The 12-Minute Fat Loss Workout

Learn how just 12 minutes of exercise each week is enough to get you fit.

Ben Greenfield,
June 17, 2013
Episode #142

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The 12-Minute Fat Loss Workout

In a recent study researchers looked at the impact of two different exercise regimens. In the first regimen, one group exercised 3 times a week with 4-minute workout sessions and the other group also exercised 3 times per week but performed 16-minute sessions that were broken into 4-minute bouts.

So if you were doing the math, that means the first group exercised for a total of just 12 minutes a week, while the other group exercised 48 minutes per week. Granted, neither of those were marathon-esque training sessions, but in spite of that, the results were very surprising.

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How Much Do You Need to Exercise?

The 4-minute bursts of vigorous physical activity 3 times each week elevated participants’ oxygen intake levels, as well as lowered blood pressure and glucose levels, just as well as the 16-minute sessions! As a matter of fact, the 4–minute group decreased their blood pressure even more than the 16-minute group.

It is a commonly held misperception that getting the body that you desire requires oodles of hard work and hours upon hours of training. But this new research proves exactly the opposite – that it only takes 4 minutes of vigorous activity 3 times per week to be fit and healthy. 

On the flipside, there are certainly downsides of exercising too much, which I reveal in the episode Can You Exercise Too Much?. These downsides include loss of time, hormone depletion, sore muscles, overtraining, and physical or mental burnout.


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