When a simple timer is not enough
Nowadays every smartphone comes with a rest timer built-in.
While this is a fine option to track recovery time between sets, the problem when using just the chronometer that comes with your phone is that you don’t have the ability to track your workout stats. Most workout apps ship with a rest timer, but not all of them are easy to use.
At Iron Pal we took the time to ask hardgainers and weightlifters, from beginner to advanced: what would make the best weight workout app with rest timer available in the market? Most of them told us that what makes an app straightforward to use is the ability to easily edit routines and workouts. More specifically, users wanted to be able to:
- Reorder exercises easily
- Change the rest time between sets
- Change the weights lifted on each exercise.
Some of them even told us that they never used a workout log app before. They recognized they were struggling to remember the weight they used on previous workouts.
All athletes agreed that their old paper routines should be lost into oblivion.
Keeping track of weight lifted
A nice thing to check in a workout app is to know if it auto-updates the weight and sets for the next time you perform the same routine. This feature is enabled at Iron pal app by default, by doing so, we make progressive overload easier to plan for you. We take training seriously.
An app with two rest timers in one place
You need to keep an eye on your watch in two situations when working out:
- When you set the optimal rest time for your goals
- When you are performing an exercise for time instead of reps
Both cases are tedious if you have to stare at the wall clock of your gym when working out. I personally like to focus on the tune playing on my headphones rather than counting seconds when I’m in-between sets.
Use your rest timer to track your rest time between sets
Rest intervals in strength training is a widely studied topic. What most scientists have found out after their studies, is that when the rest time is longer, it sets gymnasts on the path to strength gains.
When the goal is to attain muscular hypertrophy, moderate exercise intensity along with shorter rests is the best, because it stimulates the growth hormone the most. If you’re looking for ballpark numbers, scientists and gym-goers agree that the best rest time for hypertrophy is 60 seconds. On the other hand, when targeting strength gains, powerlifters and researchers think that between 2 and 5 minutes is fine. When thinking of hypertrophy, is better to think of prioritizing intensity. For strength, prioritize weight lifted and the total amount of weight lifted when performing an exercise.
Foreground and background alerts
A good rest timer lets you know when it’s time to tackle the next set, even if your phone is locked. For that matter, it’s good to have it tied to the native notification system of your telephone. Having it that way lets you have full control of how you receive the notification to stop resting.
Does hearing the beep of the phone on every rest time-end annoys you? Then you can put your phone in vibration mode to get notified.
Do you rather just keep your smartphone silent and know when the push notification lights up on your screen? you can do that too!.
The best way to perform planks and other exercises for time
There is no need to calculate rest or exercise time without a stopwatch. When you reach 100 Mississippis, the technique tends to fall apart, by the way. We, as humans, are smart creatures, but, we cannot trick our own minds sometimes. If you are having a stressful day and come to the gym with all your energies, you’ll tend to shorten rest times. Also, if you’re feeling tired, or just having a bad workout, you can trick yourself and make your planks last some seconds less than you planned.
As I said at the beginning of the post, the world is full of workout apps with rest timer. Some wise decisions need to be made when building each. If it’s your first time trying one out, or if you want to switch to an app that takes into account user comfort and user experience, then do yourself a favor and download Iron Pal for free at https://landing.ironpal.co