You keep telling yourself you need to lose weight and get in shape. You make your New Year’s resolution. You start up your gym membership. Then inevitably around this time of year, you realize you haven’t been to the gym in at least 3 weeks. And with all your good intentions, somehow you’ve managed to GAIN a few extra pounds. Sound familiar?
If you’re like most people, you want to be healthier. But between work, kids’ afterschool activities, laundry, grocery shopping, and everything else you have going on in your to-do list, finding the time to go to the gym and work out never seems to make it into your week. Well, according to this new app, if you want to get in a great workout backed by science, all you need is 7 minutes.
The 7-minute workout, designed by Chris Jordan, Director of Exercise Physiology at the
Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute, is a fast, science-based way to work out anywhere, anytime. No gym equipment required… all you need is a chair and a wall.
Downloaded by over 1.4 million people so far, the app is increasing in popularity, and there is a strong scientific argument to back its efficacy.
“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,” says Jordan. Other recent studies have agreed with this perspective showing that even a few minutes of training at an intensity approaching your maximum capacity produces molecular changes within muscles comparable to those of several hours of running or bike riding.
The way interval training works is to combine periods of high intensity activity with brief periods of recovery, or rest. In the 7-minute workout app, this is structured as twelve 30-second exercises with 10 seconds of rest in between, designed to be performed in rapid succession. Additionally, the exercises are ordered in such a way that alternates emphasis on the upper body and lower body to provide additional rest to certain muscles while you work out others. Essentially, the complete workout makes the most of every single minute, and while it is described as very intense and uncomfortable, can you really complain when you’re done in 7 minutes?