4-Minute Abs

There has been more and more research coming out that show that to lose fat, get a flat stomach and 6-pack abs, your workouts can be very short. But how short can you really make your workouts? 15 minutes? 10 minutes? How about in as little as 4 minutes?

You may have heard of a type of interval training called Tabata intervals. The length of a Tabata interval is exactly 4 minutes. Can you imagine if all you had to do was a 4 minute circuit every day, and you would blowtorch that excess body fat and get a flat stomach?

The question I receive the most often about this topic is: ‘How effective can a workout be with just 4 minutes of exercise?’

The answer is simple: VERY effective.

The name Tabata Interval comes from a research study conducted by Dr. Izumi Tabata and his research colleagues. The study was published in the journal, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. Tabata Intervals consist of 20 seconds of maximum intensity exercise, followed by 10 seconds of rest.

The cycle is repeated 8 times, for a total of 4 minutes.

An intense workout such as this has the advantage of taxing both your anaerobic and aerobic energy systems. After only 6 weeks of training like this, Dr. Tabata noticed a 28% increase in the anaeorbic capacity in the athletes that he studied.

Tabata intervals are also very effective for fat loss. This type of interval training will
raise your metabolic rate for several hours after the workout session is completed.

You will continue to burn fat several hours throughout the day. Many other studies confirm that this powerful ‘after-burn’ that you experience because of interval training is a lot more effective for fat loss than low intensity, continuous exercise.

Now I can’t confirm that you can get a flat stomach and 6-pack abs by just working out 4 minutes a day (along with a proper diet, of course). But in my recent transformation, there were several days where I strung together 3 or 4 of these 4-minute intervals for a 12 to 16 minute workout. These proved to be very effective and time efficient.

All of my 4-minute circuits that I followed were taken from these 4-minute workout DVD’s

Here is an example of a workout for you. It only involves one exercise. You would do this exercise for 20 seconds as fast as you can. Then you would rest for 10 seconds. Repeat this for a total of 8 rounds which equals 4 minutes.

The exercise is a squat thrust, push up, jumping lunge combination. It will work your abs, your chest, shoulders and arms, along with your legs and sky-rocket your heart rate. When I really push it, I can get about 4 to 4 1/2 repetitions of this exercise in 20 seconds.

See the video below for the technique and then enjoy trying it. : )

  • http://www.getfit.es Noel Lyons

    That’s a good source to quote – ACSM – but let’s be careful too with the messages we put out; afterall we are fitness PROFESSIONALS.

    This style of training suits young lean athletes. And the increase in metabolic rate post exercise applys to conditioned athletes only.

    But it’s a great study to highlight as it does demonstrate it’s possible to still derive exercise benefits with short but intense interval work, once a certain level of conditioning has been achieved.

    • scottcolby

      I've done 4 minute circuits (20 sec on and 10 sec rest) with all types of clients – beginner and advanced. It works well for all. If the exercise is too hard, modify it. If the client needs more rest (10 sec work, 20 sec rest) or needs to skip a round, modify it. It's not rocket science to adjust a workout to suit an individual. ; )

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