This Japanese Fitness Regimen is the Fastest Way to Get in Shape For Summer

| © Loe Moshkovska / Pexels

Developed by a Ph.D. doctor from Tokyo’s National Institute of Fitness and Sports, the Tabata regimen is said to be one of the most effective and time-efficient workouts in the world—perfect if you want to get in shape for summer but haven’t set foot in the gym yet.

Back in 1996, Dr. Izumi Tabata and his team of researchers set out to examine which style of exercise was the most effective—sustained cardio or short sprints of intense physical effort.

They divided participants, all of whom were athletic males, into two groups. The first completed 60 minutes on a static bike, working at a moderate intensity of roughly 70% VO2 max (the maximum amount of oxygen an individual utilizes during exercise). The second group focused on interval training. They pedaled at their absolute “maximal effort” (170% of VO2 max) for 20 seconds, then took a breather for 10 seconds, and so on—alternating between all-out work and brief recovery for a total of four minutes.

After a period of six weeks, during which the participants performed their assigned exercises five days per week, the researchers discovered that the intervals group received the same aerobic benefits from just four minutes as the moderate intensity group did in an hour.

Tabata can be done anywhere

A later study found that a typical Tabata routine has the potential to burn approximately 13.5 calories per minute and can double an individual’s metabolic rate for half an hour after the workout has been completed, torching even more calories—an effect known as “afterburn.” In terms of efficiency, the Tabata protocol can’t be beaten.

It’s easy enough to do a Tabata workout at the gym or at home, provided you’re motivated and able to hold yourself accountable. Stick to moves that will really amp up your heart rate, like mountain climbers and burpees, rather than, say, planks or bicep curls.

The key is to make sure you go as hard as you possibly can during each round of work, until you reach the point of absolute breathlessness. It might be the fastest route to summer readiness, but Tabata is by no means a walk in the park.

culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.