Four Minutes to a More Fit and Healthy Body

Kevin: Okay. Let’s talk about the four minutes. What’s included in the four minute workout? I mean it seems even to a lot of people out there that four minutes just doesn’t seem like enough.Ryan: Yeah. You know, it’s funny because people do say that. They say how much, how hard, is four minutes? And I speak at some big fitness conferences and there was one about a year ago where I put people through these workouts, you know high level fitness professionals. And I said, okay I’m going to give you guys a little sample. Let’s do two minutes of it and they were floored. A lot of them couldn’t even finish it. If you think about it like this, okay, if you want to run a mile, you know, the best milers in the world run a mile at about 4 minutes, right? 3 minutes and 58 seconds. Are you telling me that if you run a mile in four minutes you’re not getting a good workout? Like four minutes doesn’t sound like a lot but it is tough. When you were doing my strength exercises for 20 seconds as hard as you can and as many reps as you can and then you only rest for 10 and then you’ve got to do it again and you rest and do it for 8, you know. I could floor the best athletes in the world with depending on how intense I want to take it, depending on the exercise I choose. If I’m choosing real full body intense and, you know, as they get more fit you could just load up more weight and more resistance. You know, I know well over a hundred ways to do a push-up, you know, between a regular push up, a one-handed push up, a one hand, one leg push-up. You know, push up with two legs on the ball, one leg on the ball, two legs on the ball, one hand, two legs on the ball and one hand on the ball, you know.So there’s so many ways you could progress and change just one exercise to make it more difficult as you get stronger. So I’m not saying that for the rest of your life all you need to do are these four minute workouts but it’s definitely a great thing to add into your routines and I’ve gone like a month or so that these are the only type of workouts I’ll do or I’ll cycle them into different workouts but I think that you’d be surprised how much of a workout you can get. And then as you get more fit you can do a couple of them. I was working up to three of these four-minute workouts a day. Sometimes I would do one or two in the morning and then I’d do one in the afternoon or one at night or you could do one in the morning, one in the afternoon and one at night.Kevin: Yeah. This sounds like an awesome solution for people who are busy. I’m sure that’s one of the reasons why you put this together. What does an average week look like if you’re doing this type of program?Ryan: The average week, you know what I like to do is try to maybe just do some straight training three times a week and rest the other two or some aerobic training. That was in the past. I like to personally try to do these workouts five days a week.Kevin: Okay.Ryan: But what you can do is if you’re feeling a little burnt out, you know, you could maybe do the strength exercises like a Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Tuesday, Thursday stay with the same interval with the 20 on, 10 off but choose more, you know, anaerobic-type exercises; so maybe sprinting. So you’ll sprint for 20 seconds, you rest for 10, sprint for 20, and then rest for 10, especially if you want to get into the fat burning mode.Kevin: Right.Ryan: Or jump rope, or jumping jacks, or mounting climbing or things like that; or a stationary bike. It’s hard to do on a treadmill because by the time you start – unless it’s a manual treadmill where you’re powering the treadmill but on a typical motorized treadmill by the time you get it up to full sprint, you know, on the treadmill they usually go up to 12, maybe 15 miles an hour. It takes like 8 seconds or 10 seconds. By the time you get up there you’re up there for 10 and then you’ve got to lower it again. So it doesn’t really work on a treadmill. When I used to go to the gym, a typical gym, what I used to do is go into the aerobics room. I would get one of those resistance bands that most gyms have or bungee cords and I would tie it around a pole and make a big loop and then tie the other part around my waste and I would literally sprint in place.Kevin: Okay.Ryan: And do my intervals and watch the clock as I did them. And people probably thought I was insane. Like okay, we have these treadmills, and treadmills with built in fans and we have ESPN and you can watch all this stuff. I’m like, nah, that’s all right. And you know what? I looked better than everyone who was on the treadmills for an hour. They’d be just sweating their butt off and they’d look terrible.Kevin: So the intervals that you’re