Announcing Recovery Timer for Apple Watch

Over the past year I’ve been working out with a personal trainer, trying to finally lose some of the belly fat I’ve had from bad habits while I was a kid. We lift a lot of weights, and throw in some high-intensity interval training (HIIT) depending on the routine and schedule.

One thing I noticed during our workouts is that the time between sets and time between supersets would be “somewhere between 2-5 minutes”. And the most consistent thing I would hear, “when you’re ready”.

lifting some weights

But at the same time, if you look online at research, there’s discussion around how the amount of time between sets leads to different types of training - hypertrophy vs. strength training. The longer you wait, the more it (seems to be) focused on strength training… which doesn’t necessarily help with that gut removal process.

So I looked around some more and saw that a more fair gauge for “being ready” is not time-based but heart-rate based. When your heart rate drops back down to an elevated, but not high, level, you’re ready to go again.

This applies in many different activities, but especially for exercises I end up doing:

  • weight lifting
  • running
  • high-intensity interval training (HIIT)

Recovery Timer - workout better using your heart rate

Recovery Timer homescreen logo

download on the Apple App Store

I have an Apple Watch - the Workouts app there is fine. It does a good job of tracking activity and recording data like time, heart rate, and distance traveled, but it doesn’t guide you when you are performing sets.

So I made Recovery Timer, an app that helps you do workouts - weight lifting, running, HIIT, fartleks - that use sets. You perform your workout as usual, and the app uses your heart rate to figure out how long your rest period will be.

Recovery Timer working set

You can specify your:

  • workout type
  • typical resting time (what you would usually do, like “3 minutes”)
  • recovered heart rate (what your heart rate should drop down to for the next set to begin)
  • when to transition (this can be heart-rate alone, time alone, or both)

Recovery Timer settings

I hope this promotes a shift in mindset: It’s not rest, it’s recovery.

You can learn more on the Apple App Store and download Recovery Timer for Apple Watch there.

download on the Apple App Store

2020

Announcing Recovery Timer for Apple Watch

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