I tried the 7-minute workout every day for a week

You may or may not remember the 7-minute workout that gained popularity back in 2013.

What is the 7-minute workout?

This scientifically-backed workout was originally created by performance coach and exercise physiologist Chris Jordan. The intention was to offer those who have less time in their day to exercise to still get a full-body workout every day, in just seven minutes.

The workout focuses on high-intensity interval training (HIIT) in a short period of time and has even been described as too intense. The results are meant to be significant, despite the low time commitment required.

Of course, this is appealing to those who have busier schedules but still want to take care of their physical health — but does it work? It tried it out for seven days to see how it felt.

The workout consists of 12 exercises that you perform for 30-second intervals, with a 10-second break in between each one. All you need is your own body-weight and a chair to complete the full workout.

The exercises are as follows

  • Jumping jacks
  • Wall sit
  • Push-up
  • Abdominal crunch
  • Step-up onto chair
  • Squat
  • Triceps dip on chair
  • Plank
  • High knees/running in place
  • Lunge
  • Push-up and rotation
  • Side plank

I added an additional 30 seconds of side planks at the end, to even out my right and left side.

Here are my takeaways:

You need more than 7 minutes to see actual results

Jordan actually recommends repeating the series of workouts about three times to get the best benefits, meaning you need a little over 20 minutes to actually see results. However, you can do it as many times as you want, depending on how much time you have and what your body can handle.

For my experiment, I stuck to just the original seven minutes. By the end of each set, I was definitely “feeling the burn,” but I didn’t notice any significant results after the fact.

Seven minutes is better than zero minutes

I am basically the CEO of making excuses for why I can’t work out. Knowing all it would take is seven minutes of my day and a kitchen chair to get in some physical activity made it very hard for me to come up with a reason not to.

I also felt more productive after getting even a short workout in, as opposed to my normal routine of sitting on the couch with my computer while I muster up the energy to get some work done. Seven minutes of exercise helped kickstart my day and make me more productive, earlier.

This workout isn’t for everyone

Jordan noted that high-intensity interval training isn’t necessarily right for everybody, especially if you’re a beginner to working out or have certain medical conditions.

I had to modify a couple of the exercises to make them work for my physical capabilities, but it’s always best to consult a professional if you have any questions about what is best for you. Don’t be afraid to make modifications that fit your body type and comfortability level.


This is a good option when you’re in a pinch, but not for every day

I would definitely pick up this workout again in the future if I was in a time crunch but still wanted to get some exercise in. However, I don’t think it’s meant to be used every day for long term results.

I, personally, enjoy switching up my workouts from time to time and can bounce around from yoga, to HIIT, to spin, and so on. So, it’s nice to have another option to fall back on when I need something lighter with less of a time commitment.