I’ve been using the “Seconds” app on my iPad Pro for a few months now and I don’t workout without it. It is one of the best interval timer apps on the market, and trust me, I’ve tried ’em all.
Seconds is a free app initially but you can opt to pay for in-app-purchases which unlock other features. Let’s take a look at some of those great features.
It comes with several templates for common interval programmes and allows you to build your own timers in ‘seconds’…well…minutes to be exact but I don’t want to be pedantic. Some of the templates are for HIIT training, whereas others are for tabata, circuit training and custom timers.
One of the cool things about this app is that it can speak your exercise names, which is really useful if you can’t see the timer from where you are stood or sat. For example;
In the example above, the timer counts me down 3,2,1 with its Siri / Cortana style voice and then tells me to do kettlebell Russian swings. When ten seconds is left on the clock it tells me that “up next” is kettlebell deadlifts for 30 seconds. If you don’t like to hear the voice then you can switch to bleeps instead, but I prefer the voice so that I know what’s coming up when I can’t see the iPad, such as if I’m lying down on my weights bench. Maybe you’re doing yoga and prefer gongs or bells, or plain ol’ vibration on your phone.
There are options to play music from your library whilst working out, but what’s really cool is that you can assign different music to different segments. For example, during warm up I may prefer a more “chilled” style of music, whereas during cardio I would want to opt for drum and bass music. And this can all be combined with the voice over alerts as mentioned above. Maybe you want to switch off music during your rest periods. It’s all possible with Seconds and you can even set it to shuffle songs so that you don’t hear the same songs in the same order each time you workout.
It’s also possible to back up your timers and share them around the web. Here is my upper body timer for you to download and take a look at, but please download the Seconds app her first. Here’s a screenshot of what it entails.
In the screenshot above you can see how I created my own timer called upper body abs, arms, chest and back.
To create your own timer, give it a name, add exercises and move them around into different orders as you see fit. You can choose how long each exercise will last, insert short rests, choose the number of sets you want it to loop for and even how long to rest in between those sets. Warm up and cool down times can be set and can be excluded from the main time duration of the workout. It’s even possible to make the timer run your exercises in random orders each time, however I prefer to have them rub in the same strict order every day. You can even make each exercise a different colour on-screen, or maybe you’d prefer to colour each ‘block” of exercises instead.
When using Seconds, you can use it in the background or foreground along with other apps and in either portrait or landscape mode. I use it on my iPad Pro but the app works great on iPhone too as it does on Android devices I am told.
The main screen is fairly customisable. I am able to see what exercise I should be working on now, and what’s next along with duration of the whole workout and how long has elapsed. You can’t grumble at all for a free app, which even with £5 spent on in app purchases is still a valuable piece of kit for anybody who takes exercise seriously.