It’s not news that HIIT training is an excellent way to burn calories. But which routine should you recommend for your clients? What if they’d like to incorporate some strength training? How do you ensure that they can safely burn calories, build strength, and enjoy their workout?
That’s what this post is all about. Read on to learn about all the different ways you can create HIIT workouts for your clients and the best ways they can safely and successfully execute them.
PS: If you think a metabolic workout would be more beneficial to your clients, be sure to check out our guide on creating a metabolic workout rotine for clients.
Type One: HIIT Boxing
HIIT boxing is one of the most straightforward and intensive exercises you can prescribe for your personal training clients. It is highly demanding, which means they can feel the exertion as they move. Boxing is also fun, so you should have no problems motivating your clients to go along.
Be sure to plan adequate rest periods so your clients can exercise for longer. Additionally, remember to work in lower intensity routines for a rounded and balanced training session.
- Alternate left and right jab crosses
- Alternate left and right hooks
- Block, dodge, and move freely around the heavy bag
- Throw boxing combinations
- Add in some jump rope sessions
It’s easy to get injured while training with the heavy bag, even more so when you’re working with personal training clients who haven’t boxed before.
Ensure that their wrists are properly wrapped, their gloves have enough padding and that they use proper technique while punching the bag
Type Two: HIIT Boxing Without Bag
Boxing without the bag can be a fun, calorie-intensive, and safe way for your clients to work out. Also called shadow boxing, this kind of routine focuses on technique, form, and mobility.
The fact that there’s no heavy bag means you’ll need to be more creative with your instructions while keeping a close eye to ensure they get it right. Another great thing about this kind of workout is that your clients can perform it anywhere, and they don’t need wrist wraps or gloves to get started.
- Alternate left and right hooks, focusing on technique instead of power
- Alternate left and right crosses
- Move around and navigate as much space as possible
- Incorporate exercises like battle ropes, jump rope, and simple boxing drills
- Try fast, controlled combinations
If you plan to have your client move up to the heavy bag from this exercise, ensure they understand that these drills are different from working on the heavy bag. While they can focus on speed and mobility now, power and conservation of energy will be critical when working on the heavy bag.
Type Three: HIIT Workout with Barbell
HIgh-intensity barbell workouts are perfect for personal training clients who want to do a bit of weight training but are also aiming to burn as many calories as possible.
The goal here is to superset the routines with as little rest as possible so your clients can burn the maximum amount of calories. It’s also important to use a manageable weight to reduce the risk of injury (and you can make it easier for your personal trainer liability waiver to work for you.)
- Six reps of deadlifts
- Six reps of bent-over rows
- Six reps of barbell clean
- Six reps of front squats
- Six reps of overhead presses
These are just suggestions, and you should customize a routine for your clients based on their exercise preferences and what you think they need the most.
This routine doesn’t quite follow our proposed routine, but it excellently portrays how to perform barbell HIIT workouts
Starting with a smaller weight is important because fatigue will quickly set in, and you need your clients to complete their routine before taking a break.
Your clients may start pushing for heavier weights, but it’s important to ensure they perfect their technique before moving up. That way, they reduce injury risk and the muscle soreness that will inevitably follow.
Type Four: HIIT Workout without Legs
If you’re working with older clients or individuals with knee injuries, a HIIT workout without legs is perfect for them. It’s quite easy to perform, and all you need to do is focus on upper limb exercises.
No-leg HIIT workouts are also perfect for older personal training clients who need to go easy on the weights. You will need to do a lot of demonstrations and pay close attention to ensure they get it right. The other great thing is that these no-leg HIIT workouts are great for mobility, and all you need are a light set of dumbbells.
- 30 seconds bear crawls
- Dumbbell bent-over fly
- Dumbbell renegade rows
- Burpees with push-ups
- Dumbbell tricep extensions
You can customize these as much as you want for your clients. The key is to incorporate exercise that they can tolerate but also engage them in challenging ways. It’s also smart to create some kind of template, especially if you’re expecting more personal training clients.
