This little guy is a GREAT addition to your arsenal. If you are like me (like most of us, and definitely all of my clients) rest times between sets tend to go way longer than they should. This guy stops that by keeping you on track whether you are using it to time rest sets, sprint intervals, etc. In fact, a man whose work I highly respect, Martin Berkhan of Leangains, did a great review on this guy. Why don’t I let you read his review?
What is this?
The Gymboss Interval Timer is a small, easy-to-use, dual-mode, interval timer.
What do I use it for?
It can be used for a large variety of training protocols where time is an important variable. I’ve tested it for HIIT and weight training.
Test number one: HIIT: 15 s sprint/45 s walking x 10.
For this protocol, I set the first timer to 15 seconds and the other one to 45 seconds. Once the timers reaches zero, the device either vibrates or beeps. I prefer to set it to vibrate since I have my earphones on during training. I set it to be repeated ten times. 15 sec, buzz, 45 sec, buzz, and repeat.
Test number two: 4 x 4 squats (6RM), 55 s per set/4 min rest x 4.
I calculated 55 seconds per set: 10 s for getting ready and unracking, 10 s per repetition (3:2 tempo and 5 s rest between reps), and 5 s for racking the weight. Repeated four times.
For both of these setups, the device worked splendidly. When you feel the buzz, or hear the beep, you’ll know when it’s time to start sprinting or initiate the set.
I wear it like this and it’s covered under my tank top during the workout. If you set it to vibrate, you can also put it in your pocket. If you want your workouts to be become a little more interesting, try putting it in your underwear (just a thought…).
* Very useful.
* Easy to use.
* Very affordable ($19.95), but surprisingly high quality nonetheless.
* Not specifically related to the product, but the company ships fast (~3 days to Europe) and worldwide at a very low shipping cost ($2.99). (these are Berhkan’s words – Perform Better sells this one)
* None that I can think of.
The Gymboss interval timer is an easy-to-use, cheap and high quality product that can benefit your training in a concrete way. Like I wrote about in this post, studies suggest greater strength gains with longer rest periods in between sets during weight training. Greater strength gains likely equal greater muscle gains.
In the training routines I design for my clients I typically advise 3 mins rest minimum in between sets and up to 5 mins rest in between and after sets for movements that are particularly draining, such as the deadlift. Here’s an example that I copy-pasted from one recent routine:
Deadlift 2 x 4-5 (5 mins rest in between sets).
5 mins rest or walk on treadmill 3-5 mins.
Weighted Chins 2 x 4-6 (3 mins rest minimum in between sets).
So rather than having someone rushing through the workout doing tons of work on foo-foo-movements, I go with quality over quantity and make sure to emphasize the importance of rest periods. Perhaps that’s part of the reason why my clients end up stronger and leaner.
Personally though, I’m a bit impatient at the gym, so I might cut the rest periods short unless I’m keeping tabs on time. That’s where I find much use in this product, though it works very well for HIIT as well – especially if you train outside and don’t have the treadmill display to keep track of time. Other areas of use include CrossFit, circuit-training, and just about any other form of training where time intervals are used.