Skilled personal trainers and fitness professionals know how to ask the right questions, identify their client’s goals and develop a plan that meets their individual needs. Personalized plans are the cornerstone of most modern training businesses, but that kind of custom approach leaves one big question unanswered.
What workouts do fitness trainers actually do when they have time to work out?
As it turns out, they practice much of what they preach, do some interesting sports on the side and many of them maximize their time with HIIT (high-intensity interval training). After surveying more than 40 trainers, gym owners and other fitness professionals, we compiled a list of the workouts that fitness trainers actually do themselves.
From specialized strength training routines to old fashioned workouts like swimming, these are the 11 workouts that trainers actually do.
“I’m a former competitive weightlifter turned rower, I still lift weights to stay in shape but my primary exercise these days is indoor rowing, which is also a growing sport that I now compete in. With more than 25 years of experience in the fitness business, I’m convinced that indoor rowing can be the most efficient, effective and challenging workout for the whole body,” said Mike Creamer, an NSCA and ACSM personal trainer and owner of the personal training gym Anatomically Correct. He said rowing is beneficial for building endurance and strength and it’s also ideal because regardless of age, anyone can do it. His workouts mainly consist of intervals. “I do this type of rowing workout three days a week. Typically the intervals range between two mins and 10 mins with rest periods of about half that time. The total workout time is usually between 20 and 40 mins and sometimes I do longer duration continuous rows.”
“My favorite routine is the Push/Pull/Legs routine, commonly called PPL. The reason I love this routine is due to the flexibility it allows,” said Nick Brennan, founder and CEO of Unbeaten Fitness. “On Push days, the chest, shoulders and triceps are emphasized. On Pull days, the back and biceps are emphasized. And, on Legs days, the quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves are emphasized. The flexibility comes into play because the routine gives you the ability to [shift] around your schedule, rotating through the days. For example, many lifters, myself included, will do two rotations of PPL in a week, with one rest day before repeating the cycle. Others who don't have the time or need to lift as often, will turn this into a Monday, Wednesday, Friday routine. The possibilities really are endless based on a lifter's availability to get into the gym and ability to recover from lifting sessions.”