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The Timer Technique: The Gym Hack That Eases Anxiety

Why Counting Reps Might Be Counting Out Your Members

We’ve all been there. Walking into a gym class, nervously looking at the clock, wondering if we’re going to hold up the whole group because we can’t keep up with the rep count. Well, there’s a simple yet transformative solution to this problem that’s often overlooked: The Timer Technique.

What is the Timer Technique?

The Timer Technique is a fitness class strategy that uses a timer to signal when it’s time to switch exercises or move to a different station. Instead of counting reps, participants focus on performing the exercise for a set amount of time.

Why Use Timers in Classes?

Alleviates Anxiety

Having a timer takes the edge off the anxiety some people feel when they’re unsure if they can complete the number of reps in a given exercise. The timer allows for an inclusive space where everyone moves at their own pace, yet stays in sync with the class.

Promotes a More Inclusive Environment

The timer technique makes the gym environment more welcoming by removing the perceived ‘performance pressure.’ No one feels like they’re lagging behind or holding the class up; everyone moves to the next exercise when the timer says so.

Encourages Individual Progress

When people are given the freedom to focus on their movements and listen to their bodies, they are more likely to engage in the exercise and experience a fulfilling workout. This also enables individuals to track their progress over time based on their endurance and strength, rather than the number of reps.

Implementing the Timer Technique

Here’s how to implement the Timer Technique in your gym:

  1. Choose the Right Timer: Select a timer that’s loud enough for everyone to hear but not jarring. There are many apps available that are designed for gym environments. We use (and love) the Gym Next Flex timer.
  2. Brief Your Members: Before starting the class, explain how the Timer Technique works so everyone knows what to expect.
  3. Be Mindful of Pacing: Make sure to choose intervals that are appropriate for the fitness levels of your participants. You can even have varied intervals for different sections of the workout.
  4. Monitor and Adjust: As with any technique, be ready to adjust. If you find that the timer is causing stress rather than alleviating it, it might be time to reassess your intervals.

Final Thoughts

By using a timer instead of counting reps, you’re making a simple but meaningful change that could significantly impact your members’ comfort and performance. Give the Timer Technique a try and let the transformation begin—not just in their bodies, but in their experience of fitness as well.


So, if you believe in creating an inclusive and welcoming space where everyone can enjoy the benefits of movement, it’s time to let go of rep counting. The Timer Technique could be the game-changing hack your gym has been waiting for.

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Coach Stacy

Empowering women’s-only gym owners/trainers to build trust, positivity, and profit through mission-driven, ethical strategies.

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