Coach's Corner: Using a Clock to Hold You Accountable

Have you ever noticed the large digital clock that we have in the MOTIVNY studio? It looks like a regular clock, but it also functions as a timer for EMOMs, and other interval formats. When used properly, a timer can help give structure to a workout, and keep you honest with rest periods. Read through for tips on how to incorporate a timer into your workouts (including an app that you should download).


Running Clock: 

This one is my personal favorite! I often use a running clock during my workouts to make sure that I stay focused, and finish within a certain amount of time. For example, at the beginning of my workouts, I set the clock to 50-minutes. I then set the timer to count down so that it feels more like a shot clock in basketball, or the end of a quarter in football (Warning: this style of running clock may make you anxious)!


10-Minute Blocks:

I often use this method with my in-person clients. At the beginning of a given training block, I first lay out the exercises including sets and reps (Example: 3 sets of 10 Split Squats per leg, and 3 sets of 5 KB Presses per side). I then give the client a goal to finish the given block within 10 minutes (or any given time constraint). This helps keep the client moving during the training session... especially the one's who like to talk a lot between sets :)


Programmed Rest: 

Some training protocols call for a specific amount of rest (anywhere between 30 seconds and 3 minutes of rest). Often times, people get bored of waiting around, and decide to just jump into the next set. In doing so, they do not always perform as strongly set over set. If you are training for max strength, then you need long rest breaks between sets.


EMOM: Every Minute on the Minute:

An EMOM is the easiest way to incorporate a timer into your workouts. As coaches, we often use EMOMs as a finisher towards the end of a workout. For example, complete X number of reps at the top of each minute... once completing X number of reps, you are to rest until the start of the next minute. EMOMs often run anywhere from 10-30 minutes long.


Bonus Tip:

I recommend that you download a timer for your workouts. I personally use an app on my phone called 'Flex Timer.' It offers different styles of intervals, and actually syncs with the clock that we have at MOTIVNY. Give it a try, and let us know if you have any training related questions!




Having played football from his youth through college, Michael has spent years in the gym as an athlete and coach. He was first introduced to weightlifting as an early teen, and has worked with many styles of training since. Michael holds experience in various roles in coaching, management, sales, and membership. He joined the MOTIVNY team in 2019, and is available for one-on-one training (both virtual and in-person), as well as Kinstretch and Kettlebell classes. When teaching or coaching, you can find Michael dancing around to one of his playlists or cracking jokes. He creates a fun, yet challenging environment and invites others to join along. Certifications include FRCms, FRA, Kinstretch, and SFG2.

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