I've been training now for about 20 some odd years. I've tried all kinds of routines, techniques, and methods designed to do one thing, build muscle and strength. From super sets to giant sets, from pre-exhaust to rest-pause, and from high intensity to high volume, I've tried a heck of a lot of methods.
I have to admit, some of those methods worked and some failed miserably. You want to know something, I'm still trying new methods and combinations to see if there is something I've missed. I want to believe that there are new techniques that helps promote a higher level of fitness.
Really, when you think about it, we all want to find that one technique, routine, or method that helps us build a little more strength, or a little more muscle mass. With that in mind, we tend to keep a close eye on what's going on around us in the fitness world. Or, you may have a buddy at the gym who says, Man, you have go to try this new German Volume training method! or something to that effect.
So, the other day, I get an email from a friend of mine who's been using a 7 minute workout. He went on and on about how great his workouts have been using this workout and I couldn't help but think C'mon, are you that lazy that you can't do a real workout?. Give me a break, 7 minutes? You're out of your mind.
I didn't think any more of it. In my mind, the only way to build muscle is to improve with each passing workout. That's it. If you can lift more weight, do more repetitions or complete the workout in faster time, your improving.
Improve with each workout and follow a strong diet and you're going to get huge. I've been following this type of training all my life and to tell you the truth, I simply don't see how a 7 minute workout can accomplish any of the above noted elements.
Honestly, my warm ups are longer than 7 minutes.
So, a couple of days ago, I get another email from my same friend who says that he's gained more in a couple of months using the 7 minute workout than he did all year. Now, I know my buddy pretty good and we go way back. He's a pretty hard core trainer and for him to say that 7 minute workouts are some of the best workouts he's ever had is quite amazing.
Ok, I thought, I'll look into it to see if there's any substance to this workout. I went over to the web page and scrolled through it. I noticed that the author is Jon Benson. Jon Benson is pretty respected in the field of strength training and is the author of Fit Over 40". With that in mind, I read over his sales page.
The headline reads:
Rebel Trainer Proves You Can Gain More
Lean Muscle Mass And Dramatically Increase
Your Health In Just 7 Minutes a Day...
And He Guarantees It!
Ok, I'll admit it, I'm old school and personally, 7 minutes is not enough to even start breaking a sweat. To say that you can actually build muscle with 7 minutes is simply crazy talk. However, my curiosity got the best of me and I read through the entire sales page.
Here's what really caught my attention:
7 Minute Muscle is perfect for you if you are interested in...
Saving your valuable time;
Saving money on wasted supplements;
Saving your body and your joints from needless abuse;
Saving yourself from a life of "six meals a day" to get lean and muscular;
And more than that...
Wait a minute, the only way I know how to build muscle is with heavy weights. However, my big problem now is with my joints and connective tissues. They're not the same as they used to be. Also, I'm not a teenager anymore with time to burn. My lifestyle is very busy and there are times when I can't even make it downstairs for my workouts. Ok, at this point, I want to see what this workout is all about so.....
I fork out my $77 for the basic package and get the 7 minute muscle program along with the bonus videos.
After receiving the program, I was a little surprised because it was only 83 pages long. The videos were kind of cool and they show you how to actually do a chest, back, shoulders, arm, and leg workout - All in separate videos.
For 77 bucks, this program is kind of thin and I remember thinking, Aw man, not another rip off!. Well, the program is covered by a 60 day money back guarantee and Jon is pretty respected and I don't think he'll try and scam out of a money back guarantee. So, I kept the program and read through it.
It was a pretty easy read and I finished going through the program in a couple of hours. I have to admit, Jon made a pretty good case and made some very good points. As I started reading the book, Jon states the true benefits of his 7 minute muscle workout program. Which are:
Multiple Variations of Resistance
Limited Intense Focus
Less Strain On Your Joints
Decreased Stress Hormones
A Targeted Challenge
Workouts Are Easily Altered
Ok, some of these I'm quite interested in so I dive into his book. Jon really gets to his points quickly with no mumbo jumbo and unnecessary information. To be honest, I wanted to get this part over with as quickly as I could so I could head downstairs and do the workout because, let's face it, there's only one way to see if this method will work.
Like I said before, he can say all kinds of great things in his book but if the workout is all fluff, what's the use. I know what a good workout feels like and I want to know how this workout compares to mine. So, I read the book and watched the videos. Ok, time to see if the shoe fits, so I put on my sweats and head downstairs with the log sheet he provides with the book.
I do a 5 minute jump rope session to get my body warmed up and than follow that up with rotator cuff exercises. The body part I've chosen to train is chest and the two exercises I pick are the incline dumbbell press and the flat dumbbell bench press. So, I warm up with two light sets of incline dumbbell press'.
Now, Jon's program is divided into two segments, a 5 minute strength phase and a 2 minute growth phase which, of course, adds up to 7 minutes. So, I use my watch to make sure I monitor my time. I decide to use the 80 pound dumbbells for the incline dumbbell press and 65 pounds for the flat bench dumbbell press. Now, I'm not going to go into how the sets are structured because, well that would give Jon's program away and I'm sure he won't be too happy about that.
Alright, first set, pretty easy. Take a short rest (Jon tells you in his book the correct rest time) and hit the second set. Again pretty easy and I don't have a really hard time getting the prescribed repetitions. I do this for another two sets and by this time, I'm about 3 minutes in and my chest is starting to get tired. I get to the 4 minute mark and my chest is starting to catch on fire. I'm barely getting out the prescribed repetitions and by my final set, I take my exercise to failure.
As soon as that exercise is completed, I set up the flat bench press, take a drink of water and start the growth phase of the exercise. Set one, no problem, set two, a little harder and my arms are a little shaky, set three and my chest and triceps are getting numb. By set four, I reach failure.
7 minutes are up and there it is. My chest is on fire, my triceps are on fire and it's the quickest workout I've ever completed that left my entire chest totally annihilated. Ok, I've tried the workout and it's pretty intense. I think what I liked about the workout was that I didn't have to hoist up a huge amount of weight for it to be effective. By set four on the growth phase, I can certainly feel the difference. The workout felt like one of my usual 45 minute routines where I blast my chest with 3 exercises. My chest is now knotting up, and it never does this after a workout. It hasn't felt like this in quite awhile.
The thing that I can't believe is that only 7 minutes has elapsed. I'm done my workout and I actually feel pretty good about it.
Alright, I'm not a total believer at the moment because I want to do the rest of my body over the next couple of days and try this routine out for another 3 weeks to see how it performs. However, based on this test workout I may be in for an eye opening experience, which I'm looking forward to.
Would I recommend this type of method? I think that if you really want to try something new, this is probably your best bet. Also, if you've got a busy job or busy with school and/or family, and can't devote an hour to training each and every day, this is also a good bet. On top of that, if you want to spare your joints the stress of super heavy weights, you will want to check this method out.
Overall, I like the program and I think it deserves more time (in terms of workouts), which I will do over the next 3 weeks.
All the best,
As the owner of Building Muscle 101, I am committed to providing you the best practical weight training advice. I've been training for over 24 years (and still train to this day!) and the advice and guidance I provide comes directly from my experience and knowledge.
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