The Real Facts About the 7-Minute Workout

Posted by Angie Quehl on May 22, 2013 4:32:00 PM

Transform Your Body in 7 minutes? Hmmmm...

Have you heard the hype surrounding the “NEW” and "scientific" 7-Minute Workout? Wondering if this workout is for you? Is it effective, safe, really all you need to do? Let’s take a look at it!

What's it All About 

The 7-minute Workout is an example of a High-Intensity Circuit Training (HICT), which involves intense bursts of exercise intervals, combined with short rest periods with the workout being completed in as little time as 7 minutes. It is certainly very convenient for the modern exerciser, who may not have extended periods of time to devote to an exercise program. IS this a new approach to exercise? No way!! Classic Calisthenics were popular and highly promoted 50 -100 years ago! The only change for modern HICT calisthenics is that the old routines are done at a very fast pace with strict rules so that each type of 12 exercises is done at a very fast pace for only 30 seconds each, with 10-second rest between sets and exercise types. In about 7 minutes the entire session is finished. The old/new routine is backed up with research that shows that it generally meets guidelines for quantity and quality of exercise, made by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).

How to do the 7-minute Workout

seven minute workout resized 600


What is Calisthenics?

Calisthenics exercises consist of a variety of simple movements, such as planks, push-ups, and lunges, generally performed without equipment.‭ ‬These types of exercises are designed to increase the flexibility and strength of the muscles of the body, using movement, such as jumping, ‭ ‬bending, ‭ ‬swinging, kicking, ‭ ‬twisting, or stepping and jogging on the spot.

The ACSM recommends that adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. Exercise recommendations can be met through 30-60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (five days per week) or 20-60 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise (three days per week). One continuous session and multiple shorter sessions (of at least 10 minutes) are both acceptable to accumulate the desired amount of daily exercise. Gradual progression of exercise time, frequency, and intensity is recommended for best adherence and least injury risk.

So What Do I Think?

So my advice and opinion is this... I think the 7-minute workout is a good addition to a well-rounded workout plan. Would I recommend ditching everything you have been doing and doing just this workout? No. I believe that a well-rounded exercise plan includes workouts that consist of sustained aerobic conditioning, strength training, AND interval training. This provides, not only a good mix of exercise but also ensures that your workout doesn’t get boring!


Article submitted by:

Pennie Watson, Director of Personal Training, The Women's Club


Topics: cardiovascular exercise, fitness tips, exercise programs for women, weight loss for women, Strength training for women

Confessions of a Beginning Runner Part 2: Tales of Fitness for Women)

Posted by Angie Quehl on Mar 16, 2012 3:00:00 PM

The Diva Edition

Folks, someone is a Diva Beginning Runner. Note that "diva" modifies the rest of the phrase. Because in no sense am I a beginner Diva. Evidence?

**I ran three miles? Everyone I know gets the text: ZOMG PEOPLE I RAN THREE MILES! ON PURPOSE! AT ONCE! WITHOUT STOPPING!

**I brush my hair before I go running. And since it's winter, I'm not pinning it up. I have Confessions of a beginning runnerthese visions of my glorious long tresses streaming out behind me as I streak down the sidewalk. In reality, it's probably better I can't actually see the tangled mess of sweaty as I trudge along.

**I'm going to need a better sports bra. I haven't really had to consider this, but yes. There apparently are times where support is key, and concerns about the ugly mono-boob are less imperative. Who knew?

**Today when I ran it was 39F with a little bit of a breeze. Nothing actually like wind chill, just a stiff gust now and then. You would have thought, to hear my internal monologue, that I was endurance racing in the Arctic. Also, it plays hell with my breathing because the last thing on earth I am going to do is inhale through my nose because it's like an icepick straight into my brain. Now, I did just move from the desert, and anything under 50F there was miserably cold. But seriously? Someone needs to toughen up a little as far as the weather goes.

**My feet hurt. This is odd because as far as I am concerned, any pair of heels under 3" qualifies as flat. I wear heels every day in the office. I race around in them more or less without a second thought: up and down escalators, along with the Metro platform, to Starbucks and back without a jacket. Once I lace up my pair of super-fabulous, specially-purchased, exactly-what-I-needed new running shoes, I do not expect my feet to hurt between miles one and two. They do, however.

Beginning Runners Mantra

This is probably what the issue is...

So tell me: what sets YOU apart when you run?


About The Author:

the elizabeth quotient blogElizabeth is a mamma, blogger, and beginning runner from Northern Virginia. You can follow her story as an up-and-coming runner here on our blog. You can also read more about Elizabeth on her journey through not only fitness but life by checking out her blog, "The Elizabeth Quotient".


Do You Have a Fitness Story You Would Like to Share?

We would love to hear from you! Why not drop us a line in the Comment Section below or submit your story to us directly. We will be using a collection of them in future blog posts highlighting tales of fitness for women.


The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily the opinions of the Women's Club.
1 Comment

Topics: cardiovascular exercise, fitness tips, fitness for women

Confessions of a Beginning Runner...A Tale of Fitness for Women

Posted by Angie Quehl on Feb 21, 2012 3:03:00 PM

Sometimes the best motivation and advice on fitness for women in the world comes from listening to real people talk about their real experiences as they navigate the big, bad scary world of getting into (or back into) a fitness regime. Sharing, commiserating, and relating to another human being and recognizing that yes…someone else has been in the same place as you and felt EXACTLY the same way, can be the best motivation to lace up those sneakers one more day!  With that in mind, we thought we would begin sharing some ‘real life’ stories from real women to help ease you down the fitness path and maybe make you laugh a little along the way too. Enjoy!

