4-Minute At-Home Workout for When You Can’t Get to the Gym or Need a Lift

For the past two months, I’ve been testing a four-minute workout routine that promised to give the same benefits as if I’d worked out in the gym for an hour. Created by Dr. Zach Bush, it’s a new version of high-intensity interval training (HIIT). The three-to-four-minute workout consists of four basic exercises — squats, tin soldiers, snow angel and military press— which work all 16 major muscle groups. It takes about 4 minutes and I try to do it 3 times a day; on very busy “out-and-about” days, as little as once or twice.

It’s designed to stimulate the release of nitric oxide, which is actually a soluble gas and free radical stored in the lining or endothelium of your blood vessels that can catalyze and promote health.

The results have been impressive. I’ve gotten quite a bit leaner, developed muscle and strength, and lost about 5 pounds, which I’ve kept off easily (no mean feat for my aging self).  Normally, if I go a day without doing my usual 45-minute exercise routine, I start to gain weight;  if I can’t do my regular exercise, I can easily do this routine at home.

The simple routine is easy to do during my day and has proven an energizing break while working; I feel the effect immedately. It’s best to wait at least two hours between sessions, to allow the body to synthesize nitric oxide for subsequent release. ( I put a little sign up on my fridge, and sometimes set a timer, to remind myself to do a session). And for best results, I breath through the nose, not mouth. Over time, as the sequence has gotten easier to do, I’ve added more reps to keep myself challenged.

You can read all about how it works here at Mercola.com. I recommend following Zach Bush’s video at the top of the page as Dr. Mercola, whose info can be excellent, often take things to an extreme. I find his version pushes too hard.


Note: Wary of squats and of pushing too hard, too fast, I took the workout slowly the first few times, listening to how my body was handling it, and gradually increasing the intensity. Listen, listen, listen to your body…




5 Responses to 4-Minute At-Home Workout for When You Can’t Get to the Gym or Need a Lift

  1. Lesley Simpson 03.27.2019 at 2:32pm #

    I wanted to thank you for posting the four minute workout. I admit I was skeptical and figured this video might be better classified under the “false promises” of the fitness industry. However I did the workout twice yesterday ( a day with no gym time) and once today after my usual swim, and it’s a challenging boost for someone who spends her day sitting/reading/writing/revising/thinking/creating

    . I was actually wondering if I had space in my office at school to sneak it in (alas no) and wondered if I should offer it to our staff early morning in the hallway as a way to start the day with more zip!

    Thank you for sharing it. I am a forever fan of this site. I would love to learn more about the long term impact of this type of exercise in case you’re posting a follow up!

  2. Sally Schneider 03.27.2019 at 8:26pm #

    Wariness about “false promises” is why I tried it out for a couple of months before writing about it. A “challenging boost” is a good way of describing it and I appreciate your describing how you’ve used it. I am amazed at something so simple has such an effect. So glad you found the same.

  3. Kate Conklin 04.04.2019 at 6:26pm #

    Love this! We’ve been doing similar workouts and have loved it. Excited to add this one to the rotation!

  4. peggy orr 04.10.2019 at 12:25am #

    I just had my 66th birthday
    it was a surprise…..
    my breath was short
    my mood damp
    the delightful HII T was a perfect
    birthday present
    an addition to my morning walk
    with the dogs…
    thank you
    I check in with you often
    and you never fail to lighten my existence
    on this planet….
    thank you

  5. Sally Schneider 04.10.2019 at 8:30pm #

    “you never fail to lighten my existence
    on this planet….”

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