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Gymboss 2009 Version

Discussion in 'Gym Equipment' started by GreaseVeteran, Aug 10, 2009.

  1. GreaseVeteran

    GreaseVeteran Well-Known Member

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    #1 GreaseVeteran, Aug 10, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2009
  2. kmfisher

    kmfisher Well-Known Member

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    I would like to hear all about how it works, how customizable it is, and how you like it once you get it. I hate having to track the clock so closely.
     
  3. GreaseVeteran

    GreaseVeteran Well-Known Member

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    Shipping and Packaging
    They shipped my Gymboss over very promptly in the mail. It came packaged in a sealed-retail-rack-hard-flexible-plastic-package, which was slipped into a standard padded envelope.

    The Gymboss came with a small sheet of printed instructions and an extra sheet which refers to their youtube videos as extra reference.

    Here's a link to the Gymboss' youtube page
    http://www.youtube.com/user/ammacgyver


    Construction
    The Gymboss is actually a lot smaller than what it looks like on the website pictures. It has the size and weight of about one of those late 1990's Motorola Ultra Express pagers.

    The quality of materials is everything you'd expect out of a $20 unit. When you try to shake the unit, you hear something inside click. This click is probably coming from the vibrator component inside.

    One AAA battery powers the unit.

    On the back of the unit, there is a pager-style clip. There is little (or no) advertising on the Gymboss website about this clip, but IMO this is one of the most important features of the unit. For people who like to do sprints including myself, we need to have some way to attach the unit to our bodies while our limbs are flailing about. Fortunately, there's enough clearance underneath the clip to feed through a typical mp3 player armband for hands free usage.

    I went through my old junk equipment box, and found that the Gymboss clips perfectly onto an old Creative Zen Nano Mp3 Player armband (now a discontinued product). I would imagine that a sweatband would work too.


    To be continued, pending real in-field experience...
     
    #3 GreaseVeteran, Aug 17, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2009
  4. witeowl

    witeowl Active Member

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    Huh, yeah. I always figured that, if I ever wanted something to sit around telling me times, I'd use my iPhone with an interval app, so I never considered the GymBoss. But now that I know I can clip it to my body... Well, that makes me consider this as a potential purchase.

    Looking forward to your further thoughts.
     
  5. GreaseVeteran

    GreaseVeteran Well-Known Member

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    Learning to Operate

    I'm the kind of guy that likes to read manuals before using a brand new piece of whatever doohickey. Having said that, it took me 30 minutes to fully explore and test/simulate every feature of the Gymboss. I didn't watch the youtube operation tutorial videos. For those of you who don't like reading manuals, I would imagine that it would take you only 15 minutes to get quickly acquainted with the unit for the features you're interested in.

    The features of the unit are very straightforward. Once you practice using it a few times, you'll have all the button pressing combinations memorized. It's actually important to memorize the button pressing combinations, because the markings on the Gymboss are not very helpful. There are three buttons: Next, Change, Start

    When you're in setup mode, the labels "next" and "change" make sense. However, the word "start" doesn't really belong in setup mode. Rather, you just have to remember what the button does in that mode.

    It's the same kind of deal when you're outside of setup. The buttons do different things.


    Lifting with the Gymboss

    The Gymboss worked exactly like I hoped it would for lifting. The other day, I wanted to take exactly 1 minute breaks between sets. The "manual" operation mode was perfect for this:

    1) Setup the Gymboss for one interval at 1 minute. Manual mode.
    2) Perform a set of XYZ exercise.
    3) Hit the start button to begin my rest.
    4) Gymboss alerts me when my 1 minute break is over. The Gymboss stays on, and waits for my next manually triggered interval.
    5) Perform next set.
    6) Hit the start button to begin my rest.
    etc
    etc
    etc

    :tu:


    To be continued: HIIT cardio experience....
     
  6. GreaseVeteran

    GreaseVeteran Well-Known Member

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    HIIT Cardio

    The Gymboss works perfectly for timing your custom HIIT workout. I went out and tested by using two custom intervals. I did 10 sets of:

    30 sec sprint/30 sec brisk jog

    on the treadmill. Setup was a no-brainer.

    However, I got to add a real-world spin to this review. I like to run with music fully blasting in my ears with earbuds, and I'm sure many people interested in the Gymboss do too. I set up the gymboss for 1-second duration alarms in "BH" and "V" which means: high volume beep and vibration.

    I clipped the gymboss to my upper arm with my old mp3 player strap. During the HIIT workout WITH THE MUSIC FULLY BLASTING in my ears via sound-canceling earbuds, I was barely able to hear the beep from my upper arm. The vibration felt faint while my arms were flailing full speed during the sprints. I missed one out of my ten intervals, since I didn't hear/feel the alarm.

    The missed interval was a dissapointing, but I have to be fair here. Again, the music was loud and I setup for the 1 second alarm. You have the choice of 1, 5, or 10 second alarms. I thought 5 and 10 seconds was way too long of a duration for my 30 sec/30 sec HIIT workout. If I went for a 5 second alarm, I'm sure I would have noticed the alarms better. 5 seconds is a bit distracting however to other people working out if it's sounding off every 30 seconds.

    Next time, I'll try setting up for 5 seconds alarm in vibration only. I'm sure I'll notice the extended tingling sensation.


    Summary

    At a price of just 20 bucks, I recommend the Gymboss. It does everything it promises to do. The flaws that I mentioned earlier are no biggies.

    Lack of helpful button names ===> Just use your Gymboss a few times, and you won't even need to look at the buttons. You'll have it memorized by then.

    Can't hear the alarm with LOUD music playing in your headphones ==> lower the volume

    Can't feel the alarm clearly ==> Try setting up for a longer duration alarm
     

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