Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

The Seven Minute Workout

Chinese Water Dragon, not doing the seven minute workout

Last year, some sports scientists found that it was possible to do just seven minutes of high intensity exercise, on a regular basis, and still achieve fitness levels normally requiring lengthy runs or cycles. By doing 12 activities, for 30 seconds at a time with just 10 seconds in between, you can get your daily exercise requirements out of the way in a short space of time. Plus, no special equipment is required – you just need a chair and some clear floor space.

Whilst I’m trying to go to the gym two or three times each week, I thought I’d try the so-called ‘seven minute workout’ to see if it would be worth doing on the days when I don’t have time to go to the gym. I downloaded an app to my iPhone, which I’ll review tomorrow, and made a start.

Firstly, the ‘seven minute workout’ takes longer than seven minutes. It’s actually nearly eight minutes, if you allow ten seconds between each activity. Secondly, you need to be aware that this is a ‘high intensity’ workout. On the discomfort scale, from 1 to 10 where 1 is easy and 10 is ‘why am I doing this to myself?’, it’s about an 8.

In other words, you should already be reasonably fit before trying this workout. And as you will know from yesterday’s blog post, I’m not particularly fit right now. I got part way through exercise number 11, which is push-ups with rotations, and basically collapsed in a heap on the floor. I barely attempted the last one, which is side planking. It took me a long time to get my breath back afterwards and some assistance from my asthma inhaler was necessary.

I’m sure the seven minute workout is great if you’re a busy person wanting to maintain fitness, rather than someone like me who needs to get fitter in the first place. Maybe in a few weeks’ time I’ll be able to do it without nearly giving myself an asthma attack. But right now it’s a bit too extreme for me.

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