7 Minute Workout: Get in Shape for a New Year

With the New Year coming, workout regiments will see a massive increase in popularity as people around the world promise themselves that they will get in shape.

An app can’t do that hard work for you, but it can try to make the process as simple as possible. 7 Minute Workout aims to do just this.

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Think of it as Your Coach

7 Minute Workout is an app based around the 7 minute workout fitness regiment (creative name for an app, right?). That regiment isn’t supposed to be the most intense or difficult workout program around; instead, it is designed to be casually done sometime during your busy day.

The primary screen of 7 Minute Workout gives information about different exercises, as well as video demonstration.

The primary screen of 7 Minute Workout gives information about different exercises, as well as video demonstration.

It also isn’t complicated. The 7 minute workout routine focuses on exercises that are universally known, and don’t require any type of outside equipment, besides a chair. Future body builders, take note: this isn’t going to turn you into a ripped juggernaut.

The end result is something more subtle. After following the 7 minute workout for roughly 7 months, you should be in the best shape of your life. Your muscles should be toned, and — most importantly — you should feel good. Isn’t that what exercising should do?

The 7 Minute workout app is designed to guide you through the routine.

Discovering Exercises

As I mentioned above, the exercises included are very basic. That means that there is a very low barrier to entry for this routine; even beginners should be able to jump in and begin.

A $1.99 in-app purchase unlocks the above features, making the app more useful and -- potentially -- more challenging.

A $1.99 in-app purchase unlocks the above features, making the app more useful and — potentially — more challenging.

However, ask any personal trainer: form matters. Form can be the difference between “easy” and “hard” when it comes to exercising. One small imperfection can also result in an injury. While a personal trainer is almost always the best person to ask if in doubt, 7 Minute Workout offers videos and descriptions of each included exercise.

The included instructions and videos are fantastic. These types of directions can be very complicated to follow, but 7 Minute Workout does an excellent job of breaking things down and demonstrating what needs to be done to strike the optimal position or form.

Exercising

The actual workout is done in stages. The first stage is jumping jacks for thirty seconds, followed by a ten-second rest, and then followed by thirty seconds of wall sits. This goes on for the remainder of the workout, with different workouts being substituted in.

Each workout has a countdown from thirty, followed by a rest period.

Each workout has a countdown from thirty, followed by a rest period.

At any time, the app allows you to pause and resume the workout, though much of the effectiveness of this particular routine is based on speed and endurance.

There are two exercises that require a sturdy chair: step-ups and triceps dips. The chair must be able to support your full weight and some strain, particularly near the front, as that is where your weight will be focused.

The rest period can be changed -- or even removed -- after you buy the in-app purchase. The less rest, the more intense the workout.

The rest period can be changed — or even removed — after you buy the in-app purchase. The less rest, the more intense the workout.

Audio cues are also included, meaning that the app will tell you when an exercise is over, what exercise is next, and when to begin that exercise.

When in the workout, you can tap the name of a particular exercise at any time to view the description and instructional video associated with it.

The workout regiment itself is nice. It isn’t particularly taxing for me, but even as a runner with recovering from a small injury, I enjoy the stretching and movement required by the routine.

Going Pro

Up until this point, everything about the app has been free. Locked behind a $1.99 upgrade — the only in-app purchase here — are some very useful features for those serious about the workout program. I’d suggest trying to get into the habit completing the routine before buying the extra features.

The above screen is unlocked after you have bought the in-app purchase.

The above screen is unlocked after you have bought the in-app purchase.

Unlocking the features gives you a few useful features that can make the workout more intense. Primarily, it gives you the ability to increase the duration of the exercises and the breaks. It also allows you to specify the number of sets — it defaults to one, but those looking for more of a challenge can bump it up.

If the 7 minute workout routine is monotonous, you can randomize the different workouts. According to the app, the workout regiment was designed to tax different parts of the body in a specific order, so it may be a good idea to leave that option alone.

By tapping the small calendar icon, a screen is presented that shows on what days you completed the workout. It’s useful for tracking when you last actually worked out was, but not for much else.

Using the App

The app itself is well-designed, if somewhat generic. Different colors denote different workouts, and the design focuses on what is important.

7_minute_workout_calendar1

The calendar view shows you when you last completed a full 7 minute workout routine.

The capabilities of the app are basic, but it makes sense: the 7 minute workout is a basic exercise routine. It’s probably best that there aren’t many options to fiddle with and calibrate, and that the app focuses on teaching you the exercises and then on having you actually exercise.

On the iPad, the text is readable from a distance, meaning that you can set the iPad down on a table or other surface, begin the workout, and still be able to follow the directions without actually holding the device.

Final Thoughts

It’s fast, it’s easy to get into, and it’s free. What more could you ask for from a workout app? With the Holidays here, more and more people want a way to burn off those excess calories, and the 7 minute workout could be that solution. For athletes who, like me, find themselves in need of a good warm-up routine, this also fits the bill. You can’t beat free — and if you love 7 Minute Workout, the $1.99 in-app purchase will only give you more reason to enjoy it.


Summary

A simple app for a simple workout program, 7 Minute Workout is an excellent way to help yourself get into shape.

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