Editor of The Brief (SL’s daily news digest) Tor Cardona reviews the latest fitness trend, The Seven Minute Workout.
What is it? 7 Minute Workout “Seven”, free on iTunes, is a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout programme that can be done anywhere – home, hotel room, local park, you name it: all you need is your own body weight, a chair and a wall. Take note – benches and trees make great substitutes.
How does it work? The seven minutes (which, by the way, are supposed to feel “unpleasant”) consist of 12 exercises in total, each for 30 seconds, with a 10 second break in between. Think push-ups, triceps dips, jumping jacks, etc. The handy timer makes it totally foolproof, and you even have your own personal instructor pushing you through. I always choose the rather perky Australian voiceover, but “Drill Sergeant” and “Kung-Fu Master” mean there is something for everyone…
Do you really break a sweat in seven minutes? Surprisingly, yes. Coming from the girl who could pound the pavements for hours on end, I was pretty sceptical about the workout. Given, you have to really push yourself (to 80% of your maximum, according to the science) but it definitely does something. The weeks when I have done this religiously, my abs definitely feel tighter, thanks to the planks and crunches.
Anything else? Once you’ve mastered the free full-body workout (or get tired of the same exercises), extra workouts (core, upper and lower body) only cost £1.49. But be sure to swot before – I had no idea what a plank jack was and spent that crucial thirty seconds trying to work out what the picture on my phone was making out.
The small print: Many fitness experts suggest you should really be repeating the circuit two or three times, especially if you’re already in good shape, to see real results. But before you forget it altogether, bear in mind that three circuits comes in at just over 23 minutes, which is considerably less than your daily spin class…