Are you looking to lose weight, but don't seem to have the time for a regular work out routine? Then you may want to consider the Tabata Protocol. It's about a 10 minute exercise regiment that you only need to do a few times a week. I will warn you though, it is not for the faint of heart and if you're not in peak physical condition you're going to have to work your way up to it. Despite all that, this can be a great routine for those who want to lose weight or to add something extra to their existing routine.
The Tabata Protocol was first created for the Japanese Speed Skating Team by Izumi Tabata. It's a rigorous regiment that consists of a five minute warm up (approximately 40% full effort) followed by eight reps of 20 seconds (full effort) with a ten second rest and concludes with a two to five minute cool down (40% full effort). Keep in mind that this program was fashioned for Olympic athletes, not the average person. Do not try to do this specific program unless you are a trained athlete! You must first build up your endurance, heart rate and lung capacity in order to get up to this pace.
The way this system works is by going past the two fuel systems we have in our body, aerobic and anaerobic, and going into what is thought of as the 'Supra-Aerobic Zone.' To get there you need to get your heart rate up past what is normally called the 'Target Heart Rate Zone' which is a maximum of 220 bpm (beats per minute) less your age. A good thing to keep around is a heart rate monitor so you can calculate everything easily. Gradually increasing your heart rate is what's going to get your body burning fat. As your body switches from one mode to the other you go from burning glucose for energy to burning body fat for it. The Tabata Protocol is said to be just as effective as doing 45 minutes of aerobics.
Now let's talk about how this program can help the average person. The normal ratio of reps is 2-1, but you'll probably need to change that. You may want to start your reps at 4-1 or 3-1 and if you already train, you can try 2-2. Once you have decided on where to start with your reps, you now need to decide what exercise to do. Using weights or machines that have a slow increase rate (such as treadmills) are not good to use; they are simply impractical. You need something that will increase resistance fast. Some good exercises for this are stationary bikes, rowing machines or simply running. Starting out slow is the best way to do it. You want to gradually increase the reps until you get to your desired point. After you start building momentum, you'll see the weight loss results you're looking for in just a matter of minutes every few days.