Are you a clock watcher? Do you constantly look at your watch while exercising? There is nothing worse than having to look down at your watch while you are running flat out on the treadmill or stationery bike! Or maybe you have a big Body Solid wall clock and you keep a close eye on the second hand between weight lifting sets. Did I stop when the second hand was on the five or six - DAMN, I can't remember!
If you have poked around this website before landing on this page, you'll notice I review a lot of fitness equipment. Some items are not worth the $, others every penny. For a mere $20, the Gymboss Interval Timer is one product that is way underpriced and worth every cent.
An interval timer will make any workout easier to plan and execute with more accuracy and consistency. Using a timer will allow you to concentrate on the exercise, rather than watching your watch. Tracking your rest periods forces you to adhere to them, which means you can reduce them and KNOW you're getting a more intense, more effective workout.
Running intervals, or sprints with intermittent rest periods, burns three times as much fat as running at slow, consistent speeds, according to new research from the University of New South Wales, in Australia.
One Gymboss Interval Timer review stated: "One of the easiest, simplest methods for quick fat loss is the Tabata protocol: 20 seconds of flat out work, followed by a 10 second rest for 8 rounds or 4 minutes. Each 4 minute interval will kick your ass like nothing you've ever tried before. Do 4-8 Tabata protocols for training sessions lasting 16 to 40 minutes total (including optional rest)."
Here are two of my interval strength/cardio workouts:
20 seconds, Bodyweight Squats
10 seconds, Rest
20 seconds, Pushups
10 seconds, Rest
20 seconds, Pullups
10 seconds, rest
Repeat 4 Rounds
Or try this:
20 seconds, kettlebell two-handed swings
10 seconds, rest
20 seconds, rope pull-ups
10 seconds, rest
20 seconds, sandbag squats
10 seconds, rest
Repeat for as many rounds as you can.
Checkout the Gymboss in action:
The first time I watched this video, I was waiting for one of the guys to either step on the timer, or smash it with a medicine ball!
No one says that the intervals have to be 20/10 seconds. Chad Waterbury in his book Huge in a Hurry recommends High intensity Training intervals of 45/15 seconds. Boxers can set the Gymboss up for rounds of 3 minutes with a one minute rest in between, and the timer will keep track of how many rounds.
The Gymboss can be set in PER SECOND increments anywhere between 2 seconds and 99 minutes! It's extremely versatile and suited for pretty much any type of activity where you need to have timed intervals.
EXACT REST BETWEEN SETS
Any rest period you desire (30, 60, 90 seconds, 2, 3, 5 minutes, or any other time you want) can be set. When you complete each set simply push the start button to begin timing, when it alarms (choice of beep, vibrate, or both) begin a new set.
EXACT WORKOUT DURATION
You have set amount of time to complete your workout, using a Gymboss in auto mode you can begin a new set at a time interval of your choice, when the timer alarms simply begin another set, this will continue repeating and will also display how many sets you have completed.
Figure out how long it takes to complete a set and your desired rest, (for example: 10 reps takes 30 seconds + 1 minute rest = 1minute 30 seconds). Set timer to 1 minute 30 seconds and using the "Auto" function, timer will continue to alarm every 1 minute and 30 seconds signaling you to start a new set. In just 30 minutes you can do 20 sets!
Simple to Use?
Naturally the timer comes with written instructions. I can't say whether or not the instructions were easy to follow, because when it comes to written instructions for timers or watches or any small device with small buttons with multi-functions, I feel like I have an IQ of ten! Push this button while holding that button; hold this one for three seconds with your thumb while simultaneously using your pinky and index finger in the keeping your fingers crossed position to set the time, etc.
Fortunately, I must not be the only small button challenged individual because the Gymboss website provides links to YouTube video's SHOWING YOU HOW TO SET UP THE TIMER! Excellent! From opening the packaged timer, looking at the written instructions, watching the video's, to programming 10 rounds of 45/15 second intervals took a whole 15 minutes. Not bad for me.
The Gymboss Interval Timer looks like a small pager, with a much larger LCD screen. Only three buttons are required to program the timer. Using the buttons you can set:
One or two different time intervals from 2 seconds to 99 minutes
Auto mode keeps repeating through intervals
Set up to 99 rounds
Manual mode acts as countdown timer
Alarm by beep, vibration, or both
Alarm duration of 1, 5, or 10 seconds
Size of a small pager
(1 3/4 x 2 1/4 inches)
Water and shock resistant
AAA battery required (this is what is written on the packaging, but a battery is included)?
The beeping alarm is very loud. If you read some of the reviews on expensive sport watches that have interval timers, most of them mention the alarm not being loud enough. Another nice feature is the vibrating function. I walk my dog while listening to my MP3, so I set the alarm to vibrate instead of beep, and that is something you will never find in a sport watch that costs anywhere near the $19.95 I paid for the Gymboss.
No review would be complete without some Cons: The Gymboss is made in China (what isn't nowadays). The housing has a cheap, plastic feel, but what do you expect from a product costing $19.95? I also had to use a paper clip to reset it within the first minutes of using it, but, the fact that it came with a 30 day satisfaction guarantee, and a 1 year warranty makes it an incredible value.
Using the Gymboss is so much better than looking down at your watch or glancing over at a wall clock. I have to caution you though; one thing you will question is the accuracy of this timer: It seems like the working seconds are longer, and the resting seconds are shorter!
Bottom line: This is an inexpensive little interval timer that works very well for the price. If you want to get more into interval training to burn fat, this timer is the way to go.
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