This is what it should feel like doing a 4×4 interval.

Many people associate interval training with blod, sweat and tears. All stuff you probably would like to avoid. We are here to tell you that out of these three, there is only sweat you will need to get in better shape, quick and easy.

Doing a 4×4 

The actual implementation of 4×4 intervals is quite a short process. In total, there are 16 minutes of higher intensity. How long the actual session lasts is up to you and what duration you want during the active breaks. We recommend that you have a minimum of 3 minutes of active break between each interval.


The purpose of the warm-up is to get you ready for the workout. You need to determine how long time you will need for your warm-up, but if you want to stick to the app’s formula with 6 minutes of warm-up, we recommend using this time to build yourself up to the desired intensity. You should always experience the speed and incline as comfortable during the warm-up. 

The intervals

In the intervals, aim for an intensity that, after a few minutes makes you breathe so heavily that you are unable to speak in full sentences. This means that the first minute to one and a half minutes of an interval should be experienced as quite “easy”. When, after about one minute into the interval, you are unable to speak in full sentences, do not push yourself any further. At the right intensity, you should be short of breath with not feeling any kind of discomfort. Using a heart rate monitor with the app will guide you to the right intensity.

A rule of thumb is that you should be able to continue for another minute at this intensity when the active break begins.

Active brake

During the active breaks, reduce your speed so that you can breathe and speak normally again. Make sure that the intensity does not fall too low, as this will only make it harder for you to get your heart rate up again in the next interval. Get ready to repeat a new interval.


The last active break is the cooldown of the workout. Use this time to actually cool down and ask yourself: “Would I be able to complete another interval of 4 minutes now if I had to?”. If the answer to this is “yes”, you have completed the training correctly. If the answer is “no”, you have trained too hard.

I actually like to be short of breath 🤷🏼‍♀️

My name is Marit Sofie 🙋🏼‍♀️ I feel lucky because I actually like to be short of breath. I had forgotten how important it is to get a bit out of breath during the week for a long time. It is essential for my health today, tomorrow, and eventually my health as an old lady.

I am a mother of two working full time. We have a house and a car. Homes must be cleaned, and vehicles should probably be charged, but ours still run on gas (but it is not the point of this post). On top of this, the people who live in the house and drive the car need to eat. Preferably something healthy and child-friendly. The feeling of living a hectic life is felt on a daily basis. Quite often several times a day. I am not saying this to brag; I say this because I am pretty sure you can recognize it in your own life?

I put myself on hold.

For a while, my everyday life became too much. I could barely see how I would manage to make the packed lunches for the next day. I could not see the time or value of emptying the dishwasher! Because why should I empty it; It will be packed in a few seconds anyways! I thought I was smart and did everyone around me a favour when I decided to put my own exercise on hold. As a sports graduate and a long career in the fitness industry, I was used to exercising as part of everyday life. But after a few years in another industry with a completely different mentality associated with exercise, it actually became utterly natural for me at this point to think: “I’ll postpone my exercise till I get more time.”

The dishwasher remained just as packed.

The weeks passed, and before I knew it, I had gone further without exercise than ever before. It had absolutely no effect on the laundry, the dishes or the packed lunches. Everything was still just as heavy. The time I had taken from my own exercise had given me zero and nothing in return. A rather lousy investment, I would say! I started to see similarities with those I used to welcome at the gym in the rush of new members in January: “In my 20s, I was in fantastic shape – so this should probably go well. I’ll be back in shape in a swish”. Fortunately, I had enough self-awareness to look in the mirror and say, “not gonna happen that quickly”.

10,000 steps or breathless exercise.

After giving birth to my last child, I got a watch to count how many steps I walk every day. Terribly convenient! As a mother of small children, you actually get to count steps both night-time and day-time. I did not hesitate long before turning off the feature that measures sleep quality. Anyway- I started to get hung up on these steps. By all means, I had to reach the “recommended” goal of 10,000 steps every day. And with that, the walking started. I walked both with and without a pram. I walked high and low, in and out. I walked for hours! My body was still just as empty of energy, and the dishwasher just as packed…


Running shoes on sale.

When I was out for a walk (yes, you are allowed to laugh), I came across a sale on running shoes. The good old favourites in my size were to be found at a 50% discount! I know of none who is as happy with sales as I am. I bought two pairs! One for outdoor use and one for the treadmill. Now I was going to run. Would the world (my world) endure me being in a running state for 15 minutes? The world endured 30 minutes. But this was enough to make me once more feel how good it is to move my body at a pace that it usually does not keep. How good it was to feel my heart working and enabling me to move my legs faster. How liberating it was that for 30 minutes, I was the one who decided the pace and the music. When I came home, I emptied the dishwasher before taking a shower.

I feel cheated.

It took some time before the exercise once more became a routine in my life. But it did not take more than four sessions before I started to miss it if a week passed by without. Eventually, I changed jobs and was about to go into shock when I got to read the studies and hear the truth about 10,000 steps in this new job. This is pure media fabrication! There is no valid reason to say that it is recommended to walk 10,000 steps every single day! I feel cheated…

What does the research say about the 10,000 step trend? 10,000 steps every day takes an unnecessary amount of time if it is better health and “more life”  you are looking for. (Aha, you do not say!) Cleaners usually walk more than 10,000 steps every day in their job, yet they are the occupational group with the lowest VO2max, highest sickness absence and most health problems in this country (Komdavel Project, Hoff, Helgerud, 2012 ). This means that even if you have a job that keeps you on your feet most of the day, your heart will not benefit from it. Several occupational groups can be mentioned, but you understand my point. However, it is important to note that this trend has something going for it  because it increases the likelihood that you will achieve a certain intensity in some of these steps. Intensity is crucial to what it will do to your health.

Dare to be short of breath.

Research shows that VO2max is the most important indicator of health known today (American Heart Association, Ross et al.2016). Therefore, from personal experience and after reading the research, I now know that VO2max must be improved to say that health and fitness are better. The most effective way to enhance VO2max is to dare to be short of breath. Breathe on more occasions than just when you, unfortunately, have to run to the bus, mind you.

I’m lucky to know this and to live by this. I want you who read this and feel that life is a struggle to make the “energy ends meet” to experience the same! Feel the effect of taking a deep breath and getting a little out of breath. You do no one a favour by not exercising. Least of all, yourself!