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Boost your metabolism in 5 minutes

hot5-homescreenWorking out short fast and hard increases metabolism.  Now, a brand new app – The Hot5 – makes it easy.  Anna Magee tried it for Day #24 of her 30 workouts in 30 days challenge 

Working out burns calories. So far, so obvious.  Working out really, really hard – think, can’t speak hard – for a short time on the other hand also burns calories not only while it’s happening but also after it’s over.   Working out fast, hard and short increases the number of calories your body burns after the workout is over.

This metabolism raising effect is something known as Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (aka EPOC) and refers to the increased oxygen your body needs to get everything working and back to normal after a heavy bout of exercise.  Generally, studies seem to show that the harder the workout, the greater the EPOC effect.

bigstock-five-to-twelve--old-industria-26400788With this effect in mind, some experts are now suggesting that rather than do one big workout, we pepper our days with short, intense ones that are as short as 3-5 minutes.  A few of these a day are good, but even one a day will increase your metabolism more than none at all.  The best news: it’s over in as little as five minutes. Five little minutes.  And anyone who says they don’t have five minutes to exercise is probably lying.

The Hot5 App, launched on August 22nd is 5 minute workout nirvana.  It’s a collection of intense five minute workouts from eight top US trainers with specialisms to choose from like Amazing Abs, Plyo Cardio Burn, Fitness Basics, Total Body and more.   All the videos are done on continuous high quality HD video with verbal cues and a visual timer so you always know where you are.

hot 5 video line-up

Plus, it’s free and comes with an inbuilt element of competition to keep you coming back.  You start the app with 500 credits and each workout you do unlocks more workouts the idea being, as long as you keep coming back and doing at least one five minute workout daily you should never run out of credits, though you can also pay for them.

hot five long shot

I did one called Action Core with the rather sexy trainer Marc.  Each move is a collection of mish mash of other moves all put together in a new killer compound exercise and each workout contains five of these.  For example, the first – Revolving Warrior starts in a plank, then you do a push up, inhale and bend the left leg foot to your shoulder while                                            eh left arm up to the ceiling.  I am not explaining it well but he does and he also includes breathing cues, which is great.  While you’re dying, he says things like ’30 seconds’ and ‘Breathe, smile’.  Then there was Bullfrog, which I had never seen before, a sort of burpee on drugs.  But what works is the video is shot on different camera angles and seamlessly cuts to these during the moves so you always know what you’re doing.  And his instructions are detailed.

hot 5 video

The beauty of it was that it was over quickly so no matter how blooming hard it gets, you always know it’s going to be over soon.

It left me puffy and with shaky tummy and arm muscles as these were the areas that really worked.  But it didn’t leave me too sweaty which made me wonder whether I could actually do the odd five minute workout between tasks at work to wake myself up (and avoid a full workout!).  Watch this space.

PROS It’s over quickly, the video quality is great, no need to touch the screen, verbal cues are brilliant, trainers are sexy, varied camera angles on exercises CONS Eventually you might have to pay for a workout though the first five are free

Where: Anywhere

How much: The first five workouts are free and then you can buy either them from the App store or workout to earn more workouts.  From iTunes

Calories burned: 56 calories (in five minutes compared with an average five calories I burn per five minutes normally).  For the hour that followed the workout I burned 104 calories at rest compared to 64 calories in an hour the night before at rest. Calories calculated using the Ki Fit Body Monitor



Why take the challenge?


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