I was invited to review the free Johnson & Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout App as a Fitfluential Ambassador.
Last year I heard about a “7 minute workout” designed by fitness professionals to target major muscle groups in an efficient routine that also gets your heart rate up. A few months later, I did a review of several different 7 minute workout apps. Now, Johnson & Johnson has a new app out, which they call the “Official 7 Minute Workout App.” If you’ve seen this Apple ad, you’ve seen a glimpse of it:
The app will lead you through the same 7 minute workout as the other apps, but also has these other features:
- 36 body resistance exercises developed and tested by Chris Jordan, creator of the original 7 Minute Workout
- 18 new workouts with more than 1,000 different variations, all rooted in science
- Ability to ‘build your own workout’ guided by the science of the original workout
- A “Smart Workout” feature that utilizes science-based coaching techniques to help make exercise a healthy habit
- Mix and match workouts – with over tens of thousands of fitness experiences
- High-quality video and a dynamic and easy-to-use interface
When you start the app, you have the option to do the 7 minute workout, a “smart workout” or select from the workout library.
I did a few rounds of the 7 minute workout, and also did a smart workout (which was much harder, mostly likely based on my answers to the fitness level questions).
For each exercise, there is a video demonstration and verbal cues on form (an option you can turn off). The timer counts down by the red dots going around the circle. There also are audio cues near the end and at the end of each interval.
Overall, I think this is a great app. I’ve always liked the 7 minute workout (or at least loved to hate it!) and I am surprised at how good the smart workout was. The videos and verbal cues are helpful, and I like the audio cue near the end of each interval.
My biggest complaint is that the app doesn’t tell you the next exercise until you are in the short 5 second break between intervals, which doesn’t always leave enough time to get ready for the next move. I know some of the other apps had a “next up” feature, but maybe that is too hard to do with these customizable workouts. A compromise could be to provide a list of the exercises before the workout starts, so you at least have some idea of what to expect! (This information is available in the “Workout Library” section, but it would be nice to have it as the first screen of a workout.)
My other complaint relates to the feature that lets you “rate” each exercise (the thumb in the image above). I think the app uses this information to design the smart workouts, which is a great idea, especially if you use it to nix exercises that you can’t do for personal health or injury reasons. The problem is that the thumbs are only visible during the interval, so you have to spend some of the 30 seconds rating the exercise. I think having an option at the end of a workout to rate all the exercises would be easier to use.
One other thing that annoys me relates to exercises that are one-sided, like side planks (in the 7 minute workout) and single-leg squats (in my custom workout). I wish the app either had you switch sides half-way through the interval, or had you repeat the exercise on the other side in the next interval. Since it doesn’t, I try to do an even number of rounds of the whole workout, and remember to alternate sides.
I should add that all of the exercises are body weight exercises that do not require weights or special equipment. That and the short duration of the workouts make the app perfect for doing what you can when you can (#wycwyc), at home, on the road, or even at the beach. 😉
If you want to check out this app, you can find it on the Apple App store or Google Play, or through this website.
Do you use any workout apps?