According to the American College of Sport's Medicine's Health and Fitness Journal, scientists have determined 12 exercises that, when done in sequence over the span of 7 minutes and requiring nothing more than one own's body and a chair, will provide "the fitness benefits of prolonged endurance training but in much less time."
Theres very good evidence that high-intensity interval training provides many of the fitness benefits of prolonged endurance training but in much less time, says Chris Jordan, the director of exercise physiology at the Human Performance Institute in Orlando, Fla., and co-author of the new article.
Work by scientists at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and other institutions shows, for instance, that even a few minutes of training at an intensity approaching your maximum capacity produces molecular changes within muscles comparable to those of several hours of running or bike riding.
Interval training, though, requires intervals; the extremely intense activity must be intermingled with brief periods of recovery. In the program outlined by Mr. Jordan and his colleagues, this recovery is provided in part by a 10-second rest between exercises. But even more, he says, its accomplished by alternating an exercise that emphasizes the large muscles in the upper body with those in the lower body. During the intermezzo, the unexercised muscles have a moment to, metaphorically, catch their breath, which makes the order of the exercises important.
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