What if you could get an hour’s worth of exercise in a mere seven minutes? That’s what the seven-minute workout promises. Brett Kilka and Chris Jordan are behind the research-driven, peer-reviewed exercise regimen. The intensive workout has been proven to result in numerous mental and physical benefits in those who practice it. However, not all who are hoping to dive into the convenient exercise plan can utilize the program to it’s fullest. So, is the seven-minute workout for you?

What is the seven-minute workout?

The seven-minute workout consists of 12 daily exercises which can be accomplished in seven minutes. It can be completed from the comfort of your home, office, bedroom, or any other location. However, it guarantees benefits equivalent to an hour (or more) spent at the gym. So, what are these magic workouts? They include everyday exercises such as squats, push-ups, and lunges — only done in high-intensity.

The seven-minute workout is based out of a smartphone app, 7 Minute Fitness Challenge. The app includes step-by-step guidance through the workout, including visuals of the exercises and when to take breaks. You’re also able to track your progress, create your own calendar, and measure your weight. There are achievements that you can unlock by sticking to the seven-minute workout regularly. Yet how does this exercise plan work in your favor?

The science behind it

The seven-minute workout is completely science-based and scientist produced. The exercise pattern of the seven-minute workout encompasses is referred to as high-intensity interval training (HIIT). HIIT consists of short bursts of intense exercise followed by brief breaks. Within the seven-minute workout program, all the major muscle groups in the body are targeted through the 12 daily workouts. This includes the lower body, upper body, and core, providing a powerful workout for your whole body. However, it doesn’t merely alter your body on a muscular level. Rather, HIIT affects your body on a molecular level. HIIT produces proteins within the cells that benefit the mitochondria. Essentially, this halts the effects of aging at a cellular level. This incredible alteration is achieved through both the high-intensity exercise intervals and the brief pauses in between exercises. Everything from the intense workout to the recovery periods stimulates the creation of these proteins at a cellular level. Every element of the seven-minute workout is designed to scientifically benefit your physical health. However, like most workout routines, this regimen comes with both perks and downfalls.

The perks: a plethora of benefits

The seven-minute workout has been said to reap physical rewards equivalent to an hour’s time spent at the gym. From the research done on the HIIT-focused workout at a cellular level, it seems clear that the benefits are plentiful. In the short-term, the seven-minute workout can provide you with a mental boost, increase your focus, and improve your metabolism. In the long term, it slows down aging, tones your muscles, burns fat, and much more. Despite the temporary discomfort of barreling through such intense exercises, you can reap a significant amount of mental and physical rewards.

One of the obvious perks of the seven-minute workout is convenience. For those who are busybodies, workaholics, or have schedules too packed to make it to the gym, it provides an accessible way to stay fit. You can perform the exercises in nearly any environment, making it optimal for maintaining your physical health while also juggling a busy life. Still, it’s necessary to know how to perform each exercise — and be able to handle the intensity — in order to get the most out of the seven-minute workout.

The downfalls: not for beginners

The seven-minute workout isn’t designed for everyone. Those who are beginner exercisers will likely not hold up well performing this intensive routine. In order to move through this workout safely, you must have a basic knowledge of the proper form to use when performing push-ups, crunches, and other exercises. If you’re unaware of these, practicing these exercises could be damaging to your body. Not utilizing proper form could lead you to injure your spine/neck and harm your muscular system.

Additionally, such an intense workout isn’t optimal for people who aren’t already in shape. The intensity of each exercise is a key part of making physical progress in the seven-minute workout. If you aren’t fit before beginning the strict series of exercises, the strain placed upon your body could ultimately be harmful to your health. Such an intense workout requires optimal physical health, so it’s necessary to have some strength and endurance before beginning the seven-minute workout. This program is a great regimen to dive into once you’ve gotten into adequate physical shape. Then, you can truly reap the rewards of the seven-minute workout.

Getting the most out of your workout

In order to get the most of the seven-minute workout, you must focus on two components: intensity and recovery. The benefits of this regimen are dependant on putting your all into every exercise. If you slack off, you won’t experience the same mental and physical boost as you would if moving through the workout at full intensity. However, the periods of rest in between each exercise are also important. The back-and-forth between workout and recovery is important to the full-body workout the seven-minute challenge is designed to achieve. In the case of the seven-minute workout, the rest is as important as the exercise, especially on the cellular level. While resting may not be a typical part of your usual workout, this routine demands that you take a break for a reason.

Additionally, make sure you’re mentally and physically prepared to take on the seven-minute workout. Stretching in advanced can help you prevent any muscular strain. If you aren’t ready to dive into such intense exercise, don’t fret. For now, opt for exercise that will be less stressful on your body. Get in shape before taking on the challenge. Eventually, you’ll be able to transition into the seven-minute workout and attain the mental, physical, and cellular benefits that come with it.