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The 7-Minute Workout: That’s Not All Folks

A study has recently come out that could change the way many people think about exercise. It was done by scientists at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. It’s being called the “The Scientific 7-Minute Workout”. Basically, the premise of it is that a few minutes of high intensity interval training produces molecular changes within muscles comparable to those of several hours of running or bike riding.

To put it plainly, if you are the type of person who jogs, bikes, or goes on any of those cardio machines at the gym, in an attempt to get fit – you could be getting the same benefits for your body by doing rapid succession (and in essence, more challenging) strength training moves over a shorter period of time.

But hang on for a second, before you go and scrap everything you’ve been doing up until now, there are a few caveats to this whole idea that a person needs to consider…7minworkoutshmuck

First, think about your goals. If you happen to LIKE riding your bike, or jogging outside, then I say you should still do it. If however, you are only doing it because you are trying to lose weight or get fit or change your body composition, then yeah, maybe it’s time you made a change, or at least, incorporated this recommended type of training into your routine.

High intensity interval training has some great benefits. Because you are doing strength training movements – pushups, squats, wall sits, step ups, etc. – you are building lean muscle mass, which in turn, increases your metabolism, which helps your body to burn calories even when you are NOT exercising. Also, because you are doing these moves in rapid succession, you are getting the benefits of a cardiovascular workout as well.

This is what the workout looks like. Do each movement for 30 seconds and give yourself a ten second rest in between. You should be working at about 80% of your max during the active phase. It will be hard. Expect it.


Source: well.blogs.nytimes.com.

This type of workout has been all the rage in many of the videos that are popular today. I’ve mentioned them before – Insanity, BodyRock, P90X, Tabata, Crossfit, just to name a few.

One other word of caution: just because the 7 minutes is equal to an extended period of steady-state cardiovascular training, that does not mean it’s all you need to do. People are not made to just sit. People are made to move. So go out there and do stuff. Do this stuff. Do other stuff. Just be active.

There is the common misconception that fitness is about trying to fit the most amount of activity – or get the most bang for your buck – into the least amount of time. It is if you don’t HAVE the time, but I’d say that people also need to change their priorities. Fitness is about moving one’s body often, and in lots of different ways.

I will tell you this: people who are very fit – who look fit, and who are capable of doing great physical things – exercise for way longer than seven minutes a day, it doesn’t matter what they do. This is like a bare minimum. In fact, it should be considered a comparison rather than a recommendation.

I guess the bottom line for me is, if you haven’t tried this type of workout yet, you should. If you are attempting to make changes to your body, and up until now, the things you’ve been doing haven’t been working – AND you haven’t tried this – then do it. What have you got to lose? Nothing but some fat. Once you can do the seven minutes, go for longer. Do it again. Add more intervals. Just keep going. Don’t start by limiting yourself.

My recommendation: put on some of your favourite music while you are at it. It helps. For me, music is what makes it fun. Good luck, and let me know how it goes.


Related Articles:

Ask Men – The 7-Minute Workout

Women’s Health – The Truth About The 7-Minute Workout

Dr. Oz’s 7-Minute Workout

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  1. May 22, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    I agree with you 100%!

    I’ve been incorporating HIIT moves into my regimen for better than a year now because I detest steady-state cardio. I like to jolt my body into action with movements that are done at a fast and furious pace because it works for me. However, as I said, such moves are an incorporation, not a cure-all.

    I love exercising and couldn’t fathom doing it for ONLY 7-minutes, but I know that’s not the case for everyone. So, I’m right there with you, whatever gets you moving is the key thing…but keep moving after that; don’t stop!

    • May 22, 2013 at 4:47 pm

      True, true and true again LOL! I am the same, I’ve been doing intervals for a long time now. And can you imagine – 7 minutes? I’d go crazy.

      • May 22, 2013 at 5:17 pm

        Pfft! My warm-up is 7-minutes! Jeez, I’m lucky to cut myself off sometimes. My theory is likely the same as yours, if you can make it both challenging AND fun, it’s not a workout, it’s a great release :)

      • May 22, 2013 at 6:53 pm

        Exactly the same. And I couldn’t agree more. I think we are on the exact same wavelength with this. :)

    • May 22, 2013 at 4:47 pm

      Oh, and thanks for the reblog! :)

      • May 22, 2013 at 5:17 pm

        No, THANK YOU, for the great post :)

  2. May 22, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    Reblogged this on Living Fit Mommy and commented:
    Amanda does a phenomenal job explaining the benefits of the “Scientific 7-minute Workout” in her blog this afternoon. She does it so well that I wanted to share it with my own set of readers. Please do give it a look as her bottom-line on the issue is completely in-line with my thinking as well.

  3. May 22, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    See, my common sense tells me that 7 minutes isn’t going to accomplish much. HOWEVER, it is better than doing nothing to get the heart pumping. Procrastination is my problem; I can always find something more fun and entertaining to do. Maybe I should get myself jump-started with something like this.

    • May 22, 2013 at 6:52 pm

      I think that’s a GREAT idea. Even this will be challenging if you are just getting started. Remember, always go at your own pace. Use options if you need to – like for the pushups or whatever. Do it Deni, do it!

      • May 22, 2013 at 10:09 pm

        Well, I also agreed to go to a Zumba class next week with my neighbor. I figure if I commit to something with someone else, I’m more apt to do it, regardless of what my schedule says. :) Though I did ask if there are paramedics standing by…lol.

      • May 22, 2013 at 10:54 pm

        Now you’re getting into it. Zumba will be fun. Besides, unless you are like a Zumba machine, you spend so much time trying to figure out what they are doing that you won’t die. You’ll be great.

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