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An App a Day: The seven minute workout

February 20th 2014 / Katie Robinson

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Hate the gym? Want to boost your fitness and get in shape by working out for just seven minutes a day? Then this is the app for you

With the recent influx of information on the benefits of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), a bevy of workout apps have hit itunes, promising to whip you into shape in minimal time, with minimum hassle. Sceptic that I am, I presumed the most effective apps would be the most expensive. How wrong I was. After profuse amounts of sweat, I have finally whittled it down to one ultimate free workout wonder, Seven - and I can safely say I’m a little bit fitter and a little bit in love.

Using nothing more than a chair, a wall and your own body weight, the seven minute workout is based on scientific studies and aims to provide the maximum benefits of working out, in the shortest time possible. Ideal for anyone too busy or afraid to work out in a gym (ie me).

The result? We get fitter in much less time. Hooray! So, lasting just seven minutes, this app guides you through 12 sets of different exercises, each lasting 30 seconds, with a ten second break in between each one. Pretty straightforward really. Don’t be fooled however, it may sound like a walk in the park but if you give it all you’ve got, then it feels like you’ve done a seven hour workout.

What makes this app stand out from the rest? I found it very user-friendly, with precise and clear exercise illustrations, visual timers, interchangeable spoken instructions and even tactile feedback. However, it was probably its built-in ruthlessness and motivational attitude that made me really stick with this app. Just like a video game, Seven starts you off with three lives so if you skip a day you lose a heart and if you lose three hearts in a row it’s game over. Yes, it does pop up on your phone when you lose a life and yes it does gradually guilt you into trying to workout as often as you can.

It’s not all bad though. When you manage to complete a task set by Seven, you get rewarded with entertainment and health-related giveaways - I got a month’s free subscription to LoveFilm after completing my first workout so I was immediately hooked purely to see what else I could scrounge!

As you increase your workouts the goals also change, with the ultimate aim being to complete the seven month challenge: seven minutes every day for seven months. If seven minutes starts to become too painless then you can increase the circuits to 15, 23 or even 40 minutes. I’m currently still at seven.

I may have not managed to complete a workout every day, but I am getting into a routine of sneaking in a cheeky seven minutes at least three times a week. Can you honestly say you don’t have time to do the same?

Available on itunes

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