Which 7 Minute Workout App do you recommend?

Saw some nice App suggestions for meditation Apps on this forum. Next to meditation I’m also trying to make the 7 Minute Workout a daily habit in 2020.

Anyone else doing this (or a similar) workout? Which App do you recommend?

I have had a look at a few (and noticed the same as with most mediation Apps: most require a subscription, often a substantial amount), but so far “Seven” is my favourite:

Although they nag you to subscribe (at every App start?) they are generous enough to offer the classical 7 Minute Workout (called “Full Body” workout in this App) for free. At this moment I’m not interested in custom plans and additional workouts (though I understand those can be valuable and might validate a subscription).

Unfortunately I have noticed several drawbacks in the few days I’m using the App (it stores all workouts with 0 active calories, it logs some workouts twice, the Watch App crashed during a workout), but the very nice Watch App (which does timers, announces exercises, and even shows how to do them) makes them stand out so far (in fact, I already feel like wanting an Apple Watch 5 with an always-on display, at least while working out).

Which App do you recommend for this?

I have both of these on my iPhone:

I’ve not used either of them yet (I have excellent procrastination skills when it comes to exercise!), but both of them are from developers whose other apps I really like.

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Thanks! I have heard about both Apps, but did not know they offered the 7 Minute Workout (and I might have used a too strict search in the App Store…).

Anyone who has used either of these Apps and can give feedback on their merits?

Apparently I have already “bought” Streaks Workout (when it was free?). It does not seem to support the 7 Minute Workout out of the box? Do I indeed need to make a custom workout with 12 exercises and 11 rest breaks in between them?

I use a shortcut I made to do 7 minute workouts. Its flexible since you can put whatever workout you want into it as just a list of exercises. (So if you see a list online that you like, you can just copy and paste it in.)

A digression perhaps, but 7 minute workouts never stick for me as they didn’t provide variety in the way I wanted.

I settled on Daily Workouts (free / purchase) and do 5-10 minute workouts with this every day (during term time!)
It has good variety, videos, planned workouts and random mixes, duration options and no subscription.

As a certified weightlifting and fitness coach I’m not a huge fan of those 7 minute workout apps. They overpromise and underdeliver. Most of them fall short in one crucial aspect: progression. If your program doesn’t have a challenging progression your body will adapt too quickly and results will unavoidably stall. And if you don’t see any results after a few weeks you’ll stop following the routine, due to the lack of motivation.

It also sounds, as if you want to do those exercises as the first thing in the morning. Depending on your weight, age, fitness level that might not be the best idea. You would at least need to warm up with some form of brisk walk/light jog best paired with some alternating movements (step variations) and shoulder/arm/wrist circles and light jumps etc. to warm up your joints. And then the 7min. promise already falls short.

That you just have to invest 7 minutes fitted well with our “magic bullet for a quick fix” seeking society. That you will actually stay in shape and healthy with just 7 min. of time investment is basically just a “myth” created by mainstream media, which—as per usual—misinterpreted studies.

The general idea got really popular after a journal article from 2013 made it’s rounds: “HIGH-INTENSITY CIRCUIT TRAINING USING BODY WEIGHT: Maximum Results With Minimal Investment”. It’s just an article that summarizes assumptions and only makes a training routine suggestion. It is not a well-design study that was conducted with subject groups that could draw any conclusion that the 7min. workout is actually holding up to the claims that media made.

If you check the references of that article nowhere the concept of a 7min. workout was actually tested. Take this study from the references for example: “High-intensity aerobic interval training increases fat and carbohydrate metabolic capacities in human skeletal muscle.”. What did they test? “[W]e investigated skeletal muscle and whole-body metabolic adaptations that occurred following 6 weeks of HIIT (~1 h of 10 x 4 min intervals at ~90% of peak oxygen consumption (VO2 peak), separated by 2 min rest, 3 d.week-1).”
So 6 weeks with 3 training days per week with a HIIT session of 1h per training day.

I thought 7min. was enough? :thinking::wink:

The article itself, which most of media referenced and also the early startups/apps took as an incentive (not mentioning the countless copycats) to base their promises on, concludes previous studies and suggests that a full-body workout should be used instead of just sprints. The main proposition of the article is to suggests a circuit of full body exercises, whcih can be done in the HIIT (high intensity interval training) method. They suggest 30s all-in exercise and 10s of rest. You’ll end up at around 7-8min. with 11-12 exercises. Nowhere it is stated that this is the only exercise you should do.

