It is hard to lose weight when most of us live such busy lives. However, new research suggests that a seven minute workout could be all you need to rev up your metabolism and fight the subcutaneous fat under your belly and hips.
A new article in ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal was published on the potential health benefits of HITC (High-Intensity Circuit Training) using just the weight of your body. This seven minute workout is a type of interval training in which you have short 30 second periods of 90% maximum effort combined with ten second breaks between each period. The whole circuit consists of twelve exercises that alternate between the upper body and lower body muscles. What that does is, in a sense, give the muscles more than 10 seconds of break since one group is barely being used to support the other group that is exerting the effort.
According to a New York Times blog post, 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 1.
The ACSM journal also points out that incorporated resistance training contributes significantly to the amount of fat burned during a workout. When resistance training exercises using multiple large muscles are used with very little rest between sets, they can elicit aerobic and metabolic benefits. Research has found that these metabolic benefits can be present for up to 72 hours after a high-intensity exercise bout has been completed.
There also may be a greater impact on subcutaneous fat loss with high-intensity intermittent circuit-style resistance training protocols than with traditional steady state sustained-effort aerobic work or traditional resistance training. This is thought to be from the increased level of catecholamines and growth hormone found in the blood both during and after high-intensity resistance training exercise with shortened rest periods (<30 seconds). -ACSM Journal-
Shorter rest periods result in a shorter total exercise time. This is attractive to individuals who are trying to maximize the impact of an exercise program in minimal time. So if you have a busy lifestyle like I do, this is efficiency to its maximum.
Other health benefits of the seven minute workout include an improvement in the VO2max capacity and decreasing insulin resistance, which is good news for those who are fighting with type 2 diabetes.