4-Minute Bodyweight Fat Loss Tabata Workout

I know we all get a little busy and flat out don’t have the time to workout…but does this mean we should never workout?

This is the problem I want to solve with my 4 minute fat loss tabata workout.

What you say Josh!?

Tabatas are basically this really cool and fast way to get an awesome fat loss workout in just about 4 minutes and have more results than you would if you spent an hour running on the treadmill.

And I’m not making this guy up, he was a real researcher in Japan and made a HUGE contribution to the fat loss world when he introduced tabatas into our repertoires.

The Tabata Protocol, which it’s officially referred to was used by the Japanese speed skating teams and they found that those who used this training program actually increased their aerobic and anaerobic thresholds, meaning they could quickly increase how hard and how long they could skate.

Tabatas are also a great for conditioning as well.  If you’re playing sports or if you’re into MMA then doing the Tabata Protocol will be a fast and efficient way for you to take your game to the next level.  But one thing I have to stress, even though they only take 4-minutes to complete they are performed with MAXIMUM all-out effort.  This isn’t the time to grab your juicebox and take a nap.

But to be honest and up-front with you, you’re also going to have to have some consistent diet changes if you plan on losing actual weight, you can’t out-train a bad diet and even though you’re becoming better conditioned through tabatas, it’ll be hard to see the scale go down when you’re slamming Taco Bell at night.

That being said, if you haven’t worked out since Alf was on TV then I suggest progressing your way up until you can handle these Tabata Protocols because they’re no joke.  The idea is simple enough that a 10 year old can do them but if you’re out of shape like a 4-sided triangle then you’re going to find yourself hanging on to dear life.

Dr. Tabata was a fat loss Godfather

One more excuse I’m going to knock from your list is having to go to the gym or needing a giant Boflex to do your workouts.  Well this 4 minute tabata workout uses only your bodyweight and will have you losing fat fast.  I’ve always been a huge fan of the bodyweight-only type of training, and if you don’t have any injuries to deal with, then it’ll totally be a great way to burn fat and build muscle.

So how does this whole tabata thing work you may ask?  Well it’s basically a 4-exercise circuit and you perform 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest.  After you complete all 4 exercises you then repeat it one more time.  Simple enough?

I’ve also included various level progressions for you hardcore guys out there who need that extra push.  You can also do this 4 minute tabata workout at the end of your regular workout for an awesome metabolic finisher that will put you over the edge.  Just keep a puke bucket nearby if you can’t take the HEAT.

And if you’re heart rate isn’t racing by the time you finish this fast 4-minute workout then let me know and I’ll literally do 100 pushups for wasting your time.  Do we have a deal?

Enjoy the bodyweight tabata workout and let me know if you make it through!

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  1. heather

    July 28, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    Can u show a work out for the core& abs???


  2. Josh Schlottman

    July 28, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    Sure Heather, does anybody else want a fat blasting ab/core workout?


  3. Ryan

    July 28, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    RE: Fat blasting ab/core workout..

    That would be awesome Josh!!


  4. Huu

    July 29, 2010 at 12:53 am

  5. Ivan

    July 30, 2010 at 4:37 am

    Hey josh. Sure!! Love the workouts you’re showing… They have taken a big part in my training!! Thx very much


  6. Andy

    August 5, 2010 at 5:40 pm


    I must say your success inspires me. I am a personal trainer in Ohio and came across your website checking out trx exercises on youtube. I am curious if you would like to give a presentation to our trainer’s about how to establish yourself as a professional independent personal trainer.


    Andy Irwin


    • Josh Schlottman

      August 9, 2010 at 3:28 pm

      Hey Andy, sure email me through the contact page and we’ll talk


  7. Steve

    August 10, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    Wow man, All I can say is this routine kicked my butt a little. I’ve become very interested in this way of working out because I’ve been running sprints off and on for a bit. Let me just say that I’m kind of ‘skinny fat’ right now and I sit behind a computer all day.

    Since I’m such a tech geek I decided that I needed a gadget to help me time these tabata things and lo and behold the iPhone saves the day again. I found a free one called “Tabata HIIT” and it works pretty well, it didn’t have any ratings but from the screenshots it looked cool. (I’m in no way affiliated with any of these apps I’m mentioning by the way.) Good news is that it works pretty well and lets you set up cycles of different workouts, sweet!

    For iPhoneless people, I found this site http://www.tabatatimer.com/ that has a free, easy, tabata timer that just plays on your computer. It’s pretty cool as well.

    I wasn’t able to do the 20/10 second intervals, in fact, I did 10/20 second intervals since this was my first time. So I did 10 seconds of hard core workout followed by 20 seconds of rest. That got me sweating pretty hard and I feel it in my legs big time. So I’m going to try and up it, but this is a pretty good workout if you don’t have much time and want to feel like you spent 30 minutes at the gym 😉


  8. Steve

    August 10, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    Oh yea, I’d be interested in that ab blasting workout too, by the way.


  9. Jess

    January 31, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    Hi Josh,

    If i were to do this every day would i be able to use it as my only workout? I just want to lose weight at the moment as i have quite a long way to go! – So that’s what I’m focusing on the moment. I tried doing the tabata technique on my exercise bike today and it definitely raised my heartrate!

    So would a healthy diet and the tabata workout give me a healthy rate of losing weight?

    Sorry if this is a completely vague question! Just quite hopeful as 4 minutes of exercise a day is completely manageable! Whereas the gym everyday is a recipe for disaster!!

    Thanks, really enjoying the videos and advice.


    • Josh Schlottman

      February 7, 2011 at 4:26 pm

      @Jess I wouldn’t do this workout for too long. It’ll be great starting off but eventually you’re going to want to keep progressing the intensity of the workout routine. But getting on a great diet plan that sustainable is also the key to permanent fat loss.


  10. Robert

    September 29, 2011 at 6:03 am

    I have been trying to find a workout that will help me tone up and maintain as well as is conducive with my busy schedule. How long does it take to see results? Also, I wanted clarity on the 4 mins. a day. This is only 4 mins of day of intense focus on each exercise correct? Thanks again and I’m glad I found your site.


  11. Simon

    March 1, 2013 at 8:40 am

    I can manage about 13 seconds!!! Hopefully get to 20 seconds. That set is a great one – some nice options to kick it up when I (eventually!) master the easy version!!

    On the app front I like Easy Tabata for the iPhone/iPad – https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/easy-tabata/id607139275


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About Josh

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Hey, I’m Josh.

I help good people transform their bodies with smart nutrition & training.

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