Short, intense workouts are all the rage in the fitness world. While it was once believed that the longer you stayed on the treadmill or elliptical machine, the better, it’s now known that you can seriously maximize your fitness results while working out for a fraction of the time, as long as you sufficiently ramp up the intensity (interspersed with periods of rest).
Very short workouts, as in seven minutes or even less, are also becoming regulars in the fitness scene, although I would stop short of calling them a trend. The fact is, humans have been exercising in very short, intense bursts since the beginning, although they didn’t call it exercise; they called it survival.
As such, your body is biologically programmed to respond to similarly intense bursts of activity. But because this is something many modern humans no longer do in the course of their daily grind, many are seeking it out via high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
In the video above, you can see one example of a full-body, seven-minute exercise routine by Hannah Bronfman, founder of the wellness site HBFit.
This workout is particularly useful because you can do the movements (a combination of jumping jacks, side kicks, abdominal work and more) virtually anywhere with no equipment required.
Short HIIT workouts can be deceptive, appearing simple on paper then surprising you with how challenging they are to complete. Still, a full workout in only seven minutes? Is it really too good to be true?
‘Maximum Results With Minimal Investment’
Brett Klika, a performance coach for the Human Performance Institute (HPI) in Orlando, Florida, and Chris Jordan, the director of exercise physiology at the HPI, conducted a study to determine the health benefits of high-intensity circuit training (HICT), which for their study used only body weight as resistance.
Notably, they work with professionals and athletes with “incessant demands on their time,” many of whom also travel frequently. They pointed out that typically aerobic and resistance training are performed on two or three nonconsecutive days each week.
For resistance training, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends eight to 12 repetitions, and two to four sets, for each major muscle group.
For aerobic training, 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise for 30 to 60 minutes per session and/or 75 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity exercise for 20 to 60 minutes per session are recommended.
“Although these traditional protocols can be effective, they may not be realistic enough for time-conscious adults because of the amount of time necessary to complete each program, in addition to some limitations to effectiveness demonstrated in the literature,” the ACSM noted.1
As such, they developed a program that combines aerobic and resistance training, is quick (seven minutes) and can be performed anywhere, without special equipment. They wrote in the ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal:2
“Our approach combines aerobic and resistance training into a single exercise bout lasting approximately [seven] minutes. Participants can repeat the [seven]-minute bout two to three times, depending on the amount of time they have.
As body weight provides the only form of resistance, the program can be done anywhere.
HICT is not a new concept, but it is growing in popularity because of its efficiency and practicality for a time-constrained society. The combination of aerobic and resistance training in a high-intensity, limited-rest design can deliver numerous health benefits in much less time than traditional programs.”
Proven Benefits of a 7-Minute Workout
The HICT program developed by Klika and Jordan was loosely based on circuit-style training that was first developed by R.E. Morgan and G.T. Anderson in 1953 at the University of Leeds in England.
Their program included nine to 12 exercises that were performed at moderate intensity for a specified number of repetitions or amount of time. Improvements in muscle strength, endurance and aerobic fitness were noted. The featured study also explained multiple benefits for their HICT workout, including:3
Fat Loss and Weight Loss
HICT involves using multiple large muscles with very little rest between sets, yielding aerobic and metabolic benefits, the latter of which may continue for up to 72 hours after the workout has been completed.
HICT may lead to greater fat loss than typical aerobics or resistance training because it increases levels of catecholamines (which increase resting energy expenditure) and human growth hormone (HGH) in your blood.
Improved VO2 Max
VO2 maxes the maximum amount of oxygen you can take in while exercising. Your VO2 max can be used as a measure of cardiovascular endurance. “When HICT protocols have been compare with traditional steady state protocols in the laboratory, HICT elicits similar and sometimes greater gains in VO2 max despite significantly lower exercise volume,” they wrote.4
Decreased Insulin Resistance
Research supports the use of HICT (and HIIT) for reducing insulin resistance, which is a contributing factor in the development of type 2 diabetes. Unfit but otherwise healthy middle-aged adults were able to improve their insulin sensitivity and blood sugar regulation after just two weeks of such training (three sessions per week).5
A follow-up study also found that HIIT positively impacted insulin sensitivity. The study involved people with type 2 diabetes, and just one session was able to improve blood sugar regulation for the next 24 hours.6 Kilka and Jordan added, “Positive changes have been observed in insulin resistance in as little as eight minutes per week when executed at an intensity more than 100 [percent] VO2 max.”7
12 Exercises in 7 Minutes
You may now be wondering what, exactly, Kilka and Jordan’s sample HICT program entails. The exercises were designed to:
|Promote strength development for all major muscle groups||Use large muscle groups to create resistance and aerobic intensity||Create a balance of strength throughout your body|
|Be immediately modified or adapted as necessary to increase or decrease intensity||Be safe and appropriate for participants||Be interactive with features of the training environment, such as stairs and walls)|
|Be easily transitioned to accommodate minimized rest time|
You can watch a demonstration of the exercise sequence in the video above, and they’re also described below. Each exercise is performed for about 30 seconds with 10-seconds allowed for transitions. This adds up to an approximately seven-minute workout, which may be repeated in its entirety two or three times. The exercises should be done in the order given, as they’re selected to allow opposing muscle groups to alternate between resting and working.
|1. Jumping jacks (total body)||2. Wall sit (lower body)||3. Pushup (upper body)|
|4. Abdominal crunch (core)||5. Step-up onto chair (total body)||6. Squat (lower body)|
|7. Triceps dip on chair (upper body)||8. Plank (core)||9. High knees/running in place (total body)|
|10. Lunge (lower body)||11. Pushup and rotation (upper body)||12. Side plank (core)|
If You Think You’re Too Busy to Exercise, HIIT Is for You
Lack of time is one of the most common excuses used for not exercising. HIIT removes this hurdle, because virtually everyone can squeeze in seven minutes. If you have a bit more time, and you’re performing the workout at less than 100 percent, try repeating it two or three times.
