4.15.2011

Four Minute Abs

 Good news.  You have time to workout.  Yes, even YOU.  As I have mentioned before, I have learned a TON of what I know about diet and exercise through my Crossfit gym and community.  One of my favorite lessons is about a workout regime that costs FOUR minutes of the day.  That is not a type-o.  In four minutes per workout, you can actually make some significant gains.  If you double or triple them up (a whopping eight or 12 minutes), you can really get some things done. 

The type of training that I am referring to is called Tabata Interval training.  The format is simple: 20 seconds of high-intensity work followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated eight times. 
Research shows that this type of training is as effective or more effective than the ol’ tried-and-true long, aerobic activity like that half hour jog we all hate. And for you athletes, this training has proved to pay big dividends in studies on cyclists and other endurance competitors.  Bottom line: you can do them in four minutes, and they make you skinnier, boost your endurance, and improve your athleticism.  Sold.

All that you need to perform Tabata’s is:

a)     A timer (most stopwatches/sports watches have interval settings…there are also a few Tabata iPhone apps for you cool kids).  The one on the link is very easy to use.
b)    An idea for an exercise.

If you don’t have b), try these: all out sprints, pushups, situps, bodyweight squats, fast jump rope, cycling sprints, kettlebell/dumbbell swings, bench/box jumps…or literally anything else.  They will all be hard as long as you go hard in each of the 20-second intervals.  I like to pick two things and knock ‘em out back-to-back.  For example…20 seconds of body-weight squats, rest 10 seconds.  Repeat eight times.  20 seconds of burpees.  (KILLER exercise…click link for demo. That's my gym's owner, BTW. What a stud), rest 10 seconds.  Repeat eight times.  Eight minutes of goodness.  Workout done for the day.

So if you are the guy/gal that says, “I just wish I could sneak in a workout in today…”, I don’t want to hear it.  Grab a clock, and go get sweaty.  You can spare four minutes.

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