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7-Minute, Evidence-Based Workout

Posted: May 10, 2013 at 2:44 pm
Categories: Research

Fitness experts from the Human Performance Institute designed a workout that takes a mere seven minutes. Yes, you read that right.

Brett Klika and Chris Jordan, the performance coach and director of Exercise Physiology at the Human Performance Institute, have designed a workout for people like us—the vast number of Americans who can’t find time to exercise.

Working with clients who are “high-performing professionals from a variety of industries…men and women who face incessant demands on their time,” Brett and Chris recognized the need for a workout that’s both fast and effective. In response, they designed a high-intensity circuit training (HICT) made up of 12 exercises. These exercises combine aerobic and resistance training and can be performed anywhere with no equipment other than a chair. (Kind of like Hotseat, whose library of 40+ activities includes the same exercises in this workout and many more.)

The demanding circuit is intentional in its design and structure. Performing the circuit requires completing the exercises in order, performing 15 to 20 repetitions of each and taking no more than a 15-second recovery in between. The order allows you to work one muscle group and then let that same muscle group rest while you work out the next one. This staging helps to maintain stamina and, ultimately, performance. The circuit’s also designed to work out all the major muscle groups and to be scaled up or dialed down in intensity. People can perform fewer reps and increase their rest time if they’re just getting started. (Taking more than a 30-second rest reduces the benefits of this training.) Those looking for a longer workout can perform the circuit multiple times.

A lot of science went into this workout so a lot of time doesn’t. Ready to work out?

The 7-Minute Workout


A reader shared the debate about this workout happening over on the NY Times Well blog.

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