FIT Friday

For this first edition of Fit Friday, I’d like to spotlight a routine with a bold claim: The World’s Fastest Workout. Doesn’t that sound like a winner?

Created by Dr. Izumi Tabata in Japan, this interval-style workout requires the participant to exert a maximum effort of intensity for 20 seconds followed by a 10 second rest period. This interval is then repeated 8 times for a total of 4 minutes. You read that right, 4 MINUTES!

The research claims that in just 4 minutes, you can spike your metabolism and fat-burning potential for the next 12-36 hours! Have I got your attention yet?

This style of training is called tabata, named after the doctor. I did a little research on the matter to become better acquainted with this form of exercise. I found a good article here that explains a little bit more about what tabata training is that I’ll summarize now.

Tabata training was first done specifically with cyclists. Participants who did this training 5-6 days a week were able to increase their anaerobic and aerobic endurance over a month and a half period.

Use of this style of workout requires maximum effort in a short period of time, but research suggests that doing this form of exercise can help participants get in shape quickly and may achieve better fitness improvements than longer, less intense workouts. Convinced yet?

Tabata can be used with almost any kind of exercise: cycling, running, swimming, jumping rope, etc. The only catch is that it requires the participant to go all-out by pushing the body to the max for true effectiveness in only 4 minutes. But, no matter what your fitness level, you can incorporate tabata-inspired training into your usual routine to reap good benefits. Ready to try it?

Enter: The World’s Fastest Workout. Stephen Cabral created an easy to remember intermediate level tabata-inspired workout that he calls the the world’s fastest workout using only body weight exercises.

Here’s a breakdown of the workout:
:20 seconds squat thrusts
:10 seconds rest
:20 seconds mountain climbers
:10 seconds rest
:20 seconds high knees
:10 seconds rest
:20 seconds jumping jacks
:10 seconds rest
:20 seconds squat thrusts
:10 seconds rest
:20 seconds mountain climbers
:10 seconds rest
:20 seconds high knees
:10 seconds rest
:20 seconds jumping jacks

To do this workout, you can either use a fancy interval timer or you can follow along with this video featuring Stephen Cabral.

I’ve done this workout a couple of times before using the video. What’s the verdict? It definitely gets your heart pumping in a very short amount of time, and you’ll even be sweating by the time the 4 minutes is up. I wore a heart rate monitor to get an estimate of the number of calories I burned doing this, and it it came in at 43 calories for 4 minutes. That might not seem like much, but remember, the average person burns about 100 calories just walking a mile, and that takes over 10 minutes. This took only 4 minutes and it didn’t take into account the increase in my heart rate after the workout was over, which likely burned even more calories.

To sum it all up, I’m a fan of The World’s Fastest Workout. It’s a great way to get the blood pumping in a very short amount of time. So, if you’ve got 4 extra minutes to spare and want to see what this is all about, I encourage you to try it! It can’t hurt!

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