5 Things to Know About 4 Minute Workouts

Guest Post by Kate Vidulich

Author: 1000 Calorie Accelerators System BSc, ACSM, Master CTT

Burn 1000 calories in one workout?

Here’s one way from my pal Kate Vidulich, she has a video workout and an article below.  Well worth the read to dispel the mis-information floating around about the good ole ‘tabata’.

Check out this workout first:

The Plan: Circuit 4: Fat Loss Accelerator

– Do as many reps as possible in 45 seconds with perfect form

– Rest 15 seconds between exercises

– Repeat for 2 rounds (10 minutes total)

  • 4A) Walkout to Push Up
  • 4B) Ski Jumps
  • 4C) Prisoner Reverse Lunge (alternating)
  • 4D) Squat Thrusts
  • 4E) KB or DB Swings

This circuit is from 1,000 Calorie Accelerators System (Elite level) and designed for advanced folks only.

In the program, you’ll do a dynamic warm up, followed by a tough Ab Accelerator, a metabolic resistance training circuit and then do battle with this density fat loss accelerator.

If you like this workout, get the entire 1,000 Calorie Accelerators System here

5 Things to Know About 4 Minute Workouts

By Kate Vidulich

Some years ago, okay many years ago, I was a young Aussie whippersnapper studying at the University of NSW in Australia. One day in the research lab, we tried to replicate the infamous 4 minute Tabata workout from the actual study.

Oh. My. tired puppy

Fail. It wasn’t fun for one second. In fact, that 4 minutes was the closest I’ve come to a near death experience. No kidding. I was literally speaking French… and I don’t even know French. Or English for that matter. 😉

But this insane 4 minute workout craze has caught on – and thousand of people worldwide are rocking “Tabata” workouts without a clue what they’re actually doing. So when I see people doing “Tabata” squats, “Tabata” twerking, or God forbid, “Tabata” crunches, I can’t help but get my rant on.

It’s NOT the real deal.

Here’s what you need to know about the most-talked-about workout in the fitness industry today.

1. It’s ULTRA Intense

In the study, the Tabata group did a 10-minute steady state warm up followed by 7-8 continuous cycles of 20 seconds at 170% VO2 max, then 10 seconds of rest on a braked cycle ergometer (it’s a fancy bike in the research lab).

Do you have any idea how hard it is to sprint at 170% VO2 max for 2 seconds, let alone 20 seconds?

Imagine the feeling and intensity of the hardest exercise you’ve ever done. Now multiply that by a gazillion. That’s 170% VO2 max. And in case you’re wondering, it’s not fun.

2. It’s Not Proven Effective for Fat Loss

burn fatNowhere in the Tabata study did they mention anything about its effectiveness for fat loss. They didn’t even study it. In fact, the Japanese speed skaters were trying to improve their athletic performance to win a gold medal at the Olympics. Not to fit in their skinny jeans. So sure, maybe it does work for accelerating fat loss. Or not. It’s unknown. I personally think Tabata would work for fat loss, (well it better, right?) but it’s never been tested against any other interval training method.

Even the latest Canadian study in 2012 did not specifically measure fat loss. Instead, they showed doing “20:10 intervals” of bodyweight exercises does work for increasing cardiovascular fitness and muscular endurance – which is awesome – but it’s not the same as true Tabata.

3. They did slow cardio too…

In the original study, the athletes trained 4 times per week using Tabata, PLUS another day of steady-state training at 70% VO2 max with the cardio group.

That’s right, over a course of a week, the athletes did one day of steady state cardio as well. 

Ruh roh. <= thanks Scooby Doo. Busted. The cardio police are on the way.

4. This protocol was tested on athletes, not humans

The subjects were Japanese Olympic athletes – to be exact. They were ichallenge workout throw upn peak physical condition and could safely push themselves to this insanely high intensity.

Which ultimately means that if you haven’t exercised in years, let alone done intense training, Tabata is not for you.

Why? Because you might throw up. And that’s not cool.

5. You burn approximately 15 calories/minute

A recent ACE study took the 20:10 “Tabata-style” protocol and tested it on real people. In a 20 minute “Tabata-style” workout, subjects burned between 240 and 360 calories, for an average of 15 calories per minute burned.

However, it should be noted ACE sponsored this research study, which always makes me suspicious it’s dodgy. Don’t bet your life on it being accurate.

Four minutes to fitness? Maybe not. As you can see, the 4 minute workout is no miracle fix. Sure, it’s better than nothing. But even with the afterburn effect in full swing, it’s not enough to create the calorie deficit you need to get rapid fat loss results.

So what can you do?

Simple. Your workout needs to be longer. Like the portion of the workout at the top of the page…

Get 1,000 Calorie Accelerators here You’ll use the ‘tabata style’ protocol along with other proven methods to burn the calories you need for the accelerated fat loss results you’re after.


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