If you’ve been hearing the buzz about the 7-Minute Workout lately, you might be wondering if it’s too good to be true. Experts (real experts, not just those loud infomercial salesmen) claim performing a series of 12 bodyweight exercises at a high-intensity, finishing in the span of just 7 minutes, is enough to keep you physically fit and healthy.
In a recent article The New York Times reports, “There’s very good evidence that high-intensity interval training provides many of the fitness benefits of prolonged endurance training but in much less time.” The key to the entire circuit is working hard and skipping breaks. According to the article, “The exercises should be performed in rapid succession, allowing 30 seconds for each, while, throughout, the intensity hovers at about an 8 on a discomfort scale of 1 to 10.” Which means, if you’re doing it correctly, the 7-Minute Workout is no cakewalk.
All of the scientific details can be found in the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal, and according to the report the 7-Minute Workout works because it was specifically designed with the time-crunched in mind. Researchers recognize the importance of 60-minute cardio sessions and 30-minute strength sets on consecutive days, however, they also acknowledge the difficulty in fitting in regular long-form exercise. Their solution: “To address the limitations of traditional exercise protocols and provide an effective and efficient program for our clients, one of the exercise strategies we use is high-intensity circuit training (HICT) using body weight as resistance. Our approach combines aerobic and resistance training into a single exercise bout lasting approximately 7 minutes. Participants can repeat the 7-minute bout 2 to 3 times, depending on the amount of time they have. As body weight provides the only form of resistance, the program can be done anywhere.”
Ready to try the 7-Minute Workout? The moves are pretty simple:
- Jumping jacks
- Wall sit
- Abdominal crunch
- Step-up onto chair
- Triceps dip on chair
- High knees/running in place
- Push-up and rotation
- Side plank
(Watch this video from Lifehack with illustrations for each move.)
And Greatist reports the full 7 minutes are surprisingly easy to get through. So easy in fact testers decided, “two rounds of the circuit would be a nice finish to a medium-length run.” Which leads one to believe performing the series only once daily might not be enough to truly get fit. A fitness editor at The Huffington Post also reviewed the workout and came to a similar conclusion, pointing out that “repeating the whole circuit two or three times for a total of closer to 20 minutes will likely benefit you even more.”
Still, it’s worth trying. After all, you can do it in your own living room and it will only take 7 minutes! Get moving with this online 7-Minute Workout timer that shows you what to do and when. Or try the official app from Johnson & Johnson.
Are you convinced? Try the 7-Minute Workout now and tell us what you think in the comments below!