talking about are 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off. What are some of the exercises? I know you ran over some. I mean does this need any equipment?Ryan: No, no. Actually I did one DVD where it’s all body weight.Kevin: Okay.Ryan: I have ten different workouts. It’s all purely body weight. You don’t need any equipment. You can always, obviously, if you have some equipment all you need are a simple pair of dumbbells. You can use – I love kettlebells too. I don’t talk too much about kettle bells just because most people don’t have them yet. So I want to at least teach them the system using body weight because everyone can find a pair of dumbbells. Just go to any sporting goods store and get a cheap pair of the gray, you know, metal dumbbells. They’re called hex dumbbells. They’re probably about $0.50 a pound. So you guys can go get those. Start off light. Maybe if a female maybe start off with like a five pound set because you’re like, oh five pounds is nothing but when you start doing these exercises if you’re doing thrusters, and renegade rows and all these kinds of things five pounds starts to feel very heavy by about the sixth round.Kevin: Sure.Ryan: And the guys maybe start off with a ten or fifteen. You can always go up in weight.Kevin: Yeah, guys will think that’s pretty light. I mean what can you tell them?Ryan: Oh, my god. I challenge anyone to do dumbbell thrusters with 20 pounds for a full four minutes. Within 20 second I’ll tell…Kevin: What is a dumbbell thruster just so they’ll know?Ryan: Okay, a dumbbell thruster – okay, imaging you’re standing up right now and now you have the dumbbells in each hand. And now bend your elbows and put your hands like on your shoulders, almost like you’re about to do like just a regular standing shoulder press. And now what I want you to do is quickly you go down to a full squat position and with the dumbbells still staying on your shoulders. So you come down with a squat, the dumbbells still on your shoulders. As you come up from the squat explosively you raise your hands above your head like you’re doing a shoulder press.Kevin: Okay.Ryan: And then you repeat and as you come down the squat you lower it to your shoulders. So it’s almost like a squat press and you do those as fast and as many as you can in 20 seconds, rest for 10 second and repeat that for 8 full.Kevin: So there’s a challenge out there for guys, four minutes? Holy cow.Ryan: Yeah, you do it for eight full rounds. So it’s four minutes total, 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off. I challenge you. Go 20 pounds, go 25 pounds and you’ll see how quickly you can be humbled. I’ve worked up to like – I’ve done them with 35 pounds. It is brutal.Kevin: Why don’t you give the sample of – if you can take us through one or two of maybe your favorite four-minute workouts quick.Ryan: Okay. There’s literally thousands of them but I’ll just try to give you a couple. Let me give one for people who are beginners. So if you haven’t worked out before and you’re a little intimidated here’s just a really simple beginner workout that will kind of work every body part. Okay, so maybe we’ll start off – let’s do an upper body pushing exercise. So we’ll do some type of pushup movement and if you’re a beginning and you’re like oh, my god I can’t even do one pushup. Start off with a wall push up so you keep your body straight and you just find a wall, a little bit of an angle and you just pushups against the wall. Again, as many as you can, so let’s just say 15 seconds and then you take a 15 second rest. The next exercise we’ll break it up and let’s do a lower body and we’ll go with just a regular wall squat where you know you put your back against the wall, keep your feet about two or three feet in front of the wall and then you just slide down, slide down the wall, slide back up. Go down to about parallel positioned so your thighs are parallel to the floor and slide yourself back up against the wall. And again 15 second on and 15 seconds off. And now let’s get back to an upper body. Let’s do an upper body pull. If you have resistance bands you could just do a regular standing row or if you have a pull up bar, some way to modify it you could do a modified pull up, which is a pull up basically on an angle so you’re laying down lower. If you’re at a gym a good machine for this is a Smith machine. The Smith machine are those barbells that are like attached to a lever that just go up and down in a fixed position so you lower that to a lower position and it’s almost like you’re doing – almost like a reverse bench press if you think of it like that. Pull yourself up; pull yourself down, 15 on, 15 off. And then we could finish up with, let’s say, a core-type movement, maybe just a basic crunch