Seven Minute High Intensity Circuit Training

HITC For Busy Professionals

While I was lounging on the beach, I finally got caught up on my magazines. The June issue of Fitness Magazine had a blurb about a seven minute high intensity circuit workout that caught my attention. I did a bit of research and learned that the workout was designed by personal trainers at the Human Performance Institute, Division of Wellness and Prevention, Inc., in Orlando, Florida, for their clients, who they describe as “high-performing professionals from a variety of industries.”


The workout is based on high intensity circuit training (HITC) that combines aerobic and resistance training (using body weight) and is designed to be “safe, effective, and efficient” for “time-constrained” people–who doesn’t feel time-constrained these days?

The circuit consists of 14 exercises to be done for 30 seconds each,
with 10 second of rest in between each exercise
(so yeah, it really takes about 10 minutes):


As explained in this article, the order of the exercises is designed so that total body exercises (like the jumping jacks) increase your heart rate while the lower, upper, and core exercises develop strength while maintaining the increased heart rate.

The article has an interesting discussion about optimal lengths for the work and rest intervals, and a warning that I’ve never seen before:

For individuals with hypertension or heart disease, the isometric exercises (wall sit, plank, and side plank) are not recommended.

The article suggests following “the established ACSM guidelines for high-intensity exercise of at least 20 minutes,” which would mean doing 2-3 circuits.

I created a program in my interval timer app with a 10 second warm-up, 14 sets of 30 second intervals with 10 second rest periods, and a 30 second cool-down, for a total time of 10 minutes. I did three circuits, although I varied the abdominal exercise each time (crunches, full sit-ups, v-ups), and felt like I had gotten a good workout.

I like the variety and flow of this routine, I like that it include so many fundamental exercises, and I like that it will get me back to doing planks on a regular basis. I’m glad that I discovered this high intensity circuit training workout when I did. With business trips almost every week in September and October, I certainly will fit the profile of being a “time-constrained” professional!

Do you like learning about the “science” behind different workout programs?

Have you changed up your workout routine for the fall?

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21 Responses to Seven Minute High Intensity Circuit Training

  1. Miz says:

    well you know me.
    Im sadly not a sciencer BUT BUT BUT I LOVE the quick downandDIRRTY workouts where I get the most bang for my workout buck (does anyone even say that any more?)!

  2. My routine has changed a little bit but my gym routine will most likely stay the same. I like it 🙂

  3. mommyrunfaster says:

    Isn't it amazing how effective a short workout can be? Pinned this one!

  4. Carrie says:

    I love interval workouts and the less complicated, the better. And, no I don't usually look into the science behind a workout. Now, food – that's a different story. 🙂

  5. Love a good interval workout, especially now that my gym closed 🙁 Thanks for sharing this one!

  6. I made a modified 7 minute workout and posted it on my blog. There are so many exercises a true beginner cannot do on that program. BTW, I find it impossible to truly finish it in 7 minutes it’s more like 8 or 9. What have you found?

  7. I need to try this. I think it would be great for my off days. Thanks!

  8. I love the science behind nutrition and fitness. It’s fascinating how the body works! This year I learned that you don’t have to have 1 hr + for a good workout. The high intensity stuff can def do it in 30.
    Jill @ Fitness, Health and Happiness recently posted…Running and Life Goals RevisitedMy Profile

  9. Beth says:

    I like this 7 min Workout. My trainer suggests doing the circuit 2-3 times. I have also done it using one minute intervals instead of 30 seconds 🙂

  10. Chris says:

    Every exercise in the schedule is solid and will reap positive effects for
    sure. I was glad to see that everyone had a legitimate place on the list.
    I think doing three rounds could definitely provide a solid and time
    efficient workout.
    One suggestion that I might give is (when time allows 🙂 ) when one might
    think of trying to lengthen this schedule to add time to the individual
    exercises (maybe from 30 seconds to 45) before adding more rounds. I think
    working more intensely on each of them would be a slightly more beneficial
    approach then simply adding another round. Although of course both
    approaches would make it harder and more productive.
    Very nice post! Thanks for sharing.

    Chris recently posted…The Arran Malt Sauternes Cask Finish Scotch Whisky ReviewMy Profile

  11. Mark says:

    Looks good, might try this myself. Haven’t got much time nowadays!

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