To all like-minded people! By that I mean those who, whenever they think of exercise, think of excuses or pain…
I’m excited, I think I’ve found something new that can overcome your resistance!
For most of my life, I have done well with overcoming resistance to physical exercise. Years of gym memberships, exercise buddies, after work group classes, loving zumba, discovering yoga, obsessing over surya namaskars…
Really, when I look back, I have done well [pat on my back].
But. For the past two years, during a time when I needed it more than ever before, I’ve slacked off. Yes, I restarted a regular 15 minute yoga routine every morning but still, I’ve slacked off in general, and I can feel it.
Between work, travel, and commuting between two homes in two cities every week, time has been at a premium. Yes, I know – what a mundane, overused excuse that is! But it’s worked for me (or not worked, depending on how you look at it). 😦
Then, a couple of months ago, I read a NY Times article on the seven minute scientific workout. My eyes and brain focused and attached themselves to two things:
1. SEVEN MINUTES
(The second one was important, but it stuck out to a much lesser extent than the #1 benefit above)
I decided to myself that even I could commit to this. How can anyone come up with a plausible excuse for giving up seven minutes out of a 24 hour day? Even I couldn’t get that creative!
Still, it took me a couple of months to do anything about it.
Of course, there’s an app for it! Actually, there are a bunch of apps. Just go to your app store and search for “7 minute workout”.
I found my app through a facebook targeted ad. Imagine that! I tell you fb is big brother watching over you…how did they know??! On the other hand, if you are a shareholder of fb, hey, these targeted ads do work! Hold on to that fb stock, this can only get better and more profitable for them over time.
Anyway, the reviews on this particular app were so off the charts, I relented and plonked down a hefty fee of $1.99 for it. [It’s this one, btw. After my heavy investment, I actually found a free app that had even better reviews].
I’ve now been using it for only just over a week so I am probably not the best one to review it. All I can say is that it is an extreme, hard workout for seven minutes. And it makes me feel great once I’m done. Like I’ve really accomplished something.
The theory behind this international hit/fad/workout is as follows.
It all appears to have started with this research article in the American College of Sports Medicine. [You can click on the picture below to read this paper].
Here is the condensed version, quoted from this paper:
Time and access to facility constraints can be a concern when it comes to getting people to exercise. High-intensity circuit training (HICT) seems to deliver numerous health benefits in less time than more traditional programs that are recommended. Furthermore, body weight can be used as resistance, eliminating the need for specialized facilities or equipment.
Some of the specific benefits of HICT (again, quoted from the paper) are these:
- HICT can be a fast and efficient way to lose excess body weight and body fat. Research has found that these metabolic benefits can be present for up to 72 hours after a high-intensity exercise bout has been completed.
- HICT may be an extremely effective and efficient means by which to increase an individual’s V˙O2max, a well-established marker of cardiopulmonary health.
- HICT can be an efficient approach to decreasing insulin resistance as well — a major factor in developing type 2 diabetes
And finally, also according to the paper with my highlights:
To address the limitations of traditional exercise protocols and provide an effective and efficient program for our clients, one of the exercise strategies we use is high-intensity circuit training (HICT) using body weight as resistance. Our approach combines aerobic and resistance training into a single exercise bout lasting approximately 7 minutes. Participants can repeat the 7-minute bout 2 to 3 times, depending on the amount of time they have. As body weight provides the only form of resistance, the program can be done anywhere.
HICT is not a new concept, but it is growing in popularity because of its efficiency and practicality for a time-constrained society. The combination of aerobic and resistance training in a high-intensity, limited-rest design can deliver numerous health benefits in much less time than traditional programs. When body weight is used as resistance, it eliminates the limiting factors of access to equipment and facilities.
To understand the benefits, methodologies, and supporting research with regard to HICT, I suggest that you read this paper in its entirety (it’s not that long or complicated).
And finally, here are the actual twelve exercises (picture reproduced from the NY Times article on this topic). There are twelve in all, and for those seven minutes, it will be beyond tough. It is tortuous. But worth it, I hope and certainly from what I have read so far.
Try it out, why don’t you? Seven minutes. How can you say no? If I can do it, anyone can.
Let me know how it goes!