The 7-Minute Workout That Really Works — UPDATED

I love working out. Well, really, I love having worked out, if you dudes get the difference.

The benefits from working out are tremendous. I feel better. I look better (for certain often rather less-than-better values of better). And my mood is much improved.

Unfortunately, I severely dislike taking the time to drive to a gym, work out, then drive back home. There’s not much I can do around the house with a bum knee and severe plantar fasciitis in my left foot.

Which makes what I just found out about seem like a pretty good deal.

It’s the 7-minute workout. No, really. And it’s supposed to be as good for you as a longer workout. Again, no, really.

According to a column in the May 12 issue of The New York Times Magazine, high-intensity exercise for a short duration can be better for you than other sorts of exercise.

“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,” says Chris Jordan, the director of exercise physiology at the Human Performance Institute in Orlando, Fla., and co-author of the new article.

Which means that, with the right workout, you can achieve in seven minutes what might take someone else a much longer duration of work to accomplish. That is, get the benefits of an hour-long workout in merely 7 minutes. I’m 12well_physed-tmagArticleliking this more and more with every second that passes.

Before we go much further, though. Let’s take a look at the exercise progression that the paper’s authors recommend.

What they’re saying is that you need to basically book through this exercise regimin as fast and as hard as you can. This needs to be done at or near to your max capacity for exercise, dudes. Otherwise you’re just going through the motions.

Interval training . . . requires intervals; the extremely intense activity must be intermingled with brief periods of recovery. In the program outlined by Mr. Jordan and his colleagues, this recovery is provided in part by a 10-second rest between exercises. But even more, he says, it’s accomplished by alternating an exercise that emphasizes the large muscles in the upper body with those in the lower body. During the intermezzo, the unexercised muscles have a moment to, metaphorically, catch their breath, which makes the order of the exercises important.

So, yeah. I think I like this. I’m going to start doing it and then give you a report on who it works. Who’s with me?

UPDATE — Peter, one of the gentlemen behind the 7-minute workout showed up in the comments today. He mentioned that they loved the exercise regimin, but had a hard time remembering what came next. So he and the other dudes behind the curtain, went ahead and made a nice web-app over on their site.

All you have to do is go there, click on the HUGE button that says GO and you’re off. It’ll say out loud and on screen what you’re supposed to do and count down the time left. Then it will count your 10-second rest, followed by the next exercise. I love it.

Give it a try. If you like it, why not send them some feedback at feedback@7-minute-workout.net?

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