Right now, interval training is everywhere you look! Yes, we have been saying this for the better part of a decade, but this statement still rings true. Interval training protocols are included in everything from individual workouts to group fitness classes to personal training sessions. But what exactly is interval training?
By definition, interval training is alternating between periods of low- to high-intensity exercise and periods of rest or relief. There are numerous interval protocols such as
- The Little Method (60 seconds high, 75 seconds low)
- Turbulence Training (8 repetitions of a strength based drill, followed by 1-to-2 minutes of cardio)
- Tabata Timing (20 seconds intense work, 10 seconds rest, for 8 rounds)
Almost all of the protocols require specific timing of work and rest. Staring at your watch is no way to lead a group fitness class or personal training session. To be fully engaged in your class or workout, you need some additional timing help, especially when executing timed intervals. In this blog, I am sharing my top two favorite apps for timed drills if you’re a fitness professional and my top two recommendations if you’re a fitness fanatic.
Fitness Professional Apps
Seconds Pro: This is one of the most customizable apps you will find on the market. It comes with pre-made interval settings, but allows you to make your own as well. You can manage the rest between intervals as well as the rest between sets. One of the greatest aspects of this app is being able to program in the name of the exercise so the app tells you what is coming next.
Tabata Pro Timer: Originally, this program was for tabata timing only (20 seconds of work, 10 seconds break, 8 rounds), but has expanded to be customizable. It gives you a three second warning before moving between the work and rest segments, and allows for music on your device to be played simultaneously with the counting bells. You can save three different interval settings for quick and easy changing of the timing you need for a specific workout.
Fitness Fanatic Apps
Seven: We are all busy people. This app reminds us that we only need 7 minutes to get a great interval workout done! Not only will the app let you choose a “trainer” and walk you through the workout, but it also turns your exercise schedule into a game. You get three lives, and if you don’t log in for a workout, you lose a life. Skip 3 workouts in a month and all of your progress and data will be deleted.
iSmoothRun: This is the Swiss Army Knife of interval apps for runners. Users can plug in the pace, listen to a metronome, and select the heart rate zone they want to achieve during each interval. This may seem like another GPS app, but trust me, it is so much more.
So regardless of whether you are leading the class or leading the pack, let technology help you focus on the workout. Skip staring at the clock and let the music, bells, and whistles tell you when to stop or work. Remember, every movement matters!
Jessica Maurer is a BOSU® Master Trainer with a background in dance and fitness education. She is a the co-creator of LOK Fitness and a Master Trainer for Hedstrom Fitness, Lebert Training Systems and Tabata Bootcamp