I was reviewing notes from a recent MIT Med. faculty fitness class (an example of a great new fitness idea!) when I realized how many benefits such a class might provide.

Some of the benefits of a portable gym timer could be the following:

One less thing for an instructor to worry about

Comfortable and relaxing (you can work out while thinking about work, reading, listening to music, talking on the phone, checking email, etc.)

Keeps you from getting hooked on a heavy or challenging workout too quickly

Smaller equipment, more movement of your body in the gym

Increased mobility (and, therefore, less pain)

If this all sounds too good to be true, take a look at these five gym excuses:

  • I don’t want to stop what I’m doing.
  • I’m too busy.
  • I don’t know how to work out
  • I don’t want to pay for a gym membership
  • I can’t afford it

Better yet, should you bring your phone so you can track your workouts?

Unfortunately, it’s now that you need to bring a Portable Gym Timer with you to the gym, or at least take a moment and consider the pros and cons.

For me, it’s a no-brainer, because I’ve been guilty of relying solely on my own progress. That may work for someone else, but not for me. I need more than just my own effort to build muscle, and tracking my workout success would be nice, especially when I’m able to monitor it myself.

As far as my own methods go, I don’t use a gym timer to help me with all of my workouts. When I train at home in my own room with no distractions, that’s what I rely on. When I go to the gym for a very specific workout I expect to take three or four hours, not necessarily the two hours I would have to take to complete the same workout in my house.

I have to change up my workouts. I know it, and sometimes my body has to adjust as well. But the point of tracking something like this is to prove it works, not to completely deviate from what I’m already doing and check it at the end.

So, how am I supposed to use a gym timer during my workouts?

My primary reason for bringing it along during a workout is to track my workout.

There are a few apps that can record how many calories you burn during a workout, or how many sit-ups, crunches or jumps you did. Those are very effective for me because I’ve been trying to decide on an appropriate goal for myself as far as fat loss is concerned.

But honestly, it’s very important that I monitor my body composition and workout progress at all times. And the simple task of taking a picture of what I look like, at least once, during each workout could help me make more informed decisions about what to do with my body in the future.