Through fitness blog browsing I came across a workout called:
“The Scientific 7-Minute Workout”
Naturally my cynical brain thought that a workout claiming to only need to be done for seven minutes to see any real results must be bullshit.
What does the seven minute workout involve?
In this article from Ask Well, Chris Jordan, the director of exercise physiology at the Human Performance Institute in Orlando, Florida is quoted as saying
“the intensity hovers at about an 8 on a discomfort scale of 1 to 10”
Or as Ask Well Say the workout should be “unpleasant”
From my own effort giving the workout a go, I wouldn’t use that word. I wouldn’t even score the intensity as an 8. Perhaps I’m fitter than I think and I did go all out….
Hold on, calm down a minute…
Upon further reading of the seven minute workout, I looked up the original academic article and felt slightly silly.
Ask Well and other fitness blogs all thrive on the fact that we are all lazy and are looking for quick fixes to all of life problems.
I could forgive them if they had got the misinformation from another blog – but they even linked to the academic journal it was published in!
The most obvious observation is the title of the journal article
“HIGH-INTENSITY CIRCUIT TRAINING USING BODY WEIGHT: Maximum Results With Minimal Investment”
Nothing there suggests that you only need to workout for seven minutes! Ask Well even added ‘scientific’ to the title to try and give it legitimacy!
Upon further reading I noticed in Klika’s and Jordan’s article the following paragraph:
“Our approach combines aerobic and resistance training into a single exercise bout lasting approximately 7 minutes. Participants can repeat the 7-minute bout 2 to 3 times, depending on the amount of time they have.”
Not really a 7 minute workout then?
Nope… which the writer conveniently ignored.
The article also has a number of moments of suspicious editing – bit quoting one of the authors and bringing up a statement from another study – which has not even been referenced.
“There’s very good evidence” that high-intensity interval training provides “many of the fitness benefits of prolonged endurance training but in much less time,”
From Ask Well article “The Scientific 7-Minute Workout”
The article makes it sound like the author is claiming that doing a 7 minute HICT exercise has similar benefits to endurance training! I wish someone had told me this when I trained for the Spartan race!
On reading the ACSM article, you clearly see that the authors have never claimed this. But I did find this in the article in relation to endurance:
“Although HICT can be an efficient means by which to improve health and decrease body fat, it may be inferior to creating absolute strength and power, specific endurance, and other specific performance”
So although the authors do not dismiss the benefit of HICT exercise, they are not really saying that the exercise has the same benefits as the blog article claims.
I came here quite cynical about the ‘scientific’ seven minute workout and after a few bits of basic research I realised I was right.
It is not a seven minute workout and it does not guarantee improvement to strength, endurance or specific performance needs!
So sorry guys it does appear the workout is bullshit and is just some lazy journalism designed to get lots of hits and links and downloads of a shitty app.
Rant over, what did I think of the workout?
At best doing one circuit gave me a mild pump up – I didn’t feel tired, my muscles didn’t need to rest and I don’t have a breathless feeling like I would from other workouts.
To be honest I can’t see how doing two more circuits would be any better. If your looking to lose belly fat, this isn’t necessarily the solution – have a good exercise and diet routine to drop weight.
The advantage of the workout is that it is always handy to know I want a quick workout in a hotel room – but it is not a replacement for a good workout.
For this moment in time I will not be substituting my weights and running shoes just yet.
Try the 7 minute workout below and judge for yourself.
What did you think of the workout? Do you think I am wrong?
Let me know what you think.