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A Quick Workout You Can Do at Home

Exercise science is a fine and intellectually fascinating thing. But sometimes you just want someone to lay out guidelines for how to put the newest fitness research into practice.

An article in the May-June issue of the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal does just that. In 12 exercises deploying only body weight, a chair and a wall, it fulfills the latest mandates for high-intensity effort, which essentially combines a long run and a visit to the weight room into about seven minutes of steady discomfort — all of it based on science.

[…] The exercises should be performed in rapid succession, allowing 30 seconds for each, while, throughout, the intensity hovers at about an 8 on a discomfort scale of 1 to 10, Mr. Jordan says. Those seven minutes should be, in a word, unpleasant. The upside is, after seven minutes, you’re done. —The Scientific 7-Minute Workout (emphasis added)

The New York Times article explains that to pack the most use into this workout, it can be treated as a high-intensity interval workout. But that’s not necessary to get good benefit. You can work at your own pace, choose to track by numbers of reps rather than by time, and so on.

As you feel more comfortable with your effort, add a few reps, go a little faster, or add another round of the exercises. You could do a couple of rounds slowly on some days, and do more reps other days, and go for the full hgh-intensity approach once a week. (High-intensity workouts should be a relatively small part of your total activity.)

Illustrations: Ben Wiseman

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