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your look ● fitness Crank it UP! Mariah White has been a fitness model for MasterCard and Adidas Ad campaigns. She is also a featured model in the Pageantry & PromTime 2012 Fashion Showcase. By performing your exercise routines in short-but-intense bursts, you can actually achieve desired results without having to spend all of your time in the gym I f you’ve ever seen the classic comedy, There’s Some- thing About Mary, then you’re sure to remember the scene in which Ben Stiller’s character hitches a ride with a psychotic man babbling on about “7-Minute Abs”. At one point, Stiller asks him what happens when someone comes up with “6-Minute Abs” and, of course, he responds with a hilariously angry answer. But in that ridiculous moment of imaginary dialogue, there was a reality—we crave better results in shorter time. We live in a faced-paced, attention deficit and immedi- ate gratification kind of world. It’s part of the reason that the diet and fitness industry is getting inundated with In- sanity workouts, 6-Minute Abs and quick-fix magic weight loss pills. With the No. 1 excuse for avoiding exercise being “I don’t have enough time,” the idea of working out for a short time and getting more out of it has undeniable ap- peal. After all, who wouldn’t want to spend less time with the monotony of lifting, sweating and straining and more time doing whatever it is you like to do? That brings us to the question—How little exercise can I get away with? The answer, it seems, may be four minutes. THE SCIENCE OF SIZE Researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway, and other institu- tions, attempted to identify the minimum amount of exer- cise required to develop or maintain healthy gains. The study examined the effects of a relatively large dose of high- intensity intervals on various measures of health and fitness and determined that a single, strenuous four-minute work- out effectively improved health and fitness. At the end of the program, the subjects had increased their maximal oxygen uptake, or endurance capacity, by an average of 10 percent or more. Metabolic and cardiovascu- lar health likewise had improved with almost all of the par- 86 PAGEANTRY PHOTOS BY JOHN MCCLURG ticipants displaying better blood sugar control and blood pressure profiles, with similar results as those that had exer- cised vigorously for 16 minute sessions. TURN UP THE INTENSITY High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is an enhanced form of interval training: bursts of strenuous exercise last- ing anywhere from 30 seconds to several minutes, inter- spersed with short periods of rest. It works and anyone can find the time to do it, and this is why high-intensity inter- val training is becoming the go-to workout not just for olympic athletes, but celebrities, corporate executives and busy housewives. The Norwegian University study is hardly the only evi- dence. In recent years, a wealth of studies have established that sessions of high-intensity exercises can be as potent physiologically, as much longer bouts of sustained en- durance exercise. But, the evidence has been available as early as the 1970s. Japanese scientist Izumi Tabata’s ground breaking research at a department of physiology in Japan is credited with the creation of the four-minute workout, or “The Tabata Protocol”. To do a Tabata, all you have to do is pick a cardio activ- ity, such as running, jumping rope, or biking, and go as hard as you can for 20 seconds. Follow that with 10 seconds of