The New York Times highlighted some time ago a story about a 7-minute workout that helped burn fat quickly and boost the body’s rate of metabolism. This story became very popular and was shared by thousands of people online. You might even have come across it.
This exercise was a high-intensity circuit training (HICT) exercise. In this case, a series of exercises are done on a continuous basis with no break in between them. HICT exercises have been in existence for quite some time. Their biggest benefit is the ability to help burn fat quickly and to increase the body’s metabolism rate. The 7-minute workout started trending when the ACSM'S Health & Fitness Journal wrote an article about it. In the article, the authors reviewed 18 other HICT workouts in a bid to come up with the most effective guidelines for developing good routines. In the 7-minute workout review, the authors were quick to point out that the 7-minute workout video is not the only routine that you can follow. There are so many other variations that you can go for.
You can get similar results by developing other HICT workouts to get cardiovascular benefits and get fit.
Here are the essential components that an HICT workout should have for you to know that it’s an effective routine:
Targets All Areas of Your Body Equally
These workouts should help you build strength proportionally throughout your body. You should work out all your muscle groups on a regular basis so all your body parts will get the same amount of attention when you are working out.
Alternates Between Different Muscle Groups
One of the things that make the 7-minute workout quite effective is the fact that it alternates between working out different muscle groups. For instance, if you work out the leg muscles, the next exercise will focus on working out the arm muscles and the next exercise will focus on the torso. The advantage of this is that your muscles will have time to rest before you work on them again. Failing to take breaks in between the exercises ensures that your heart rate stays high throughout. You can alternate intense exercises that increase your heart rate, such as jumping jacks, with exercises that decrease them, such as planks.
Targets Major Muscle Groups Intensely
Ensure that you exercise all your muscle groups in the sessions.
Keeps the Intensity Up
When checking out the 7-minute workout review, you will notice that you need to keep a high intensity throughout the session. It is hard for you to keep doing the same exercise at the same intensity as you did when you first started out. That is why you should switch to the next exercise in order to retain the intensity. On average, give yourself ample time to do 15-20 repetitions of an exercise before you move on to another exercise.
Minimizes Rest Time
Taking too long to rest in between exercises reduces the effectiveness of HICT workouts. Your body should not entirely recover in between exercises. But you should be in a good enough shape to carry out the exercises properly. Ideally, you should only rest for 15 seconds in between exercises, but you can stretch it up to 30 seconds.
Lasts About 20 Minutes
If you try really hard and stretch yourself to the maximum, you will only need a 7-minute HICT workout, while some studies show that in some cases, 4 minutes is all you need.
However, most people usually don’t push themselves to their fullest capacity. Since most people will operate at 80% capacity, then you need to do three cycles for at least 20 minutes in order to gain the most from your sessions.
It’s Adjustable Based on Your Fitness Level and Abilities
If you have a health condition, such as a heart problem, high blood pressure or diabetes then you should be cautious about doing HICT workouts.
For a 7-minute workout, you can try doing the following exercises in succession for at least 30 seconds each with 15-second rests; jumping jacks, sit-ups, push-ups, crunches, squats, lunges, side planks, triceps, push-ups with rotation and step-ups.