|NYT: The Scientific Seven-Minute Workout|
The first time I saw the chart and the rules—30 seconds for each exercise with a 10-second break in between—I scoffed at it. “How is this even a workout?” Nevertheless, I went ahead and tried it, even telling myself I’d increase the duration to about 45 seconds per exercise.
The first in the series—jumping jack—was fine, but on the second (wall sit), I found myself in agony after the first 10 seconds; 30 seemed like a lifetime. And with little rest in between—not enough for me to catch my breath—I collapsed by the time I got to the 10th exercise, leaving me unable to complete the last two.
I’m not exactly a fan of cardio because I’d like to put on more weight, but I’ve noted that I haven’t been unable to progress with my push-ups program (www.hundredpushups.com) because the advanced levels are starting to wear me out. After a week of the seven-minute workout (SMW), I’ve improved my push-up record for three consecutive workout days mainly because I am now able to squeeze in a few more reps:
Note the huge jump in my last three stats—that’s when I started doing SMW. Prior to that, although my record was improving, I couldn’t get past 100. (What I do is perform my push-up and the SMW program on alternate days.)
And I haven’t even been able to complete SMW yet. Even if I’m completely rested, I’m having trouble with the last exercise, the side plank (I collapse within 5 seconds). I also cheat by slowing down on some of the exercises (According to the NYT article, “the intensity [should hover] at about an 8 on a discomfort scale of 1 to 10”), so I find the program very challenging—there’s still so much for me to work on.
Try it! Visit Lifehacker for videos showing the proper form for each exercise. And here’s a web app that time your entire routine, including the rest intervals—it’s like having your own drill sergeant!