Burn More Fat & Calories in Less Time

High Intensity Circuit Training Workout That Blasts Fat in Seven Minutes?

Looking for a quick yet efficient total body workout that burns fat, builds strength and blasts calories? All in 7 minutes? Too good to be true? Maybe not. Regular aerobic and resistance training are two of the most important strategies Coastal Fitness Personal trainers suggest to their clients. For either of these exercise strategies to be practical and applicable to the time-constrained client, they must be safe, effective, and efficient. As many individuals frequently travel, the program also must be able to be performed anywhere, without special equipment. HICT and other forms of short intensity training makes exercise possible for anyone with a full plate. (Pun intended).

HICT is not a new concept, but it is growing in popularity because of its efficiency and practicality for a time-constrained society. The combination of aerobic and resistance training in a high-intensity, Limited-rest design can deliver numerous health benefits in much less time than traditional programs. HICT can be a fast and efficient way to lose excess body weight and body fat. The incorporated resistance training contributes significantly to the amount of fat burned during a workout.  When resistance training exercises using multiple large muscles are used with very little rest between sets, they can elicit aerobic and metabolic benefits. Research has found that these metabolic benefits can be present for up to 72 hours after a high-intensity exercise bout has been completed. (ACSM, 2013). 

Exercise Order

Exercises in a HICT circuit should be placed in an order that allows for opposing muscle groups to alternate between resting and working. For example, a push-up (upper body) station would be followed by a squat (lower body) station. While the participant is performing push-ups, the lower body is not being used significantly and can somewhat recover. This allows for the lower body to have sufficient energy to perform squats with proper form and technique and at adequate higher intensity to burn more calories and blast fat. 

If a particular exercise creates a significant increase in heart rate or intensity demand (usually dynamic exercises incorporating the lower body or whole body), the next exercise functions to decrease heart rate or intensity slightly. For example, a stationary plank or abdominal crunches may follow jumping squats.

The objective is to allow for a series of exercises to be performed in quick succession — using proper form and technique — and at high intensity with minimal rest between exercises. HICT increases “burn time” or the amount of time your body continues to burn fat after you have completed a workout.  

Individual Exercise Bout Time

Generally, the longer the exercise duration, the lower the exercise intensity that can be accomplished. To maximize the metabolic impact of the exercise, time should be sufficient enough to allow for the proper execution of 15 to 20 repetitions of an exercise.

A 30-second exercise bout is adequate to allow for this because most participants are able to acquire and maintain appropriate intensity for 30 seconds. Participants can assess absolute intensity by monitoring their heart rate either manually or with a heart rate monitor during exercise. Choosing and Using a Heart Rate Monitor

Rest Between Exercise Bouts

When rest intervals are too long during HICT, it undermines the purpose of the high-intesity protocol, which is to create maximal exercise intensity in minimal time. Overall, the objective is for incomplete recovery between exercises. The recommended rest time between body weight exercises is therefore 10-15 seconds.

Exercises are performed for 30 seconds, with 10 seconds of transition time between bouts. Total time for the entire circuit workout is approximately 7 minutes. The circuit can be repeated 2 to 3 times. To help with timing try one of the many free workout apps like The Johnson & Johnson 7 Minute Workout available on Googleplay and iTunes.

  1. Jumping Jacks or Burpees Total body
  2. Wall Sit Lower body
  3. Push-up or Plank Climber Upper body
  4. Abdominal Crunch Core
  5. Step-Up onto chair or bench Total Body
  6.  Squat Lower body
  7. Triceps Dip on chair or floor  Upper body
  8. Heels to Heaven, lifting hips and legs towards ceiling Core
  9. High Knees/Running in place  Total body
  10. Lunge (each side)  Lower body
  11. Inch worm, walking out from standing position to plank into a push up and walking back to start  Upper body
  12. Bicycle sit ups Core

Still Skeptical? Give yourself 7 minutes, hit the gym and see for yourself.