If you hear the word HIIT one more time you're probably going to scream, right? You've probably read that interval training has many benefits including increased endurance, improved cardiovascular health, and weight loss. And if you're one of my clients, you've definitely experienced these training rounds! But whether you're a huge fan of High Intensity Interval Training, dabble in it because your trainer (or the latest article) tells you it's the best, or are wanting to try it, you still need a good timer.
In this post I am going to share three of my favorite timer apps for interval workouts. And since I'm a (gasp) Samsung user, all of these can be found on the Apple Store and Google Play.
The interval timer app that I use the most is Tabata Timer. It allows you to create multiple types of custom interval workouts and save them for future use, so you can use your favourites again and again. One click and you're ready to go (you can easily change cycles and sets if you need to as well, whilst still keeping the same timing intervals). The interface takes a little time to get used to, but it's well worth the effort, because as you can see from the images, once my intervals are set up, I don't have to keep re-entering them. And I can easily do a workout with multiple types of intervals without re-setting each time. There is a free version that works great, but the slight cost to upgrade to premium is well worth it. It's a one time fee (I think maybe $6.99? It's been awhile, so I can't remember), so you never have to pay for it again.
Another workout timer I use regularly is Tabata Pro. This one I bring out for sparring sessions (boxing, MMA, jiujitsu) or for very simple intervals where I simply need to pop in the work time and rest time. I like that the timer actually declares aloud [in English or Japanese] "WORK" when it's time to work and "REST" when it's time to take a break. It also allows you to set the time of the lead-in interval so you have time to pop on your gloves and get into position. You can set up to 3 different timers so if your workout consists of alternating between one set of 30s work/10s rest rounds and a set of three 1-minute work intervals, you can pre-set both and just click between them instead of re-setting the timer each time. There is a one-time cost of $2.99, so it's less than a latte and infinitely more useful.
My third pick is the SmartWOD timer. It's simple to use and lets you choose between EMOM (Every Minute on the Minute), AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible), For Time, and Tabata. I also really like that it calls out the halfway point in any work interval so if you need to switch sides or directions, you don't have to keep watching the timer. The downsides to this app are the hefty (in comparison to the other two) $11.99/year subscription cost and the inability to program more complex intervals, for example 30/60/90s and more. Honestly, I do believe you can get what you need from the other two timers alone, but if you are looking for something that helps walk you through the types of Interval Workouts, then this is a good choice.