5 Keys to Building Efficient Workouts for Personal Training Clients

5 Keys to Building Efficient Workouts for Personal Training Clients

Your personal training clients trust you.

Not just to keep them safe, but to give them the best results possible.

And that puts you up against a hard fact:

Clients’ goals often don’t take into account the amount of time they’re actually willing to spend in the gym.


They want a physique that would require hours in the gym 5 - 6 days per week. But in reality, they only have 1 hour to train 3 days per week.

So, what do you do?

First, reframe expectations.

Let clients know exactly how much time they’ll have to spend in the gym to get the results they want.

Once they realize their current goals are incompatible with their current time commitments, help them set more realistic goals.

Second, make sure the workouts you’re creating for your clients are as efficient as possible.

That means creating a program that gives them the best results possible for the amount of time they spend in the gym.

Because the truth is:

Exercising doesn’t have to be too time-consuming. Your clients can get the results they want while still living a well-balanced life.They just need to know it might take more time than they initially thought.

And you need to help them by using the most efficient programming possible.

So, how do you do that?

One simple way is to use the following 5 principles to build efficient workouts for them.

1. Shorten Rest Periods.

The gym is a place to exercise and meet goals, not just socialize.

You can (and should!) make sure your clients have fun, but also make sure you keep the focus on the task-at-hand:

Completing the workout.

When done correctly, there are a few major benefits to shortening rest periods:

First, it will keep your client’s heart rate up and increase the number of calories he/she burns.

Second, your client will likely be sweating and out of breath by the end of the workout.

And — as long as it’s a healthy client, and you haven’t pushed them too hard — that’s a good thing!

Now, they get to feel accomplished. They get to feel like they’ve conquered something…

And they have.

2. Focus on Compound Exercises

Compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, pull-ups, shoulder presses, and bench presses should form the foundation of your client workouts.

These multi-joint movements are more efficient than their single-joint counterparts because they recruit more muscles to perform each rep.

Multi-joint movements lead to more muscle being built and more calories being burned.

And they allow your client to do more work with a single movement, rather than using multiple movements for a similar effect.

3. Prescribe Challenging Weights

“Heavy” weights mean different things for different clients.

As a rule of thumb, make sure clients complete at least one exercise during each session with a challenging amount of weight in the 4 - 6 rep range.

In general, this means a weight that challenges them but still allows them to safely lift the weight with correct form.

4. Incorporate Supersets

Supersetting exercises back-to-back will burn more calories and increase muscular endurance.

Beyond that, supersets allow clients to do as much work as possible in as short a time frame as possible.

A simple way to incorporate supersets is to pair one upper body exercise with one lower body exercise.

Alternatively, you can pair opposite movements, such as one chest exercise (i.e. push movement) with a back exercise (i.e. pull movement).

5. Stick to Full Body Routines

The majority of your clients will be better served by full body routines instead of body part splits.

This is especially true for beginners, as full body routines will target all muscle groups more frequently and increase their skill level and comfort with the movements.

Beyond that, full-body routines are more metabolically taxing, on average, compared to body part split routines.

Both types of routines are beneficial and have their purpose, but for those who are pressed for time, full-body routines are best for maximum efficiency.

Efficient Workouts Help Clients Reach Their Goals

It’s your goal to help clients reach their goals.

And programming the most efficient workouts possible helps you do that.

Use these five principles to help your clients hit their goals despite their busy schedules.

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Julian Hayes II founded The Art of Fitness & Lifeto help ambitious, creative, and remarkable men and women build a world-class body while living a world-class lifestyle. He is an author, fitness & lifestyle consultant, and speaker. His mission is to help men and women integrate their optimal lifestyle into a sustainable fitness habit, without having to use tricks or lose their identity through the process. Join him at The Art of Fitness & Life

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