This workout has so far (21st Feb 2012) been repinned 7648 times on Pinterest.com. If you are not already aware, Pinterest is a website that allows its members to attach interesting images and videos to a virtual pin board and then comment and share with others.
This described as the World’s Fastest Workout, and with good reason. It is a high energy, intensive workout that cycles through 4 different exercises twice in 4 minutes.
This is really a very simple circuit training workout. The times given are on the left – perform as many exercises as quickly as possible within the time limit – and take the 10 second rests too, you will need them by the end.
- 0.00 – Squat Thrusts
- 0.20 – Rest
- 0.30 – Mountain Climbers
- 0.50 – Rest
- 1.00 – High Knees
- 1.20 – Rest
- 1.30 – Jumping Jacks
- 1.50 – Rest
- 2.00 – Squat Thrusts
- 2.20 – Rest
- 2.30 – Mountain Climbers
- 2.50 – Rest
- 3.00 – High Knees
- 3.20 – Rest
- 3.30 – Jumping Jacks
- 3.50 – Rest
- 4.00 – Finished!
Criticism of this Workout
While we wholeheartedly support bodyweight workouts as a way of getting fit and losing weight at home, this workout does have a few problems.
Firstly, the information at the bottom of the workout says “Burns as many calories as a 40-60 minute run“. This is certainly not the case. Running is a very effective way of burning calories, and a 4 minute workout will never burn as many calories as a 40 minute run. It will not even burn as many calories as a 10 minute run. It may not match a 4 minute run!
The workout only covers 4 different exercises:
- Squat thrusts – with a push up
- Mountain climbers
- High knees
- Jumping Jacks
Squat thrusts and mountain climbers are a very similar exercise in that you are supporting yourself on your hands and bringing your knees up to your torso. High knees see a similar movement but in a standing position. There seems to be too much emphasis on this one movement really.
As you will also see below, the workout is based on the principals developed by Prof. Tabata, and is referred to as a Tabata workout. However, I have a bit of an issue with this too. Prof. Tabata is a sports scientist and his research found that performing these intensive routines was a good way for athletes to reach peak performance. However, by their nature, athletes are exercising a lot more than 4 minutes a day. The intention is that this type of workout is performed in addition to hours of athletic training.
So do not expect great results from this workout alone. You need to do much more, ideally around 60 minutes a day, and also eat a healthy diet.
History of this Workout
Now, I discovered this workout on Pinterest. However, the source was not clear. I eventually found the original blog post here: gaininglifelosingweight.tumblr.com/post/6132620115 – (Update: this Tumblr site no longer exists).
The author of the blog did not create the image at the time. However, the whole workout is actually an invention of a Diet.com fitness instructor, who described it as a Tabata workout, see it here: http://www.diet.com/dietblogs/read_blog.php?blid=9990.
And here is the Diet.com video:
So in short, Diet.com developed “The World’s Fastest Workout Video”, the workout was blogged by Brianna on Gaininglifelosingweight.tumblr.com. Someone later created the image and it was posted on Pinterest. All this is very academic and dull, but I am always curious about such things.
Weight Loss Workouts Suggestion
It would be better to add in some additional exercises rather than cycling through this routine twice. Suggested additional exercises are:
- Back extensions to help work the core and back
- Crunchies to help further develop the abdominal muscles
- Burpees – like a squat thrust but without the push up, and a jump at the end.
- Push Ups to work the arms and shoulders
- Lunges to work the thighs
This workout is very dynamic and will burn calories at a fast rate, but as it is only 4 minutes you cannot really expect to burn much more than about 50 Calories, and if you are not already very fit, the actual figure may be closer to 30 Calories in 4 minutes.
By adding some extra exercises and slowing down a little you should actually be able to cycle through the circuit a few times, so rather than doing around 80 exercises (assuming 10 exercises in each 20 second period – maybe a little too conservative!) you should strive to perform a few hundred in 15 or 20 minutes.
By splitting out the squats and the push ups you can perform more exercises and burn more energy, before you become completely exhausted. More exercises burns more calories, you lose more fat (in theory!).
A 20 minute circuit training workout will of course burn many more calories. By working more muscles with the additional exercise you will also tone and strengthen your body better as well as improving cardiovascular fitness.