Feel the Burn at 5 Long Island Tabata Classes

‘Tis the season of stress, but a good workout can release endorphins, provide a better pick-me-up than coffee and kickstart 2017 fitness goals. Time is of the essence, especially this time of year. Get more in less time with tabata fitness.

Created by Dr. Azumi Tabata, tabata fitness is a unique high intensity interval training method that fuses together elements of circuit training and cardio into six to eight rounds of four-minute intervals. It’s a fast, efficient workout—many classes are only 35 minutes long. The intensity of the workout—the “afterburn”— keeps the body burning calories for hours afterwards.

The training method has long been integrated into many fitness programs, but many facilities on Long Island now offer it as a stand-alone workout. Get ready to train hard, sweat hard and revel in the benefits of your work at Long Island tabata classes.

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Energy Fitness and Wellness, Fort Salonga

Fitness instructor Charlotte Muller leads her tabata class through the standard format: 8 rounds of high intensity movement, each 4 minutes in duration, with 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off work recovery ratio. Muller includes two exercises per round; lots of mountain climbers, squats, leg lifts and free-weights.

“Tabata gets your heart rate lifted and then quickly brings it down, which conditions the heart rate very efficiently,” Muller said. “People love it because it is so time effective. You can burn more calories than in one hour of steady state cardio.” Although it’s a high impact exercise, she emphasized that “People of all fitness levels can benefit. Modifications are always available.”

Big Al’s Family Fitness, Amityville and Westbury

True to its name, Big Al’s is a large gym that offers up to 50 fitness classes per week. Taking note of the trend towards circuit style, interval classes, Big Al’s instructors began adding tabata training to their schedule a few years ago. The spot’s “team training program” are one-hour classes that fuse together elements of tabata with HIIT (high intensity interval training). Students are split into groups, working on 6 to 10 stations (ranging from burpees, box jumps, to sprints) that are 1 to 2 minutes long with a 30-second break in between. After completion of all the stations, they rest for 3 minutes. Beginners are then given the option to stop at this point; more advanced participants move on for an additional 30-minute workout with different exercises.

“Tabata style team training is not for the weak, but we encourage everyone to try it even if it’s modified,” said Lisa Leto, group fitness director at the gym. “Our classes are designed to make you dig deep and do what your body was designed to do: move.”

Fit Body Bootcamp, Huntington and Northport

Walking into Fit Body Bootcamp, one immediately feels the sense of community that the owner Kathy Eaton works to foster. The positive energy flows even as Eaton puts her clients through a challenging tabata class routine. “Everyone here is after the same thing: to get in and get out,” observed Eaton. “Tabata makes that possible.”

Thursday is “Tabata Thursday.” For 35 minutes, patrons work through 7 stations of tabata intervals (with two exercises per station). The stations include monkey bars, battling ropes, squat jumps (while holding a firehose overhead) and mountain climbers. A whistle blows in between each station when it is time to move on.

The classes end with a “team group finisher.” Everyone comes together for a team exercise, such as: holding different types of planks (high, low, side, reverse) while one person does a military crawl under a net. Once everyone has a turn crawling, they say the Pledge of Allegiance and pick an inspirational word of the day to keep them motivated in between workouts.

Long Island Fitness & Wellness, Commack

Long Island Fitness & Wellness knows how to push people to their limits. This all-level fitness facility “is not for the faint of heart,” said Dave Maldonado, the gym’s manager. “Our classes are designed to push people to their limits.”

Each Tuesday all of the classes include a tabata style workout. Classes range between 45 minutes to 1 hour; typically following the standard format of eight rounds per exercise with a 20:10 workout to recovery ratio. Sometimes the trainers will add more intervals, depending on endurance levels. A variety of equipment is used, such as kettlebells, dumbbells, barbells and airdyne bikes.

The classes often include a partner relay race, in which one person hops on a piece of cardio equipment (such as an elliptical or rower) while the other person holds a 30-pound barbell or does burpees. Cool down typically consists of stretching, core work and/or foam rolling.

Core Fitness Studios, Glen Cove

Located in the heart of the Gold Coast on Nassau’s North Shore, Core Fitness Studios is a boutique fitness facility that offers private training sessions by appointment only. Clients develop programs with personal trainers customized to meet their specific needs.

Clients can book a small session (up to four people) for a tabata style workout that follows the standard formula of 4 minutes in duration, with the 20:10 ratio for eight rounds. A variety of training equipment is put into the mix: ropes, boxes, BOSU balls, TRX, dynamic balls, medicine balls, stability balls, ladders, sliders and sleds. A typical session includes plank-to-push-up, dynamic ball slam-to-burpees, battleropes and bush/pull sled.

Audra Lianos, who owns the studio with her husband, agrees with the sentiment that tabata is an ideal workout for those with hectic lifestyles. “Our clients have busy schedules and want to get the most out of their workouts in the time they have to dedicate to it.”