Four hours a week? Yeah that’s doable.
I had a quick online discussion recently in regards to The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferriss. Admittedly, neither of us has read the book, and I might eventually get around to reading it, but it has a long list of books in front of it, so 4-Hour Body will have to wait. The other person simply stated they would doubt the effectiveness of only spending 4 hours a week exercising, as that doesn’t seem like a lot of time. Again, this is simply based off of the title of the book and nothing else.
My response to this statement is simple, 4 hours a week of actual working out is a good amount of time to devote to fitness and still expect to see results.
If someone told me I had that much time to allocate, this is how I would break it down:
I would do three sessions of weightlifting, 45 minutes each session, with a large focus on compound movements. I would keep breaks fairly short, but at least a minute so as not to waste any time and still save up energy in between each set. I would alternate between upper and lower body days. Squats, deadlifts and presses would occur fairly regularly.
On my off days from the weights I would do three 30 minute cardio sessions, focused on high intensity intervals, and that would include warm up and cool down time. My favorite device for intervals is the Schwinn Airdyne, and most of my clients can confirm that this is true.
That leaves me with an additional 15 minutes to play with, and they would most likely end up being spent in the weight room or on the floor stretching.
This is obviously not a one size fits all scenario, but this is how my personal workouts would be structured based on my current goals and needs, and with only four hours a week.
So there you have it, a simple example of what a 4 hour workout might look like. As long as nutrition is in line, results will follow. It may not be the best plan for everyone, but it is way better than zero hours of exercise.