7 Minute Workout Hell

I’ve never been in any sort of shape other than roundish. Yes, I’ve lost weight before, but when I did that, I ended up just skinnier, not actually any more physically fit. (And I just can’t write that sentence without having this pop into my head:

Sorry. I couldn’t help it. Anyway, while I’ve stayed bulbous, my siblings have done insane things like riding bikes to work or doing daily exercise routines. INSANITY! But this morning, while I was procrastinating writing, I noticed my sister had posted a link to this handy dandy “7 Minute Fitness App.” She said that on days when she doesn’t do her “real” routine, she settles for two time through with this routine, so that she can feel like she did “something.” I did a bit of research to see what exactly this thing did, and after reading it over and giving it all of two seconds’ thought, I figured, “I can do that!”

It beat writing, after all. Right?

So I downloaded the free app, thumbed around on it for a little, got myself a chair and cleared out some space in my living room, and hit “start.” I mean, I’ve been jogging in place every day for like five months. Surely I was up to a few thirty second exercises. 7 minutes and I’d be done!

First up? Jumping jacks. I really threw myself into this. I wanted this to be a real workout, after all. Nothing wimpy. I did those jumping jacks like a boss. 30 seconds, bam! Done.

10 seconds of rest? I laugh at the concept. But because I wanted to humor the app, I did what it told me to do.

Next up? Wall sits. I don’t even know what those are really, and I was too lazy to watch the video. It looked from the picture like you just put your back against a wall and pretend like you’re sitting for 30 seconds. Piece of cake. Good thing this app was free, because I was owning this. I knew I’d been in shape all along. That jogging in place was more help than I’d thought!

Another 10 seconds of rest. No wonder my sister thought she had to do this twice to get any good out of it. On to the next exercise!

Push-ups. 3o seconds, go! Again, I threw myself into this with gusto. I wasn’t going for quality push-ups. I wanted as many as I could do, as fast as I could do them. Fifteen seconds in, I was breathing hard. Twenty-five seconds in, and I switched to push-ups from my knees. Better to do the whole thirty seconds of something, rather than stop, right?


And finally I actually enjoy a bit of a break, because those push-up had been–

Time for crunches already? Whoa. Okay. Crunches. There’s a right way and a wrong way to do them, I know. But I don’t have time for that. I just start crunching like a mad man. Just call me Captain Crunch, ladies. And man, I wish I could breathe a little easier. Has this crummy app started crashing? Hasn’t it been 30 seconds yet?

At last, it tells me to take my 10 seconds of rest, meanwhile informing me that next up is step ups onto a chair. I drag myself out of a reclining position. Thank goodness I’m using leg muscles now, because my other muscles are wondering what in the world happened to my common sense over the past few minutes. Man up, other muscles! Sheesh.

Step ups. Go! That chair seems to get taller over the course of the 30 seconds. But I keep at it. I’m the jogging in place king, folks. Breathing is for wusses. Somehow or another I get through the step ups. I’m wheezing like a hundred year old bellows by this point. I gasp my way through the 10 second rest and then I’ve got–

Squats? Fine. Whatever. I start them. One. Two. Three. Four. I get maybe 15 seconds through this, and then I decide I’m going to take the next 15 seconds off. This is my first time. It’s okay if I’m not totally perfect, and an extra fifteen seconds’ rest could really help. Because next up is triceps dips, and that means arm muscles, and my arm muscles are still collapsed in a fetal position somewhere in my inner psyche.

In a blink, the triceps dips are upon me. Somehow I get through it. I push myself. I dig deep. I do the whole 30 seconds, and then get ready for . . .


More arm muscles? And stomach muscles? What sadist came up with this routine? But whatever. I assume the position, start the planks.

And collapse on the floor after three seconds.

The app continues merrily on its way. 30 seconds goes by in a blink, plus the 10 second rest, and it’s time for high knees running in place.

RUNNING IN PLACE! I’ve been training for that for the past three months or whatever. I lurch to my feet and start jogging in place. Forget high knees. Actually, forget jogging.

I sit down on the floor and listen to the app tell me to go on to lunges, then push-ups and rotations, and then side planks. I’m breathing so heavily I think I might go into cardiac arrest. I’m sweating like a pig and wondering why in the world I took a break from writing to do this. I’m facing the awful truth: I am so out of shape, I couldn’t even get halfway through a 7 minute exercise program without giving up.

I think I’ll try it again tomorrow. Maybe I’ll be breathing normally again by then.


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