Especially does that not include the aforementioned warm-up and it does not include that you need progression to overcome adaptation in the long run. The only room for that, as suggested, would be to do the circuit again. So It’s 5-10min. warm-up + 8min. circuit #1 + some rest in between (2-5min. depending on your fitness level) + 8min. circuit #2 + rest afterwards.
You easily end up with 30-45min. for two to three circuits. And I see diminishing returns, if you go through it three times or more, because of accumulating fatigue and building up critical levels of lactate, due to the high intensity style.

Also the promise of actually going “all-in” to see the benefits of HIIT/HICT has to be taken with a grain of salt. HIIT style workouts burn more calories for the short duration they require as steady state cardio and they can have some form of “afterburner” effect, but they are not suitable for everyone. Again this highly depends on your weight, age, fitness level. I think they are not suitable for beginners or those that want to get this as their only form of movement in their day to investment the least time possible.

Don’t get me wrong, it surely is better than doing nothing. But I’ve had clients that reported from their previous attempts that they’ve gotten severe wrist, shoulder and knee issues. The reasons were doing exercises like this at high intensity not properly warmed up, first thing in the morning with too much body weight and bad form.


If you want a sustainable exercise habit (assuming beginner level that otherwise does not get a lot of exercise), I would suggest the following:

Start small. Beginn the day with a brisk walk around the block or through a park. It’s best if you can get some stairs and hills to climb in and if you either have a short circuit that you can repeat easily on. Start with just 5min. daily, if exercising is new to you. And extend that by 1min. every week. If you get bored do some step variations, like walking sideways, backwards, light jumps etc. If you’ve reached 15min. and successfully built the habit of doing this daily in the morning deliberately cut it down to 10min. and increase the speed a bit. If you reach 15min. again, cut it down to 10min. and increase the speed again. Repeat until the speed is so high that you feel a light jog would be easier.

Always stick with the 5min. of brisk walking and then implement a 5min. jog. Again work yourself up to 15min. again. Or play with run variations (jumps, sprints etc.). Keep those step variations in, add some shoulder/arm/wrist circles, while you do it. Looks ridiculous, but really helps to start the day.)

The final goal would be to have built a sustainable habit of leaving the house daily in the morning for a brief walk/run that takes not longer than 20min and doesn’t require you to drive to a gym.
It is the perfect start that doesn’t tire you out for the rest of the day, it won’t push you to your aerobic limits (stress), as a morning HIIT/HICT workout will do.

If your job allows for it the HICT workout is better suited in a lunch break (again don’t forget the warm up). Or do this after your work day. At least at that time of the day your joints will be warmed up from your daily movements and enough synovia (basically the “grease” in your joints) will have been mobilized to decrease the risk of a high intensity workout. Again don’t forget the warm-up. (So realistically this will take you at least 15min. for one circuit + changing into workout clothes etc.)

But honestly joining a gym for a quick 45min. full body machine and dumbbell workout 2-3 times per week will be more efficient as a beginner. If you want to take it more seriously split muscle groups into two workout days and go 3x per week. For barbell lifting beginners I would recommend Stronglifts 5x5. However with minor alterations.

Hit me up if you need help with this :ok_hand:


I’ve tried a few over the years, ended up giving up on them all, even if some were good. Couldn’t tell you if I preferred a specific app, although I remember liking the totally free Johnson & Johnson one:

You might find useful this comparison article from 2018:

Thank you for your advice!

I do already sport (MTB, running) and move during the day (go to work on my bicycle, have a lunch walk almost every working day), but think some muscles can use some extra training (arms, back) and still hope the 7 Minute Workout might help. Even if it’s just making this kind of exercising a habit/fun and extending it from there (I definitely don’t see this as the silver bullet).

I was (indeed) planning to do this in the morning before hitting the shower, but apparently should reconsider that. Maybe I should just experiment a while to see what feels better: early morning, just before or way after dinner (those seem the feasible options during workdays).

