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Science Behind the 7-Minute Workout

12well_physed-superJumboWe all have excuses for not making it to the gym, the most common being “I don’t have time.” Making time for an hour, or even a half hour, each day can be a challenge considering a full workday and managing kids and extracurricular schedules. A “7-Minute Workout” may sound too good to be true, but scientists are saying there are in fact proven results.

Research on the 7-Minute Workout was published last year in the May-June issue of the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal. The main conclusion from their research and development of a 12-step high intense interval training (HIIT) workout plan was that a HIIT workout achieves all the benefits of prolonged endurance training in a shorter period of time. For instance, a few minutes of training at a maximum intensity produces ideal molecular changes within the muscles that are comparable to changes that happen during several hours of running or bike riding.

However, it’s important to remember the key part of this training to achieve maximum results: intervals. Instead of wearing your muscles down by doing all the exercises in succession in 7-minutes, brief periods of recovery between exercises (such as just for 10 seconds or so) help the muscles catch their breath and continue to build on strength for the next interval instead of wearing them down.

The 7-minute workout is the ideal training program for beginners. The shorter time period makes the plan more efficient and appealing, and is designed to be done at home or even the office. Researches also say that the workout can be ideal for people who are looking to lose weight. Studies have found that people who perform HIIT programs like the 7-minute workout before consuming a meal high in fat have lower levels of fat in their blood compared to those who choose to go for a walk for 30 minutes instead.

If you’d like to try the 7-minute workout, you can follow the classic routine—it’s just 12 easy steps performed for 30 seconds each, with a 10-second rest in between:

  1. Jumping jacks
  2. Wall sit
  3. Push-up
  4. Abdominal crunch
  5. Step-up onto chair
  6. Squat
  7. Triceps dip on chair
  8. Plank
  9. High knees/running in place
  10. Lunge
  11. Push-up and rotation
  12. Side plank

Have you tried the 7-minute workout and seen results? Share your story with us on Facebook.