The Benefits of Intervals and Interval Timers

Congrats to April Sorrow (@AprilS_2010), the winner of the giveaway! Thanks to everyone who entered. Now that you’re thinking about intervals, let’s see how you can use them to achieve your goals!


For people wanting to lose weight and/or increase stamina while retaining muscle, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) really does live up to its promises. It’s a proven way to (1) increase your metabolic rate, (2) torch the same number of calories in much less time than conventional cardio, and (3) break through plateaus.

Studies show the claims are true – quick workouts in which you vary the intensity and pace are just as effective as hours on a cardio machine or endurance activity. And research shows that you don’t always need to make it an “all-out” effort as previously believed (see my article on HIIT).

A good example of timed intervals is Tabata, an eight-minute workout that involves 20 seconds of intense effort with 10-second rests. Tabata can include plyometrics, body weight exercises, resistance exercises, cardio machines, or any other exercise you can do fast and with good form. Tabata is just one example, however; intervals can consist of many different combos of paces and exercises.

When you consider the benefits, it’s not surprising that the interval timer was born. Using a stopwatch or cardio machine to time intervals can be frustrating and counterproductive. Trying to watch the clock while resetting it after every interval can reduce the actual work you’re doing.

I bought a Gymboss interval timer recently for that very reason. I wanted to get my weight-loss clients doing Tabata and timed intervals so that we could strength train and burn mega calories. The Gymboss timer lets me do this seamlessly, without delays between intervals, and has saved me from staring at my watch instead of watching my clients. The timer automatically cycles through intervals you preset so that you can get a more intense, effective workout. I will definitely be using the Gymboss myself for weight lifting, Tabata, and kettle bell circuits.

My prediction is that once you start doing intervals using a structured, easy tool, you’ll become addicted to this effective exercise method. That’s why I want to give away a brand-new Gymboss, thanks to Jake at Gymboss.

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Like Workout Nirvana on Facebook.
  2. Like Gymboss on Facebook.
  3. Comment on Gymboss’ Facebook page – you must tag Workout Nirvana in the post – and tell them what inspires you to stay in shape or get in better shape.
  4. Leave a comment back here letting me know you did it :).

The winner will be chosen by random drawing this week. Good luck!!

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  1. You know I did it ALL! Love you, love them, love everything today, except the crap landlord and HEAT! lol
    SinnerElla recently posted..A NEW WORLD RECORD…. (now with photos!)My Profile

  2. Thanks for mentioning the Gymboss. I’ve liked, liked, and commented, and I really wouldn’t mind having one of those bad boys to take the guesswork out of intervals. When I’m just using my watch, it’s all too easy to decide to take just another 30 seconds or another minute of steady-state . . . having the timer would help me stick to the protocol.

    Mary C. Weaver, CSCS recently posted..Is your relationship with food making you suffer?My Profile

  3. Suzanne – that sounds like a really cool product! Just this morning, my personal trainer brought up the importance of intervals work for cardio to compliment the work we are doing in terms of strength training. Would love to learn more about Gymboss and have liked their FB page (as well as yours) and left a comment. Interesting post! .
    Shira recently posted..What motivates your wellness journey?My Profile

  4. I already follow you on twitter and facebook!
    Lisa recently posted..37 With BourbonMy Profile

  5. I left a comment on the FB page. 🙂
    Lisa recently posted..37 With BourbonMy Profile

  6. Oh this is perfect. I need one so bad and have sort of just been staring at the website everyday, lol.
    StoriesAndSweetPotatoes recently posted..Things I Might Literally Die WithoutMy Profile

  7. Liked WorkoutNirvana on Facebook.
    StoriesAndSweetPotatoes recently posted..Things I Might Literally Die WithoutMy Profile

  8. Liked Gymboss on Facebook.
    StoriesAndSweetPotatoes recently posted..Things I Might Literally Die WithoutMy Profile

  9. Commented on their profile. I think I tagged you but I’m not very good at Facebook…ha. 🙂
    StoriesAndSweetPotatoes recently posted..Things I Might Literally Die WithoutMy Profile

  10. Liked you and gymboss on facebook and left the comment!

  11. Done, done and done!
    Steph @fitmomtraining recently posted..Motivation Monday: Damn you Easter Chocolate!My Profile

  12. I did all of the above. =) P.S. HIIT is my go to workout!!
    Lynn ~ Learning Curves recently posted..Is It Karma?My Profile

  13. Laura Yates says:

    Done and done – first time hearing about both of you and would love to win one!!! Thanks!

  14. Liked you and gymboss — I hope I tagged it correctly. Thanks for the opportunity!!!

  15. Done!! Cool Contest!!

  16. I am following both Facebook pages and I wrote on comment on Gymboss’ page! Thanks for the great contest!
    Alexandra “Alec” Dadisman recently posted..Passing You With Flying ColorsMy Profile

  17. billiejean says:

    Liked Workout Nirvana on Facebook!

  18. billiejean says:

    Like Gymboss on Facebook, too!

  19. billiejean says:

    Commented on their Facebook page and tagged you!

  20. Hmmm…I’ve never heard of this product. Thanks for the info & the chance to win it!!

  21. I did it all except being the very NOT savvy computer person, I don’t know how to tag you on the Gymboss FB page. :-O I can get your name but not so it says Workout Nirvana…
    Jody – Fit at 54 recently posted..Gratitude Monday & FrustrationMy Profile

  22. ooooh! like you, love you, follow you, follow gymboss.
    I need more tabata in my life!
    Kris @Krazy_Kris recently posted..You Sexy Thing (aka Our New Stove) | Music MondayMy Profile

  23. I did all of the above, though I can’t say it actually tagged you in my FB post. Must be something I need a computer for, not a phone.

  24. Aprils_2010 says:

    Done! Hope to win. Thanks for the giveaway!

  25. Jennifer says:

    Commented…ready to get into the HIIT world!

  26. Did all of the above 🙂

    Lisa Sts
    ‎Workout Nirvana Sent me. I’ve always loved working out. Knowing that I can inspire someone to work out is what keeps me going!! I’ll always be an athlete at heart 🙂

  27. I love my Gymboss and I love Tabata training. My clients love it too. It seems a bit intimidating to them first but they feel energized afterwards.
    Pamela Hernandez recently posted..Fat Loss Success Story: Meet StephannieMy Profile

  28. I did all of them, but for some reason my comment didn’t show up yesterday.
    Courtney recently posted..Fact or Fiction?My Profile

  29. Kazzsandra says:

    This is the first time I have heard about Gymboss and I am not that familiar with it actually.. Thanks anyway for the big help here..
    Kazzsandra recently posted..Gout CuresMy Profile

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