Health weight loss fitness news
Work(out) From Home is a weekly column where we review smart fitness machines and apps in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Thanks to technology, there are still plenty of ways to exercise if your gym is closed.
Health weight loss fitness news Seven-7 minute workout app
Plenty of workouts • Easy to follow along • Great illustrations
Very limited number of workouts for unlocked version • Pricey
The Bottom Line
The Seven app offers plenty of effective workouts that are easy to make time for and follow along with. But you’ll want to opt for the paid version for the best experience.
Last week, I reviewed a yoga app specifically because I needed a calming workout for hectic days.
If only I had known that this week wouldn’t be any better. I’m not quite sure how, but I swear the minute I opened my laptop at 8:45 am each day, it was suddenly 8:45 pm in what felt like seconds.
Since my schedule was so packed, my editor suggested I skip this week’s column, but that didn’t solve the fact that I desperately felt like I needed to do some type of exercise.
Back in 2013, a study published in the American College of Sport Medicine’s Health and Fitness Journal found that high intensity circuit training can help decrease body fat, strengthen muscles, and improve your VO2Max.
The theory was put to the test with 12 different heart-pumping exercises (jumping jacks, planks, push ups) for 30 seconds each with 10 second rest periods in between. All together, it comes out to a seven-minute workout.
Essentially, you’re trading in what might be a leisurely one-hour workout for seven minutes of blood, sweat, and tears.
Just kidding. Sort of.
While the study was done over a longer time period than a few days, I figured it was the most effective form of exercise given my time constraints.
And let me tell you, I ended each workout with the Seven app feeling as out of breath as I would’ve had I gone for a run on the treadmill.
Health weight loss fitness news Plenty of workouts to choose from, if you pay
Unfortunately, the free version of the app gives you access to a limited amount of workouts. You’ll unlock a new workout every second month if you do a seven-minute workout everyday for seven months.
I went for the paid version, which costs $9.99 per month and gives me access to over 200 of the workouts available. So, my experience is a little different than if you download the free version.
After downloading the app, you’re asked to a few questions, including what your goal is (get fit, get strong, lose weight), how often you want to work out, and what time you want to work out each day (with the ability to set reminders).
Once that’s set, the app generates a specific plan for you based on your settings.
In the Workout tab, under My Plan, you’ll see a different seven-minute workout for each day of the week you’re set to work out. You can tap on each one to see exactly what it consists of.
If you’re in the mood to switch things up, there’s also Freestyle button. It’ll generate a completely random workout each time.
Additional features under the Workout section include the ability to see your most recent workouts along with a Custom Made feature. Here, you can name your workout and then choose from a ton of different exercises to add to it.
Meanwhile, the Library tab is where you’ll find a complete catalogue of all the different workouts available on Seven. You know, if you want to try something outside of your preferences. You can choose by category (Get Fit, Focus, Be Challenged) or opt for a 30-day challenge.
The Seven app also has a community aspect to it that’s definitely nice for motivation, especially if your friends are on it.
Under the Activity tab, you can see things like your most recent achievements after completing a workout. Just like on social media, your friends have the option to like and comment on it.
Meanwhile, on your profile you can see your followers, who you’re following, and your overall journey so far including workouts and milestones.
Health weight loss fitness news Easy to follow along to
Once you hit play on your workout, there’s really not much to it. Aside from, you know, actually doing the moves.
Each exercise is accompanied by a cute little cartoon demonstration. Above it, you’ll see the title of the exercise and what number you’re on out of 12. At the bottom of the display is a countdown, but a voice (which you can customize) will also play at the 10 second mark to let you know you’re almost done.
If you need to, you can pause the workout or restart it. There’s also the option to completely skip a specific exercise and move on to the next one.
In between, you have your ten-second rest period. While you take a quick sip of water or catch your breath, it shows you what exercise is next. Which is then followed by a really anxiety-inducing whistle being blown to signify that it’s time to start again.
The best part about all of these workouts is that it doesn’t require any equipment. While I did use a workout mat, the only other thing I needed was a chair for step-ups and tricep dips. And even then, I just used my bed.
As far as other exercises go, I was doing jumping jacks, push-ups, squats, high knees running in place, and (my least favorite) side planks. The list goes on.
If you want to increase the intensity, you can also choose to do up to five circuits of each exercise for a total of about 40 minutes.
Once you’re done, you can rate the workout based on how easy or hard it was for you.
I can easily say that throughout each of the seven-minute workouts, I was feeling the burn in places I haven’t particularly been focusing on for a while.
Here’s the thing, I complain about have zero muscle definition every single day. But I also dread floor workouts. I enjoy more upbeat workouts like kickboxing or spin. I’ll even choose Zumba over planks and burpees. But this app definitely allowed me to reintroduce these essential exercises back into my routine in short bursts. Rather than rolling my eyes at the thought of having to put myself through a workout I absolutely despised, I figured that seven minutes of my time was the quickest way to get it over with. And it actually worked.
Health weight loss fitness news You’ll want the paid version, though
If you don’t want to do the same workouts over again while you wait for new ones, you’ll want to pay the $9.99 per month to access all of them at once.
While that might be pricey, in addition to all the other subscriptions you might have, it’s worth it if you really don’t have time to workout during the week.
It’s really easy to use and catch on to, thanks to the fun illustrations, and it takes all the guess work out of having to figure out which exercises you should be doing to achieve specific goals.
You can also do these workouts literally anywhere, whether it’s in your bedroom or living room (without any equipment required).
Given the fact that those were really the only two rooms I found myself in during this insane week, the app was just what I needed to keep me active each day. Even if only for seven minutes.