I'm not one to buy into workout plans that promise ripped abs or body overhauls in short spans, but since I had to skip a morning swim at the local town pool, and I had only a short amount of time, I decided to give in and try a seven-minute workout featured in the May-June issue of the American College of Sports Medicine's Health & Fitness Journal.
The article, written by Brett Klika, a performance coach for the Human Performance Institute in Orlando, and Chris Jordan, the institute's director of exercise physiology, outlines 12 exercises that use only body weight, a wall and a chair.
There are only 10 seconds to rest in between exercises, and every area of the body is hit.
After 30 seconds of jumping jacks and the wall sit, I thought, "This is nothing. No problem."
But by the time I hit No. 5, chair step-ups, I was gasping so hard that I thought my wife was going to run down to the basement with oxygen and a stern look that translated into, "Are you crazy?" (the latter of which is commonplace in our house).
When I got to the side plank at the end of the circuit, I was cursing myself for trying the routine.
At the same time, though, I was pleased. I felt I had gotten a good workout, and that regular efforts like this would be worth it long-term.
I don't know if that's the case, and I'm looking forward to a swim, but for someone short on time who employs the proper technique and abides by his or her doctor's advice, it's worth giving it a shot.
High-intensity circuit training exercises, in order (do each for 60 seconds; rest 10 seconds between each):
1. Jumping jacks
2. Wall sit
4. Abdominal crunch
5. Step-up onto chair
7. Triceps dip on chair
8. Plank Core
9. High knees/running in place
10. Lunge Lower body
11. Push-up and rotation
12. Side plank