For the past two months, I’ve been testing a four-minute workout routine that promised to give the same benefits as if I’d worked out in the gym for an hour. Created by Dr. Zach Bush, it’s a new version of high-intensity interval training (HIIT). The three-to-four-minute workout consists of four basic exercises — squats, tin soldiers, snow angel and military press— which work all 16 major muscle groups. It takes about 4 minutes and I try to do it 3 times a day; on very busy “out-and-about” days, as little as once or twice.
It’s designed to stimulate the release of nitric oxide, which is actually a soluble gas and free radical stored in the lining or endothelium of your blood vessels that can catalyze and promote health.
The results have been impressive. I’ve gotten quite a bit leaner, developed muscle and strength, and lost about 5 pounds, which I’ve kept off easily (no mean feat for my aging self). Normally, if I go a day without doing my usual 45-minute exercise routine, I start to gain weight; if I can’t do my regular exercise, I can easily do this routine at home.
The simple routine is easy to do during my day and has proven an energizing break while working; I feel the effect immedately. It’s best to wait at least two hours between sessions, to allow the body to synthesize nitric oxide for subsequent release. ( I put a little sign up on my fridge, and sometimes set a timer, to remind myself to do a session). And for best results, I breath through the nose, not mouth. Over time, as the sequence has gotten easier to do, I’ve added more reps to keep myself challenged.
You can read all about how it works here at Mercola.com. I recommend following Zach Bush’s video at the top of the page as Dr. Mercola, whose info can be excellent, often take things to an extreme. I find his version pushes too hard.
Note: Wary of squats and of pushing too hard, too fast, I took the workout slowly the first few times, listening to how my body was handling it, and gradually increasing the intensity. Listen, listen, listen to your body…