By: Saif Usman MD
Review of New York Times Scientific 7-minute Workout Web App
7 minutes. That’s the amount of time needed to do a quick, scientifically proven, high intensity workout using the free New York Times Workouts app. It’s the first of a number of Well fitness apps the New York Times is planning on producing to give consumers mobile or web based personal training resources.
This is a web-app that can be used directly out of your internet browser and is only available through the New York Times website. While not available through the Android or Apple App Stores, you can easily place a bookmark on your home screen and utilize the app similar to how you use typical apps on your phone.
Having a web app compared to a native app allows all types of smartphones and platforms to utilize the app which is a nice feature. As a sports medicine physician, I’m often asked by my patients what exercise plans I recommend. With the strong research evidence behind this app (we’ll get into this later in the article), I am definitely going to begin recommending this as a first stop, especially with the scientific workout so easy to do.
The app contains 2 distinct workouts; The Scientific 7-Minute Workout and The Advanced 7-Minute Workout.
You can choose to have a female or male voiceover or none. Choosing The Scientific 7-Minute Workout brings you to a scrollable screen with a brief description of the exercises you will be doing. Clicking the ‘Begin Workout’ button at the bottom of the screen starts the routine.
In the middle of the screen there is an animation of how the exercise is done, with a description above and a countdown timer below.
Tapping anywhere on the screen pauses the workout and brings you to another screen where you can tap again to resume the workout or end the workout completely.
After every 30-second workout there is a 10-second rest screen with a counter at the bottom and the upcoming exercise listed near the top of the screen.
The Scientific 7-Minute Workout is based on a research paper published in the prestigious American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) journal. It outlines a 7 minute “High intensity circuit training (HCIT)” workout involving 12 exercises that utilize a chair, a wall and your own body weight. This is supposed to be the equivalent of doing a long run and some weight training condensed into 7 minutes. As a sports medicine physician, I think its a great research article and while more research is always needed, I am going to be recommending the app and exercises to most of my patients. The original research article can be found here.