Gymondo Magazin

Training by Time or Repetitions: What’s Best for You?

When it comes to deciding what workout style is right for you, it really comes down to your preferences and fitness goals. In this article, we’ll break down the benefits of time-based training so you can decide if it’s right for you.

If you’re not sure how to decide what your goals are and where to start, Gymondo offers a huge variety of fitness programs for beginners, intermediates and pros. We have 100s of ways to get you fit and happy in just 20 minutes. Let’s dig in! 

Benefits of Time-Based Workouts

Time-Based Workouts:  You work for a specific amount of time (usually 30-60 seconds) with short breaks (10-20 seconds) between each exercise.  

Rep-Based Workouts: A predetermined number of sets and reps for specific exercises. An example would be 3 sets of 10 reps for squats. 

If you’ve been performing rep-based workouts, you’re probably using a pre-set number of sets and reps for each workout. And by no means is that a bad thing. But here are a few questions to ask yourself: How many times have you chosen 3 sets of 10 repetitions for your exercise routine? And how many times have you used the same exact weight for each exercise? 

I’m willing to bet you completed your workout thinking, “I could have done more.” You might have also wondered why you hit a plateau—a sudden and noticeable decrease in results.

There’s much debate when it comes to time-based versus rep-based workouts. Ask any bodybuilder and they’ll swear by rep-based workouts. But ask a number of celebrities how they got in tip-top shape and they’ll attribute their success to time-based exercises. The bottom line: it comes down to your preferences and goals. And let’s face it, any exercise is better than none. 

If you’re working out with Gymondo, you’ve likely noticed that most of our exercises call for a set amount of time. Here’s why. 

When performing time-based sets, you’re working hard for a specific amount of time followed by short rest breaks throughout the routine. Unlike rep-based workouts, you’ll likely push yourself harder, squeezing in that one extra rep right before time expires. This type of training elevates your heart rate for a targeted time, which results in increased fat burn. 

Another advantage of time-based workouts is that you can do them from just about anywhere, at any time of the day. If you only have 15 minutes to get in a quick workout, time-based training allows you to get it done. 

And when it comes to goals—losing weight, getting lean, building strength or improving your overall fitness, time-based workouts are extremely effective.

What Training Goals Should You Set With Time-Based Workouts? 

With time-based workouts, you can set work to rest ratio training goals. For example, let’s say you completed 10 push-ups in 30 seconds followed by a 15-second rest before moving on to the next exercise. As you progress throughout your fitness program, your goal could be to complete more push-ups each time (if you’re into counting reps) or decrease your rest interval—use the 15 seconds as an active rest by performing sit-ups, squats or even some additional push-ups.

One thing to be aware of when determining when to add more reps or reduce rest is proper technique. If you’re unable to complete the exercise with proper technique, then you shouldn’t decrease the rest intervals in between exercises. Quality is always better than quantity, which leads me to my next point…

Quality Over Quantity 

When a workout prescribes to do as many reps as possible in a set amount of time, it’s important to concentrate on your form to ensure each rep is performed correctly. This way, you ensure you get the most from your workout. 

Don’t get discouraged if you can only complete a few reps in the allotted time—everyone starts somewhere. A month from now, you’ll be so proud of the progress you’ve made. 

It’s even more important to remember this strategy when working out with a partner. Often, one person may feel that h/she is holding back the other if they’re struggling to complete the exercise while their workout partner is breezing through the move. Forget the reps and just go at your own level. 

Final Thoughts

Listen, there’s no right or wrong way to train. If you love running every single day of the week, that’s great. If you can’t get enough of weight training, go for it. You can, and should, do whatever moves you (quite literally)! 

But it’s great to keep switching things up, taxing your body in new ways and mixing in different styles of training. All exercise has tremendous benefits and is great for your overall fitness. The most important thing is to keep challenging yourself in new ways. 


With Gymondo, you can try a mix of time-based workouts to see if it’s right for you. All workouts are guided by expert trainers to give you the ultimate training session. 

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Kristy Crowley

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