Lose Weight by Exercising Just 3 Minutes Per Week!

A new study takes High Intesity Interval Training to a new level. Can it work for you?

Ben Greenfield
1-minute read

The BBC recently reported that you can actually get healthier and even lose a little bit of weight by exercising just three minutes a week.

Yes, that’s right: three minutes! A week!

In this particular method, you do a set of three 20-second maximum, all-out efforts for three days 1 week. This is called High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT.

I’ve discussed HIIT and why it works in How To Do High Intensity Interval Training. While three minutes certainly can get you results, the problem is that most people simply don’t go hard enough to yield results. In fact, each 20-second effort of HIIT is literally at an intensity that is almost impossible for the average person to achieve.

In other words, this option typically isn’t realistic and applicable for most folks who don’t have a scientist in a lab coat shouting in their face for three sets of 20 seconds. A more realistic regimen is based on a 2009 study and uses 60 seconds of intense exercise followed by 75 seconds of rest, repeated for 8–12 rounds. People using this method three times per week obtained fitness gains similar to what would be expected from people who did longer sessions training five times per week. While still a demanding form of intense interval training, this exercise protocol is not quite as serious as sprinting at all out capacity for 20 seconds, which is harder than you may think.

If you have more questions about how little you can exercise, then come ask your question at the Get-Fit Guy Facebook page.

All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own health provider. Please consult a licensed health professional for all individual questions and issues.

About the Author

Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Idaho in sports science and exercise physiology; personal training and strength and conditioning certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA); a sports nutrition certification from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), an advanced bicycle fitting certification from Serotta. He has over 11 years’ experience in coaching professional, collegiate, and recreational athletes from all sports, and as helped hundreds of clients achieve weight loss and fitness success.