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Product Review: Gymboss Interval Timer



You can’t go wrong if you’re doing everything right

I originally bought the Gymboss after I got into Interval Training. Interval training involves short bursts (intervals) of intense effort, followed by short periods of less-intense effort, also called “active rest.”

For example, I do most of my workouts with kettlebells. Here is an interval routine I do every other week involving kettlebell swings and a jump-rope:

1 minute of KB swings followed immediately by 30 seconds of jumping rope

I go back and forth between the two as long as I’m able. When I originally started this routine, I used a kitchen timer and a wristwatch to keep track of the intervals. This worked okay: I could set the timer for 1 minute and do the KB swings as it counted down. Then I would look at my watch and jump rope for as close to 30 seconds as I could figure. I usually wound up stopping just shy of 30 seconds to avoid going over.

Later I tried a plain old stopwatch. Again, this worked well, but was only able to handle one interval. If I set it for one minute, it would beep after one minute. Then I would quickly reset it to 30 seconds, but you see the problem. Doing intervals inexactly is better than not doing them, but not as effective as doing them perfectly.

Features:

  • It can measure one or two time intervals. If you want to do 30 seconds of sprints and then 15 seconds of walking, the Gymboss will let you know when it’s time to switch. Intervals can go from two seconds to 99 minutes, depending on how you’re feeling.
  • Track your rounds. One round = work + rest. If you want to do 10 rounds, it’s easy to keep track of. If you just want to see how many rounds you can crank out, the Gymboss will show you after you’re finished.
  • It can be that plain-old stopwatch if that’s what you need.
  • It’s little and has a convenient clip on it.
  • I’ve dropped mine a lot and it’s tough. A couple of scratches, but it’s lasted a long time.
  • There are three options for the alarm: a low beep, a high beep, or vibration
  • Once you’ve started keeping your workouts on track, you will notice that your results get better with every session. Increased endurance, a stronger heart, and fat loss are the rewards of perfect training.

    This brutal little gadget has helped me take the guesswork out of my kettlebell training. It doesn’t let you off the hookthat thing is going to beep whether you like it or not. If you need to keep track of your time, this is the perfect way. I use it every single time I train. I’ve never been sorry I bought it, and I’ve never had more productive training. If there’s a downside, it’s that you still have to do all the work yourself.

    You can’t go wrong if you’re doing everything right



    PS:

    If you’ve got a Gymboss I’d love to hear how you use it. I know a lot of creative people who have given me some great ideas with my own training. Best of luck with all your goals.

    Comments on this entry are closed.

    • Blaine Moore April 22, 2009, 2:27 pm

      I’ve considered getting one for doing Tabata Intervals, but I just programmed my watch to beep at me. (My watch can handle multiple intervals – and my GPS watch even handles full workouts.)

      Some of the folks that I coach use the gymboss timer to time walk breaks while they are out running, and are pretty happy with it.

      • Marty January 10, 2010, 9:54 pm

        What brand and model watch do you have ?

    • Josh Hanagarne April 22, 2009, 2:47 pm

      What kind of watch do you have? Sounds like the James Bond watch I’m seeing on all of the billboards:)

    • Blaine Moore April 22, 2009, 5:02 pm

      I have two watches.

      The first is an old Timex watch, which I bought because it has big numbers and a good lap memory. I got it shortly before the San Antonio Marathon, which I think was back in 2004. (I’ve had to change the batteries a few times since then.) It’s nice because you can set up intervals, and it also has a pace feature where you click it every mile or kilometer and it tells you how many seconds ahead of or behind your target time you are.

      The second watch is a more recent acquisition. It’s a Garmin Forerunner 305, which is a GPS watch that has lots of nifty features. You can program workouts into it and it will tell you when to rest and when to run hard, which is handy.

    • Greg Fedderson April 25, 2009, 5:15 pm

      Where can you get the Gymboss and how much is it? I think it would make a handy addition to my training tools.

    • Josh Hanagarne April 25, 2009, 6:04 pm

      Greg, you can get the Gymboss by clicking on the links in the review I did, or by clicking on the image in the sidebar on the right side of the screen. That will take you to the screen where you can buy it. Just so you know, I make a small commission if you buy after clicking through my site. The Gymboss costs $20. Please never feel pressured to buy something because I’ve recommended it, but keep in mind that it helps me if you do buy it:) However and whenever you decide to buy it, you won’t be sorry.

    • Jamie December 7, 2009, 11:00 pm

      First of all, I love your blog! Great reading!
      Second – Gymboss is great, but for those who don’t have one but have an iPod Touch or iPhone, there’s a free interval timer available for the iPhone or iPod Touch called WOD Timer. You can get more info from http://www.thefitblog.net/wodtimer

      Cheers!

      • Josh Hanagarne December 7, 2009, 11:31 pm

        Thanks Jamie, on all counts. One day I’ll be one of the cool iphone kids. Thanks for jumping in!

    • Jack Stanton December 31, 2009, 1:45 am

      I purchased a Gymboss about 2 years ago. It never worked correctly, and in about two weeks it didn’t work at all. So I got a stop watch. It may not be the best way to time intervals, but it works.

      • Josh Hanagarne December 31, 2009, 8:25 am

        Crap, Jack. That stinks. Sorry to hear it.

    • Ash March 30, 2011, 7:02 am

      I got my gymboss (hot pink) for Valentine’s day from my bestie. If I manage to leave everything else at home I always remember Gymboss. I create unlimited workouts with it. From Boxing rounds and jump rope to sprints and jogging intevals. I reccomend it to everyone. My garmin has a stopwatch and splits but the Gymboss is better becuase it LOUDLY let you know when its time to change it up

    • Robert August 15, 2011, 1:50 am

      Not sure what link landed me on your website, but I’m glad!

      Gymboss: single biggest game-changer in my fitness routine.
      I *love* my Gymboss, which I learned about from my cousin who was doing the bodyrock.tv workouts. I use it for my runs – 5 min warmup, 8 sets of 20 second sprint, 20 recover, 5 min cool down. By sprint 6 I’m feeling it if I’m really pushing! Also love if for kettlebell swings and nearly every lift – 8 of 20 work, 20 rest. Keeps me moving and focused! Had one that the buzzer died on, use it on vibrate with my iPod shuffle. The other has been abused and keeps coming back for more!