Round Timer: My Favorite New App for Interval Workouts

This app makes timing intervals a cinch.

I was talking to a coworker yesterday about the whole 7-minute workout thing, and I was saying how when I tried it a few weeks ago, it was super annoying to have to keep an eye on the stopwatch strapped around my wrist in order to time each exercise. Like, imagine the comedy of errors involved in doing jumping jacks in your living room while you try to make sense of the numbers ticking by on your watch and while at the same time trying to dodge your 15-pound dog who thinks all that jumping in the living room is some kind of fun game she just has to get in. Because, yes, that happened.

“There’s an app for that,” my coworker deadpanned. I laughed.

“Oh, wait. You’re serious?”

He was—not about the dog thing but about the timer thing. The app in question is called Round Timer, designed for boxers but useful for anyone doing timed interval workouts. He uses a version that costs 99 cents, but, cheapskate that I am, I opted for this free version. And guess what? It’s kinda awesome.

You can click on the little clock icon in the top righthand corner to adjust the number of interval rounds and the duration of each—so, say, five rounds at 30 seconds each, or 10 rounds at 45 seconds. It’s totally up to you. You can also set timed warm-up and cool-down segments if you wish.

For the 7-minute workout, I created a “routine” (the app’s parlance, not mine) with 12 rounds—one for each exercise—each lasting 30 seconds, and with 10 seconds of rest in between them. (Note: With the rest periods, the total time for the circuit is 8 minutes.) And I saved the routine so I can use it later without having to set everything up again.

If you want to replicate the workout with the app I downloaded, be sure to set the Warning Time to 00:00, and zero out the warm-up and cool-down times, too. You can select from a menu of sounds which will play to signify the end of a round and rest period. In the app’s settings, you can also turn a vibration function on or off.

As for music—because we all know music is a must for me when I work out—there’s a function through the app that allows you to listen to playlists on your phone while the timer runs, but I also tested it while listening to Songza and it worked just fine—the bells and buzzers from the timer played right over the music. Which is pretty much awesome.

Happy intervalling, Be Wellers!

Photo: Shutterstock