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A Total Body Workout in 7 Minutes

George Doyle/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- It’s the latest fitness craze, and all you need is a chair and about the same amount of time it takes to cook pasta.

The seven-minute workout spawned a mini industry with 26 smartphone apps, countless YouTube training clips and even a music video.

Some people, such as Heather Holland, executive vice president of recruiting and development at Le Pain Bakery, swear by it.

“I’m winded,” Holland told ABC News. “I’m sweating, so you can see that it works.”

The basic philosophy behind the sub-10-minute exercise routine is increase the workout intensity, decrease the time.

ABC News asked exercise physiologist Polly De Mille to put Holland’s seven minutes to the test. De Mille attached a heart rate and breathing monitor to Holland to measure how hard her body was working.

“The machine will tell us how much oxygen your body is using, how much carbon dioxide it’s producing,” De Mille said.

While doing the routine, Holland’s heart rate quickly escalated from 96 beats per minute to 163 beats per minute.

In seven minutes, she burned 52 calories. De Mille says that’s good, but she had some reservations.

“There probably isn’t enough research to say this is all you need to do,” De Mille said.

For more information, ABC News tracked down Chris Jordan, who developed the workout, published by the American College of Sports Medicine.

“Well I have to say that we were overwhelmed by the media attention,” Jordan said.

Jordan told ABC News that the workout was an intensive combination of exercises that elevate the heart rate and work all the major muscle groups.

“Although this has been pushed around as a seven-minute workout, we recommend doing it not once but three times for a good, hard vigorous 20-minute workout,” Jordan said.

With some careful math, one would conclude that going through the workout three times actually makes it a 21-minute workout.

Perhaps a seven-minute cutoff was too good to be true but definitely better than nothing.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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