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Show HN: Workout Daily. We text new 7-minute workouts daily to make fitness easy (workoutdaily.io)
33 points by jenniferpattee 17 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 38 comments

Is a daily 7-minute workout better than a 30-minute workout three or four times per week?

I've followed the Mark Lauren 90-day bodyweight challenge with good results (using his book) - didn't loose weight (wasn't trying to) but got a lot fitter. It's about 30 minutes of training plus warmup and cooldown so the total time invested is more than that.

> Is a daily 7-minute workout better than a 30-minute workout three or four times per week?

The best workout is the one you'll actually do; I suspect this program is appealing to the crowd that figures they can fit in 7 minutes, but not 30.


I usually do a 20-25 minute VR workout using a game I developed for myself.

You could say it is optimized to give the maximum full body workout you can do in a limited space with no additional equippment (except for the VR headset of course).

I top out at 17.9 kcal/min tracked with a Polar H10 chest strap and the vrhealth institute app.

Here is a shorter workout of last night [1] it's 328kcal in a little over 18 minutes.

The game has the very <s>inspiring</s> name VRWorkout [2]

[1] https://twitter.com/MichaelGschwan5/status/12730156899730391... [2] https://vrworkout.at

Physical training follows a fairly typical bell curve-ish dose/response relationship, where more training gives you less and less benefit until you reach a point where your recovery cannot catch up and you get worse. 7 min per day isn't bad because it's a very small time investment that can yield a lot of result for anybody who cannot do anything else, but that's really about it. If you are liking Mark Lauren's strategy you should stick with it. You could probably do both ML's program and this one to be honest.

The 2018 guidelines of activity for physical activity for general health [1] are the following:

* 150 to 300 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity, OR;

* 75 to 150 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, AND;

* Resistance training of moderate or greater intensity involving all major muscle groups on 2 or more days per week.

[1]: (PDF warning) https://health.gov/sites/default/files/2019-09/Physical_Acti...

I always say the best workout is the one you look forward to. If you are currently doing 30min 3-4x a week - and you change the exercises every 2 weeks (so you don't plateau0 - then you are following what most trainers would say is the ideal protocol for strength training. You're also hitting the CDC guidelines. Ideally you would also be getting 120-150min of vigorous cardio in there as well.

Definitely going to check Mark Lauren out. Thanks for the tip! The 7-min workouts tend to work best for people who are too busy for 30-min workouts, or they are looking for something to "mix it up." For instance, they've been doing the same ab workout forever. Our 30-day ab program delivers a new 7-min ab workout every day, so you learn a lot of new moves!

Not to be needlessly confrontational, but unless you are referring to general training modalities (change in load/volume/RPE) the change of exercise every 2 weeks is definitely not a good thing for strength training. A big part of strength is skill acquisition both in terms of technique and in terms of neuromuscular efficiency, and that necessitates giving yourself enough time to learn a movement to a repeatable form (i.e. maybe not perfect, but consistent) and then enough time for your muscles to accommodate to higher and higher loads. If you don't then you are putting yourself in a perpetual state of learning a new movement, instead of getting good at it.

Not at all even when factoring intensity

You should improve transparency. "Try it free", without a pricing overview site doesn't look like very trustable.

Wow I did not even know we pushed that out live! Thank you for digging it up and sharing!!!!

omg great feedback thank you so much!

This looks good starting point for people who are busy or lazy to start workout.I will definitely try. Only thing bothering me here is, it asks for mail ID and details for free trial too. I prefer to see sample videos or exercise before signup. Also, are they generic to people or user can customise based on health condition or age group?

This is great feedback - thank you! Looks like the links to the sample workouts are missing. Here's one https://www.workoutdaily.io/vanessa. It sounds like we need to also provide links on the signup flow soon after we ask for an email. This could explain why so many people are dropping out! Right now the workouts are intended for people between the ages of 20-60 and in good health. Soon we would like to make it so the user can customize based on health condition and age group. We'd love to know more about how you'd like to customize and what you're looking for.

Nice, but what if someone comes out with 6 minute abs, then you're in trouble! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JB2di69FmhE

We're already in trouble in so many ways! LOL

It's a good idea, kind of like a distributed gym. I think they need to invest more into convincing us that 7 minutes a day will do something for our health.

This is such a good point! We definitely need to do that. What would convince you? The CDC guidelines for exercise To maintain your weight: Work your way up to 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, or an equivalent mix of the two each week. Problem is most people aren't doing anywhere close to the CDC guidelines. What we're hearing from users is that they can't say they are too busy for a 7-minute workout...so they end up doing it. If you do 7 min a day for 7 days that's 49 minutes a week of exercise - which helps people build the habit and the confidence necessary to "work their way up" to the CDC's suggested guideline.

I think any reference to an authority is enough for people. Something like what you mention in your reply would be good to work in to the marketing material somewhere.

Certainly this is better than nothing, but do 7-minute workouts actually have an large impact?

I don't know about 7 mins, but personally I have been doing the 5BX [0] (11 mins) plan since the gyms closed here in Germany. Done it nearly every day for about 80 days. Definitely works, I am currently holding above A+ on chart 4. I tried moving up to chart 5, but for me doing >30 clapping pushups in 1 minute seems fairly difficult (got 18 last I tried) even though I can do about 50 wide pushups for chart 4.

