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The 4-Minute Workout

 

The 4-Minute Workout

Get ready to slim down in less time than it takes to get through the checkout line at the supermarket. Chris and Heidi Powell, trainers and transformation specialists, designed this exclusive program with busy moms in mind. "When your time commitment is super small, the fear of failing disappears," says Chris, who wrote Choose More, Lose More for Life with his wife, Heidi. "Sticking to the plan becomes doable and you'll see results." Intense effort, however, is required -- along with a diet that will account for most of your weight loss. Carbs are on the menu (yeah, baby!) and you get to enjoy five meals a day to stay a step ahead of hunger. If you're in, read on.

The 4-Minute Workout

Give every sweat session your all -- well, 90% of your maximum heart rate, to be exact (see below). In a recent study, people who exercised only 4 minutes at 90% of their maximum heart rate showed similar improvements in blood pressure, fasting blood sugar and aerobic capacity to those who worked out 16 minutes at equal intensity. How is that possible? "When you train that hard, even if it's just for 4 minutes, your body changes for the better," Heidi explains. Doing multiple 4-minute workouts is like extra credit: It will fast-track your progress. Here's your slim-down schedule for weekdays only -- warm up with a minute of jumping jacks and get started.

HOW TO FIND YOUR 90

Break out your calculator and use this formula to figure out your 90% target heart rate.

  1. Subtract your age from 220 to get your max rate.
  2. Subtract 10% from your max. That's your 90.

Therefore, a woman age 45 would have a 90% HR target of 158.

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