Your questions about our 7 Minute Workout App get answered.
The Wahoo Fitness 7 Minute Workout is one of the top downloaded fitness apps in the App Store and Google Play. But, what is it exactly? We’ve combed through the “HIGH-INTENSITY CIRCUIT TRAINING USING BODY WEIGHT: Maximum Results With Minimal Investment,” article published in the ACSM’s Health and Fitness journal to find the best answers to all your 7 Minute Workout questions.
DISCLOSURE: All participants in any strenuous workout routine, such as the 7 Minute Workout, should consult their personal medical care expert in advance to make sure they are healthy enough for exercise.
1. What are the benefits of the 7 Minute Workout?
The 7 Minute Workout (also known as High Intensity Circuit Training or HICT) is not a new concept, but it is growing in popularity because of its efficiency and practicality for a time-constrained society. The main benefit of the 7 Minute Workout is being able to get the same health benefit you would from traditional exercise routines in a fraction of the time. 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.
HICT may be an extremely effective and efficient means by which to increase an individual’s VO2max, a well-established marker of cardiopulmonary health. When HICT protocols have been compared with traditional steady state protocols in the laboratory, HICT elicits similar and sometimes greater gains in VO2max, despite significantly lower exercise volume.
HICT can be an efficient approach to decreasing insulin resistance as well – a major factor in developing type 2 diabetes. Positive changes have been observed in insulin resistance in as little as 8 minutes per week when executed at an intensity more than 100% VO2max.
HICT can be a fast and efficient way to lose excess body weight and body fat. The incorporated resistance training contributes significantly to the amount of fat burned during a workout. When resistance training exercises using multiple large muscles are used with very little rest between sets, they can elicit aerobic and metabolic benefits. Research has found that these metabolic benefits can be present for up to 72 hours after a high-intensity exercise bout has been completed.
Health benefits from the 7 Minute Workout include improvement in overall health, decreased body fat, boost in metabolism, improved VO2max, and improved muscular fitness.
Three other huge benefits of the 7 Minute Workout are 1) you do not need any equipment (i.e. dumbbells, barbells, etc.); 2) it’s free (no gym membership required); 3) you can perform the 7 Minute Workout at home, at the park, in a hotel room – location is very flexible. People who have strict time constraints can now trade total exercise time for total exercise effort and get similar or better health and fitness benefits.
2. Why 7 minutes?
The 7 minute duration comes from factoring the amount of time an average person can reasonably maintain high intensity work, fit in 15- 20 repetitions per exercise, target all the major muscle groups in the body, and allow for very limited rest between exercise.
There are a total of 12 exercises in the 7 minute workout targeting the entire body’s fitness, lasting 30 seconds each, with 10 seconds rest in between each exercise.
3. Is 7 minutes alone effective enough to increase fitness?
Yes. Seven minutes alone has been scientifically proven to increase fitness, provided the intensity is high and you are working extremely hard. Although, repeating the 7 Minute Workout 2-3 times for a total time closer to 20 min will likely benefit you even more. Proper execution of the 7 Minute Workout requires a high degree of discomfort for the short duration of time. Most people cannot keep the intensity up, so repeating it a few times increases the effectiveness.
4. When would you recommend for us to use this? Before or after a workout?
You can use the 7 Minute Workout app before or after a workout. However what makes it effective is its intensity, so before a workout is preferred.
5. Can I swap my gym session/spin class (or one of my classes) for a 7 Minute Workout? Or will I feel I’ve not done enough?
Yes. If you keep up a high intensity throughout the workout, after only 7 minutes you should feel like you have accomplished a good workout. If one time does not feel like it was enough, you can always repeat the workout for 1-2 more times. The ability to add in additional “sets” allows for a tailored experience based on a person’s fitness level, and also provides a simple way to increase the difficulty level over time. Also, take your personal goals into consideration. If you are training for a marathon or century ride, it’s a great supplement. If you are looking to get active or add variety to your gym routine, then 7 Minute Workout can meet your fitness needs on it’s own.
6. How often should we be doing the 7 Minute Workout to feel a difference?
Start off with 2 to 3 non-consecutive days a week. Begin with only one “set” of the workout, but begin to push yourself at your own pace to complete 2 or 3 sets (14 and 21 minutes, respectively) per session as your body gets accustomed to the routine.
7. Is there any research on the 7 Minute Workout?
This form of exercise, called high intensity circuit training, was developed in 1953 at the University of Leeds. Recent research was published in the May/June 2013 issue of the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health and Fitness Journal by Brett Klika, C.S.C.S., B.S., a performance coach for the Human Performance Institute in Orlando, FL, and Chris Jordan, M.S., C.S.C.S, NSCA-CPT, ACSM HFS/APT, the director of Exercise Physiology at the Human Performance Institute in Orlando, FL.