Confession of a Beginning Runner -- Elizabeth

• Yes, I do hate every damn step. I don't know when that will quit. I'm hoping that at some point it will, but I ain't holding my breath. There's always a point in my run where I am reduced to thinking, "It hurts, do it anyway."

• I jayrun. Folks, if I stop at a light, I may just not start again. So be a pal and let me run through.confessions of a beginning runner

•I can't wear earbuds. I've tried every kind out there. My ears are just a weird shape, I think. Anyhow, I just turn the volume waaaay up on my phone and run. This generally works fine except when (like today) a kind of embarrassing but good running song comes on. I have never tried to turn my volume down so fruitlessly as when running by a group of small children and their mothers while Rhianna's S&M blared like a foghorn out of my speaker. They all stared and stared at me, clothed in judgment and yoga pants. Finally, I just gave up and ran faster.

• This brings me to my next point: if you see me running, give a sister some love. Wave, say good job, yell something motivational ("Your butt looks big in those pants" would definitely work). I will smile and run faster, my workout will be over more quickly, and I will be happy!

• I am terrified that one day, a car that slows down as it passes me will stop and ask if I need a ride somewhere. Literally, every time a car passes me, I think this is about to happen.

• I know I'm a bore, posting my runs on Facebook, I'm sorry. I do it to keep myself accountable. I'm pushing myself to do this at all. Knowing you are reading (possibly clothed in judgment and/or yoga pants?) pushes me a little farther and a little faster. Thank you. When you comment kindly, like the run, or txt me saying "Yay!"--you're telling me you believe in me. This helps me in ways you don't even know about.

• If I can do this, I can do anything. Because I am having to work harder for this than just about anything else I have ever done.  A weird statement, but true.  I'm simply too old to let something being difficult be my excuse to not do it. Life is hard. Do it anyways.


About The Author:

the elizabeth quotient blogElizabeth is a mamma, blogger, and beginning runner from Northern Virginia. You can follow her story as an up and coming runner here on our blog. You can also read more about Elizabeth on her journey through not only fitness but life by checking out her blog, "The Elizabeth Quotient".


Do You Have a Fitness Story You Would Like to Share?

We would love to hear from you! Why not drop us line in the Comment Section below or submit your story to us directly. We will be using a collection of them in future blog posts.


The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily the opinions of the Women's Club.

Topics: cardiovascular exercise, fitness tips, fitness for women

Women's Wellness Series: Resolution Solution Part V - Cardio

Posted by Angie Quehl on Feb 8, 2011 1:57:00 PM

Cardiovascular Exercise for Women...

cardiovascular exercise for women

Also referred to as aerobic exercise, aerobics, or simply cardio. What is it and how much do you need? Before we talk about how much cardio you should do, you should at least know why it's so important.

Cardiovascular exercise simply means that you're involved in an activity that raises your heart rate to a level where you're working but can still talk.

Benefits of cardiovascular exercise:

  • It's one way to burn calories and help you lose weight
  • It makes your heart strong so that it doesn't have to work as hard to pump blood
  • It increases your lung capacity
  • It helps reduce the risk of heart attack, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes
  • It makes you feel good
  • It helps you sleep better
  • It helps reduce stress

I could go on all day, but you get the point.

Bottom line:

You need cardio if you want to get your weight under control and get your stress to a tolerable level.

To get these great benefits you must perform at the correct intensity.  One way to monitor your intensity is your heart rate. This can be done on specifically designed equipment or with a portable heart rate monitor, such as Polar, that you wear.  Your heart rate is how fast your heart is beating per minute and is expected to increase as the level of exercise increases. In order to reap the positive benefits, you need to elevate your heart rate to the appropriate level.  This range is 50% - 85% of your resting heart rate, which is very individualized. 

Here is a quick calculation to find where you should be…

For women:
226 - (your age) = your maximum heart rate

For example, if you are a 32-year-old woman: subtract 32 from 226

226 - 32 = 194

Then take that number and multiply it by .5, to get your lower end of your target zone. And then multiply that same number by .85 to get the upper end of your zone. For example:

194 x .5 = 97


194 x .85 = 164.9

So, for a 32-year-old woman, an estimate of her maximum heart rate is 194. And her target heart rate zone is between 97 and 164.9 heartbeats per minute.

The closer you push yourself to the top portion of your “zone”, the more benefits you will obtain (and quicker!)


What should you do with that info????

Now that we know why we need it, let’s talk about how much

The 'official' guidelines say 30-60 minutes most days of the week, but don't feel like you have to start at that level if you're not ready.  Perhaps you split the time up throughout the day. What counts is at the end of the day you have increased your movement!


question markHave questions? Thoughts you would like to share? Tips that you believe may be helpful for other Readers? Click the link or submit them in the Comments Section below! 

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Topics: women's health, Women's Wellness, health tips, cardiovascular exercise, cardio, exercise programs for women, the women's club

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