My Trial Run of the 7-Minute Workout

I don’t post a whole bunch of personal stuff at my blog, but I thought that this article was worth sharing. It’s a high-intensity circuit-training workout designed to be as condensed as possible. There are a lot of gimmicky workouts, but when I noticed that the article on this one was from the New York Times, I thought it was worth taking a look. Here’s the entire workout in one picture:

2013-05-31 Scientific 7-Minute Workout

The NYT article in turn linked to the original article in Health and Fitness, which is the journal of the American College of Sports Medicine. Here’s what I like about the workout:

  1. It doesn’t require any weights or tools. All you need is yourself, a chair, and a wall. (Technically I suppose you also need a floor.)
  2. It’s short. The NYT article claims that it’s 7-minutes long, but it’s not actually quite that short. You can get through the 12 exercises in about 7 minutes (30 seconds each with very little rest between), but the article says you can then repeat the circuit 2-3 times. So we’re looking at 15 – 30 minutes, realistically. That’s still good, however.
  3. It doesn’t promise too much. The article specifically says that for peak performance you’ll have to do something much  more time-consuming. This is a workout designed for folks who aren’t pro athletes (I’m not even close, and never have been) and want a solid workout. No miracles promised.
  4. It’s based on scientific research, both in terms of the general concept (combining muscle and aerobic exercise in short, focused workouts) and also this particular plan (you alternate major muscle groups as you go through the 12 exercises).

I just tried it out for the first test run, and I was really surprised at how high my heart rate got. Guess that means it’s working. Some of the exercises are also a lot tougher than they appear, but then again I’m a n00b. The planks and tricep dips got me good this time around. For my trial run I only went through once (I’ve also already done a 3.8 mile run today, which is a lot for me at this point), but I’m looking forward to including this routine more because it seems like something I can realistically stick with over a long period of time, and (in my 30s) I really need that. Starting to workout when you’re out-of-shape really sucks, and I’d really love to never be completely out of shape again.