Scientists have developed a 7-minute exercise regime to provide as many health benefits as going for a long run and doing a session of weight training.
The workout requires no more than a wall, a chair and 7 minutes of your time.
However, the experts say that you must be in pain when performing the regime in order to benefit.
The article, entitled High-intensity circuit training using body Weight: Maximum Results With Minimal Investment, is published in the American College of Sports Medicine Health & Fitness.
The program includes 12 exercises that use the body’s own weight to get the same amount of exercise as doing a long run and session of weight-training in just seven minutes.
“There’s very good evidence that high-intensity interval training provides many of the fitness benefits of prolonged endurance training but in much less time,” Chris Jordan, director of exercise physiology at the Human Performance Institute in Orlando, and co-author of the new article, told the New York Times.
Previous research has found that just 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.
Interval training, though, requires intervals. The scientists who devised this new workout say that to get the maximum benefits the extremely intense activity must be intermingled with brief periods of recovery.
In the program outlined by Chris Jordan and his colleagues, this recovery is provided in part by a 10-second rest between exercises. This rest is extended by alternating the muscles used in each exercise.
During eat set of exercises, the unexercised muscles have a moment to “catch their breath”, which makes the order of the exercises important.
The exercises should be performed in rapid succession, allowing 30 seconds for each.
But to get maximum benefits the intensity must hover at around 8 on what they term as the discomfort scale of 1 to 10.
Chris Jordan says that the 7 minutes should be unpleasant.