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not enough time to workout

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Body Squat

I’ve heard it time and time again. “But I don’t have time to exercise.” Hell, I might have even said it at some point in the past. Now when I hear the “not enough time” excuse from people, I simply ask, “Do you have 4 minutes?”

4 Minutes

If you watch TV, that’s about how long a commercial break is. In four minutes you can get an amazing workout and you’ll actually be resting for over a minute of those four minutes. So I’m talking less than three minutes of actual work. I’m talking about the drill that would put bodybuilders into the fetal position when they come to my gym. I’m talking about Tabata intervals.

The Tabata interval is 8 sets of 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest. The Tabata interval is based upon scientific research which can be read here.  Tabatas are done for eight sets, so your 4-minute workout will be as follows…

Example – Bodyweight squats

  • 20 seconds of bodyweight squats at max
  • 10 seconds of rest (10 seconds! not 15 or 20)
  • 20 seconds of bodyweight squats at max
  • 10 seconds of rest
  • 20 seconds of bodyweight squats at max
  • 10 seconds of rest
  • 20 seconds of bodyweight squats at max
  • 10 seconds of rest
  • 20 seconds of bodyweight squats at max
  • 10 seconds of rest
  • 20 seconds of bodyweight squats at max
  • 10 seconds of rest
  • 20 seconds of bodyweight squats at max
  • 10 seconds of rest
  • 20 seconds of bodyweight squats at max
  • 10 seconds of rest

Workout Done!

Tabata intervals can be done with many different types of exercises. My personal favorites are bodyweight squats, push ups and rope skipping. Other ones are light weight shoulder presses, box jumps, burpees, running sprints, or using a rowing machine. Any exercise where you can keep a pretty good clip (no less than ten repetitions in the first interval) will work.

The goal is to do as many repetitions as possible during your workout while keeping a good form. Notice I didn’t say perfect form. As long as you’re being safe!

To do Tabata intervals you’ll need a timer that can be set to the continuous 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest. You can find such a timer online here or you can order my personal favorite at www.gymboss.com.

Now that the “not enough time” excuse has been silenced by an intense four-minute drill, it’s time to get to work. Or is there another excuse I need to silence?

-Terry Asher

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