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Damien Del Russo 03-31-2007 08:04 AM

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It all started when I needed a stopwatch. I thought, hey, I have an iPod (actually about 5), and my iPod has a stopwatch, so I am good. And indeed for timing workouts or doing laps it is fine. But what about interval training?

My prior interval training had all kinds of different timing, so it was difficult to track. Then I found CrossFit and Tabata intervals - nice consistent 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off. Beautiful. But my iPod still doesn't do intervals! And why would I buy an interval stopwatch when I already have a stopwatch and the only thing missing is intervals?

So I figured out a system for making my iPod into a Tabata timer. Now I am not the first to do this, but I checked the other efforts and found them wanting.

My system consists of tracks that have a 5 second entry, 8 Tabata (20 seconds on, 10 seconds off), ending with a 5 second exit. This means that you can randomize the Tabata tracks and will always have 10 seconds of rest between the exercises - perfect. I also have a 1 minute rest track. The rest track can be used when building playlists for events like Tabata Fight Gone Bad - it won't work when randomized, of course (I could tack a minute at the end of each Tabata track for that, though...hmmm good idea).

Anyway, before I unleash a library of Tabata tracks on the CrossFit universe, I would like to get feedback on the first couple tracks. There are completely original tracks I made in GarageBand so there are no rights issues.

Please post your comments here. Thanks,


Damien Del Russo 03-31-2007 08:12 AM

Note, to use these you may need to right click and use "Save as" and then rename the attachment to an M4A file. That should allow you to open it in iTunes or another music player.

Please leave comments regarding the format - I can export to MP3 or whatever if that works better. This is why I am working out the details. Thanks,


Darrell E. White 03-31-2007 11:55 AM


I'm away from my personal computer, Itunes, and my Ipod. Is the m4a format the ITunes format? I'll check this out at home, but if so this is a godsend...all of the other (much appreciated) efforts at Tabata music have been .mp3.

Damien Del Russo 03-31-2007 12:59 PM

The .m4a should import into iTunes just fine. .mp3 should too, though. I could export to AAC but that would upset the non-iPod folks.

Try it y'all - I will be using different music types in the future, stuff for everyone. It only takes about 5 minutes for each song to clip it up, so I plan to make a bunch.


Stefan Borovina 04-01-2007 11:53 AM

what program can you use to modify mp3's into similar tabata tracks?

Damien Del Russo 04-02-2007 11:10 AM

I am using GarageBand, the Podcast format. The Podcast is good because if you record your "3-2-1 Start" and "2-1-Rest" as the Male or Female voice, then the music will automatically fade in and out. It is a little clumsy in my implementation above, but that's just working out the details. If you drop a 5:00 minute or 4:00 track it will auto-fade in and out for a pretty smooth experience.

GarageBand is a Mac program - I don't have much idea what you would use on Windows. I think you could use QuickTime Pro ($30 license I think), but I am sure there are alternatives as well.

If you want a track of just counting, with no music, let me know.

No other comments? Come on folks, tell me what you are looking for. Give me some good ideas, and I'll implement and post for everyone.



Michael Latch 04-02-2007 09:18 PM

Try as I might, I can't get these things to open on my Mac.

Any advice on what to try?

Damien Del Russo 04-03-2007 10:39 AM

Huh, that is annoying. I am trying to make this easy, so maybe I should use a ZIP or something.

When I download the file from the page here, I rename it to a .m4a (AAC) and when OSX prompts me, I say to change the file format to .m4a. Once it is a .m4a I double click it and it starts playing in iTunes.

Sorry it is not easier - I will see what I can do. The point is for it to be easy. Thanks,


Nathan Stanley 04-03-2007 05:01 PM

I have Audacity [url=][/url] that I use for my podcast and its really good for editing MP3's. There is an Audacity tutorial at [url=][/url] for how to do this. Its really simple and you can just take your favorite songs (or just your favorite parts) and go 20 sec. of song, 10 of silence, etc.

Niel Stender 10-24-2007 08:40 AM

Re: Tabata Interval Songs

You're the man! I've been trying to get a tabata music file for my iPod. I'm a little "slow" on some computer stuff so according to me, mp3's don't work on my iPod.

Do you have any more iPod compatible tabata trax?

Thanks ALOT


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