Is It True That I Only Have To Work Out For 7 Minutes a Day?
That’s what the news media reported last month about a study performed at the Human Performance Institute in Orlando, Florida. The study is called “HIGH-INTENSITY CIRCUIT TRAINING USING BODY WEIGHT: Maximum Results With Minimal Investment” and was published in the May-June issue of American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal.
Does it really say we can accomplish all of our cardio and our resistance training in just 7 minutes a day and without any equipment? Yes, it does, and they have the data to back that up. Here’s the catch, this training workout is high intensity interval training and should not be attempted by the faint-hearted or “once in a blue moon” weekend warrior.
To the left is an example of a 12-station High Intensity Circuit Training (HICT) program. All excercises can be done with body weight and implements easily acquired in almost any setting (e.g., home, office, hotel room, etc.) The exercise order allows for a total body exercise to significantly increase the heart rate while the lower, upper, and core exercises function to maintain the increased heart rate while developing strength. Exercises are performed rapidly for 30 seconds, with 10 seconds of transition time between bouts. Total time for the entire circuit workout is approximately 7 minutes. By alternating an exercise that emphasizes the large muscles in the upper body with those in the lower body the unexercised muscles are getting a rest. The intensity should hover at about an 8 on a discomfort scale of 1 to 10. Those seven minutes should be, in a word, unpleasant. The upside is, after seven minutes, you’re done. “There is good evidence” that high-intensity interval circuit training provides “many of the fitness benefits of prolonged endurance training but in much less time,” says Chris Jordan, the director of exercise physiology at the Human Performance Institute in Orlando, Fla., and co-author of the new study. Even a few minutes of maximum intensity training produces molecular changes within muscles comparable to those of several hours of running or bike riding.
Always consult a qualified health professional before starting a rigorous exercise program.