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Don’t let the holiday chaos derail your health goals. You don’t want to have to start over trying to lose pounds in January come New Years Resolution time. Get in and get out with our 15 minute workout series this month. (See past posts: Holiday Hustle: 15 Minute Total Body Workouts15 Minute Kettlebell Workout.)

Don’t have time to go to the gym for a long cardio workout or strength training routine? The good news is you don’t need to spend hours on the treadmill or elliptical to burn some serious fat. All you need is four minutes.

Maximize every second of your precious time with this simple plan that’s as effective than most hour-long training sessions. The secret is that it combines two proven fat-loss techniques— metabolic strength training and Tabata training— into one super-focused workout.

Tabata is a form of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), which consists of four minutes of intense interval/circuit training with a work-to-rest ratio of 20-seconds on/10-seconds off. It can be done with a number of different exercises. The idea is to use an exercise that gets the whole body involved, or at least the major muscle groups. Tabata Training can be done with barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells or just body weight exercises.

A study by Japanese scientist Dr. Izumi Tabata, who founded Tabata training, found that high intensity training improved VO2 max (or your maximal oxygen consumption)  by about 14%, while anaerobic capacity improved by 28%. These effects will help you shed those extra pounds of fat, while also building lean muscle.


How it works:

After a 1-minute warm-up, do each exercise at maximum intensity for 20-seconds performing as many reps as possible, rest for 10 seconds for a total of 8 rounds. Rest for one to two minutes and move onto next exercise.

Tabata Workout

Medicine Ball Squat to Press


Sets/Reps: 8 rounds

  • Stand with the feet shoulder-width apart core tight holding medicine ball at your chest.
  • Inhale and unlock the hips, bringing them back as the knees begin to bend.
  • Keep the chest and shoulders upright, and continue until the hips are slightly less than 90 degrees from the ground.
  • On the way back up, engage the core and drive through the heels to return to standing and raise the medicine ball upward until the arms are fully extended overhead, and then lower back to the chest.

Kettlebell Swing


Sets/Reps: 8 rounds

  • Stand up straight, with feet a bit wider than hip-distance apart.
  • Grab hold of the kettlebell with both hands, keeping the palms face down and arms in front of the body.
  • Keep the knees slightly bent and drive the hips and bell back (it’s not a squat, so the knees shouldn’t have to bend that much), lowering the body just a bit to an athletic stance.
  • In one fluid motion, explosively drive the hips forward while swinging the kettlebell, engaging the glutes and core.



Sets/Reps: 8 rounds

  • Lower into a squat and place hands on the floor under shoulders. Jump feet back to a full plank position, keeping abs braced in tight.
  • Quickly jump feet back into squat, bending arms by sides.
  • Jump up out of squat and over to the left, swinging arms to help move body, landing in squat position. Immediately repeat to the other side.

Sprints on Stationary Bike or Rower


Sets/Reps: 8 rounds

  • Row or bike as hard as you can for 20-seconds.

Russian twist


Sets/Reps: 8 rounds

  • Sit on the floor with the knees bent and feet together and lifted a few inches off the floor.
  • With the back at a 45-degree angle from the ground, move the arms from one side to another in a twisting motion.