Review: GymBoss Interval Timer and Water Aerobics

Since my walking posts are going to be on hold for a while, I thought I would share some information on our water aerobics routine. I first took a class in water aerobics when I was doing my doctoral class work back at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. A fellow grad student taught the class at the campus pool and a bunch of us took it with her. It was great for my bad knees since it was no impact. And it had the benefit of burning more calories than doing the same motions on land. When I went to work at University of Tennessee Martin, I discovered that the wife on one of my colleagues taught at the UTM pool so I joined that class.

When I moved to the Cincinnati area, I was happy to learn that our Cincinnati State Physical Education / Health & Fitness Training department was adding water aerobics classes. The only bad thing was that the classes were always in the late afternoon which made for a long day and the chlorine levels at the pools were often too high (not good for someone with eczema).

In 2007, both Tom and I joined our local YMCA and started working out in the pool there. We were on a liquid diet at the time through a local hospital and they had office space in the lower level of the Y. We got into such a habit of going to the Y to work out that when we were house hunting in 2008, proximity to the Y was a major factor in our choice.

Unfortunately, the water aerobics schedule at the Y weren’t convenient for us. Neither of us wanted to swim laps (I can’t swim in a straight line) so we started making up our own water aerobics routine based on what we had learned from past classes.

At first, we counted repetitions for each exercise. But, when we were getting up to multiple hundreds of reps, it was too ease to get distracted and lose count. Plus, we couldn’t talk to each other or to anyone else at the pool which is a challenge since our Y pool family likes to talk. We obviously needed a solution.


It took some searching but we found one. The Gymboss is a small repeating interval timer. You choose how long you want the interval time to be and the GymBoss beats for each interval. You can also have different interval times. The GymBoss also keeps track of how many intervals you’ve done and counts down to the end of each interval. You can set the number of repeats too and change the alarm type plus the beep duration.

For us, the interval is set at five minutes and 99 repeats (though our average is 10 to 12). Because we’re using it pool side, we’ve always kept it in a snack size zip drop bag. Recently, we added some rice to both help it stay upright and to help keep moisture out of the timer.

We liked the GymBoss so much that we bought a second one to keep in our suitcase. The original one we bought back in 2008 is starting to show its wear so we recently replaced it with one of their new models that come in colors now.

All in all, using the GymBoss made our water aerobics routine much more enjoyable. I’m going to share the routine we created in a future blog post.

— Carla

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