With this minimum time investment, you’ll likely enjoy decreased body fat, improved insulin sensitivity and muscle strength and increased VO2 max. As Kilka and Jordan noted, “Individuals who previously believed that they did not have the time for exercise can now trade total exercise time for total exercise effort and get similar or better health and fitness benefits.”11
A quick note from our founder-
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Help us create more awareness! Please SHARE this article...
I bet you can’t guess which muscle in your body is the #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat.
This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
If this “hidden” most powerful primal muscle is healthy, we are healthy.
d) Hip Flexors
Take the quiz above and see if you got the correct answer!
P.S. Make sure you check out the next page to get to know the 10 simple moves that will bring vitality back into your life!
To begin, I apologize for the dark nature of today's email.
However I promise what you'll discover today will be completely worth it.
Imagine a rotting corpse draped over your body from head to toe...
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Is Bread Really the Staff of Life… or the Stuff of Disease?
For most us, there are few foods more comforting than bread.
Fluffy biscuits, crusty baguettes, flaky croissants… even a simple slice of toast topped with melted butter can taste like heaven.
And that smell… few scents are quite as pleasant as fresh bread baking in the oven.
But there is a lot of confusion as to where bread fits into a healthy diet.
The Bible practically commands followers to eat it: “Give us this day our daily bread…” The government put it at the base of the food pyramid. And for centuries, it has been called “the staff of life.”
Of course, there are some who disagree…
Well-known cardiologist, Dr. William Davis, calls wheat “the perfect chronic poison.”
And for a poison, we sure eat lots of it…
The average American consumes 55 pounds of wheat flour every year, making refined flour the #1 source of calories in the American Diet – a situation that nutrition expert Chris Kresser describes as, “a public health catastrophe.”
So, what is the truth about bread and wheat?
- Is it the perfect poison… or an essential daily food?
- Is “gluten-free” bread better for you than regular bread?
- And can you still eat bread… while maintaining a lean body and optimal health?
The answers to these questions may surprise you!
Be sure to read #5 – the biggest surprise of all!
Recently, Doctor of Naturopathy, weight-loss expert and best-selling Amazon author Liz Swann Miller, creator of the Red Smoothie Detox Factor, revealed 2 of the secrets to easy, steady weight loss. Secrets the big food corporations do their best to hide from us.
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You probably know most of us eat too much processed food. What you may not know is that it’s full of toxic chemicals and substandard, dirt-cheap ingredients designed to make you eat more…and force you to gain weight.
Here’s how it works.
“That stuff is just a lot of calories your body can’t use,” Liz told me, “Some are poison. And all these foods are stripped of the anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories that help your body detox. The result? Your body expends huge amounts of calories to eliminate some toxins—the rest, it stores in your fat to protect you. This is why most people are hungry all the time. They’re not getting energy they need.”
“So… what’s going on with me? Why am I losing weight but not going hungry?”
Liz paused, then dropped the bombshell.
Your body is designed to burn fat. You just have to let it.
“What? I thought we were designed to store fat?!?” We were Skyping and I was practically shouting. Then I heard Liz say…
What good is a fat reserve if you can’t burn it?
Liz continued: “You’re drinking smoothies packed with phytonutrients, anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories that pull toxins out of you like a tractor beam. Allowing your body to burn those toxin-filled fat stores… and releasing tremendous amounts of stored energy.”
So that’s why I’m losing weight without going hungry.
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- Which calories help you lose weight…and which ones help you gain it…
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Sponsored Health Resources
In the years that I've been working on this website project I've come across some amazing resources by some very special people. I'd like to share them with you here.
NOTE: I update these links often so please check back to see what's new!
1) Everyone knows green smoothies are healthy right? Have you heard of a “red” smoothie? If not, check out this story…
2) Forget what you've read about 10-day lemonade cleanses, 7-day detoxes with green juices and Gwyneth's gruel. All you need to do, and this is perfect for Saturday or or anytime really, is a simple 1-day cleanse.
3) This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
4) I thought it was virtually impossible for a website to be able to tell me anything even a little bit insightful after only submitting my name and date of birth... I was wrong!
5) Turmeric is amazing. The problem is - It's hard to absorb!
6) Wonder why your stomach still sticks out even though you're hammering the core exercises every day? It's a common myth that bulging belly is due to weak abdominal muscles.
7) Even if you're the most active of athletes, you may still suffer from tight hip flexors due to the amount of time you spend each day planted to a chair.
Enjoy! Let me know how these work out for you. And if you run across anything I've missed please let me know.