Tabata Training: a “4 minute miracle” you’ll love to hate

“It’s sucky!!” That’s what I always say when introducing it to clients. Any eye makeup you may have been wearing will make its way to your towel by the end. Don’t even bother. Get ready for sweaty.

Tabata is an intense fat-burning workout that is basically the grandaddy of high-intensity interval training (HIIT). I truly hate it (makes me want to hurl). BUT recent research shows it can burn a whopping 13.5 calories a minute — and double a person’s metabolic rate for 30 minutes post workout. Ok, now we’re back to love.
It started in the 1990s by Japanese professor Izumi Tabata who used the training method to get speed skaters in shape for the Olympics. Tabata protocol consists of short, four-minute rounds of explosive moves done for 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off. That works out to eight 20 second segments of exercise within a 4 minute time frame.

Tabata is an extremely effective way to boost metabolism fast. To put it into context, it would take five times the amount of typical cardio exercise, like a 20-minute brisk walk, to shed the same number of calories that result from a 4-minute Tabata.

The trick to getting all these benefits is the level of intensity. Just pick an activity such as jump squats, burpees, pushups, jumping rope, or even running and biking and go HARD. And when I say “as hard as you can go,” I mean 100-percent maximal intensity. By the end of the 4 minutes you should feel like you’re going to collapse into a pile of mush and proclaim “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”

The beauty is, it’s low-tech, low-cost and convenient. You really only need a timer to mark your eight rounds (each with 20-seconds of intense effort plus 10-seconds rest). Search for “Tabata Timer Apps” and you’ll get tons of options available for a free download.

So if you decide to do Tabata, make sure you have epsom salts at home for that muscle soak in the tub you’ll be needing after!

Here are some tabata ideas:
Jump Squats
Frog Jumps ( like playing leap frog)
Push Ups
Box Jumps (like jumping up onto a high park bench or street curb)
Skiiers (split jumps in a lunge alternating feet forward and backward)
Jumping Jacks
Running Hills

9 Signs you have a Leaky Gut

Your gut is the gateway to health. I’ve learned this first hand! No amount of abdominal work will fix a puffy, bloated stomach. It comes down to the food you put into your body, and making sure that food is right for you.

The gut is naturally permeable to small molecules in order to absorb nutrients from your food. In sensitive people (and the number of sensitive people is growing), gluten can cause the gut cells to release zonulin, a protein that breaks apart tight junctions in the intestinal lining. You basically get tiny holes in the lining of your intestines – a condition called “leaky gut”.
leaky gut
As a consequence, some bacteria, toxins and incompletely digested food particles “leak” out of the intestines into the blood stream. Your immune system marks these “foreign invaders” as pathogens and attacks them, causing autoimmunity (your body attacks its own tissues). This over-response of your immune system causes you to eventually become sensitive to the environment and leads to malnourishment because your body no longer has the capacity to absorb minerals and nutrients from your food. Here is an AMAZING video of an MD explaining leaky gut (it’s worth watching!)

Here are 9 signs you have Leaky Gut:

1. Digestive issues such as gas, bloating, diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

2. Seasonal allergies or asthma.

3. Big hormonal imbalances ( PMS etc)

4. Diagnosis of an autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, lupus, psoriasis, or celiac disease.

5. Diagnosis of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia.

6. Mood and mind issues such as depression, anxiety, ADD or ADHD.

7. Skin issues such as acne, rosacea, or eczema.

8. Diagnosis of candida (yeast) overgrowth.

9. Food allergies or food intolerances.


In addition to gluten, other inflammatory foods like dairy, sugar and excessive alcohol, are implicated as well. The most common infectious causes of leaky gut are candida (yeast) overgrowth, intestinal parasites, and small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). Toxins come in the form of medications, like Motrin, Advil, steroids, antibiotics, and acid-reducing drugs, and environmental toxins like mercury, pesticides and BPA from plastics. Stress and lack of enough hydrochloric acid in the stomach also contribute to a leaky gut.


I have clients follow an elimination diet which removes the toxic and inflammatory foods for a certain period of time. Here are some excellent tips. In addition, I have them follow a 4R program to heal their gut. The 4R program is as follows.

1. Remove.

Remove the bad. The goal is to get rid of things that negatively affect the environment of the GI tract, such as inflammatory and toxic foods, and intestinal infections.

2. Replace.

Replace the good. Add back the essential ingredients for proper digestion and absorption, such as digestive enzymes, hydrochloric acid and bile acids.

3. Reinoculate.

It’s critical to restore beneficial bacteria to reestablish a healthy balance of good bacteria.

4. Repair.

It’s essential to provide the nutrients necessary to help the gut repair itself. One of my favourite supplements is L-glutamine, an amino acid that helps to rejuvenate the lining of the gut wall.

Cheers to your health! Once you find what works for your body, you’ll feel like a million bucks!