Hate exercise? Try this 4-second BURST workout to help lose weight
IF you hate exercise, you’ll be glad to know a study has shown four-second bursts could help you lose weight.
Researchers asked 11 healthy people in their 20s to do a four-second based workout over eight weeks.
The only catch is they needed to do the four-seconds of maximum intensity exercise for 30 rounds.
But between each round is a 30 second rest, so there is barely enough time to get out of breath.
All together it’s just 120 seconds (two minutes) of active exercising.
The participants did the workout three times a week, amounting to just ten minutes a week, for eight weeks in total.
Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin tested the volunteers’ VO2 max, which is the ability for muscles to extract oxygen from the air you breathe.
It’s a marker of fitness, as people who are highly active tend to have a better score than those who are sedentary.
At the end of the study, those in the programme saw an average of 13 per cent increase in their VO2 max, according to the study, published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
Essentially they got fitter, which could help them to workout more intensely moving forward.
It could also make you feel better day-to-day, helping you take a flight of stairs or run for the bus without getting too tired.
Studies also show that improved VO2 max can elongate your life, by improving how your body takes up oxygen.
Participants’ anaerobic capacity was also measured, and shown to increase by 17 per cent.
If people can't do what we're recommending, it's helpful to just take a few flights of stairs
Anaerobic capacity is the body’s ability to generate energy and power when there is not enough oxygen to meet the demands of exercise.
It is a reflection of how much you can tolerate fatigue when exercising, so increasing it could help you push yourself further.
Dr Edward Coyle, senior author of the study, said that a bike was the best way to replicate the four-second workout.
"For a running scenario, you'd have to be sprinting and accelerating for four seconds, and that's pretty hard on your body and your joints," he told Insider.
“If people can't do what we're recommending, it's helpful to just take a few flights of stairs.”
Both VO2 max and anaerobic capacity tend to be more important to athletes who are trying to maximise their performance.
But for the everyday person trying to lose weight, boosting them can also come in handy.
Focusing on improving these factors can help you to tailor your workouts to be the most effective as possible.
It’s why high intensity interval training (HIIT) – short bursts of exercise followed by rest – is often touted as the best way to lose weight and get fit.
Various studies have found that HIIT can improve VO2 max levels.
A high intensity workout can be used for any form of exercise, whether that be running, cycling, circuit training or weight lifting.
As long as you are working at maximum effort for a brief period at intervals, with rest in between, it consists as a high intensity workout.
Tabata, which uses 20 seconds of maximal effort followed by 30 seconds, is a popular HIIT training method.
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