Squeezing a daily workout into your busy schedule can be difficult. Between running errands, spending time with the family, and running kids to and from their different activities, most days you’re lucky if you can manage to fit 30 minutes of exercise into your schedule.
What if you could get all the benefits of a 30-minute workout in just a fraction of the time?
Recently, there’s been a lot of hype about 7-minute workouts. They are high-intensity, quick workouts without any equipment. And in just 7 minutes, you can be finished with your workout of the day.
But do they really work? Let’s look at the facts.
It might seem too good to be true, but actually, shorter workouts (anywhere from 7 to 11 minutes) actually work.
One 2016 study about sprint interval training divided men into two groups, one that did 50 minutes of cycling at 70% heart rate, and the other that did 10 minutes of intervals of 20 second ‘all-out’ cycle sprints with 2 minutes regular cycling in-between (1). Both groups participated in the study for 12 weeks.
Researchers were surprised by the results. They discovered that the two groups had improved their health equally, even though one group did five times more exercise than the other.
In another study in Canada, scientists discovered that “even a few minutes of training at an intensity approaching your maximum capacity produces molecular changes within muscles comparable to those of several hours of running or bike riding.” (4)
The secret of the 7- minute workout is that it targets different major muscle groups each time you do the workout. That’s what makes it so efficient and effective.
But, if you want it to work, intensity is key. One USA Today article said, “it has to be tough — 85% or more exertion for 30-seconds to one minute, followed by a 10-second rest.” (2) It can be difficult to get to that level of intensity for the full 7 minutes, but as you keep doing it every day, you’ll be able to stay at the 85% level, and you’ll be able to feel like you are making progress.
As long as you’re giving it your all, you’re going to see results.
Now that you’re convinced that short interval workouts actually work, it’s time to decide which one to try. In the past few years, there have been a ton of short workouts that have become popular. There are so many fitness apps to choose from, and it can be overwhelming. The Johnson & Johnson 7 Minute Workout App, Seven Appy by Perigee, and Wahoo are just a few of the many options (2).
But which one is right for you?
The truth is, any of them will work, as long as you stick to them. The key is to give it all you’ve got for 7 minutes, and make sure it’s part of your daily routine. The good thing is that you can squeeze 7 minutes into even the busiest of days, so there’s no excuses.
Here’s the classic 7-minute workout. Do each exercise (at 85-95% intensity) for 30 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, then start the next one. The only equipment you need is a wall for the wall sit, and a chair for the step-ups and the triceps dips.
1. Jumping Jacks
2. Wall Sit
4. Abdominal Crunch
5. Step-Up onto chair
7. Triceps dip on chair
9. High Knees Running in Place
11. Push-Up and Rotation
12. Side Plank
With this workout, you can get many of the benefits of endurance training, but in a fraction of the time. Chris Jordan, director of exercise science at the Human Performance Institute in Florida, notes that “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” (4).
But don’t worry if the first few workouts are really difficult. Make sure to start slow and give your body time to adjust. When starting a new workout routine or trying something new, it’s important to pay attention to the signs your body is sending you so you don’t overdo it.
It will probably take your body a week or two to get adjusted to this new workout style. Working out at 85% intensity is a lot different than a morning jog or jumping on the elliptical for 45 minutes.
The good news is that even though those 7 minutes are going to be killer, it’s only 7 minutes. And before you know it, you’ll be all done.
If you’ve cancelled your gym membership and are wondering what to do now, the 7-minute workout is a great way to start. If you’re tired of your 45-minute endurance workout routine, or are struggling to find time to exercise, try the 7-minute workout.
The benefits of the 7-minute workout are really surprising, but really great. It can be hard to believe that in just 7 minutes, you can change your health and improve your metabolism… but it’s true!
Donovan Green, Dr. Oz’s personal trainer, says “an intense 7-minute workout boosts adrenaline, burns calories, increases blood flow, fires up metabolism, reduces stress, increases energy and even improves brain function.” (3)
You don’t have to do long, monotonous, difficult workouts to get your health back on track. All it takes is 7 minutes a day to make a real change and to feel better. The 7-minute workout is a great workout routine to adapt to, especially if you are working out at home and have little or no gym equipment.
So, what are you waiting for? Try the 7-minute workout today.
1 2016 Spring Interval Training Study
3 Is the 7-Minute Workout Effective?