Daily 7-Minute Workouts Shed 2kg Body Fat and ~3 cm Off Already Slim Waists in 6-Wk Study W/Out Dietary Changes!
|It's absolutely possible to incorporate bars and everything else that happens to workout-compatible into your workouts.|
Previous studies of this body-weight based HIIT protocol have produced encouraging results (Klika 2013) and the workout can be adapted according to your clients' individual needs by modifying the exercise selection (including outdoor exercises such as the dips on the image to the right), the exercise order, the number of exercises (usually 9-12), the length (in s) of the individual exercise bouts, and the rest between exercise bouts which is usually set between 15-45s.
I will provide details on how the aforementioned variables can be modified according to client needs. Before we discuss these details, I do yet want to highlight what a basic 7-minute workout template can do for young (18-30 years) healthy men and women (mean body fat for both sexes 24.1%; BMI 24.4 kg/m²).
All participants had to follow the same workout prescription for 6 weeks. That's 6 weeks of 7 workouts à 7 minutes per week - 6x49 minutes of exercise per week, 294 minutes for the whole study (Mattar 2017); all workouts with the same following exercise sequence:
Figure 1: Overview of the exercise sequence the subjects had to perform daily for 7 weeks.
- Wall sit
- Abdominal crunch
- Step-up onto chair
- Triceps dip on chair
- High knees run in place
- Push-up and rotation
- Side plank
- all exercises can be done with body weight and are easily implementable in any setting (e.g., home, office, hotel room, etc.) and
- the exercise order allows for a total body exercise to significantly increase the heart rate with
- the lower, upper, and core exercises maintaining the heart rate while developing strength.
|Figure 2: Changes in relative (%) and absolute (kg) body fat over the six-week study period (Mattar 2017).|
What is a bit odd is that the waist circumference had reduced by 3.6 cm after 3 weeks? At the end of the study period, however, the reduction ended up being a 36% smaller - an albeit non-significant difference for which there is furthermore no good reasons to assume that it was related to dietary changes or exercise-non-adherence. After all, both body fat weight and percentage decreased (see Figure 2).
The workout that works... but needs tweaking in the long run
The authors ascribe the beneficial effects on body fat to a combination of increased lean mass and improved mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation. Two factors, of which we know that they add to the general metabolic benefits of losing body fat, in general, and belly fat, in particularly - even in already normal-weight subjects.
|Resistance training bands are probably the best adjunct to the workout, but if you have something to attach a TRX system, too, another recently published study suggests: you can use that as well | read more.|
- the exercise selection may be changed and more intense body weight and/or resistance band (optionally dumbbell) exercises may be incorporated into the template
- the exercise order could be modified in ways that facilitate higher heart rates even in more trained individuals by e.g. inserting a set of burpees after every X exercises
- the number of exercises and/or the duration of bouts could be increased/decreased to (a) gear the workout more to VO2- or strength gains
- the inter-bout rest periods which can be shortened to keep the heart rate and thus cardiovascular stimulus elevated as subjects adapt (this would also allow for increases the number of exercises or the duration of bouts without compromising the beauty of having to train for only 7 minutes)
To maximize fat loss and/or muscle gains or battle insulin resistance or high triglycerides additional dietary changes will be absolutely essential, though - with some keywords being: energy deficit (fat loss), sufficient protein (1.5-2g/kg for gains), carbohydrate control (not necessarily low carb | improve insulin sensitivity and triglycerides).References:
- Klika, B., & Jordan, C. (2013). High-intensity circuit training using body weight: Maximum results with minimal investment. ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal, 17(3), 8-13.
- Knight, E., Stuckey, M. I., Prapavessis, H., & Petrella, R. J. (2015). Public health guidelines for physical activity: is there an app for that? A review of android and apple app stores. JMIR mHealth and uHealth, 3(2).
- Mattar, L. E., Farran, N. H., & Bakhour, D. A. (2017). Effect of 7-minute workout on weight and body composition. The Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness.