It was once thought that the longer you stayed in the gym, the better. However, experts now claim that you can maximize you results while working out for a short period of time, so it`s no wonder that intense workouts are so popular these days.
As a matter of fact, people have been exercising in short and intense intervals since the very beginning, but they called it survival back then. As such, the body is programmed to respond to intense burst of activity. As people aren’t doing this on their daily basis anymore, they are seeking it in high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
‘Maximum Results With Minimal Investment’
Brett Klika, a coach for the Human Performance Institute (HPI) in Orlando, Florida, and Chris Jordan, the director of exercise physiology at the HPI, did a study to identify the health benefits of high-intensity circuit training (HICT).
When it comes to resistance training, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) suggests 8 to 12 repetitions, and 2 to 4 sets, for each major muscle group.
As for aerobic training, 150 minutes weekly of moderate-intensity exercise for half an hour to an hour per session and/or 75 minutes weekly of vigorous-intensity exercise for 20 to 60 minutes per session are suggested.
“Although these traditional protocols can be effective, they may not be realistic enough for time-conscious adults because of the amount of time necessary to complete each program, in addition to some limitations to effectiveness demonstrated in the literature,” the ACSM said.
As such, they created a program that is a combination of aerobic and resistance training. It is quick (7 minutes) and can be done virtually anywhere, without any equipment. They wrote in the ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal:
“Our approach combines aerobic and resistance training into a single exercise bout lasting approximately [seven] minutes. Participants can repeat the [seven]-minute bout two to three 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.”
Proven Benefits of a 7-Minute Workout
1. Fat Loss and Weight Loss
HICT leads to greater far loss compared to resistance training or typical aerobics as it boosts the levels of catecholamines, that increase both resting energy expenditure) and human growth hormone (HGH) in the blood.
2. Improved VO2 Max
The VO2 max is utilized as a measure of cardiovascular endurance. “When HICT protocols have been compare with traditional steady state protocols in the laboratory, HICT elicits similar and sometimes greater gains in VO2 max despite significantly lower exercise volume,” they wrote.
3. Decreased Insulin Resistance
It has been scientifically shown that HICT and HIIT reduce insulin resistance, which is one of the key factors that contribute to the development of type II diabetes. In addition, healthy middle-aged adults managed to improve their insulin sensitivity and blood sugar regulation after just 2 weeks of this training.
“Positive changes have been observed in insulin resistance in as little as eight minutes per week when executed at an intensity more than 100 [percent] VO2 max, ” Kilka and Jordan added.
12 Exercises in 7 Minutes
Kilka and Jordan’s program was designed to:
- Use large muscle groups to create resistance and aerobic intensity
- Be immediately modified or adapted as necessary to increase or decrease intensity
- Create a balance of strength throughout your body
- Promote strength development for all major muscle groups