Features & Use
Scientific 7 Minutes Workout is, of course, not a complete replacement for a proper training plan with accompanying diet. The seven minute duration of the app makes for a strange impression at first sight. This is mainly because we associate "real exercise" with long runs or extensive weight lifting work. The application takes a slightly different approach.
This app provides a ''high intensity circuit training'' program. Anyone who remembers the "beloved" circuit training units from school knows how intense this type of training can be in a short time. High-intensity circuit training, HICT, uses primarily your own body weight as resistance. The great advantage of this form of training is – in addition to the short period of time it takes – the fact that one can, in theory, carry out the training program anywhere because the only weight you need is your own body weight. The high intensity aspect of the training format is composed of high-intensity active phases and short breaks.
When you first open the application, the user is welcomed by the clear menu of Scientific 7 Minute Workout. Here, the training can be started straight away, you can make adjustments or view the scientific basis of the program. The last point especially is a major advantage of this application, because many similar programs only offer the training plan without an explanation of the format or the exercises.
These explanations can be accessed via scientific journals and an article in the NY Times, which introduce both HICT as a form of training and assessment. There is also an article from the American College of Sports Medicine Health & Fitness Journal, and based on this post alone you can understand the reasoning behind the training format. You can see in the scientific article that HICT is "a form of training for the mass of people who, because of time limitations or personal reasons, can not perform alternative forms of training." Furthermore, the authors make it clear that the shorter period of time actually makes better sense if an intensity greater than 100% V02 max is achieved. However, since many people may not achieve this level, the length of the training can be varied to compensate for the lower intensity of the workout. This means, in effect, a simple repetition of the circuit, and the number of repetitions depends on the type of training.
The training in Scientific 7 Minute Workout is fun and a nice break in between other activities or before work in the morning – after all, we can all spare 7 minutes. The individual exercises are nicely rendered and there is a big countdown to the next exercise in the center of the screen. Another positive aspect of the application is how it displays the next exercises to come, which always occur in the same order. This format is directly based on the example plan of the scientific article, but modifications would also be possible if the exercises need to meet the requirements of HICT.
Sadly lacking in the basic version, however, is the voice guidance you can access in the PRO version, which includes the announcement of the next training module and the remaining time. This absence just means that you need to regularly look at the phone to see the time or next exercise, but that is bearable, especially for a free version. If you can't manage this though, you can simply choose to manually select individual exercises and skip the structured workout. This also means you can pause the program if necessary.
The application is well done from a functional point of view and is missing only the usual social functions of such a "training application". Whether this form of training had an impact in my personal experience, I can not say, due to the lack of scientific measurement. Personally, though, I feel HICT is a bit of a stopgap and a form of "not training" for when it rains, or my regular training regime otherwise falls by the wayside.
Screen & Controls
The graphical presentation of the application is very good. Scientific 7 Minute Workout is very tidy and fits very well into the overall operating system. Many applications work with Android as foreign bodies, like many iOS adaptations, but this application fits well on Android with the bright colors and the overall design scheme.
Speed & Stability
Scientific 7 Minute Workout did not crash during the test period and had no stuttering or other restrictions.
Scientific 7 Minute Workout is free in the Play Store.
Scientific 7 Minute Workout is an interesting application for those who want a quick workout in between other activities. The training course becomes redundant after a few times and in the end all you really need is a timer to perform the workout which you will memorize fairly quickly. The value of the application is high at the beginning, but in the end the application only provides a single, repetitive training plan that is easily repeatable. Despite this, it delivers good overall performance.