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Trainers Swear by the '4-2-1' Workout Method To Shed Fat: 'Every Week I See Progress'

Trainers and fitness pros love this numbered workout method to melt body fat and burn calories.

Numbered workout methods are taking TikTok and social media by storm—and for good reason. Fitness enthusiasts of all levels are testing out regimens like the viral 12-3-30 treadmill workout and the 4-1-1 workout method for weight loss and rave about the results. Well, there's another numbered fitness routine in town, and it's called the "4-2-1" workout method. The best part is it's backed by trainers to strip away body fat.

If you're eager to give 4-2-1 a try, keep reading to learn more. And when you're finished, be sure to check out I Tried the Viral '12-3-30' Workout for a Week & My Glutes Feel the Burn for more fitness inspiration.

What is the 4-2-1 workout method?

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If your fitness goal is to lose weight, this program structure may be an excellent one to try. "The 4-2-1 combo workout is a popular workout program template currently trending on TikTok," explains Tyler Read, BSc, CPT, the founder of and a personal trainer who has been involved in the health and fitness world for the past 15 years. "The idea is that you do four days of strength training, two days of cardio, and one day dedicated to mobility."

The strength training portion of 4-2-1 helps you maintain and sculpt muscle mass—especially if you're dieting for weight loss and want to avoid too much muscle loss. Adding more muscle to your frame also boosts your resting metabolism, further supporting your fat-loss efforts. "The two days of cardio are helpful for both general fitness and burning more calories," Read adds. "Finally, the mobility day is a great way to help with injury prevention and recovery, especially if you are fully following the rest of the program and working out a full six days per week."

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Trainers love the 4-2-1 workout method to burn body fat.


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Trainers and fitness pros on TikTok can't get enough of recommending the 4-2-1 workout method for fat loss. Dr. Robin B, who calls herself the "body doc on TikTok," has over 1.2 million followers on the platform and shares regular fitness content. In one of her videos, she captioned, "4-2-1 combo moves method has transformed my body and thousands of other women who joined my program! All you need are dumbbells to get strong and toned and snatch your waist." The video received over 49K likes.

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In another clip, Dr. Robin B posted, "Y'all: 'I want to get rid of my bra fat and get strong, toned arms but IDK what to do.' I got you—standing bicep curl to press, kneeling around the head … come join the 4-2-1 method. All you need is a set of dumbbells and 30 minutes." This video raked in more than 508K likes.

TikTok user Maddie (@maddiefromladder) is another passionate advocate for the 4-2-1 workout method. In one of her videos, she explained, "Every day out of the week, you're moving your body and you're shredding off fat and calories." She has her routine down pat and noted, "I'm not picking up random TikTok exercises and putting them in my notes. I'm literally working out under a plan, and every week I see progress within my body. It's insane."

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa