If you had to choose between a four-minute workout and a 60-minute workout, who wouldn’t choose the shorter option? At first, it might not seem like you would get as much out of a measly four-minute sweat session. Your morning skincare routine is longer than that. But once you try a max rep workout, you’ll never question the effectiveness ever again.
It’s not the length of the workout that matters—it’s how much effort you’re putting in during the time you have. According to Ashley Joi, a trainer on Chris Hemsworth’s health and fitness app Centr, any workout that gets you to 70 to 80 percent max heart rate is going to work wonders. And because max rep workouts are so intense, you only need to do it for a short period of time to reap all the body-boosting benefits.
“A max rep workout is great for exercising at home because it’s effective and can be done without any equipment,” she says. “Some exercises to do in this format include plyometric exercises, such as jump squats, star jumps, and jumping lunges; or ab exercises, like crunches, bicycles, and V-ups; or cardio moves, such as sit-thrus or mountain climbers.”
While you can mix and match any movements you want to create your own max rep workout (try push-ups, sit-ups, squats, burpees, etc.), Joi has the perfect full-body combo below to get you started. By the time the four minutes are up, you’ll be burning all over.
This is the max rep workout you need to really sweat
Complete each exercise over a one-minute period with no rest breaks. The goal is doing as many reps as you can before the time is up. For a less advanced version, Joi says you can take a 30-second break between exercises.
1. Jump squats
- Get into a squat position, making sure your knees are in line with your toes like you’re sitting down on a chair.
- Get some air with a high jump before landing back into a low squat position and doing it all again
- Lie on your back with your knees facing the sky and your feet pressed firmly on the ground.
- Crunch your upper body toward your knees, trying to get as much of your chest and shoulders off the ground as possible. Try not to use momentum to rise up—it should be your core strength that’s guiding you.
Want to make them harder? Joi says to take your feet off the ground and into a table top position.
- With your hands planted on the ground in front of you, rotate 90 degrees to the left and kick your right leg out to be straight.
- Rotate 180 degrees to the right, kicking your left leg out, before turning 180 degrees back to your original position.
4. High knees
- Get up on your feet. Using your arms to keep you powered and energized, run in place with your knees as high as possible.
Want to make them harder? Joi says to start punching above your head while you run to give your upper body a workout, too.
For another quickie workout, try this 5-minute HIIT workout:
Try Christie Brinkley’s two genius hacks for squeezing in a quick workout during daily tasks. Then meet the 10-minute micro workouts—aka the smartest way to get fit quickly.