Interval training, also known as high-intensity interval training or HIIT, makes sure that every second of your workout counts. It is for gym-goers who have limited time at their disposal and want to sweat it out. Or for those runners on the treadmill who think the regular hour session isn’t burning enough fat.
A calculated period of intense workouts punctuated by short breaks quickly ramps up the heart rate. As a result, you achieve better results if you are fighting fats or aiming for better overall fitness.
Interval training is now available on a range of devices, but the most convenient to use is a smartwatch. And when it comes to fitness, a few can beat the prowess of Garmin watches. The company has equipped its latest Garmin Venu 2/2S with a dedicated HIIT mode. It features activity profiles for HIIT workouts, has on-screen animations and custom timers. If you don’t want to read further, take our verdict: Venu 2/2S is the best Garmin watch for high-intensity interval training.
Curious? You must read the full guide. We have selected three Garmin smartwatches that may prove to be the best for your interval training.
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Garmin Watches for Interval Training: Top Picks
Garmin Venu 2/2s: The First With Prefabricated HIIT Workouts
Out of the 3 selected watches, this is the most budget-friendly out there. This is also regarded as one of the most complete smartwatches out in the market. You name the feature, Venu 2 or Venu 2s has it all.
Let’s start with the build quality as it is an important factor when it comes to training of any sort. The watch is made of fiber-reinforced polymers with a stainless steel bezel so it will take hits and bumps with no problem.
The display which is a high res AMOLED is a plus too. The straps are comfy and aerate enough to not let the sweat accumulate during interval training. Weight is quite reasonable too at 49 grams but if it still feels clunky, you can go for the Venu 2S which has the same features but is a smaller version weighing only 38.2 grams.
Talking about its sports features, this watch has it all. Heartbeat, oximeter, GPS, Barometric Altimeter, etc. Hence all the sensors to aid you in your interval training.
The plus point of using Venu 2 in interval training would be that it would provide a good measure of your heart rate which might be handy for some users. It features the latest ELEVATE V4 sensor and so is more accurate than the rest.
There are also pre-built profiles in the Garmin Connect app to download for your HIIT including EMOM, AMRAP, and Tabata workouts. Also, you get a meter to show you your respiration rate which will help you monitor your breathing patterns. The watch has 5ATM water protection in case your interval exercise contains swimming.
Good price bracket, amazing build quality, and a lot of features, Venu 2 can be your go-to watch for interval training.
Garmin Fenix 6 is the latest in the Fenix lineup and is packed with a ton of features. It is the ultimate smartwatch for outdoor enthusiasts.
The design gives out a vibe that can attract a fitness geek straightaway: rugged, tough, and sturdy. Being a bit more expensive than the Venu 2, Fenix 6 has a premium build. There are even options where you can replace the Gorilla Glass 3 protection with sapphire glass at an expense of some more dollars. Several sizes are available to attract a large audience: Fenix 6S,6X & 6.
The display may come as a blow as it is neither an AMOLED nor a touch panel but hey, nothing that hinders your interval training. The buttons may prove to be better with sweaty hands. Weight is also bearable. Fenix 6 weighs 60 grams and 6S is a bit lighter at 44 grams. The waterproofing is better than the Venu 2’s at 10 ATM removing the reservations one might have with the 5ATM.
This watch has featured mostly identical to the Venu 2. You can track all sorts of workouts like running, cycling, walking, hiking, swimming, triathlons, open water swimming, and many more. You gain a huge advantage with this because it lets you add any of these workouts as an interval. So you can fully customize your interval training without a hustle.
The plus point you are going to have over the Venu 2 is the battery. Fenix 6 has a ton of battery to work with so it won’t die on you in the middle of your workout.
A perfect contender for your interval training if you want to go for a more premium option.
One of the most well-known lineups by Garmin, Forerunner 945 is the latest to come out. This is basically a sweet combination between a Venu 2 (build-wise) and Fenix 6 (features and battery-wise).
So the overall build is closer to a Venu 2. The display though is the same MiP display used in the Fenix 6. Decent in sunlight with great viewing angles but not a touch panel.
The straps are very comfy and sweat-resistant. It also has a very bearable weight of 50 grams. Waterproof up to 50 meters, FR945 can be very useful if your workout intervals are water-related.
