The 21 Minute Workout (or 7 minutes if you’re really fit)

Keeping fit does not have to be the slog that so many think it is, and with this 21 minute work out you can get started on the roading to meeting your health and fitness goals, and if you are already fit then you can accomplish this workout in just 7 minutes, can you believe that, a 7 minute workout which requires nothing more than a chair and your own bodyweight! If you don’t believe me, check out the New York Times piece which relates to the scientific study that was carried out which resulted in the 7 minute workout.

Of course, one small caveat that the paper of record forgot to mention: you have to do it at like 100% V˙O2max which means you’re basically at the highest level of exertion — can you just imagine sprinting through floor exercises for 7 minutes straight — the reality is however, that whilst 7 minutes sounds great, the large majority of people can’t do it. The authors of the study however, well they suggest an alternative. Instead of burning through a 7 minute hell,  do the routine 2-3 times for a total of 21 minutes and you’ll get the same benefit. If you are able to complete it 3-4 times a week and that’s enough to keep you healthy. So that’s just 60-80 minutes total, every week, without any equipment, gym fees, fancy moves, DVDs or a personal trainer yelling at you and can get stay in shape. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner.

The Exercises

The exercises which we will be using in this workout are as follows.

  • Jumping Jacks
  • Wall Sit
  • Push Up
  • Ab Crunch
  • Step on Chair
  • Squat
  • Tricep Dips
  • Plank
  • High Knee Running
  • Lunge
  • Push up and Rotation
  • Side Plank

There you have it, 12 exercises which you will complete for 30 seconds each and then quickly jump on to the next exercise. You should aim to start the next exercise within 5 seconds to keep the heart rate pumping, this will make up the final minute of the exercise. The key here will be pushing until you can’t go any more, and then get on the next exercise. When you first start this exercise feel free to skip some of the 30 second parts to get your breath back, and then dive in on the next one. In order to build up the strength to do complete this challenge, you have to just keep going, keep trying, keep failing, eventually you will be able to get there.

Always remember to have a good stretch before you get started, at least 5 minutes to warm up the muscles and flex out the joints, the last thing you need is an injury when you are just getting started. Finally you should have a warm down once the exercise is done, again you should look to spend 5 minutes warming the body down, instead of collapsing in a pile like you probably want to.