No Time To Exercise? Meet The 4-Minute Workout

Alain Saint-Dic
Alain Saint-Dic, Health and Fitness Editor at 20something, brings over nine years of experience in the health and fitness industry. Though he studied pre-law, his love for the human body, it's adaptive ability and unlocking the largely untapped potential of human beings led him to pursue a passionate career in health, fitness, and athletics.

“I don’t have time” is the number one reason for people not exercising.

Notice, I didn’t say excuse, because I respect your busy 20something lives and I understand how hard it can be to find time to workout. But take a few seconds to look deep inside yourself and ask, “Do I have FOUR MINUTES to do a workout?” Don’t bother answering, because the answer is yes, absolutely. Almost everyone has four minutes to workout. I’m going to to bring back an oldie but goodie. Just in case you missed the Tabata craze, it might be the solution to all of your lack of workout time issues.

What is Tabata?

Named after Dr. Izumi Tabata, this type of HIIT workout is structured in a four-minute format consisting of eight rounds. Each round is 20 seconds of all out effort, followed by 10 seconds of rest. The beauty of this workout is in its variability. You can do it for only four minutes, or if you magically find time, you can add on extra cycles to target different muscle groups.

How Can I do It?

Let’s start with a basic exercise, such as body weight squats (or squat jumps- intermediate). Doing one exercise first is the simplest way to start and get accustomed to the intensity. You start with 20 seconds of squats then rest for 10 seconds, and repeat that 7 times. This workout usually ends in intense burning, if you went all out for every single 20 second period of work. It’s really that simple and you’ve done your workout in less time than it would take to order your Starbucks. Take the 20something challenge and try this with burpees!

I Want More!

As 20somethings we always strive for more, so let’s dig deeper. We’re going to turn this four-minute workout into an eight-minute workout. It’s still just enough time to squeeze it into your busy work schedule, but now we add in the option of targeting other muscle groups. Our messengers of muscle fatigue will be squat jumps and push-ups. Remember go all out!

20 secs Squat Jumps

10 secs Rest

20 secs Push-Ups

10 secs Rest

Repeat x7 for a total of 8 rounds in 8 minutes

Tabata style workouts can be done at home, in the gym, in your workplace bathroom or break room. It pretty much fits anywhere that you want it to, and you can customize it to your taste by finding new ways to use it. So don’t let time steal your fitness away from you. Start with four minutes and enjoy the results!