercise, but research reveals that we should focus on what happens after it is over. Tabata workouts are designed to boost post-exercise caloric burn. Your metabolism keeps burning more calories after the exercise is over.”
Kharagpur-based fitness and yoga trainer, blogger and a mother of two, Neha Bangia Gulati got into Tabata to bump off those extra kilos that she had added to her slender frame during her second pregnancy. “I had been into fitness training since 2011 but started with Tabata as it helped me lop off 16 kg and increased my endurance and stamina. I tried it on my clients as well,” says Gulati, who conducts online and offline classes, and holds fitness workshops in Kolkata.
Tabata workout can be performed anywhere and anytime as it needs no equipment and no gym. That’s the reason many full-time working women and mothers have lapped it up. “My thyroid disorder had made it difficult to lose my post-pregnancy weight. Stepping out to a gym was unthinkable, and so I followed my instructor’s advice seriously and started with Tabata workout at home,” says Sirsa-based Neha Sharma, who lost six kilos in three months under Gulati’s guidance. Though Tabata gives the benefit of one hour of medium intensity workout in 15-20 minutes of high-intensity full-body workout, it can be unduly taxing on the body if not taught or performed correctly, warns Gulati.
“It’s found to improve aerobic capacity by almost 30 per cent when compared to traditional training, and it only lasts for 20 minutes, making it a great option for people who don’t have time to spend in the gym. It can be performed at home. But there is a catch. Since it is of very high intensity, only those who already have a decent level of fitness can perform Tabata. It is not suitable for people with health conditions like hypertension, diabetes and cardiac issues,” advises Prakash Jay, Bengaluru-based personal fitness trainer, founder of FitDrome and Pan India Admin for Chisel Fitness LLP.
While Tabata can be performed at home, Grit workouts can only be done at Les Mills licensed clubs. Vohra, who has been teaching for the last three years, says, “Grit workouts are designed with set exercises that have safety and science at their core. But if one has specific health concerns, check with a doctor. People who have not tried a Grit class before or have not attended any HIIT programme find it extremely challenging.”
One works out hard for 20 seconds, rests for 10 seconds, and completes eight rounds of one exercise spread over four minutes followed by one minute of rest before starting another round of a different exercise that spans to 20 minutes in total.
This workout uses barbell, weight plate and body weight exercises to blast all major muscle groups. It takes cutting-edge HIIT and combines it with inspirational coaches who will be down on the floor with you, motivating you to go harder.