Sometimes it’s important to stick to a specific time. For years I have been using a workout timer regularly to optimize my training. But I also find such a timer to be very useful in other (private and professional) situations.
This article will therefore be all about the purpose of such workout and other timers. I will briefly introduce you to the most important advantages and fields of application of such timers and then I will introduce you to a few models and applications that you can use for this. I promise you that my favorite timer will surprise and delight you.
Why and what I use a timer for
Each of us only has a certain amount of time at our disposal. 60 minutes an hour, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and if you read this, an average of about 85 years in one life. So there is a lot to be said for using the available time as well as possible.
It is not little time that we have, but much time that we have do not use. Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Here on my blog I have been mainly concerned with how for over five years Busy people who have no time for sport or at least think that they will finally manage to get fit and lead a healthy life. Of course, it is very much about overcoming your inner weaker self and building good habits or specifically changing your habits . That’s what everything in my book is about:
Important components here are also good time and energy management. So it’s about using the time you have and using as efficiently as possible. A timer can help you with this. In the following I would like to briefly explain to you how and for what I use such timers to use my time more efficiently.
A workout timer for your strength training
With the right breaks in strength training , it becomes simply more effective and also much easier to track. This is particularly important in order to efficiently adapt your own training to personal progress and to achieve optimal progression. The latter is particularly important if you want to build muscle mass effectively . But also for targeted increases in strength during maximum strength training a good break timing is of great importance.
In general, if you take your breaks too short, your muscles have not yet regenerated enough to call up enough power for the next training set. However, if you take your breaks unnecessarily long, your training will also be longer than it should be. If you take your breaks far too long, your risk of injury increases because your muscles cool down too much. This should not be underestimated, especially with difficult basic exercises such as the deadlift or the shoulder press .
With a workout timer you can make your training more effective and safer and save some time at the same time.
A timer for your interval or tabata training
Probably the most obvious application for a workout timer is as HIIT – or Tabata -Timer for interval training. These types of training live from the fact that certain exercise and break intervals are adhered to. As a result, they put the organism under stress and help you to increase your endurance in a time-efficient way and to stimulate your fat burning .
This also applies to all other types of interval training. I regularly use interval runs in my running training when I want to run faster my target distance. For this it is important that the intervals and speeds are tailored to my goals and that I adhere to them.
During your study and your work
I work with timers not only in sport, but also in other parts of my life. That always makes sense when I’m doing something where I want to achieve as much as possible with as little effort as possible. This applies to both work and learning. I wish I had known these techniques in my studies; then I could have gone to party even more. 😉
Do you know, for example, the Pomodoro technique? In addition to the 80/20 rule, this technology has fundamentally changed the way I work and made it many times more efficient. The aim is to maximize the focus and thus work efficiency through targeted concentration phases with breaks. Strictly according to the specifications of the inventor, the Pomodoro technique has a concentration phase of 25 minutes followed by a 5-minute break. In the concentration phase, a task is carried out and no distraction is allowed. With the exact times you can of course try out a little what works best for you.
I have described these and other methods in my article on Self-motivation . In this context, such tools are extremely valuable.
Workout timer types
Now that you can understand the purpose and areas of application of such a timer, I would like to introduce you to a few different types of timers. Depending on your use and preferences, another tool may be right for you.
Maybe you think this is very obvious. A timer is just a timer and every cell phone these days has a built-in stopwatch. However, some options that you may love for your workout or work are probably not on your agenda. I came across my favorite timer today by totally accident.
Stopwatches as workout timers
The simplest variant is certainly the classic stopwatch. As mentioned before, this is already built into every cell phone these days, so it doesn’t cost you anything. You don’t have to lug anything around with you, as would have been the case with a stopwatch in the past.
In addition, every cell phone today has a built-in timer function. You can set a countdown of which you will be informed by a signal tone. A disadvantage of this is that you have to set and restart this again and again and you have to pick up your mobile phone again and again. This can be a potential, unwanted distraction. But for a standard tool that everyone already has in their pockets, a great thing!
Special workout timer apps
Especially for the Tabata -Training or other interval training, I find an app that is optimally tailored to this. With a stopwatch you have to keep looking at the time, reset it every lap and, if necessary, reset it and start it. A normal stopwatch gives no beeps and a standard timer only emits once.
If you have fixed intervals with loading and unloading in front of you, you can use a Tabata timer app for this. There are various good and still free versions in the Appstore for both Apple and Android devices. Slightly more complex versions with different sounds and e.g. a combined music version is available there for a few euros. This is especially interesting if you have to organize group training.
In any case, get a solid outdoor Bluetooth speaker * so that the whole thing sounds neat and not like a can. 😉
My current favorite: A cube-shaped timer
Last but not least, I would like to introduce you to my new favorite among the timers. It is a compact plastic cube with four different, preset countdown times. This is available for just under ten euros at Amazon * in different colors with different times. If you turn a number up, the timer starts running. If it expires, it informs you about it with a loud signal tone.
I got myself two dice that cover my timer needs very well. I always use the red cube (1, 2, 3 and 5 minutes) for my training as a break timer. As soon as I’ve finished a sentence, I turn it to the side that corresponds to my currently planned break. As soon as it beeps, I turn it to zero and do my next set. I mainly use the white cube (5, 15, 30 and 60 minutes) for studying and working. Here you get the dice *
More workout timers
Of course, there are other types of timers that you can use. For example, I know a power lifter who trains with a classic egg timer. Most of them, however, should be very well supplied with my suggestions.
A large digital wall clock with a built-in timer and a remote control, like the one you use, is certainly very cool. often found in crossfit boxes. If you want to set up a really decadent home gym, this might be interesting. Maybe I’ll get one of those things one day.
How does it look? Are you already using a workout timer for your training? Do you use a timer for other activities like work or when you have to study? Could I perhaps inspire you with this article to give it a try? Do you have a particularly cool timer that I should introduce? Feel free to write me in the comments!