You might be thinking how much of a difference can seven minutes make. Well, the seven-minute workout is real and it actually works! The New York times has promoted it and research on it has been published by the in the American College of Sports Medicine Health and Fitness Journal.
The general idea of the 7-minute workout is that you perform 12 bodyweight exercises as a circuit. This type of exercise is categorized as “high-intensity circuit training. This workout focuses on building muscle and burning fat and it is designed for beginners or busy people to be able to perform this intense, short workout. It can be done within the house and its only seven minutes thus, making it attractive to those who cannot spend much time on exercise.
Twelve exercises make up the 7-Minute Workout, including jumping jacks, wall sits, push-ups, abdominal crunches, chair step-ups, squats, triceps dips on a chair, planks, high knees running in place, lunges, push-up and rotations, and side planks. What makes it partly appealing is that you do not require machinery or equipment, otherwise needed for most workouts. All you really need for this one is one chair and a wall.
Exercises are to be performed one after the other, for 30 seconds each, and on an intensity scale from 1 to 10, exercises should be performed at around an 8 and it is suggested by experts to have a 10 second rest period between each exercise to allow even a small window for muscles to recuperate. This is also why exercises have to be performed in rapid succession in the exact order listed. When we switch to the next exercise our muscles that were just used in the previous exercise have time to recover. The whole workout regime is planned out in such a manner that the whole body comes into motion and all muscles get attention one after the other as one gets into the flow of it.
Chris Jordan, CPT, the director of exercise physiology at Johnson & Johnson’s Human Performance Institute, and the designer of the workout explains how to get the most out of it. He says there is no question the workout is beneficial for all but one would see better results if one were to repeat the 7-minute circuit. The first circuit can be seen as the starting point thus, start with one and as the body gets used to it, notch it up to two to three circuits per work out. When three circuits are done thrice a week, it gets you close to the recommended guidelines of 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week.
When asked whether the exercise could help lose weight, Jordan replied he agreed it did but only when followed along with a healthy diet. The key is that it uses high-intensity interval training and resistance training, which are great for burning fat instead of muscle.
The creator of the regime also has some tips on how to achieve the best results. Here they are:
• Put it in all your effort. Even if it’s just 7 minutes and 30 seconds of each set, try to give it your best. It may burn at first but all it takes is a little getting used to.
• Be regular. Consistency is the key if you want to see the results fast. If you feel you are short on time, squeeze in a crunch before breakfast, one before lunch and then one prior to dinner time.
• Use music to motivate you. There are times when exercise feels too boring so let music pump you up. It may also ramp up your intensity level.
• Get a partner. Try to get someone to exercise with you, could be a friend or relative who is interested.