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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Guest Review: Gymboss

Meet Misty!  Misty has been running in my Galloway group since 2008.  She's run a multitude of half marathons, and ran her first marathon a year ago in Walt Disney World!  Her next race is the Princess Half Marathon in Disney in January.  I asked Misty if she would write up a review for the Gymboss interval timer, which I've always considered a handy tool for timing Galloway intervals, but know very little about.  So, please enjoy Misty's review!

I am doing the Jeff Galloway interval training method to get ready for a 1/2 marathon.  Kim is my group leader.  We all have Ironman watches with audible intervals. However, I prefer my loudness of the Gymboss alarm.

The Gymboss is small and easy to clip into the waistband or collar. The Gymboss looks like something you'd find in a dollar store. The timer is plastic, and although it can stand being dropped to the ground, it  would probably break if stepped on. The Gymboss is marketed as water resistant but I would not use it with water sports. It does not seem to affected by the skin moisture.

The Gymboss has different alarm sounds and an optional vibrating alarm. You can also choose between alarm length of one, five and ten seconds. I use the 5 second alarm and vibrate together. I found the vibrating alarm is not strong enough to detect when running. The high alarm tone is very loud; great for outside. The lower tone alarm is good when exercising in your own home. I can hear the alarm over my music, group chitchat, and my panting.

The Gymboss is easy to program. It was evident to me from the packaged directions how to operate the device, but the video on YouTube made it perfectly clear. I like the start/stop buttons being located on different side of the timer than the programming buttons. I find it's easy to locate the start button by feel when the timer is on your waistband.  You can pause the timer by pressing the start button three times in a row.

In my research, I found "real" interval timers start at 4X the price point of the Gymboss ($19.95 +S/H). For the money, it's a great tool and I'd definitely recommend it to any fitness enthusiast out there looking for an easy to use, awesome interval timer.

Details (from the manufacturer):

  • One or two different time intervals from 2 seconds to 99 minutes
  • Auto mode keeps repeating through intervals
  • Set up to 99 rounds
  • Manual mode acts as countdown timer
  • Stopwatch Function
  • Alarm by beep, vibration, or both
  • Alarm duration of 1, 5, or 10 seconds
  • Size of a small pager (1 3/4 x 2 1/4 inches)
  • Water and shock resistant
  • AAA battery required

Summary: The device is simple and effective. Getting used to setting up your intervals can be a little frustration until you get the hang of it. If you like mixing up your training, this is a great way to do it. I know athletes that use it for circuits, Tabata interval training and much more. The audible alarm is loud and the vibration is strong (unless the batteries are low). The clip allows the timer to attach to your clothing while you workout. You don’t need to look at the timer – a big plus. The Gymboss is ‘fairly’ priced. The only real competition is from some iPhone apps.

Neither I, nor Misty, are affiliated with Gymboss or the company that owns Gymboss.  I asked Misty if she would write a review, and neither of us were compensated in any way by anyone for this review.  Misty paid for her Gymboss herself, and I do not own one.  

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