Taking The Fast Track To Fitness

What’s it take for healthy overweight inactive men to get into shape? Not much, according to research from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. A 10-week study with a group of 13 subjects showed a 10% increase in maximal oxygen uptake could be achieved with just 4 minutes of intense exercise at 90% of maximal heart rate performed 3 times each week.

Some of these subjects undertook a 4×4 training protocol involving 4 minutes of high intensity exercise at 90% of max heart rate followed by 3 minutes of active recovery at 70% max heart rate. Completing 4 intervals 3 times a week increased maximal oxygen consumption – an established measurement of fitness – by 13%.

True Strength Moment: Despite the promise of fast, easy gains with 12 minutes of training each week, the subjects who worked the slightly more difficult 4×4 program realized better results. These training programs are fine for people with little to no experience working out, but probably aren’t adequate for those dedicated to an active lifestyle.