A full workout in less time than it would take you to decide what to wear to the gym? Usually when things sound too good to be true, they are. Not so with Tabata. Yes, the name may be reminiscent of one of the options you’re not completely¬†sure about on the sushi menu, but once you know what Tabata is, it’s going to Change Your Life.

Developed in Japan as a way of training elite athletes, Tabata is also known as¬†high intensity interval training (HIIT). Basically it consists of alternating short bursts of intense exercise with rest periods, in a 20-second,10-second format. If you’re someone who favours the get-it-over-and-done-with approach when it comes to fitness, you’re going to LOVE Tabata. A full Tabata sequence takes just four minutes, with extended sequences lasting around ten minutes. Do NOT adjust your set, you are reading this correctly. Four minutes. Yes, you do have to go all-out, but it’s only four minutes.

So how can you get your Tabata fitness fix? Forget trekking to the gym – this is something you can do pretty much any time, anywhere. We’ve posted a couple of helpful workouts based on Tabata principles here, but the easiest way to make this part of your life is to download one of the many free mobile apps (just search for Tabata and you’ll find loads of ’em) allowing you to create and customise your four-minute routines. Next? Find time to fit in a few minutes of exercise – three to four times a week. With a system this simple, there really is no excuse for not working out.