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Fast and Effective Fitness in 20 Minutes or Less

It is about reaping maximum fitness benefits in the minimum amount of time.

Image: Gareth Williams, Flickr

High Intensity Training (HIT) and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is nothing new. It's been around since the 70s, in fact Peter Coe used this method to train his son Sebastian Coe. Many different versions of HIIT have been developed since then, the most popular of which is Tabata named after its creator and based on a 1996 study of Olympic speed-skaters. Now it has been predicted that HIIT will be one of the big trends for 2014 as it moves further into the mainstream. It is no longer just for professional athletes but for regular people like you and me who want to be as fit as possible within a minimum amount of time.


Before embarking on a HIIT programme you should consult your doctor or health practitioner to ensure that it is safe for you.

Fitness Research

The First 20 Minutes: The Surprising Science That Reveals How We Can Exercise Better, Train Smarter, Live Longer

Book / ByGretchen Reynolds
What is the minimal amount of activity you can get away with? Research conducted in Scotland determined that being active for a minimum of 20 hours per week is required to maintain a "sanguine temper". This book is packed full of conclusions derived from various studies and research, much of it contradictory - like most research I suppose. If Malcolm Gladwell wrote a fitness book, I imagine it would be a lot like this one. This book is great if you want to learn how to get optimal results from your exercise routine.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

HIIT Workout: What It Is And Why It Works

Article / ByAmy Schlinger

As the name suggests High Intensity Interval Training is about bursts of intense exercise followed by a short recovery period. "This type of training gets and keeps your heart rate up and burns more fat in less time." Besides being quick to execute other benefits of HIIT are that it increases your metabolism and does not require equipment.

No equipment? No Worries!

Article / ByHannah Williams

This is a website dedicated to HIIT workouts. They post new workouts daily and have an active community to keep you motivated making it a great place to start with HIIT. Many of their workouts do make use of equipment but this one by Hannah Williams, only uses a chair. It includes a short video to demonstrate each of the exercises in the workout.

Five Minute Fitness Workouts

Zen Martinoli's 5 Minute Fitnes

Book / ByZen Martinoli
How is it possible to be fit with just five minutes of exercise? Latest research indicates that high intensity exercises even for as little as four minutes, burns nine times more calories than low intensity exercise. These workouts are not suitable for the unfit with sedentary lifestyles, they are aimed at the occasional to advanced exercisers to improve fitness, build lean muscle and burn fat. The exercises make use of your body weight, making these workouts portable, especially useful for those who travel a lot. There are 3 levels of mini-workouts with Tabata being adapted for levels 2 and 3.

Home Tabata Workout: Blast Fat in 4 Minutes

Article / ByJessica Smith
The four minutes of a Tabata workout is made up for 20 seconds of going as hard as you can followed by a 10 seconds rest. You do this eight times for the complete workout. During those 20 seconds you're engaging in mountain climbers, squat jumps, burpees or ski moguls. TryTabata Pro Timer

Get more on ...

for iOS or My Tabata Timer for Android if you need help with the timing.

Fast Exercise

Fast Exercise

Book / ByDr Michael Mosley, Peta Bee
Michael Mosley, the bestselling author of Fast Diet has teamed up with sports journalist and coach Peta Bee, to help you get the most out of high intensity training (HIT). They've created workouts for sloths to the super-fit. "Medical tests have shown that just a few minutes of HIT, done 3 times a week, can deliver improvements in line with the benefits you'd get from doing many hours of conventional exercise." Can you handle three 60 second workouts in a week?

Exercise for a fraction of the time for fast results

Article / ByPeta Bee
Don't like the gym, but think you could handle some skipping, walking or running? Here are some Fast Exercise routines to get you fit. Really pressed for time and working long hours? No problem - you can make the most of the stairs on your way to meetings.

I am the founder of SelfCentr.com. I love reading personal development books and try very hard to implement the stuff that resonates with me. For the most part I am paralysed by fear and indulge in the fine art of proscrastination. So it's small changes for me.

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