Interval Timer – Timing for HIIT Training Review

IInterval Timer Iconn an effort to try to once again try to increase my core strength and hopefully get some rockin’ abs, I decided to start doing a regiment of planks and reverse sit-ups. If you’ve ever done planks before you know that their pretty uncomfortable.  Your body starts to shake and quiver and you’re pretty much ready to be done with them once your time is done.

I have been using the “Five Minute Plank Workout” over at the website for the past year and really like the variety of planks and the length of the workout.  It is challenging enough for me and has enough variety to make me feel like I’m working out all the right ab areas.  The workout has you switch to different positions at different times and it can be a challenge to keep up with where you are in it when you’re trying to focus all of your energy into keeping good form for the plank.  Thus, I have been trying to use a timer that beeps when each segment is completed so I don’t have to keep looking at my phone and so I don’t accidentally do a longer plank than necessary.

In the past I have tried a few timers including the IPhone built in timer, but haven’t really liked any of them.  I decided to browse the app store again to try to find a timer that would fit my needs.  When I did a search on “Plank Timer” I didn’t come up with anything that met my needs.  They were all too specific and focused more on plan workouts than time.  Luckily I broadened my search for “gym timer” and Interval Timer was the first app that showed up.  It seemed promising looking through the screen shots.

Although it seemed like overkill for what I wanted to use it for, I figured that if I took the time to set up all of the intervals once then I could reuse it everyday to get my planks done in the morning.  One of the problems I had been running into with other timers was that my iphone would go into sleep mode after about 2 minutes and I would either have to keep touching the screen every so often or I would have to wake my iphone mid-plank which sucked and didn’t do anything for my plank form.  I know I could have changed my sleep timer interval, but I like it where it is set and I didn’t want to have to get in the habit of changing it every time I did my planks and then change it back when I was done…  Fortunately, Interval Timer keeps my iphone activated to that it doesn’t time out during my workout…

Set Up

It took about 10 minutes to set up all of my intervals and to get the hang of the layout of the apScreen Shot 4
Screen Shot 3p.  Since I wanted to have multiple intervals with different lengths I used the “Complex” type.  I then started adding my intervals.  For each interval that I didn’t have to switch sides or legs halfway through I used the low interval only and set the high interval timer at 0 seconds.  For intervals where I had to switch either legs or sides, like the Leg Raised Plank or the One Side Plank I set the time for the first position on the low time for that interval and the second position on the high time.  Lastly, since I usually do my reverse sit-ups after my planks, I set the cool down time to 2 minutes on the planks so that it will buzz when I’m ready to do my sit-ups and so that I have a standardized routine every morning.  Once I start getting more fit I can reduce the interval between the planks and the sit-ups as a way of making the workout more challenging.

I think the way I set everything up was a little convoluted, but it worked and I really wasn’t worried about making it the most efficient, I just wanted to get something set up so that I could do my planks…

First Impressions:

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I really like the layout of the timer and the big screen that shows the time left on the interval.  If I turn my phone to the landscape position it will show me just the time left for my current interval.  I was able to put my phone right in front of the mirror so that I could see them time left and focus on my plank form…


I’m looking forward to continuing to use the app for my daily routine and customizing it more to fit my needs…




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