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Ah, yeah … then forget about building the morning walk/run habit, if you already exercise enough otherwise. :ok_hand::smiley:

I did online coaching for a while and that taught me to always start at zero, unless you really know the client well. And the most important part of the whole fitness endeavor is persistence or continuity and a simple, obstacle-minimized entry with an easy to achieve goal, hence that slowly building walk/run habit. The clients I had (some were seriously overweight) always were shocked with how little exercise they should do for honestly quite a long time. But all of those that did stick to the routine saw great results. Those that brushed it off and went for hour long hikes daily couldn’t live up to it in the long run. It has to become a sustainable lifestyle.

Enter low and work yourself up slowly :ok_hand:
If this was your reasoning to choose the 7min. workout instead of signing up for a gym membership and planning to go 3x week for 2h, I’m all for it! But I would probably just stick to a classical bodyweight/calisthenics routine without the ticking clock.


Again don’t get me wrong, the body weight exercises show-cased in the article (and therefore in most of the apps) are not bad at all. But this “all-in” workout-style at 90% of your capacity is in my opinion not a good approach. I don’t even know how you could do a push up with proper form while seriously rushing in those 30s and giving it all you have to get as many in as possible. Surely, you can’t have everything, so in that particular case most likely not a good (= long-term sustainable) form.

Quick detour:
That is actually the biggest problem of CrossFit. Their churn rates are high. And the main reason for that is that people get injured, have to stop working out, fall off the fitness wagon and quit. Their workout sessions with a varying exercise selection (WOD = workout of the day) are almost all designed around beating a clock. There are global score boards, local in-gym boards or even in-class comparisons. You are also working against yourself, if you repeatedly do the same WOD. Let’s say you are 30lbs overweight, join a CrossFit gym and get thrown into a class, which’s WOD contains to do those kipping pull-ups (which are a variant of a regular pull-up, but optimized for the fast-paced competition sport of CrossFit) as quickly as possible rushed by the clock from practically the first time you are doing them. Your technique is not spot on and you haven’t build all the necessary assisting musculature in your shoulders, which could potentially stabilize them. So after each repetition you basically crash with your entire already elevated bodyweight to the bottom turning point of the movement and stress your shoulders. Shoulder injuries are pretty much the most common ones in CrossFit gyms along with anything regarding knees).
Unless you treat CrossFit as the competitve sport that it actually is, where your goal is to take part in some form of competitions. I don’t think that it is a good beginner strength training approach. And this carries over 1:1 to the rushed bodyweight exercises.


Try the 7min. workout routines, but be sure that your form is correct. Don’t push too hard to just get another repetition into the given 30 seconds. I’d probably rather go for clean repetitions in the push-up/pull-up variants, squats, step-ups (so that you don’t trip) etc. And use the jumping jacks, high knees and alike to get some HIIT cardio work in, afterwards.
Try to progress by doing one more repetition in each of the strength related exercises each workout or every week (depending on your base fitness level). If you can’t progress with +1 repetiton in one exercise for … let’s say … 3 consecutive workouts, you could drop the goal repetition count by 10-20% and do them slower in the downward movement and more explosive in the upward one. Work yourself up with an increase of +1 repetition/workout until you are back at your previous sticking point.

You could get all of this done incl. warm-up in 20-25min. :ok_hand:

Another option would be to do HIIT (jumping jacks, high knees, sprints etc.) and the body weight strength exercises alternatingly. On both days you warm up, but then it’s either an anaerobic or a strength training day. By that you can get some rest in and not do strength training daily, which is not advisable. :ok_hand:

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I have been enjoying Seven more than I thought.

Unfortunately, they recently changed the exercises of the free “Full Body” workout. This used to be exactly the classical 7 Minute Workout, but now they replaced “Wall sit”, “Step-ups”, and “Tricep dips”, because “not all people have a wall or a chair”… (How likely is it you don’t have any of those but you do have an iPhone?)

So again looking for recommendations; maybe even a simpler multiple timers App?

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After exchanging several mails with their customer support they unlocked a few workouts so that all the missing exercises are available again to me (I would happily have paid a one-time fee to unlock them, but they don’t offer that).

I made a custom “7 Minute Workout” routine and I’m a happy Seven user again!

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