The latest magical hype swirling around the fitness corner of the Internet is the concept of the “HICT 7 minute workout.” The concept is simple: use only 12 bodyweight exercises over the course of 7 minutes in a high intensity manner for a great workout.
For those who are curious, HICT stands for High Intensity Circuit Training. A sample program, taken from ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal, might look like:
- Jumping jacks
- Wall sit
- Abdominal crunch
- Step-up onto chair
- Triceps dip on chair
- High knees/running in place
- Push-up and rotation
- Side plank
Make no bones about it – this will give you a great workout. That’s the good news. The bad news is that you need more than a great workout because you want a good body.
What? Have I lost my mind? What’s the difference, you say?
The difference is simple: “working out”, while great at burning calories, will not give you the body you desire. Body composition is an art. It involves 2 different variables:
- Fat Loss
- Muscle Building (or as the fitness industry likes to call it – toning)
Any form of movement has the potential to promote fat loss. Potential. Movement does not ensure fat loss. Movement simply burns calories and often creates more hunger. Sorry, but that’s the reality of exercise.
Now if you have a rock solid eating plan and know exactly how many calories you are eating each day, then this 7 minute workout will help with fat loss. Unfortunately, if you are not also making an attempt to build muscle, then you are most likely losing fat and losing muscle. The result of this will be a skinnier physique, but also a physique that does not have the desired muscle mass (or muscle tone) you are after.
You need to understand that progressive resistance helps to create bigger muscles. A bodyweight workout, such as the HICT 7 minute plan featured above, will not provide you with the necessary resistance to build muscle mass. Your body will quickly adapt to the demands of the program.
To make the most out of any calorie burning program, you will need to combine it with an intelligently constructed eating plan rich in muscle building protein, and a workout that focuses on progressive resistance.
Taking this one step further, you should also know that you won’t even “need” to do any form of cardio, such as the HICT 7 minute workout, to achieve the body you are after. Yes, that’s right. As long as your diet is dialed in, cardio is optional.
Cardio has obvious health benefits so I would not recommend forsaking it. With that said you should know that a great body does not hinge on the efficiency of your cardio workout. So, while the HICT protocol is scientifically proven to be efficient, it is not the magical key to the great body you are after.
How to Use The HICT 7 Minute Workout
Resistance training should always be your top priority. Perform your muscle building workout first, and then when you are done you can move on to a cardio program such as the HICT 7 minute workout.
You can also choose to perform the HICT workout first thing in the morning, or on off training days when you are not performing a muscle building workout.