Find Out How To Do This Four-Minute Tabata Workout

Last week my husband and I headed on a much-anticipated trip to Cancun Mexico. After extensive research, (picture back-to-back laptops, bottle of wine between, and everyone represented from Travelocity to Kayak) we committed to Excellence Playa Mujeres, a large, adult only (cause really…who wants pee in the pool) all-inclusive.

Four-Minute Tabata Workout Ahead! 

But first a distracting photo of yummy food from our Excellence Playa Mujeres hotel. Seriously….from the buffet!!

I always check reviews on the gym at the hotel where I plan to stay. The reviews were glowing so I was stoked on my first morning (after several wrong lefts and rights) to finally find a large, well-equipped, new best friend for the week.

Hello awesome gym.


My first workout was a quick turn on the elliptical, some TRX and some dumbbells for good measure. On my way out this massive Smile introduced himself as “Sergio,” the trainer. He suggested I come to his class and I said, “don’t do classes.” His smile only flickered for an instant before he said, “Come to my boxing class then.” (bigger smile) “Don’t do classes, Sergio.”

But the next morning I observed his “class” from my perch on the elliptical. It was a kick-butt-boot-camp-cross-fitty kind of thing that had tourists lying in a pool of their tequila-toxified sweat in a matter of minutes.

I was intrigued.

I approached Sergio and let him know I was a health and fitness writer, and I wondered if he would be willing to do a workout video with me that Friday. He agreed.

I was afraid.

Side note: (Love side notes) On one of the other days at the gym he said, “If you want to interview someone you should interview that girl.” (He pointed to a tall zero-body-fat woman throwing a medicine ball abusively against a wall like it had done something very wrong.)

“Who is she?” I enquired. “She is a two-time Olympian.” The Smile replied.


Before he had the “..ian” out of his mouth, I was her shadow. She was lovely and gracious about being interrupted. But even better than her lovely disposition was she was a two-time Olympian (said that but bears mentioning again) from, not only CANADA, (hello) but VANCOUVER (double hello).

She was none other than Liz Neil (Gleadle) the Olympic Javlinest. Want to read about her?



I digress – back to The Smile and his kettle bells.

Friday morning came around, and The Smile and I decided to demonstrate how easy a Tabata Workout is when you travel because you can use little to no equipment and it doesn’t cut into prime tanning time due to its brevity!

By the way, if you are wondering what the heck a Tabata is, check out this link (And it is also explained in the video below.)

In case you want to do this workout here is the rundown of the eight exercises I did. See demonstrations of each exercise in the video.









The point is, Poodles if you are looking for a quick, but effective, workout to do on vacation, in the office, or at home, while the kids are napping, two to three cycles through this engaging circuit is your answer. I hope you enjoy!



Me and Pookie. The matchy-matchy is by accident…I swear!!



Looking to get started with a workout. Try this workout for one cycle through, three times a week. Go slowly and controlled at first and make sure to watch your form in a mirror. When you feel comfortable, try to increase the intensity by increasing the repetitions, height, or general level of difficulty. Let me know how it goes!


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61 Responses

    1. Tabata is great for the fitness enthusiast with no time. Check more out on the WELLFITandFED site. 🙂

  1. Thanks for the tips! I think this is especially helpful as we head into the busy holiday season — anyone can find four minutes to squeeze in a workout!

  2. Great post! I got to travel to Cancun with you and I learned about Tabata. I might just give it a try although I was exhausted just watching you do it!

  3. What a neat experience, especially meeting an Olympian in a niche sport. Will be trying this without quickie for sure!

    1. It is a great start. You can repeat the circuit if you like but you also can just use it as a quick workout when pressed for time.

  4. TabaWhata? O.k. Thank you cause really I had zero idea what this was until just now!! I love those ‘you learn something new every day’ moments!

    1. You are likely to hear more and more about it, Kim. Efficiency and effectiveness are high and so it really is super helpful to have a few of these on hand.

    1. Then you don’t lose any ground, ChellBee. We all work hard to stay in shape. No need to throw it out the window on vacation.

  5. I never knew there was such as thing as Tabbata. The video was definitely informative and I love the fact that you and your partner were matching fashion wise – great minds think alike!

  6. This is such a great workout, thank you for sharing. I feel like I only ever have 30 minutes max to work out so this is realistic for me to try to put in to practice. Thanks for sharing!

  7. I love exercising for some many reasons. I love the results and how it makes me feel afterwards. It really should be a way of life for everyone. It doesn’t need to be strenuous just get moving in some way or the other. 4 minutes is a great introduction.

  8. That was so kind of Sergio to film with you and he seems so nice! This workout sounds great and like it will absolutely kick my butt!

    PS – I love the “tequila-toxified sweat” bit!

    1. I know, ridiculous, right! The food was soooo good. SO those four minutes came in handy to balance out my platefuls. :-0

    1. I know. So delicious and yes she was so nice. I need to send this to her to let her know the impact she left!

    1. Yes! That will be great, Breyona. But remember baby is in a solid package. You can do some exercise right now! xo

  9. I’ve not heard of Tabata but Crossfit is all the rage in my country now. A lot of Crossfit gyms are popping up here. Wonder what the differences are… I know both are similar in that they’re high-intensity.

    Glad to learn a new thing today!

    1. Tabata is referencing the time intervals and intensity. Cross fit is about the types of exercises and the intensity. Tabata is VERY specific regarding the time intervals. Always 20 seconds on ten seconds of for eight cycles.

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About Dr. Denniston

Dr. Denniston is a wellness strategist for elite leaders and their teams, bridging the connection between personal well-being and professional success. She provides custom solutions for burnout and stress and facilitates cohesive habit-training strategies that maximize vitality, productivity, and resilience.

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