That way, you can quickly modify it for clients looking to prevent weight gain, lose weight, or just have fun.
Type Five: TRX HIIT Workout
The TRX suspension trainer is a highly effective alternative training equipment, and it’s awesome for clients looking to try something new. If you don’t train your clients in a gym, it can also be a great way to get them to engage, burn calories, and have fun.
As usual, it’s best to add several exercises to the routine, mixing what your clients enjoy with exercises that burn the most calories.
- 12 reps of Left single left squats
- 12 reps of right single left squats
- 12 reps of Jump squats
- 12 reps of push-ups
- 12 reps of mountain climbers
If you work with more personal training clients with high body weight, you’ll need to pay extra attention as they execute this routine. Even though the high-intensity exercise program is great for them, they will also need to perform it with proper form to reduce injury, maximize the number of calories burned, and actually facilitate their weight loss.
With the TRX, exercises like mountain climbers will pose a new challenge for your client. They will need to focus on maintaining their balance while executing the exercise properly. As a result, it’s a good idea to demonstrate first and keep a close eye on their execution after.
Type Six: HIIT Workout with Weight Training
Incorporating weight training with a HIIT routine is perfect for clients who want a little bit of everything. They can focus on building muscle, improving their endurance, and still get a great calorie burn out of the session.
The key to HIIT workout with weight training is to compound your clients’ exercise. That means they need to do exercises that hit multiple muscle groups at once to maximize muscle activation, reach max effort faster and burn more energy.
It’s also a good idea to use heavier weights as they present a greater challenge. The only issue with this is that you need to keep a close eye on your clients to ensure their safety.
- Eight reps of squats
- Eight reps of deadlifts
- Eight reps bent over rows
- Eight reps dips
- Eight reps pull-ups
The HIIT/weight training workout is very challenging, so it’s a good idea to only reserve it for advanced clients who have made significant progress. If you’re looking for a routine for your unmotivated training clients, HIIT with weight training isn’t it.
You should also pace your client, so they don’t feel completely wrecked after completing a circuit.
Circuit Training vs. HIIT: Is There a Difference?
Circuit training is very similar to HIIT with one key difference: HIIT requires your client to apply maximum effort. HIIT is specifically designed to burn as many calories as possible, which means you need to be all in. With circuit training, you could be trying to achieve a couple of things, including body conditioning, endurance training, or even building muscle.
Circuit training can also be used to design a calorie-intensive routine; many of the proposed workout plans above are actually structured as a circuit training program. All you have to do is vary the amount of rest and the specific kind of exercise, depending on your client.
Final tips on weight loss for training clients
Educate your clients on a healthy diet
It’s impossible to achieve weight loss and lean body mass without watching calorie consumption – that’s personal training 101. Unfortunately, not all your clients will know that. They may be more inclined to increase their daily calorie intake since they’ve hired a personal trainer.
It will be your job to educate them. How they decide to watch their calorie intake depends on what’s most sustainable for them. It could be calorie counting, consuming fewer calories, or increasing their physical activity.
Offer support and motivation
Running a personal training business is as much showing clients how to train as it is offering support. Many of your clients will be looking to lose weight fast and maintain their sustainable weight loss strategy.
This journey is often stressful and discouraging, and it will be your job to keep them going. You’ll need to offer encouragement while simultaneously providing great weight loss strategies for them. The most successful personal trainers learn how to do this effortlessly.
Consider doing the exercises with them
When you recommend an intense exercise for your client, the odds are that they will find it challenging, and you’ll have to find ways to break it down for them. One effective strategy is to do the routine with them.
Having your personal trainer work out with you is not only motivating, but it can also show you the proper technique in real-time. The catch is that you can’t do this with all your clients because you’ll quickly wear yourself out. But, it can be a very effective strategy to consider.
The bottom line
It’s critical to master designing an effective HIIT routine for your clients if you want to be a successful personal trainer. Luckily, this guide is a fantastic place to start.