Could this be the ultimate workout to build aerobic capacity and strength in such little time? Researchers have designed a 7 minute workout that they promise will burn fat, build strength, improve cardio health and even reduce your risk of developing type-2 Diabetes.
The workout builds on the new trend for High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) - Exercises performed at high intensity but for short bursts to elicit transformational changes in body weight and muscle strength.
Coaches from the Human Performance Institute in Florida wanted to create a workout that would suit people with demanding lives. The result was the High Intensity Circuit Training workout.
We are normally advised to do aerobic and resistance training separately and for much longer periods. But this workout combines both in just 7 short minutes.
The workout has been promoted by The American College of Sports Medicine who recently published the study. They pointed out the following benefits of this sprint workout:
- The workout uses your own bodyweight as resistance - It can be performed anywhere and no special equipment is needed
- You can do multiple sets - You set the length of the workout based on how much time to can squeeze into your schedule.
- It burns fat and keeps on burning it for up to 72 hours - Whats more, it's the stubborn subcutaneous fat that is more likely to be burnt.
- It could dramatically improve your VO2 max - Compared with traditional aerobic exercise, HICT is better at improving cardio health when tested in the lab.
How to do it
The workout alternates between upper body and lower body exercises, working out both large and small muscles.
Each exercise should be performed for 30 seconds, with a maximum for 30 seconds rest between each exercise. A sample programme published by the coaches used 12 exercises, starting with Jumping Jacks and moving onto squats and abdominal plank exercises.
However, it should be noted this programme might not be up to building absolute strength in the same way as more traditional resistance training. The coaches also cautioned that if you are overweight the you should see your doctor before launching into the programme.
- Jumping jacks
- Wall sit
- Abdominal crunches
- Step-up onto chair
- Triceps dip on chair
- High knees/running in place
- Push-up and rotation
- Side plank
Repeat 2-3 times depending on how much time you have.
This could be the perfect workout for those busy and stressful weekdays. We don't think that anything could beat a proper run or walk though!
Have you given HICT ago? What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.