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Tofurkey Day Tabata

Tomorrow, we have one of the morally complicated holidays in our great nation: Thanksgiving. Also known as the day indigenous people shared their food with the settlers who eventually massacred or force-marched them to live on resource-light reservations. Or, as Anya from Buffy so eloquently put it, a ritual sacrifice with pie.

Anya: I love a ritual sacrifice.

Buffy: Not really a one of those.

Anya: To commemorate a past event you kill

and eat an animal. A ritual sacrifice... with pie.

Regardless of your thoughts on the holiday, most Americans have the day off from work to celebrate with friends and family and, more importantly for this post, most gyms are closed. So what’s a person who is stressed out from forced family fun to do? How can you work off that stress in the comfort of your childhood bedroom? Try some bodyweight exercises, tabata-style!

Tabata was invented by researcher Dr. Izumi Tabata who hypothesized that exercisers don’t have to do 3 hour workouts to get stronger, they just have to work really, really hard. Strict tabata is an warm up followed by intervals of 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest for 4 minutes. During your working time, you exercise at your maximal capacity. Then, after 4 minutes, you’re done!

Many fitness coaches, including yours truly, who use tabata use it as a way to organize intervals for HIIT (high-intensity interval training). Dr. Tabata studied his methods with elite athletes who are able to push themselves to the brink without injuring themselves. For most people, that’s not realistic. For the average person who sits at a desk 8-10 hours a day, the risk of injury may outweigh the benefits of working at maximal effort.

So, using tabata as an organizing principle, here are 3 sets you can do in the comfort of your mom’s basement. Find a timer (I use this Interval Timer app) and set it for 20:10 (or just watch a clock). Remember that you’re going push yourself hard for 20 seconds, then rest for 10. You’ll repeat each set for 4 minutes.

Choose one of the sets below or do them all! With a warm up and cool down, you can be done in 20 minutes!

1. Vertical Jumps and Lateral Squats

Alternate between vertical jumps and lateral squats to ritually sacrifice your legs and glutes!

2. Push Ups and Sawing Plank

Alternate between push ups and sawing plank to smash your chest, shoulders, triceps, and core!

3. Side plank

Alternate between side plank on your right and side plank on your left to roast your obliques, lats, shoulders, and side-glutes!

Try out these tabata sets and let us know how it goes in the comments! Enjoy your workout and your Tofurkey Day!

#tabata #hiit #intervaltraining #verticaljumps #lateralsquats #bodyweightexercises #lowerbody #pushups #sawingplank #plank #core #upperbody #sideplank


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