I can feel my cardiovascular fitness is far better than before I started, I lost a fair amount of body fat too. I was fairly fit before though. This scheme, as well as supplementary pullups on a doorway bar seem to give me at least some amount of decent exercise. Can't wait for the pools to open up again though, I love swimming.

[0] - https://campbellmgold.co.uk/archive_health/5bx_cmg.pdf

Do I start at Chart 1 Level D- even if I am not a complete slob? Even worse do I stay at each level for 4 days (35yo)?

I mean the first exercise is bending forward 2(!!!) times in 2 minutes.

When I was starting out I just did as many reps as comfortable in the prescribed time period and then matched the level by the fewest reps completed in any exercise. e.g. I started at A+ for chart 1 for 2 consecutive days, then A+ chart 2 for 3 days, then progressed upwards from chart3 D- as I only did 20 reps of ex. 1.

I failed chart 5, 2 days in a row 30 days ago and have only been doing chart 4 since then, but I exceed the A+ requirements (this morning: 32,24,50,45,450). Tomorrow will try chart 5 again.

thanks for that. good luck on chart 5

Definitely going to check this out. Thanks for sharing!

We were skeptical too. We've run 3 sets of beta tests so far, and the results we are seeing are bonkers. Our users who show up and do the workouts every day or every other day are reporting gains of 20% in their strength after Month #1 (the workouts include assessment tests). Month #2 they report gains again. By month #6, one user reported he has reached his ideal bodyweight and is in the best shape of his life. I've been a personal trainer for over a decade and prescribing 7-minute workouts goes against everything you're taught re: the "science." I think it's the combination of behavioral science with the actual workouts themselves. Text-based health interventions have legit science backing them as effective. The rest is discussed in the book Atomic Habits. I think there is a compounding effect on our bodies re the daily 7-min workouts that has not yet been studied. I'm trying to partner with a research lab to learn more!

I think of it like, 7 minutes per day is 49 minutes of sports a week. And a steady, long-term effort has greater effect on the body than bursty, short-term efforts.

Although personally I aim for 15-30 minutes a day if I can only do minor workouts or 1-2h every other day if possible.

It depends on where you start. Exercise and training follow a very basic dose/response relationship where the higher you start, the more you need to progress. If you are a couch potato, 7 minutes a day will give you a lot of progress... until it doesn't. For example my starting point would be training four times a week and squatting 500lbs, so it probably wouldn't do much for me.

I wouldn't replace my current exercise routine with it because it wouldn't be enough to even match the 2018 physical activity guidelines for Americans [1]:

* 150 to 300 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity, OR;

* 75 to 150 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, AND;

* Resistance training of moderate or greater intensity involving all major muscle groups on 2 or more days per week.

[1]: https://health.gov/sites/default/files/2019-09/Physical_Acti...

I challenge you to try our ab workouts for 30 days ;) You would be surprised. We start with a basic fitness assessment to measure your upper body and core strength. Unless you are already starting out in the 90th percentile, you will most likely experience a 20% gain in ab strength after 30 days if you do the workouts every day. This is what the data is telling us after a year of tracking users and their results.

I'm sure it's very nice, but what I said is that I would do that in addition to my training instead of replacement! If my abs can stabilise my trunk for a 500lbs squat or a 600lbs deadlift, they're strong enough for me :)

Depends on the intensity. 7 minutes of push ups is a lot of push ups, for instance.

Plus the convenience probably helps to get people over the initial hump and used to a daily workout, and they can expand from there

We have a workout called the "Roxanne" where we do a burpee every time Sting sings "Roxanne..." Turns out 4 minutes of burpees is a lot of burpees too!

And yes what we are hearing from folks is "I can't say I am too busy for a 7-min workout.." so that kinda gets them activated. From there we are hearing that people "tend" to make healthier decisions for the rest of their day. "After doing our workout my wife and I decided to go play tennis..." or, "since I already had my running shoes on, I decided to go for a jog." stuff like that. Users describe it as a "springboard" to healthier decisions.

Yes, they do. This article about the science behind 7 minute workouts (it's about intensity, not duration) generated a lot of interest: https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/09/the-scientific-7-m...

This is good to know! The researchers we're in touch with say there needs to be more evidence and longitudinal studies until the science behind 7-min workouts is certain. The habit-formation strategies -- and the effect of things like text-based health interventions -- have been fairly well researched though! Some of the best research labs in the world, like UCSF, are actively studying text-based cues and coaching today.

Yes, I've been doing it for the past few months (not even daily) and feel the benefits. I have 2 young kids, so don't always have time for bigger workouts. You reach a plateau eventually, but it's a nice place to be.

we'll send you some dumbbells and get you out of your plateau! emailing you today. - jenn

There are also plenty of 7 minute workout videos on youtube.

Yup. What we're hearing from users is going into YouTube and finding the workouts is kind of a pain, and then you also have to do the workout. Our user is crazy busy, mostly working parents, tiny slices of time in their day to workout. It's worth it to them to pay $20/mo to get a new workout texted. We have yet to see if LOTS of people want that, tho! Free is def a nice price.

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