4 Minutes of Exercise Is Better Than Your Treadmill Runs – What You Should Be Doing For Cardio

Put away your new $120 running shoes designed to help prevent you from over-pronating; stop trying to convince yourself that energy gels are needed for your ‘distance’ runs(it’s not that far); and get ready to watch re-runs of Mademen or Gilmore Girls with all of your newly found free time (or maybe some Family Guy)…

Incase you haven’t been in the know recently, interval style training has gained a lot of notoriety for its efficiency in both melting fat away and improving performance.  Research has shown that interval training can be as effective in as little as about 1/7th of the time!!  In a recent journal study by the Applied Physiology, Nutirition, and Metabolism they showed that a 4 minute interval training session was as effective from a cardio standpoint as 30min. on a treadmill!  You can read the abstract here.

I’ve been telling people for years to stop wasting so much of their time on the treadmill, but now the research keeps on mounting.  Now, don’t get me completely wrong, there are times where I have athletes or clients do steady-state training but it’s much less than I used to have them do.  If a client is participating in some intense strength training sessions, already performing longer interval sessions (45min), or needs some form of steady state running for their sport (cross country is the first and virtually the only one that comes to mind), then I will have them do a minimal amount of running.

Now, I’m not against running (despite that fact that I dislike it personally); in fact, my wife used to be a runner.  What I am against is making things harder for yourself than you have to.  Why workout for 30 minutes if you only need 4?  Or what would happen if you’re looking to change your body and you did 30 minutes of intervals versus 30 minutes of steady-state treadmill work?  Good things – that’s what will happen.

On that note, here is a simple (yet effective) off-day circuit that I did yesterday (scale as necessary):

4-8 rounds of 30s of work, 30s of rest:

Walking Lunges

Alternating Lateral Step-Ups

Crossbody Toe Touch (push-up position, touch opp. hand to opp. toe, alt. sides)

KB Deadlift or bodyweight squats


Feel free to do this as part of a general conditioning program or as part of a fat-loss program.  In addition, this is a great circuit to go through after you lift weights (you are lifting weights right…).  Lifting weights will help keep your muscle mass and elevate your metabolism and this circuit will help keep it elevated and burn more calories (during the session and after).


Do You Want to Feel 10 Years Younger In As Little As 10 Minutes A Day?