I got a reader request for a tutorial on how to use a Gymboss Interval Timer and thought now would be a perfect time to post it because Gymboss recently sent me their new miniMAX to try out (I’ve included a guide to both models in this post).
As a heads up, all the Gymboss links in this post are affiliate links (if you go to Gymboss from P&I and buy a timer, I get a small commission), but I’m by no means trying to be a salesman here. There are free smartphone apps that work great for interval timing as well, I just personally love the Gymboss—and it comes in especially handy when I’m teaching group fitness classes (students don’t want to see you walking around the studio with your iPhone). For those of you with a Gymboss or wanting to buy one, here’s a basic set-up guide:
How to Use a Gymboss Interval Timer
- Press any button to turn it on.
- Press SET. The work interval will start blinking (top number on the right). Use the up and down arrows to adjust the number to your desired length of time.
- Press SET again. The rest interval will start blinking (bottom number on the right). Use the up and down arrows to adjust the number to your desired length of rest. If you don’t want a rest period (for example, just want the timer to beep every minute), bring this number down to zero.
- Press SET again. The number of rounds will start blinking (number in bottom left corner). Use the up and down arrows to adjust to the desired number of rounds.
- Press SET again. The type of alarm beep will start blinking. BH = beep high BL = beep low V= vibrate. Use up and down arrows to change the type until the one(s) you want is blinking. I usually just keep mine on BH.
- Press SET again. The alarm duration will start blinking. You can choose 1, 2, 5 or 9 seconds in length, using the up and down arrows to scroll through the options until the one you want is blinking. I keep mine on 1.
- Push SET one final time to exit setup mode. You’re now ready to begin your workout.
- Press START to begin.
If you need to pause it during the workout, hit the START button three times quickly in a row. To stop and reset the timer, hold the START button down for three seconds.
How to Use the Gymboss miniMax
- 1 interval
- 2 intervals
- 3+ intervals (up to 25)
- Multi (2-25 intervals with the option to repeat certain interval or groups of intervals)
Hit SET and then MENU (use the arrows until the pointer is at MENU then hit SET) to chose your desired mode. For the 1, 2 and 3+ interval options, you’ll follow the same steps as with the regular Gymboss timer (Hit SET and then SETUP to begin). For the 3+, once you’ve entered the desired number of intervals, put 00:00 for the next one and it will stop prompting you to add more.
Setting Up Multi Interval Mode
Let’s go through an example on the Multi Interval mode because this is probably the most complicated.
Let’s say you wanted your running workout to look like 3 rounds of this:
- A 5-minute jog
- Tabata intervals of sprinting and walking (8 rounds of 20 seconds of sprinting and 10 seconds of walking)
- A 5-minute jog
When entering this into the Gymboss miniMax, we think of it as 4 intervals: 5 mins, 20 secs, 10 sec, 5 mins. Just like I outlined anove with the regular Gymboss, you use the SET button as an “enter” and the arrow buttons to adjust the time. Keeping that in mind, you enter the following:
- 5:00 x1 – a 5-minute interval
- 0:20 x8 – 8 rounds of 20 seconds of work
- 0:10 xP – 10-second rest intervals alternating with the previous interval (push the down arrow from 0 to get the P option when entering in number of rounds)
- 5:00 x1 – a 5-minute interval
The timer will prompt you to enter in another interval, just leave it at 00:00 and press SET so that it knows you’re done. It will then ask you how many rounds of the above routine you want to complete. For this particular example, you’d use the arrows to bring the number to 3 and then hit SET. You’ll then be prompted to select alarm type and duration of alarm, as outlined at the beginning of the post. When you’re finished, your screen will look like this:
Other Gymboss miniMax Features
You also have the option to save a workout configuration for future use so that you don’t have to go through the process of setting up each interval again. Once you’ve entered all your intervals:
- Hit SET to bring up the menu.
- Use the arrows to scroll to SAVE. Once your pointer arrow is next to it, hit SET.
- Chose preset 1 (P1) or preset 2 (P2). Hit SET.
To open a saved workout, hit SET to bring up the menu and scroll to RECALL. It’s important to note that you have to be the in the same mode as the workout you’re trying to open. For example, you can’t bring up a saved 3+ interval workout if you’re in Multi mode.
I hope that was helpful! This post is super long, but hopefully it doesn’t make using this timer seem more complicated than it actually is (it’s easy–I swear!). If you have any other questions about Gymboss timers, let me know in the comments section.
Before I sign off, I wanted to let you all know that Women’s Health Magazine and Exhale Spa are teaming up for Fusion Fest today and offering free core classes at Exhale locations across the country. If you have one in your area, sign up for a free class! Details HERE.