Cardio haters, rejoice. The 4-minute calorie-torching wonder known as the Tabata protocol lives up to the hype, according to an Auburn University study.
Participants performed eight 20-second rounds of jump squats separated by only 10 seconds of rest. Each round was done at an all-out pace with the participants working as hard as possible from start to finish. While they burned an average of 13.4 calories per minute during the workout, they also doubled their post-exercise metabolic rate for at least 30 minutes afterward.
“You would have to do five times the amount of moderate-intensity exercise—like power walking or light jogging—to burn the same amount of calories as you did in just 4 minutes,” says study author Michele Olson, Ph.D., FACSM. “Even more if you want to achieve the after-burn benefits, too.”