Is A 7-Minute Workout All You Need? Science Says Yes

A 7-minute workout sounds like the stuff of fantasy — in our self-flagellating thinness culture, we all know that exercise is supposed to take up at least an hour of your day, preferably within the confines of a gym that costs more than your car does monthly.

Just one look at all the lecturing pics on Pinterest feels like enough to put the idea of a 7-minute workout to rest. How can you be lapping someone on the couch or getting a perfect beach body in less time than it takes to wait on line for your daily latte?

Because as we all know, fitness isn’t about efficiency, it’s about being a martyr — and if you do a 7-minute workout, you’re getting away with something! Right?

Wrong, says science … possibly. The concept of a 7-minute workout is part of a rising body of evidence for a larger school of fitness thought, often referred to under the umbrella of “high-intensity interval training,” or HIIT.

HIIT suggests that something like a 7-minute workout not only can work — but is the optimal way to handle your fitness regime.

The 7-minute workout isn’t just a get-thin-quick scam or the refuge of lazy would-be gym bunnies that don’t want to sit through an hour of spin or Zumba. (Ain’t nobody got time for that!)

The New York Timescovered the 7-minute workout in a piece today titled “The Scientific 7-Minute Workout,” and in it, the paper explains that not only do you not need an hour — you don’t even need a gym, an ab machine, or free weights. What?

In the article, the Times explains:

“In 12 exercises deploying only body weight, a chair and a wall, it fulfills the latest mandates for high-intensity effort, which essentially combines a long run and a visit to the weight room into about seven minutes of steady discomfort — all of it based on science.”

Science, you guys! (To be specific, the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal.)

Actual real life director of exercise physiology at the Human Performance Institute in Orlando, Chris Jordan, tells the paper that the 7-minute workout offers “many of the fitness benefits of prolonged endurance training but in much less time.”

Time will tell if the 7-minute workout replaces the 90-minute Pilates class, but the idea of an abbreviated fitness routine does offer some significant hope for time-strapped people who want to work up from sedentary to at least modestly fit.

Would you try the 7-minute workout?