A Japanese man who goes by the online handle ‘Hiiragi Sensei’ (Teacher Hiiragi), has been getting a lot of attention on Asian social media for his dramatic physical transformation which he claims was possible with just 4 minutes of high-intensity training per day.
The intriguing story of Hiiragi Sensei began back in March, when he posted a photo of himself and his unflattering pot belly on Twitter, along with the promise to completely change his look by losing fat and gaining muscle mass. Five months later, he posted another photo alongside the old one to showcase just how dramatically his body had changed. His flabby pot belly was replaced by a clearly-defined six-pack, his arms were visibly more muscular, as was his chest. And it was all thanks to the Tabata regimen – a 4-minute high-intensity workout that he repeated every day over the course of five months.
After sharing the shocking before-and-after photos, on August 25, Hiiragi received overwhelming feedback on Twitter, including 29,000 retweets and 10,500 likes. He has since been streaming and posting YouTube videos about his simple yet effective training programme for people interested in following his example.
In one of his YouTube videos, Hiiragi Sensei demonstrates his daily 4-minute workout, which consists of a set of eight burpees for 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest, and repeating this cycle a total of eight times. According to him, the short, high-intensity regimen gave him the same benefits as a one-hour conventional gym session.
Hiiragi says that the Tabata regimen, inspired by the research of Japanese professor Izumi Tabata, helped him lose 13 kilogrammes and reduce his body fat to 18.2%. His allegedly dropped from 72kg to 59kg.
Although he did change his diet by incorporating more healthy foods, like fresh vegetables, he did indulge in plenty of calorie-rich treats, like grilled meat or curry rice and he’s also been consuming his favourite drink, bubble tea.
In one of his tweets, Hiiragi Sensei emphasized that the key to his success was determination, as he was finally able to stick to a diet and training regimen for more than a few days. The results were definitely worth the work, though.
“I changed this much within five months, but I’ve actually been lying to myself for the last two years, saying that “I will lose weight, I will lose weight”. I couldn’t last longer than three days whenever I tried to diet, and the cycle repeats itself,” he wrote. “Now that I think about it, I just wasn’t really serious about losing weight. As long as I’ve a clear objective, and I set out to achieve it, I can more or less do it.”