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7 Minute Workout Remembered

Remember the seven-minute workout? The one made popular by way of a New York Times article covering a recent circuit workout published in the American College of Sports Medicine's Health & Fitness Journal.

Push-Ups: Just one move in the 7 minute workout
Photo by Renee McKay/Getty Images

Well it has been over a year since the workout gained tremendous popularity, something we call "going viral" these days. So let's see if the workout is still being performed or has it fallen by the wayside like so many other once-popular workouts.

The seven-minute work out involves a set of twelve body weight exercises that need merely a chair plus a wall, performed at about an 8 on an intensity scale of one to 10. Each move of squats, push-ups, etc. are performed for 30 seconds with 10 seconds of relaxation in between. The ACSM authors suggest (and several critics point out) that replicating the entire circuit three or two times to get a total of closer to 20 minutes will probably gain you even better results.

My pulse was elevated after completing only three of the moves, and I was visibly sweaty after about six of the moves. Thirty seconds of triceps drops on a chair would have been more aptly named triceps drops to fatigue, and that i think I only barely cranked out six reps of move number 11, push-up with spinning.

High intensity circuit-training (HICT) is not a a notion that is new. HICT, as well as high intensity interval training (HIIT) and Tabata workouts all have been demonstrated to have long-lasting gains despite their short duration.

Critics, however, say that the potential outcomes are overstated by the ACSM writers. Seven minutes is unlikely to make a difference while some exercise is obviously better than none.

However, this special seven-minute workout is just one example of a HICT program, and may surely still boost heart rate and strengthen your muscles. Could it be made even more intense and successful with harder moves and added resistance? Definitely. Could it still be a favorable addition to an exercise routine that is otherwise diverse? Certainly. We highly recommend it. You can read more about how to further increase the intensity or diversify the workout at the 7 Minute Workout website. You can also find some amazing paleo diet related tips to assist you in your weight loss goals.