Use An Interval Training Timer to Coach Efficiently

Tom Kelso
Strength and Conditioning

If you conduct a variety of large-scale interval-type exercise sessions (group exercise and boot camp-style) you need to be organized and have a pre-set plan. You need to know:


  • What is the length of each session?
  • How many participants?
  • Will you have an assistant (another set of eyes) to help monitor?
  • What type of equipment will be used?
  • How will the entire session be conducted relative to work and rest intervals?


Your main focus as the leader of the session will be supervision and proper instruction. The last thing you want to deal with is fiddling with a stop watch, counting time, and taking your eyes off your participants. For that purpose, you may want to consider a product like the Gymboss miniMAX


This timer is versatile and easy to program if you spend time configuring it to the types of interval sessions you'll use. Pre-programming a variety of work and rest sets will offer a nice library of options to fit the time-frame and goals of each session.


The basic features of the miniMAX timer are:


  • A single interval option.
  • Two different interval options.
  • Three or more interval options.
  • A multi-interval option
  • A conventional stopwatch.
  • A time of day clock.


Regarding programming the miniMAX for your interval training plans, I have provided a chart that contains five different programs each for the one, two, three+, and multi-interval options. 


Here is a brief overview and description of the programs I have included. I will offer a basic step-by-step example for one of them. However, by using the detailed user manual (referenced later), you can program my suggestions or design your own.


1 Interval


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