Strength vs Size vs Endurance – Why you need to time your rest intervals in the gym

If you do HIIT workouts, using a Gymboss timer is all-but essential for success. After all, with high-intensity interval training, everything you do is controlled by time, from your work periods to your rest periods to the total duration of your workout. If you don’t manage your work-to-rest intervals precisely, your workouts will not be as successful as they could be.

However, Gymboss timers aren’t just useful for HIIT and cardio, they are also great for strength training too. Here are THREE reasons you should use a timer for your weights workouts too.

Proper recovery between sets  

For every gym training goal, there is an ideal rep scheme, and every rep scheme is associated with a specific recovery period between sets. If you don’t rest long enough between sets, you may find that your workout performance starts to drop off, and you won’t be able to train as long or as hard as you might otherwise like.

Conversely, if you rest too long between sets, you’ll recover too much and lose some of the training effect of your workout. But, if you time your recovery period just right, each and every set you do will be as productive as possible.

Rest periods depend on your training goal. Most experts recommend the following:

GoalNumber of repsRecovery between sets
Muscle strength1-5 reps3-5 minutes
Muscle size6-1290-120 seconds
Muscle endurance13-2030-60 seconds

One easy way to make sure you get your rest periods right is to set your workout timer so that it beeps or vibrates at regular intervals. For example, if you are doing sets of five reps for strength for 4 sets, set your timer it so that it sounds every four minutes for four rounds. Start your set when your Gymboss beeps and then rest until it sounds again. Assuming it took you 30 seconds to complete your reps, this will give you a 3 ½ minute rest between sets, which is ideal for maximal strength development.

Increased workout focus

A lot of people lose focus during their rest periods between sets. They talk to their friends, play with their phones, or otherwise drift off and stop concentrating. Effective training is every bit as mental as it is physical. If you don’t keep your head in the game, your next set won’t be as productive. Mentally, you’ll go off the boil.

Using a weightlifting timer will help keep your mind on what you are doing. As your rest period runs down, start to prepare yourself mentally for your next set, getting psyched up and ready to work hard. Using a timer will remind you to stay focused on your workout and stop your mind wandering too far.

Better workout efficiency

If you don’t time your recovery periods, it’s all too easy to rest too long between sets. As discussed above, this will reduce the intensity and effectiveness of your workout. However, it also means you’ll end up spending more way more time at the gym than you really need to.

Assuming you are training for muscle size, you should be able to complete 20-30 sets per one-hour workout. But, if you rest too long between sets, you could end up either completing far fewer sets than this or taking much longer than 60 minutes. Either way, this adds up to a lot of wasted time. Use your Gymboss timer to avoid wasting time between sets and exercises.

SGymboss workout timers are great for HIIT, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use them for strength training workouts too. In fact, way back at the beginning of Gymboss, we invented this timer specifically for weightlifting. Every other use evolved from that. If you aren’t using your timer for strength training, you are really missing out! Get better results in less time by using your Gymboss for all your workouts.

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