When training for a triathlon most plans have a few strength workouts per week. While there are a variety of setups for these workouts, we’ve always found some combination of exercises to personally fit best. To personalize these it’s possible to just remember each or write down a short list, but using a good app you can streamline these workouts and make them super effective. Having an easy to use app interface also makes it dead simple to replicate popular workout classes that you take. For managing all of this our favorite interval tracking app is Seconds.
Why Is Seconds the Best Interval Timer App?
Sometimes all you need is a simple timer. Especially as you start to find a rhythm with your workout routine, the need for video instruction on workouts, encouragement, and everything else falls away. What’s left is just the need to set a simple timer or counter and get to work. The seconds app is great for this. There is a free version of the timer, as well as a $4.99 version in the Apple app store, with additional features. If you want you can try out the free version first and then pay for the upgrade. For most purposed the free version is plenty to setup and keep track of a HIIT workout or Tabata workout, or really any circuit training session but if you are creating a multiple workouts or using the app a lot you’ll want the additional ability to create and change multiple circuits. In practice both the “free app + in-app purchase upgrade” and the”pro” version wind up being the same thing.
One of my favorite uses of the Seconds timer is to use it to create (or recreate) my own interval session. Over time you wind up with certain programs that just work for you, and Seconds is great for capturing them. Of the various workout classes we’ve tried one of the better contained experiences wwas P90X – most of their workout are much too long, but the whole program uses the same ab workout (Ab RipperX) on multiple days.
The recreated workout is originally about 15 minutes of a video, but really when flipping around on the ground and doing crunches it’s not possible to keep your eyes on a video and once you know the moves there is no benefit. We were able to recreate the Ab ripper workout directly in the seconds app. This can be done in an analog fashion with a piece of paper, but with Seconds HIIT timer once you hit start it gives you audible cues of when to rest or move on to the next exercise. I
When to Use Circuit Interval Timer Apps
Having a singular app to track a workout set makes it easier to be efficient about your training. With seconds you can setup sessions as short as 1-2 minutes or as long as you want. Not only will a workout be more effective if you are intentional about the rest time in between activities, but having a prompt to move quickly between exercise can make a dragged out 45 minute workout session into an easy to schedule 15-20 minute session. Especially when training for multiple sports, like a triathlon, getting done with a ride or run and simply cramming start on one of the Seconds circuits helps to take away the mental fatigue of a long session and you can simply follow along.
Personally I work in a handful of common sessions that are saved on the Seconds Interval app. The first is an ab workout, as mentioned above. It cycles between moves and muscle groups and ultimately creates an effective 15 minute workout. The others are stretching and light strength training to build upper body strength for triathlon training. All of this keeps the list of possible timers pretty short in the Intervals tab and “My Timers” portion of the seconds app.
Does Seconds App Work with Apple Watch and Smart Watches
Seconds App also works on an Apple Watch, this again puts a dead simple user interface right on your wrist. It provides all the same cues of when to start and stop, and takes away so much of the mental load of moving through a workout. For $5 it is drastically better than a simple workout tracking with a watch, and even will wind up pairing as a workout so you can capture heart rate information over the course of the interval.