First, is a 7-minute workout long enough to promote physiological adaptations? The answer to that question hinges on how hard (at what intensity) you are prepared to train.
Studies have shown that even short, high-intensity bursts of 20- to 30-seconds can promote fat-loss and physical development. And the number of bursts needed to trigger these outcomes is surprisingly low.
For example, in the BBC documentary The Truth About, researchers showed that six sets of 20-second high-intensity cardiovascular intervals was enough to burn fat and maintain fitness levels.
What’s more, after the short duration bursts the body continued to burn fat for 20-minutes afterwards. So a high-intensity 7-minute workout could be as physically beneficial as a low-intensity 30-minute gym session.
The 7-minute workout below will help you burn fat and keep in shape. And the great thing about this workout is you can complete it pretty much anywhere as it doesn't require any equipment. Also, if time permits, you could always extend the workout by doubling the number of rounds you perform.
How it works
It’s advisable to spend a minimum of 5-minutes warming up prior to starting the workout. Once you are sufficiently prepared, set a minute repeater on your training timer and then attack the 7 exercises as though your very life depends on it.
There’s no stopping for rest, water or insta pics. Seriously, you’ve got to assault this 7-minute workout with the indomitable determination of Hercules when he defeated the Hydra in hand-to-hand combat. And if, after completing the final exercise, you’re not wreathing in agony and rolling around in a pool of self-pity, well then you simply didn’t train hard enough.
5/10-minute cardio and calisthenics (jogging on the spot interspersed with squats, burpees and press-ups)
7 Minute Workout
1-minute High Knee Raises
Basically you are jogging on the spot but raising the knees high - hence the name - so that a 90° angel is formed at the hip flexor. Deceptively easy, high knee raises are anything but: I give you 20-seconds before your quads are on fire and you feel like you're going to cough up a lung.
A classic military-style exercise that promotes whole body physicality. When performing burpees ensure that from the crouched position the feet are jumped out and back in together. Also, conclude each rep with a jump.
Probably the best upper body exercise conceived by mortal man. For this workout try and touch your chest on the floor with each rep. Also, extend at the elbow until you're a hair's breadth from lockout. To further increase the intensity throw in a couple of clap-hand press-ups.
Got’a love the plank, so simple yet so effective and as an abdominal toner it has no rivals. Make sure when planking that your back is a straight as, well, a plank. And don’t hold your breath!
1-minute Hill Climbers
Again, another classic military-style exercise that works the whole body including the heart and lungs. Though simple this exercise is often performed incorrectly: the inside of the knee should touch the outside of the arm before returning to the outstretched position.
A great upper-body and core strength developer. To perform a walkout you merely walk the hands back from the press-up position until you reach the tip of your toes (or as near as possible). From here, which should see you in a ‘downward dog’, walk the hands back out until you return to the press-up position.
The bastod, if you didn’t know, is an amalgamation of the burpee and the press-up. From standing drop down into a crouched position, shoot the legs out, perform a press-up, hop the legs back in, stand up and conclude the exercise with a jump.
After you’ve recovered from the physical melee go for a gentle 5-minute walk or complete the warm-up at a lower intensity.
Enjoyed this circuit? Has it left you hungry for more? Click on the image below and get your copy of the Hungry4Fitness Book of Circuits Vol. 1.
Circuit training is one of the best forms of physical exercise for maintaining and increasing overall-fitness. A well designed circuit will provide a great cardiovascular workout, strengthening the heart and lungs in the process, whilst also improving muscle endurance and developing functional strength. This unique combination, of fat burning and muscle building, which singular exercises, such as running, cycling, swimming or weights cannot give, will help to sculpt a lean defined physique.
(As we are very interested in user experience here at Hungry4Fitness, we would be very grateful if you could take a few seconds out of your day to leave a comment. Thanks in advance!)
Adam Priest, former Royal Marines Commando, is a personal trainer, lecturer, boxing and Thai boxing enthusiast.