The scientifically tested 7-minute workout yields maximum results with minimal time investment. This high-octane approach to developing new levels of physical fitness combines regular aerobic exercises and resistance training. High-intensity circuit training boosts metabolism, fuels fat loss and increases muscular endurance (See Reference 1). Not all workout aficionados can dedicate 60 minutes at the gym on a frequent basis. Time is luxury that the 7-minute workout doesn't abuse.
High-Intensity Circuit Training
High-intensity circuit training using body weight increases post-exercise oxygen consumption, also referred to as V02 consumption, and burns a significant amount of fat, according to the American College of Sports Medicine (See Reference 1). Circuit training, by definition, requires eight to 10 exercises to be performed with minimal rest time (See Reference 2). The American Council on Exercise states that circuits, which alternate exercises that target different major muscle groups throughout the body, effectively maximize time efficiency because rest time is not needed in between stations (See Reference 2).
Heavy Resistance Strength Training
In 2008, the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research compared cardiovascular responses in ten healthy subjects between heavy resistance circuit training and traditional strength training (See Reference 3). Testing included a variety of strength training exercises that were performed with interval rest periods of 35 seconds (See Reference 3). The heavy resistance circuit included bench press, leg extensions and ankle extensions. The study concluded that heavy resistance circuit training may have a substantially greater effect of the promotion of cardiovascular function and strength development (See Reference 3). Furthermore, the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research determined in 2011 that high-resistance circuit training is as effective for developing lean muscle mass in men as traditional strength training (See Reference 4).
7-Minute Workout Exercises
The 7-minute workout includes alternating body weight exercises that are performed in a straight circuit, which means there is no rest time in between stations. The American College of Sports Medicine outlines 12 exercises to be completed in approximately seven minutes: jumping jacks, wall sits, pushups, abdominal crunches, step-ups onto a chair, squats, triceps dips on a chair, planks, high knee lifts, lunges, pushups with rotation and side planks (See Reference 1). Workout intensity is maximized when multiple circuits are performed (See Reference 1). The American College of Sports Medicine recommends completing three circuits to achieve an intensity level that exceeds 100 percent V02 consumption (See Reference 1).
Exercise Intensity Level
Exercise intensity level decreases when duration becomes elongated. However, the American College of Sports Medicine states that workout time should be sufficient enough to allow proper execution of at least 15 repetitions of each exercise (See Reference 1). This maximizes the metabolic impact of circuit training (See Reference 1). High efficiency of the 7-minute workout demands 30-second intervals of continuous movement during each exercise and no more than 15 seconds of rest time in between stations (See Reference 1). There is not an ideal number of exercise stations for generating results from high-intensity circuit training, although the protocol demands upward of 10 stations to be completed with minimal rest for muscular development (See Reference 1).