New on ROK: “Timer Use in Workouts”

My new Return of Kings article is about the use of timers in exercise, and how such a seemingly obvious and trivial thing can create big payoffs in your exercise progression.

…The first is that using a timer gives you a concrete goal to work for, and studies have shown that when there is a quantitative, measurable goal that is targeted (not just in fitness, but in anything that can be quantified, be it business or studies or fitness), it is easier to reach that target.

The second is, admittedly, pretty related to the first one: Namely that, as I have discussed before, willpower is a virtual “muscle” that can be trained just as the actual skeletal muscles can be trained. Therefore, doing timed exercises and increasing the time for each exercise can train the willpower in addition to training whatever muscles are being trained during said exercise.

“Well, that sounds pretty good, Larsen!” you might say to yourself, “how do I use the timer in regards to exercise?”

You can use it either as a stop watch to adjudicate your speed (ie: running the time down to 0), or you can use it to measure a maximal amount of time, to see how long you can do a certain exercise

Having used timers for both goals, I can say that it doesn’t exactly take a genius to figure out what exercises you use a stop watch for–running, both in terms of sprinting and distance running. However, there’s really not much instruction you can give for running—at least, not as much as there is for resistance training, so I doubt you need me to tell you to put one foot in front of the other.

Instead, I will give you three resistance exercises that are typically done as static holds, that can be timed for purposes of training both muscular endurance and mental endurance (and another term for the latter is, of course, willpower).

You can read the rest of the article here