Ever wanted to sneak in some exercise in your life but just don’t have the time? You’re in the right place!
I’m going to show you the method I used to get myself to exercise daily using 4-minute workouts. I’ll also show you some 4-minute workout videos that you can start with.
Whoever you are, whatever you do, you definitely have 4 minutes to spare to do any of these fun fat burning 4-minute workouts.
Now you may be asking yourself:
How can just 4 minutes of working out help me lose weight? Isn’t it just a waste of time?
You may think that doing a 4-minute workout won’t do much in terms of weight loss or getting fit.
Any workout is better than no workout at all!
If you’re like many people who won’t do an exercise if it won’t burn at least 1000 calories then stop! Stop with the “all or nothing” mentality. It’s just holding you back from the healthy and fit life that you want!
If you’re still not convinced. Here are some reasons that this works:
1. You won’t have any excuses.
Who doesn’t have 4-minutes to spare? Heck, even just reading this article will take more than 4 minutes of your time especially if you watch each video below.
If you can still think of an excuse not to do this, then you’re not really serious about getting healthy and fit.
2. Consistency is key!
You might have tried a couple of workouts before that promise to burn 600-1000 calories in 30 minutes. Tell me, how did that go?
I bet you did it just a couple of times (or less), got tired and just forgot about it.
To be successful in any aspect of life, especially in weight loss, CONSISTENCY IS KEY!
It’s easy to be consistent if you start small. Small things when done consistently will add up to big results.
Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.
Vincent Van Gogh
To put it into perspective, if you tried exercising 30 minutes 3x a week but only did it for 2 weeks and gave up exercising for the entire year, you’ve only exercised for a total 180 minutes during entire year!
If you started with 4-minute exercises that you could actually do daily and stick to it for an entire year, that’s a total of 1,460 minutes of physical activity for the whole year!
3. The goal is for you to make exercising a habit.
When you make something a habit, you’re automatically just doing it without thinking about it. You don’t have to convince yourself to do it every time.
Now isn’t that amazing?
Once it becomes a habit, you can then start doing more intense workouts and increasing the length of your workouts.
At the end of this post, I’m going to show you how to hack your brain to make working out a habit!
Meanwhile, here are four of the best 4-minute workouts that I found on Youtube that you can start with.
I’ve handpicked these workout videos from Youtube and made sure that they are easy to follow, fun to do and require no equipment. I’m personally doing one of these workouts daily.
4-Minute Tabata Based Workouts for Beginners!
This is the workout that I’ve been doing every morning after I wake up.
This is a great workout to start with. I particularly like this because it only involves 4 exercises that I can actually do every day while still challenging my strength and endurance. The exercises are repeated twice in a span of 4 minutes.
Also, the video is just part of a series called You Have 4 Minutes, so you can cycle through the playlist for variety or find a more challenging 4-minute workout.
This one involves 8 exercises but they made it fun because the music is actually in sync with the routine. The next 3 workouts below also have music synced with the routine.
If you love variety then you’ll enjoy this one. Try it!
I actually like the music they used here better because it’s more upbeat and I like rock music and guitar solos!
This involves 4 exercises repeated twice for 4 minutes. If you’ve never exercised before or haven’t exercised in a while, you might find this a bit more challenging than the other two.
This also involves 8 exercises that target your whole body. It might seem a bit more challenging but the music is enough to get me hyped to do this workout.
How to get yourself to workout consistently and make it a habit… Hack your brain!
I’ve covered the steps on how to make a habit on my previous post. The following steps are modeled in the same way but with some steps specifically made for working out.
Step 1: Pick 1 or 2 workouts to start with and download it using the Youtube App on your phone.
Downloading makes the workout easily accessible even if you want to workout in the middle of a jungle with no access to the internet.
Pick something that you’re actually interested in doing. This ensures that you have enough internal motivation to actually take action.
You can try doing any of the workouts above to see which one you enjoy doing. If you don’t like any of them then just do some other type of exercise that you would love to do for 4 minutes a day.
Step 2: Set the cue or trigger by piggybacking your workout to one of your existing habits.
Pick a time and place where you want to do your workout. This will be the cue that will trigger your workout habit.
One effective way of doing this is to just add your workout routine to an already existing habit.
