Swissôtel Vitality 7-Minute Workout concept notes

I think we should create own Swissotel Vitality 7-Minute Workout video (and a printed handout) that would be much more fun to use than any of the competition I’ve discovered online.

According to The New York Times, “The big story in exercise science [of 2014] was the super-short workout.” (Download a PDF of the article here.)

The NY Times story was based on an article published in American College of Sports Medicine that features 12 exercises deploying only body weight, a wall and a chair.  The “Lifehack” YouTube version of that workout has received 1.6 million views since it was posted in May 2013–and there are many other versions.

Perfect for traveling: This intense-but-short approach to exercise works perfectly for business traveling. You can do it  in the hotel room before breakfast or in a local park at the end of the day.

Existing apps/videos: Most of the existing videos and websites feature a simple cartoon character, a voice giving instructions, and a ticking clock (each exercise takes 30 seconds followed by 10 seconds of rest). Alternatively, they are videos of a woman doing the exercises in a park or a room.

Swiss-ify: The Vitality 7-Minute Workout could show background images from rugged sections of the Swiss border. Instead of a generic cartoon image modeling the exercise, we could do something fun, like insert stop-motion cut-outs of Harlin and/or Heidi 😉 in a corner of the screen. I’m particularly fond of the stop-motion idea because it can create a fun-but-professional standardized intro for future videos for Swiss Border Challenge or anything else we might do. (There are two inspirational examples at the bottom of this page. I know a videographer for in Bern who could do these for us economically.)

Music: Our video might even include energetic exercise music. We could have versions with different music options, including your choice of yodeling, accordion, rock, electronic, and classical, all by Swiss composers. (I don’t mean to play-up stereotypical Swiss music–that should only be one option among several. But for fun, here’s a teenage accordion band I filmed during my Border Stories hike around Switzerland.)

Traveling dumbbells: The New York Times’s “Advanced” 7-minute workout includes dumbbells. This actually adds branding opportunities. Swissotel could sell water-filled dumbbells that are perfect for traveling–with a Vitality logo. These plastic dumbbells are filled with water at the hotel, then emptied for travel. The AquaBells version is SkyMall’s most popular product. More info below, including a wholesale source.

Vitality Guides connection: Our new Vitality Guides could include a code (“7M”) for parks that are suited to such workouts.

Multiple languages: It would be easy to dub the workouts into different languages for each country. In an eventual app, one could just click on the language of choice (along with a choice of music and intensity).

Summary of the 7-minute workout: This video from uses a park for the setting. It’s easy to imagine filming this in a green-room and then using Swiss scenery instead:

Background information:

Below is the LifeHack 7-minute workout that’s received almost 1.6 million views since May 2013:

The version is super-basic but free online, or available as a $1.99 app from iTunes. Many other options are available with a simple Google search.

For those interested in how it works, here’s the NY Times article on their new “Advanced” 7-minute workout (2014) that uses dumbbells:
[embeddoc url=”” height=”200px” download=”all” viewer=”google”]

Here are the NYT’s illustrations, which we could easily adapt into our own style:


NYT “Advanced” 7-minute workout

Original NYT 7-minute workout

Original NYT 7-minute workout


Developing a stand-alone app in the future: Maybe we could interest a Swiss Big Pharma company to co-sponsor their own version of Johnson & Johnson’s 7-minute workout app? The J&J version seems excellent but is complicated by lots of options. Here’s their short promo video:

Water-filled dumbbells: This video from SkyMall claims that the AquaBells are their most popular product:

From SkyMall these are $50 for a set. However, at wholesale from there are versions in the $5-$12 range based on 100-300 minimum orders. I do not know the best way to brand them for Swissotel Vitality, but I’m sure it’s possible.

Stop-motion concept for Vitality Workout:

The Swissotel Vitality 7-Minute Workout might be branded with a “stop-motion” animation theme. This could show actual video and/or pictures from the Swiss borders in the background, In the foreground would be cut-out imagery of Harlin (and a woman?) leading the 7-minute workout.

Michele Andina, a videographer with in Bern who makes stop-motion films, sent the following as an example of a style for Swissotel Border Stories (this video is not by Michele; I can send examples of his own work). Many different approaches can be taken, so use this simply for inspiration:

Speaking of inspiration, here is my favorite stop-motion video, just for fun:

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