If you’ve renewed your commitment to getting fit now that spring is in the air, you may be wondering how much time that goal will require.
If you want your workouts to produce real results, exercise has to be a regular habit, says Chris Jordan, the exercise physiologist who came up with the 7-minute workout. Jordan’s now-viral routine is designed to give you the benefits of a trip to the gym in just a few minutes.
“Skipping workouts can prevent you from achieving optimal results, whatever your specific fitness goal,” Jordan tells Business Insider.
To start seeing results from your fitness plan — whether you’re looking for physical signs like leaner limbs and toned muscles or psychological ones like improved mood and higher energy levels — you should aim to exercise at least three to five days each week, Jordan says. And that doesn’t mean simply lifting a few weights on those days.
“You should aim to do cardiovascular exercise [like running on a treadmill, riding a bike, or doing high-intensity interval training] three to five days each week and resistance training [like planks, squats, or leg raises] two to three days per week,” Jordan says.
The results you see will vary based on your current fitness level. If you’re new to regular workouts and start doing resistance training two or three days each week, you may start building muscle in just a few weeks. But if you’ve been a regular at a gym or yoga studio for several months, you’ll want to step it up a notch and work your body at least four days per week.
Jordan suggests interspersing different types of workouts to target various regions of your body. This will help you avoid fatigue and maximize your time. Here’s an example five-day training plan:
- Monday: Cycling and upper body resistance training, like arm raises
- Tuesday: Yoga and lower body resistance training, like squats
- Wednesday: Running and upper body resistance training, like bench presses
- Thursday: Rest
- Friday: Boxing and lower body resistance training, like leg raises
Research suggests you can also use high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which combines the cardiovascular benefits of cycling or running with resistance training, to achieve the same or similar results. If you like HIIT, the 7-minute workout is a great place to start.
Whichever workout you try, however, the most important thing is to keep doing it.
“To achieve results,” says Jordan, “consistency is key.”