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7 Minutes to a Heavenly Body? New Study Looks at Time-Saving Workouts

By HERWriter
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7 minutes of time-saving workouts for a heavenly body MonkeyBusiness Images/PhotoSpin

Workout videos and gadgets such as “6 Minute Abs” and “10 Minute Trainer” are all geared to help us get fit in as little time as possible. It seems in our society we are so over-burdened with our sedentary “To Do Lists” that we have literally cut our physical activity time to just minutes a day. Yes, I am being sarcastic, but also realistic about how we have “evolved” as a society.

The American College of Sports Medicine is aware of these time and physical constraints, and have released a new study this month which focuses on “High Intensity Circuit Training Using Body Weight (HICT): Maximum Results With Minimal Investment.” The study was conducted at the Human Performance Institute in Orlando, Florida and focused on elite performers.

The purpose of the study was to evaluate how to manage energy as well as perform at a high level. Study leaders wanted to devise a safe plan to fit into the demands of their elite performers' lifestyles.

“When facing seemingly infinite demands, one’s ability to manage and expand physical energy can be severely compromised. This can result in persistent fatigue (physical, but also emotional and mental) and a growing level of disengagement with one’s career, family, friends, and personal well-being, which can ultimately lead to performance failure.”

Study leaders evaluated that both aerobic and resistance training were two components needed to achieve a higher level of energy and “prevent fatigue, and sustain engagement in those things that really matter to them.” In other words, these things establish balance in their lives.

The HICT payoff they also found was also a quick way to lose weight. “When resistance training exercises using multiple large muscles are used with very little rest between sets, they can elicit aerobic and metabolic benefits.”

Chris Jordan, one of the study leaders quoted on NYTimes.com said, “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.”

This total body workout HICT training workout uses 12 stations including jumping jacks and step-ups on a chair as well as running with high knees for the aerobic portion. The strength component is inclusive of wall sits, squats and lunges for lower body.

Hybrid exercises, hitting the upper body and core at the same time are done with various push-ups and planks. There are also some single body part exercises with ab only crunches and tricep only dips. Specific rest periods and number of reps are outlined in the study.

With a doctor’s consent and knowing your body’s limitations and contraindications, I say get off your butt, off your chair, and make it your new fitness tool. Make sure of course that it does not have wheels.


“The Scientific 7 Minute Workout – Gretchen Reynolds – Well.blogs.NYTimes.com.” The New York Times. Web 28 May 2013.

“HIGH-INTENSITY CIRCUIT TRAINING USING BODY WEIGHT: Maximum Results With Minimal Investment – Journals.lww.com.” The American College of Sports Medicine.
Web 28 May 2013.

Reviewed May 29, 2013
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

Add a Comment3 Comments


Hi Joanne,

Great article! Just wanted to let you know, we featured you in the EmpowHER weekly newsletter. You can see it here: http://t.co/fkWDFhDUgM 

May 31, 2013 - 12:30pm
EmpowHER Guest

Very good article Joanne,
In today's fast life two things determine compliance with excersize -time and results.Hope this study comes in reality with short time workout and good results as you said in the article.

--Dr Sachin Nichite
Superwoman Blog

May 30, 2013 - 10:53pm

Great article Joanne! My favorite way to cut time down in the gym is to do exercises that use several muscles at once! I also like lifting slow and really focusing on the muscle I am working, which allows me to work harder and fatigue my muscles faster without having to do several sets!

May 30, 2013 - 3:46pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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