A Japanese researcher has developed a punishing exercise regimen that he claims can boost cardiovascular health in just 4 minutes.
Inspired by his work with Japan's speed skating team, Dr Izumi Tabata's training protocol involve 20 seconds of all-out effort, 10 seconds of rest, repeating eight times, the Guardain reported.
"After four minutes' hard exercise they were wiped out. But after six weeks they saw the results and were surprised. We all were," he recalled the first time he inflicted the system.
Professor Tabata, well known for his research into high-intensity intermittent training, is a former researcher at the National Institute for Health and Nutrition and currently a professor and researcher at Ritsumeikan University's newly established Faculty of Sport and Health Science.
His research followed extensive monitoring of Japan's speed skating team in the early 1990s when he noticed that short bursts of brutally hard exercise seemed to be effective.