The 4 x 4 Cardio Method - High Intensity Cardio

The 4 x 4 Interval Workout Method: High-Intensity Cardio for Better Results

We recently heard Rhonda Patrick on the Chris Williamson show talking about the 4 x 4 interval workout method, and how it maybe an essential tool for your fitness and living longer. But what is this method and why is Rhonda Patrick out there raving about this seemingly simple protocol? Here's why.

Understanding the 4 x 4 Interval Workout Method

At its core, the 4 x 4 interval workout involves performing four minutes of high-intensity exercise, followed by three minutes of recovery. This cycle is repeated four times, hence the name "4 x 4."

The Benefits of the 4 x 4 Interval Workout Method

  1. Efficiency: Time is a precious commodity at the gym, and the 4 x 4 method maximizes your workout efficiency. You can achieve similar, if not superior, benefits to traditional continuous training in less time.

  2. Improved Cardiovascular Health: The 4 x 4 workout method places significant demand on your cardiovascular system, which over time can lead to improved heart health and a lower risk of cardiovascular diseases.

  3. Enhanced Tolerance to High-Intensity Exercise: Interval training allows individuals to perform more work at high intensity with lower lactic acid accumulation, making it an advantageous training method over continuous training. The harder you train, the more you will be able to handle over time.

  4. Flexibility: The 4 x 4 method can be applied to various forms of exercise, including running, cycling, rowing, and even calisthenics, making it a versatile addition to any fitness regimen.

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How to Incorporate the 4 x 4 Interval Workout into Your Fitness Routine

Implementing the 4 x 4 method into your workout routine is relatively straightforward. After a proper warm-up, you simply choose an exercise and perform it at high intensity for four minutes. As mentioned above this can include running, jumping jacks, the stairmaster, or whatever you want.

After 4 minutes of near max effort, allow your body to recover with lower-intensity activity for three minutes. Repeat this cycle four times, then cool down with light activity and stretching. This can also be used as a finisher following your strength training session. 

Keep in mind that "high intensity" is relative to your personal fitness level. The goal is to push yourself out of your comfort zone during the high-intensity segments, but not to the point of feeling dizzy or nauseous. Most of us aren't 22 year old crossfit athletes, so we should train like we are. 

The 4 x 4 interval workout offers a time-efficient way to reap the cardiovascular and endurance benefits of high-intensity exercise. During your next workout, try finishing with this protocol and see if Dr. Patrick is on to something.

Check out the full interview on this topic here.

As always, it's important to listen to your body and adjust as needed. Consult with a fitness professional if you're new to HIIT or have any health concerns.


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