For example: “Immediately after waking up, I’ll brush my teeth and then do a 4-minute workout in my bedroom”
The time: “Immediately after waking up and brushing my teeth.”
The place: “In my bedroom.”
Since I’ve already formed a habit of brushing my teeth immediately after waking up, it’s easy to sneak in a 4-minute workout at the end.
I recommend you also do it in the morning or you’ll end up procrastinating. If that isn’t enough of a reason for you to get up early and exercise read my post about the benefits of exercising in the morning plus some amazingly effective tips on how to actually get yourself moving first thing in the morning!
Another benefit of doing it in the morning is that you’ll be forced to sleep early and have a good quality sleep. Click here to know how your sleep can make or break your weight loss goals.
Step 3: Make the cue obvious and also set an alarm or reminder.
I know you’re going to forget working out if you don’t have a reminder. That’s expected because you’re still not used to it.
To overcome that, you need to make working out obvious.
If you have an exercise mat or workout clothes, place them where your eyes won’t miss them.
For example, I keep my exercise mats near my bedside so I automatically see them when I wake up and when I return to my bedroom after brushing my teeth.
Also, set an alarm or reminder on your phone in connection with the cue that you set on step #2 above.
Once working becomes a habit, you won’t be needing the alarm anymore.
Step 4: Do the workout on cue every time.
You’re going to be training your brain and body to associate the cue you set on step 2 to trigger the workout routine.
The key here is repetition which is part of the next step.
Step 5: Do it consistently for at least 10 weeks and track your progress.
It takes an average of 66 days to make a habit, some took only a few days while others took nearly a year. A nice practice would be to expect habit formation to take at least 10 weeks.
That may sound like a long time, but it gets easier the more you do it.
Remember, you don’t need to be perfect. You just need to be consistent.
You can use a free iOS/Android app called HabitBull for tracking your progress and for setting reminders.
If you skip a day, then take note of why you missed that day. Figure out a way or solution so you won’t miss it again. Just continue with the routine the next day.
Don’t just throw it all away because you missed a day or two. Avoid the what-the-hell effect.
Important tips on working out:
1. Make it enjoyable.
While exercise itself triggers the release of feel-good hormones in our brain, you might not feel the effect when you’re just starting out.
That’s why it’s very important that you enjoy what you’re doing. Otherwise, you’ll give up easily.
By simply playing some workout music that you love while doing the routine, you can make it much more enjoyable.
You can also try rewarding yourself with physical things like a healthy smoothie or things other than food to keep you motivated.
The best rewards are those that encourage you to keep doing what you’re doing.
For example, you can reward yourself with some new workout shoes or outfit that you’d love to wear during your workouts. This type of reward will make you feel better about yourself and make you want to exercise more because you’ve already invested in workout clothes.
However, it’s important to be intrinsically motivated and not rely on these external rewards in the long run.
Experiment and find out what you like as you do it. If you find that you’re just forcing yourself to do these exercises then stop. Try a different type of exercise until you find what you truly enjoy.
2. If you want to lose weight, exercise is just 20% of the battle.
You probably already know this. You can’t out-train or outrun a bad diet. Whatever calories you may have burned may easily be gained back by 2 packs of Oreo cookies.
If you want to lose weight by making small changes to your eating habits check out my post here.
You can also try my post about losing weight by consuming fewer calories without feeling hungry or counting calories.
Don’t worry, even if exercising alone won’t make you lose weight, the good news is…
3. The scale isn’t the only indication of success.
Exercising has a lot of other benefits aside from aiding in weight loss.
Don’t be too obsessed about your weight or you’ll be oblivious of the progress that you’re already making.
Other signs of success that you shouldn’t take for granted:
- You’re getting stronger or doing more reps than when you started out.
- You don’t get tired that easily when climbing stairs and doing daily stuff.
- You can now do the exercises that you never thought you could ever do. (From zero pushups to knee pushups and eventually standard pushups.)
- You’ve actually exercised more than you ever did before. (From zero to 4-minutes of daily exercise)
- You have more energy and feel better.
- You’re fitting your clothes better.
- You’ve gained some muscle.
Learning to appreciate and celebrate small triumphs will give you more motivation to continue what you’re doing.
Now don’t just sit there… Get started!
All the time you’ve spent reading this blog post will be put to waste if you don’t actually implement what you learned!
So which of the workout videos would you like to start with? Comment below!