Workouts of a Personal Trainer

One of the questions I get asked the most often as a trainer is: what does your own workout schedule look like?

It’s a great question, but it’s one that often changes depending on my goals, schedule, and whatever I’m really feeling interested in at the time. Typically, I only spend about three to six months in a “program”, but sometimes it can be as short as a month.

Below, I’m going to list some of the most recent workout programs I’ve done:

Currently (Jan-March)

Goals – Get back into running shape after dealing with asthma, maintain strength gains, improve flexibility, and lean out.

Cardio – Run 3x a week, 30-40 minutes – following a 5k training plan off my Garmin Watch App

Yoga – 4x a week, 30 minutes of hatha yoga after running for recovery, 1 hour of vinyasa yoga on the weekend for strength and flexibility

Lift – 2x a week, 1 hour –  upper and lower split, endurance lifts (12-15 reps, 3 sets) – doing different exercises every week

Rest – 1x a week, typically Sundays

Previous Training Plan (December)

Goals – Max out lifts, improve on exercises that I dislike the most (pull ups, push ups, bench press, squats, deadlifts, etc), maintain weight, improve flexibility, no running due to asthma

Cardio – 5 minutes of elliptical or biking at the beginning and end of every workout

Yoga – 4x a week, 1 hour – mixture of hatha and vinyasa workouts for both flexibility and strength

Lift – 2x a week, 1 hour – upper and lower split, as many reps as possible at a 90% max weight for 3 sets, same workouts every week

Rest – 1x a week, typically Sundays

Previous Training Plan (Jan-June 2017)

Goals – Get in shape for my wedding, equally improve lifts, cardio, and yoga, focus equally on endurance, hypertrophy, and strength

Cardio – 3x a week, 30 minutes – mixture of running, sprints, plyometrics, elliptical, and bike – really whatever I felt like doing at the time

Yoga – 3x a week, 30 minutes – Mostly hatha, used as a recovery from running and to improve flexibility

Lift – 3x a week, 1 hour – chest and biceps and triceps, shoulders and back, and lower body split – started with strength (5-6 reps, 4 sets) in January and February, moved to hypertrophy (10 reps, 3 sets)in March and April, and endurance (12-15 reps, 2 sets) in May and June – different exercises every workout.

Rest – 1x a week, typically Sundays


As you can see, there is quite a bit of a change in what I do in a given month. That’s both a benefit to my mind (keep me from being bored) and a benefit to my body (as it keeps muscle confusion at the forefront and keeps me from plateauing). When creating their own workout schedules, the main things I like to tell people  are:

  1. Workout for an hour every day, 5 minute warm up, 50 minute workout, 5 minute cool down
  2. Make sure you give your body a rest day to help muscles heal and get ready for the next week
  3. Try to work on strength, cardio, and flexibility all together, don’t neglect one completely to work on another unless you have a good reason for it (like me with my asthma flare up). If you cut one of them out completely, when you come back to it in the future, you will have lost most of the progress, if not all, that you made in the past
  4. If you are new to lifting weights, full body lifting days are fine. However, if you’ve been doing weight lifting for a few months, try dividing your lifting days by muscle group to allow for rest and a more targeted workout
  5. Find a cardio you enjoy and pursue it. If you HATE running, why make yourself do that three times a week? Now, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it every once in a while to change it up and challenge yourself, but try to make your focus something you love. Cross training is a great way to improve your cardiovascular system.

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