Created by Ian K. Smith, MD., the 4 Day Diet is a 28 day long eating and exercise plan. This diet changes on every fourth day, preventing burn out or boredom. There are seven modules to the 4 Day Diet. These modules include: Induction, Transition, Protein Stretch, Smooth, Push, Pace and Vigorous. Each module also has a specific aerobic and strength training routine. According to Smith, you should only push yourself within a fitness level that you are comfortable with. Most days, dieters will be doing at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. Individuals can also breakup the fitness routine into several small intervals throughout the day.
For the exercise plans below, any form of cardiovascular exercise is acceptable, including walking, jogging, swimming, biking or using a cardio machine. In regards to strength training, the 4 Day Diet recommends using resistance machines, lifting light free weights or resistance bands.
- Day 1-3: 40 minutes cardio
- Day 4: Rest Day
- Day 1: 40 minutes cardio
- Day 2: Two 30 minute cardio sessions, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon
- Day 3: Rest Day
- Day 4: 40 minutes of cardio
Protein Stretch Module
- Day 1-4: 30 minutes of cardio and 20 minutes of light weight exercises
- Day 1: 40 minutes cardio and 20 minutes strength training
- Day 2: 40 minutes cardio and 20 minutes strength training
- Day 3: 45 minutes cardio
- Day 4: Rest day
- Day 1: two 35 minute cardio sessions, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon
- Day 2: 1 hour cardio but also a total of 8,000 steps during the day (remember to count your steps during your cardio workout)
- Day 3: 10,000 steps
- Day 4: 60 minutes of cardio (can be broken into two sections)
- Day 1: 30 minutes cardio and 20 minutes strength training
- Day 2: 45 minutes cardio
- Day 3: 30 minutes of cardio and 20 minutes of stregth training
- Day 4: 10,000 steps
- Day 1: 40 minutes cardio
- Day 2: 50 minutes cardio
- Day 3: Rest day
- Day 4: 50 minutes cardio
While the 4 Day Diet does not recommend any specific strength training exercises, below are a list of workouts that are ideal for light weight training. All you will need are a pair of dumbbells and a bench.
1. Dumbbell Press
Begin by lying flat on your back on a bench. Hold a dumbbell in each hand. With elbows bent, rest dumbbells on your chest, palms facing your feet. Push arms up, extending into the air until your elbows are no longer bent. Avoid locking your elbows. Slowly lower arms to starting position and repeat. Do 10 repetitions for one set. Aim to complete two sets.
2. Shoulder Press
Begin by sitting at the end of the bench with your back straight, knees bent to a 90 degree angle and feet flat on the floor. Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Start with arms straight over your head, elbows straight and palms facing out. Slowly lowering your arms until your shoulder and elbows are bent to 45 degrees. Press your arms back to starting position to complete one repetition. Complete two sets with 10 reps per set.
3. Hammer Curls
Being this exercise by standing with feet hip width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each arm with palms facing forward. Keeping elbows and upper arms in place, slowly rotate your arms out and up, to create a semi-circle. Continue this motion until dumbbells meet your shoulders. Palms should still be facing forward. Slowly return to starting position. Complete two sets of 10 repetitions.
Holding a dumbbell in each hand, stand upright with feet hip width apart. Keep palms facing towards your body through the entire exercise. Slowly bend your knees and concentrate on lowering your weight back through your hips, lower back and glutes. This motion will mimic the movement you make when sitting into a chair. Once thighs are parallel to the floor, pause and return to the starting position. Repeat two sets of 10 repetitions.