Guest Author - Terri Johansen
Have you heard about the 7-Minute Workout? This workout is a circuit style workout where you use your own body weight, a chair, and a wall to complete a circuit of 12 exercises within 7 minutes. This type of workout is called High Intensity Circuit Training (HICT). It is done by moving quickly between each exercise with very short recovery time.
The short bouts of exercise workouts are more popular than ever. People are busy and they want to get a good workout in as little time as possible. Articles have appeared recently in The New York Times, and the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal introducing new research suggesting that HICT will increase your metabolism and help decrease weight gain. Chris Jordan, director of exercise physiology at the Human Performance Institute in Orlando, Fl. States “There’s very good evidence that high-intensity training provides many of the same fitness benefits of prolonged endurance training but in much less time.” This workout is not for the timid as Mr. Jordan suggests that the exercises be performed at an intensity of an 8 on a discomfort scale of one-ten.
Does it sound too good to be true? Are you up to the challenge? Well here are some specifics to give you an example of the workout, and you can determine for yourself.
The 7-Minute Workout Specifics
•Understanding of proper exercise form is important during this type of workout. Typically the faster you work the sloppier your movements and this is setting you up for injury. In this workout you must remember good form as well as speed.
•This particular HICT workout combines aerobics and resistance training in one workout. Training large muscle groups with very little rest between exercises increases aerobic labor. Muscle building exercises are shown to increase your metabolism and this effect can last for as much as 72 hours post workout.
•Chris Jordan states that, “by alternating an exercise that emphasizes the large muscles in the upper body with those in the lower body the unused group of muscles gets a brief rest.” So it is important to keep the exercises in order.
•Your athletic ability will determine your body’s capacity for performing the workout. For some people the intensity is extremely hard. However, those who are used to more regular intense exercise found it to less demanding. It is suggested that by changing some of the exercises or adding more resistance can make the workout more intense.
•There are other options to consider such as using the program in conjunctive with a walking or running program. Or to repeat the circuit 2-3 times.
•When first trying the program you may find it difficult. In this event, one circuit is probably all you can accomplish. However, in order to meet the ACSM guidelines for high-intensity exercise of at least 20 minutes per day you may want to work up to multiple trips through the circuit.
•Contraindications are issued in HICT workouts cautioning persons who are overweight/obese, undertrained, previously injured, elderly, or for individuals with personal limitations.
The 7-Minute Workout
The instructions are as follows: perform each exercise for 30 seconds, which is determined to be 15-20 repetitions. Take a 10 second rest and transition time. If you stick to this outline you should be able to complete the circuit in seven minutes. Here are the exercises included in the 7-Minute workout:
1.Jumping jacks -tones the total body
2.Wall sit-tones the lower body
3.Push-up-tones the upper body
4.Abdominal Crunch-tones core
5.Step-up onto a chair-tones the total body
6.Squat-tones the lower body
7.Triceps dips on the chair-tones upper body
8.Plank-tones the core
9.High Knees/running in place-tones the total body
10. Lunges-tone the lower body
11. Push-ups with rotations-tone the upper body
12. Side plank-tones core
This may not be the perfect exercise to do daily. But because of the unique combination of resistance and aerobic training working an HICT program into your workouts can provide many healthy benefits in a lot less time than conventional workouts.
Always see a medical professional before starting any exercise plan. Be healthy, be happy!
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