Bill Hall
artist: Bill Hall

One of my favorite training methods is HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training.

It’s one of the best tools I know for developing power, improving anaerobic endurance and maximizing fat loss.

But, it’s not perfect. One of the potential drawbacks to HIIT workouts is that instead of counting reps, your workout revolves around time.

And that’s fine if you are using a piece of cardio equipment with a built in timer.

However, if you are trying to time a set of HIIT hanging power cleans, you may be in for some trouble.

Unless you have a workout partner with a stopwatch, an expensive personal trainer like yours truly…or a dedicated Interval Workout Timer like the Inventico TMR04-B.

Inventico TMR04-B
Inventico TMR04-B

What is an Interval Timer

Basically, it is a stopwatch dedicated to counting down and alerting you to start and stop your HIIT work sets and rest periods.

The TMR04-B is not the only interval timer on the market. But, it is the only one that I have used.

Disclosure – Inventico contacted me in January and asked if I would be interested in trying out their product. At that time, offers of this kind were fairly new to me. I agreed to try out the unit because:

  1. I was sick of using a stopwatch to time my personal HIIT workouts
  2. The Inventico rep was very confident in the product and was willing to risk a bad review
  3. I am a geek for fitness equipment. You wouldn’t believe the amount of workout and rehab tools that litter my apartment

So, here’s the review:

How Does It Work?

  • The unit is about the size of a travel alarm clock – 3 1/2″ (8.3cm) wide & tall by 1 1/4″ (3.5cm) thick
  • You enter the number of interval sets and the length of the work sets and rest periods via the buttons at the top of the face plate.
  • The relatively large LCD display (height of numerals – 3/4″ or 2cm) counts down the work/rest periods
  • The unit beeps three times at the end of every work set and beeps 1 time at the end of your rest periods
  • At the end of your final work set, the unit produces 3 sets of 3 beeps
  • There is also a red LED light at the top of the unit that flashes in unison with the beeping.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • It made solo HIIT workouts a LOT simpler. For example, in the past when I wanted to do a HIIT workout using front squats, I had to pause between reps to turn and look at the wall clock in my gym. With the timer, I used the LED light as a visual cue to start and stop my sets. Outdoors, the auditory cue (beeping) was loud enough that I didn’t need to carry the timer during sprints.
  • The LCD screen is large enough to see from a few feet
  • Inventico designed the unit to be mounted onto fitness equipment. The unit has two holes in the casing that allow a piece of cable to be threaded through and attached to the frame of a piece of fitness equipment. Obviously, this was designed to help out a health club manager. For my use, I bought a piece of stick-on magnet and stuck it to the back plate of the timer. This allowed me to attach the timer to any piece of metallic equipment at whatever height was appropriate for that exercise.
  • The unit is durable – It was dropped more than once and it kept on tickin’

Cons

  • The beeping noise is way too loud for a health club. And it isn’t adjustable. But, it can be eliminated by removing a small chip from the circuit board inside. Note –  Inventico has plans to offer an adjustable volume control with it’s next edition of the timer
  • The LCD screen is hard to read in certain lighting conditions. However, I seldom used the screen anyway, preferring the LED indoors and the beeping outdoors.
  • The instructions were a little confusing. I gave the unit (with instructions) to a bunch of people and no one found it easy to adjust…at first. After a few tries, it becomes easier.

Overall

The unit isn’t perfect, but if you are a HIIT junkie, it’s worth the $26.

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Note about Health Habits and Product Reviews

In the past few months I have started to receive offers to try out different products & services. At first, I turned down all of these offers because I can’t stand when other bloggers write kiss-ass reviews for products simply because they got the product for free and felt that they owed it to the company.

I decided to take Inventico up on their offer because I was genuinely curious about the product. And I was 100% honest in my review.

In the future, if I write a review about a product that I received at no cost, I will:

  • Let you guys know that I received the product free from the manufacturer,
  • Review it honestly, and
  • Request from the manufacturer that they send a second item to one of my readers for their review. That way, we will get two different points of view on the same product/service.

Reference

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