Continuing the series on home workout equipment, at #6 we deviate from standard fitness equipment to auxiliary equipment. This stuff might seem trivial but it's useful enough to rate this high. Specifically, a timer and a whiteboard. No, really! Stick with me here.
One of the things that distinguishes "training" from "exercising" is having a plan that you follow and track. Randomly banging out 20 pushups or holding a plank until you get tired may not be completely useless (although they may) but they won't help you reach your goal (which is another distinguishing characteristic of training).
There are multiple options here. I have a fancy-pants trainer's stopwatch that I use sometimes. Other times I use the timer on my phone. Sometimes I use the second hand on the wall clock. Use an hourglass, if you want. But you need some way of keeping time.
Timing has many uses. For example:
- AMRAP As Many Reps As Possible of an exercise or circuit during a fixed amount of time.
- Duration Holding a pose or position (e.g. plank) for a fixed amount of time.
- HIIT High Intensity Interval Training with short periods of activity spaced by short periods of rest. Those "periods" need to be timed.
- Rest between sets Particularly during strength training, the amount of time you rest between sets has a significant effect on the nature of the training.
- OTMs On The Minutes as we call them at StrongFast. Lately, they've been getting referenced everywhere else as "EMOM" for "Every Minute On the Minute" which is excessive. (What else would it be? Every 7th minute? Come on!) This is where you do one or more exercises at the start of each minute, resting when done until the next minute starts, and going for a fixed number of minutes. Yeah, you need a timer for this.
There are other uses but you get the idea.
This is my cheapo whiteboard that isn't mounted to anything but works fine for my needs. If you're old-school you could also use a chalkboard. Or even pencil and paper.
This is quicker than entering on a phone or other device, especially when you're fatigued and moving from one activity to another as with HIIT. (Notice that when doing high-intensity intervals, it's not so easy to write legibly!)
Eventually, you'll want to log this data in a more permanent way. At StrongFast, we use blitzometer. But you can use an online fitness tracking app, a spreadsheet, or simply use a notebook. You need to track your progress to be sure you're moving toward your goals.
But you can wait to log the data until after your workout when necessary. Just copy it from the whiteboard (or take a pic of it and copy from your phone) then erase it for next time!
So there you have it: two pieces of fitness "equipment" that you don't actually use as part of your workout, but come in very handy during your workout. And they're important enough to rank in the top 10 on our list.
Be seeing you.