We’ve long been on the bandwagon when it comes to touting the benefits of short workouts.
Quick-hitting training sessions, such as the ones provided in The Men’s Health 7-Minute Workouts for Fat Burn program will enable you to maximize your exercise time, using movements that can help you make strides toward a more athletic physique and serve as a building block toward more sustainable long-term fitness goals.
You might still be skeptical about just how much you can accomplish in such a short period of time. Sure, a few minutes is better than nothing—but what progress can you actually make in under 10 minutes? Are these legitimate muscle-building sessions or are simply a last resort when you can’t fit anything else into your schedule?
The bottom line is this: Don’t underestimate the effectiveness of these 7-minute workouts. They are efficient, and they can target areas you may not think you could hit in such an abbreviated period of time. Even more importantly, quick-hit programs such as the ones in the 7-Minute Workouts for Fat Burn program can provide a solid foundation for more advanced programs over time.
But if you’re still unsure of just how you can get fit in just seven minutes, here are three ways in which a little bit of time can go a long way to help you to get and stay fit.
3 Benefits of the 7 Minute Workout Structure
You CAN Build Both Strength and Muscle with Short Workouts
In this fast-paced, multitasking world, short, no-nonsense workouts might feel like a modern adaptation to extreme circumstances and schedules. But the concept of quick, effective training is far from new.
Low-volume, high-effort workouts have been around since the Golden Era of bodybuilding. One of the OG’s from the ‘60s and ‘70s, Mike Mentzer, was famous for his short workouts. For Mentzer and his “heavy duty” program, all it took was just a set or two of all-out efforts per each muscle group just three times a week to get in a full workout. And this is the man who nearly defeated Arnold Schwarzenegger on a bodybuilding stage, so you know it was effective.
Mentzer is one of several examples of the effectiveness short workouts can have on building strength and size. Other athletes have spread their workouts a few minutes at a time over the course of the day to put in the work. And there’s plenty of research that supports the idea that these training types can be nearly as effective for building muscle and strength as your traditional high-volume training program.
Although shorter workouts may not be recommended for elite athletes and military personnel, seven-minute workouts are the perfect solution for the everyday athlete with goals like looking leaner and staying fit, energetic, and injury-free day in and day out.
Need to get in and out of the gym? Research has shown that once you eliminate the distractions—that means your phone, trips to the water fountain, longer rest periods, and even standing in front of the TV—a full strength-building workout can be achieved in less than 15 minutes. So you’re on the right track here.
You Can Train for Fat Loss With Short Workouts
We can’t stress this enough: Your training goals should be focused on fat loss, not weight loss. To keep your training healthy, you should be less concerned about what number is on the scale. What we want to achieve is a sustainable fat loss, or more specifically, body recomposition, which you’ll see when you lose fat while retaining (or even gaining) muscle mass.
However, we’ve also been brainwashed into thinking that in order to achieve this goal, fat loss methods require long, repetitive (i.e., boring) bouts on the elliptical, treadmill, or other cardio machines. We’re here to tell you that’s not always the case. More is not always better. Science backs this up: Research published in the American Journal of Human Biology in 2016 convincingly demonstrated that a person’s body can only burn so many calories per day, and that after that upper limit is reached, the capacity to burn calories is reduced to near zero.
For fat loss goals, seven minutes is actually a better method than long, drawn out sessions. Over a longer period of time, seven minute session should be enough to fine-tune your metabolism, which will spur muscle growth. Keep progressing to the point in which you can do multiple seven-minute workouts in a day becomes the norm, increasing your metabolism even more—contributing to further fat loss. And it’ll get you moving a lot more than you’d think possible in such a short amount of time.
No matter how effective you utilize your training time, however, it’s all for nothing if you’re not spot on with your nutrition. Without careful attention to diet, exercise is ineffective for fat loss. No ifs, ands, or buts.
Short Workouts Give You Chances to Master Tough Techniques
Having problems with pullups or mastering an even tougher move like a handstand? Here’s an opportunity—just seven minutes—in which you can work solely on the mechanics of any exercise you may be struggling to complete in longer training sessions. What makes this such a great opportunity to better your technique is that you’re moving at a not-so-rapid pace but instead one that keeps you moving and improving while getting stronger and technically sound.
Strength expert Pavel Tsatsouline refers to it as “greasing the groove,” which means practicing a skill well-below maximal practice levels in the short term that over time will prepare you for an all-out max effort. This is the best way to learn and enhance a new skillset.
One example may be using shorter rep counts, or even spreading your practice with the difficult movement throughout the day. Less fatigue equals less breakdown which results in more reps over time and more gains without the soreness or fatigue.
This article was first published on Men’s Health US.