The seven-minute workout  MAY 10 2013

According to science, you can achieve the results of a long run and a visit to weight room by doing "12 exercises deploying only body weight, a chair and a wall." And the whole thing only takes seven minutes.

"There's very good evidence" that high-intensity interval training provides "many of the fitness benefits of prolonged endurance training but in much less time," says Chris Jordan, the director of exercise physiology at the Human Performance Institute in Orlando, Fla., and co-author of the new article.

Update: The Times has published a more demanding (and rewarding?) version of the 7-minute workout.

Interval programs based on cycling, walking and running come with a downside, however: They improve overall fitness and health but do little to improve muscular strength other than in the legs. By contrast, the New Scientific 7-Minute Workout does more than build the large, obvious muscles that most of us can name-check, as Mr. Verstegen puts it -- the quads and glutes, for example; its exercises also engage smaller, often overlooked muscles in the back, abdomen, shoulders and hips that, when neglected and weak, contribute to back, neck and knee pain.

Hamilton Nolan, who notes the Times is "not a fitness organization", has a few suggestions for better 7-minute workouts.

Do air squats as long as you can until your leg freezes and you topple to the ground. Then get in pushup position and do as many pushups as you can until seven minutes have passed.

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