Lying at a price closer to a Fenix 6, the watch provides a lot including premium sports and health tracking features. Your preferred interval training may include different unrelated sports which can be monitored by the FR945 without a problem.
HIIT including all the variants like EMOM and AMRAP along with Pilates and Yoga monitoring. Health features like heart rate monitoring, Blood oxygen level, respiration rates, etc help you monitor your body capacity while you concentrate on your interval training.
Garmin Vivosport is a premium sports band that is suitable for fitness buffs who don’t want to tow a hefty watch with them (almost all Garmin Watches are bulky and on a heavier side).
It is 5 ATM rated, has a touch screen display with a considerable bezel. The screen is a little fiddly but is bright enough to use in all conditions. It is equipped with a decent pack of sports, health, and smartwatch features.
The band comes with the ELevate Sensor found on many high-end products of the company. The sensor tracks heart rate and VO2 max, a feature that HIIT lovers can’t resist appreciating. The heart rate tracking is accurate, and there are several profiles for cardio activities and strength training.
The built-in GPS is something that should be applauded as it gives you the ability to track running and cycling sessions without having to piggyback off your phone.
Though we expect more from a fitness tracker, this one is only going to last you a week at max.
In easier terms, interval training is just the activity you do in intervals. What you usually do is do an extensive workout (running for example) for a shorter period of time (30-45 seconds) with a less exhausting activity (like walking) for a comparatively longer period (1-3 minutes). The activities can be anything: strength workouts alternating with heavier and lighter weights, cycling involving various speeds, or swimming with different strokes.
Interval training gives a boost to your aerobic capabilities along with increasing your strength and both breath and time management are improved. A smaller period of interval training has proved to be more effective for burning your calories in a shorter period of time than a regular workout.
What Are Some Popular HIIT Formats?
Popular formats include TABATA, EMOMs, & AMRAPS, and more.
Here is what they mean:
A brainchild of a Japanese Doctor (Dr. Izumi Tabata), this format alternates 20 minutes of rigorous workout with 10 seconds of rest/no activity for a set number of rounds.
This acronym stands for “every minute on the minute.” EMOM training means that you will work on a set amount of reps at the top of each minute and then rest for the remainder of the minute.
AMRAP stands for “as many reps/rounds as possible” in a certain time frame. AMRAP format usually dictates a long session but you can customize it as per your needs.
What are the Benefits of Interval Training or HIIT?
As mentioned earlier, gym-goers with tight schedules can make the most out of their time if they go for HIIT. The interval training might not depend on that high-profile equipment, you can add running, biking, and bodyweight movement into the mix. Lastly, HIIT sessions being highly focused can get you quick results (tons of studies back this claim.)
Why Use A Smartwatch For Interval Training?
Now to keep a track of your intervals you might need a stopwatch or your smartphone. But that can cause severe inconvenience as you have to get your phone out of your pocket to check the time of your workout and intervals. So the most convenient way would be to keep track right on your wrist, just where the smartwatches come in handy.
Which Garmin Watch Has Interval Training?
The majority of Garmin Watches in the Venu, Forerunner, and Fenix Series can do interval training. Some like Venu 2 have dedicated workouts, but for others, you would have to manually type the interval value. There is an app on the Garmin ConnectIQ store dubbed as 7-minute Workout, that would take you through a series of exercises to get the heart pumping. Gym-goers would have nearly everything covered in this app.
Similar apps include:
Work-It-Out Fitness Interval Training
How To Use Garmin Watch For Interval Training?
The following steps are copied from the Garmin website and simplified for your convenience. You can use the prebuilt HIIT workouts as in Venu 2 or can manually create intervals. Once you are all set to go, the Garmin Watch would alert you with vibration when you approach the end of each session.
Setting intervals using Garmin Watch:
Using the Watch’s menu, click on interval then edit it.
Choice what type of interval limit you want ( Distance or Time)
Now go back into the menu and then select the rest option
In the rest option you have to choose the less tiring workout. Set the interval for that.
Go back and set the number of times you want to repeat this interval and ET VOILA. Intervals are good to go.
Setting intervals using Garmin App:
Launch the Garmin ConnectIQ App and click more.
Navigate to activities>training>Workouts> “create a workout”
Tap on run, choose an interval type, and set an interval.