The Scientific 7-Minute Workout

7 minute workout


A pair of feet on a table

If you’re looking for a way to get in better shape, the scientific 7-minute workout might be just what you need. This high-intensity routine has been shown to improve aerobic fitness as well as muscular endurance. And it only takes seven minutes to complete.

The workout was developed by Dr. Martin Gibala at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. He and his colleagues published the study showing how to do it in the journal “Plos One” in April 2012. The researchers who designed this short exercise protocol had previously shown that a 20-minute high-intensity interval training regimen could provide some of the same health benefits as a 50-minute endurance training program.

So if you have seven minutes to spare, why not give it a try? You might find that having two different kinds of workouts on your fitness calendar is more beneficial than trying to fit one long workout into your routine each week.

Here’s how this quick workout works:

Warm-up for 2 minutes at an easy pace

Perform 30 seconds of intense exercise, followed by 10 seconds of rest

Follow that pattern to complete 8 intervals (for a total of 7 minutes)

Finish with an additional 2-minute gentle cool down.

Before you start this workout, be sure to check in with your doctor to determine if it’s right for you. This type of high-intensity interval training is effective, but like any other type of exercise, there are potential risks when done too intensely or incorrectly. If you haven’t worked out in a while, take it easy at first until you know how it affects your body.

The seven minutes should go by pretty quickly since the work periods are so short, just 30 seconds each. You can expect your heart rate to rise and fall rapidly during the workout, which means it’ll be an effective way to get your heart pumping. It’s hard to work out at maximum capacity for more than a minute or two, so don’t worry if you can’t sustain these high levels of intensity for seven straight minutes.

Martin Gibala is the chairman of the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. He says that anyone who is already physically active should be able to do this type of workout safely and effectively as long as they follow his instructions carefully. If you want to try it but have health concerns, or aren’t sure how tough this might feel, be sure to talk with your doctor first.

Gibala and his team suggest that you repeat the workout two to three times per week with at least one day of rest in between each session. You can do this in addition to whatever other activities you typically participate in.


A tall building

The Scientific 7-Minute Workout can help you lose weight, increase energy, and improve your overall health.

Targeted Muscle Groups:

Triceps, Biceps, Inner thighs, Glutes, Hamstrings

Abdominal muscles are also engaged in this workout.

Equipment Required:

This exercise does not require any equipment. All you need is your body weight and a chair or sturdy bench that can support your weight while sitting down. A mat may be useful for comfort during the workout.

Do this Workout on Different Days of the Week:

You can do this 7-minute workout plan on different days of the week to give yourself variety in workouts. There is no need to stick with one particular day of the week before moving on to another routine.


The study showed that in young, healthy adults, interval training improved their aerobic fitness as much as traditional endurance training did when compared on equal terms over 12 weeks. But they only trained for three minutes per session.

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