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Gymboss Interval Timer Review

I’ve had my Gymboss for over a year now and it’s still working. I loved it when I bought it and I love it now, although I’m not doing as much interval work as I used to. In the same way that I re-read books so that I can review them in light of recent changes in my attitudes, I wanted to give an updated Gymboss Interval Timer Review as my training attitudes have evolved as well.

I train in a Crossfit gym although I don’t do the Crossfit workouts. My training primarily comprises barbell work and kettlebell lifting. When I originally began using the Gymboss timer, I was working very hard to increase my work capacity. Most of my goals centered around being able to do longer sets. Most of my goals had to do with increased endurance.

I had been told that the best way to increase endurance for kettlebells was to set the timer for a block of time and then perform sets at the top of every minute. My Gymboss would beep at me and I’d start another set. As I went, the timer would keep track of how many rounds I performed, so the next time I trained I would know what to shoot for in order to set a new PR.

This type of training was grueling. I felt like I was constantly in distress mode when I lifted, but I was still making pretty good progress.

Gym Movement

I am currently having great results using the Gym Movement training protocol, which was developed by a martial artist named Frankie Faires. One of the philosophies of GM is that pushing into distress mode too often is ultimately damaging to the body.

This isn’t the article to dispute anything about various programs, but I would like to tell you what functions the Gymboss interval timer now serves in my workouts.

  • It’s a stopwatch–much of my training takes place in 10 minute blocks, with 10 minutes devoted to a particular exercise
  • I train in “distress” mode one or two times each four weeks in order to test myself. When I do this, it is very helpful to be able to measure intervals between rest and work

The good things

The things I liked about the timer haven’t changed. It’s tiny, it has good battery life, and I like the fact that I can clip it onto my shirt or my shorts so I won’t lose it. I lose everything I touch, but I have actually managed to hold onto the same Gymboss for a year now.

The bad

So far, my only complaint has been about the flap on the that back that holds the battery in place. It breaks very easily and I have spent the last year with the battery taped into place. Other than that, I don’t have any other cautions. I have heard people say that there timers have broken or quit working shortly after arrival, but mine has been fine.

So to sum it up, if you need to time your workouts, whether you’re doing intervals, tabata, or you just need a stopwatch, the Gymboss Interval Timer is still my favorite option.


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Lana January 25, 2011, 12:36 pm

    Great review. I also love the Gymboss. I loved it so much I bought it for my friends. Sadly it died on me.
    The quality leaves much to be desired. After using it for 3 months the plastic screen cover kept falling off. A random metal piece broke off from inside the device. It then started jingling around inside making annoying noises. I had to take it apart and remove that piece. Then it worked fine.
    I had used it religiously for about 6 months and then it just died on me for no apparant reason. It was great while it lasted.
    I wrote Gymboss a letter to inform them of the defects that occur within the scope of normal use. I treated it well. Have not heard back from them. 🙁

    • Josh Hanagarne January 25, 2011, 1:43 pm

      Lana, I made it through 18 months before mine died. I had just put a new battery in it and then the screen just froze. I haven’t ordered a new one yet. 18 months was good enough for me, but your story is not the first one I’ve heard. Have you ever tried another timer?