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Tabata vs. Jogging

author image Jean Bardot
Jean Bardot is a freelance writer and natural health practitioner. She started writing in 1994 and has contributed articles to publications such as "Similimum" and the "IFH Journal." She has a Bachelor of Science in public health from the University of North Carolina and a Master of Science in holistic nutrition from Clayton College of Natural Health.
Tabata vs. Jogging
Jogging and Tabata will give you a great workout for your heart. Photo Credit TongRo Images/TongRo Images/Getty Images

If you're like most people, you've probably gone jogging in an attempt to improve your heart health or lose weight. Jogging takes a lot of time, and for some people, it can even be boring. Tabata training is an entirely different experience in high-intensity aerobic exercise that for some may replace jogging and yield similar results. These two very different forms of exercise both have their pros and cons. No two people's exercise needs are alike, and you should investigate thoroughly before taking part in either type of exercise.


Tabata is a high-intensity sprint interval training exercise routine conducted in very short sessions. It is meant to improve your performance and burn fat during a short time frame. High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, is generally performed in a protocol of a 2:1 ratio between workout and recovery periods. For example, you would spend 30 to 40 seconds doing a hard sprint, alternating with 15 to 20 seconds of walking or jogging slowly. The HIIT can also be completed on a stationary or recumbent bike, a rowing machine, or an elliptical trainer. The protocol is similar to that for a runner, where the goal is to burn fat and achieve cardio fitness. It is not for everyone and can be dangerous for those who are not in adequate physical condition.

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Jogging is performed over a longer period and works to build your cardiovascular system gently and in a regular rhythm rather than in short super bursts of high intensity. Jogging can cause various knee, back and leg injuries; however, it is easier to control the intensity of jogging than Tabata, and it's much safer for the elderly or those who do not ordinarily exercise. You can start out very slowly as a jogger and build your endurance with regular running.

Peak Oxygen Consumption

Tabata, also referred to as guerilla cardio, works on the premise of peak oxygen consumption, or VO2max. The best way to acquire VO2max is through sprinting, according to a 2001 article in "Muscle Media." The article reports that the closer you come to your peak oxygen consumption during a workout, the greater the amount of fat your body will burn after the workout is complete. The theory is that after your workout is done, your body shifts from aerobic exercise and burning carbohydrates for fuel to anaerobic action, where fat is then burned when you are no longer exercising. Due to the low intensity, it's not possible to reach your VO2max with jogging.


Tabata and jogging can both pose physical challenges and dangers as well as rewarding physical changes to your body. Regardless of which exercise regimen you choose, consult your doctor first to make sure you are in good enough health to be able to endure the challenges presented. Consider working with a trainer, especially if you choose to get involved with Tabata. If you are not used to exercising regularly, begin either jogging or Tabata at a greatly reduced pace meant for beginners, and work up to your fullest potential.

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