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30 Minute Workout Programs for Busy Clients

National Academy of Sports Medicine
National Academy of Sports Medicine
2

Here’s a quick 30-minute workout that will get clients on the road to fitness! These short, effective routines are perfect for online personal trainers who have busy clients that don't have the time to make frequent gym appointments!

The biggest excuse people give for not working out is, “I don’t have time!” Of course, as a fitness professional, you know that time is not a viable excuse. We have to make time to keep our bodies healthy. 

People are busier than ever today, and to be honest, fitness is not a priority in most people’s lives. As personal trainers - online or otherwise - we have to educate people on the benefits of exercise and teach them how they can maximize their overall health in a minimum amount of time.

Limited time does not have to mean a limited workout. In 30 minutes we can get a client’s heart rate up and take them through at least two circuits of core, balance, reactive, and strength training. Here’s how:

5 STeps to a Great workout for busy clients

(1) Have your client foam roll (self-myofascial release) “hot spots.” These are the areas where you noticed imbalances when you assessed your client. This should take five minutes. 

For a great overview on the science behind foam rolling, we have a free mini course on the very subject!

(2) Next, move your client to the elliptical trainer, if you have one available. Keep them in good posture and ask them to draw-in and count out loud to 10, 20, or 30, depending on their ability. This will get them to start warming up their stabilizing mechanisms. The elliptical is a great machine to help warm up your client because it forces the client to use their glutes to pull them into hip extension, as opposed to the treadmill which pulls the client into hip flexion.

The cardio warm-up is a great way to target and train numerous areas in a quick five minutes. If you do not have an elliptical machine available - don't worry! The treadmill still works to get your client warmed up and ready to go.

(3) Train core and balance exercises in a circuit. For example, start with planks (regress and progress appropriately for your clients), then move to a single-leg balance with reach. Do 12 repetitions for core and 10 repetitions for balance. This portion should last around seven minutes. When you are done with this circuit, let your client rest 30 seconds and move on to resistance training.

(4) For the reactive and resistance-training portion of the program, you'll want to do another circuit. Remember that increasing a client’s heart rate and keeping it there will be beneficial for their cardiovascular health, as well as help burn more calories during the session. Your strength circuit should include chest, back, shoulders, and legs. The biceps and triceps are worked in various exercises, so depending upon your client’s goals, we'll skip those exercises in the short workouts.

(5) Cool your client down with flexibility. We suggest using static stretches to help restore proper length-tension relationships in the tissues and avoid future muscle imbalances.

30-minute workout for beginners

Whether your client is a beginner, an intermediate exerciser, or an advanced fitness enthusiast, we can fit any workout into 30 minutes. 

Here is an example of a workout designed for beginner clients. 

BEGINNER
Body Part Exercise Sets Reps Intensity Tempo Rest Interval
Core Plank/Prone iso-abs 2 12 Bodyweight 4/2/1 0
Balance Single-leg balance 2 10 Bodyweight 4/2/1 0
= 6.4 minutes
Body Part Exercise Sets Reps Intensity Tempo Rest Interval
Chest Ball Dumbbell (DB) press 2 12 60% 4/2/1 0
Back Ball DB row 2 12 60% 4/2/1 0
Shoulders Single-leg scaption 2 12 60% 4/2/1 0
Legs Single-leg squat 2 12 60% 4/2/1 45 sec.
    = 11.1 minutes

When you add self-myofascial release and cardio to the time, the total session adds up to 27.5 minutes. Cool your client down with static flexibility for the last few minutes. Stretch tight, short muscles as indicated by your assessment.

30 minute workout for the intermediate client

INTERMEDIATE
Body Part Exercise Sets Reps Intensity Tempo Rest Interval
Core Ball crunches 2 10 75% 4/2/1 0
Balance Single-leg squat 2 10 75% 4/2/1 0

= 4.5 minutes

Body Part Exercise Sets Reps Intensity Tempo Rest Interval
Chest Bench press 3 8 75% 2/0/2 Str 0
Chest Ball pushups 3 8 75% 4/2/1 Stab. 0
Back Lat pulldown 3 8 75% 2/0/2 Str 0
Back Ball DB cobra 3 8 75% 4/2/1 Stab. 0
Shoulders 2-arm scaption 3 8 75% 2/0/2 Str 0
Shoulders Ball combo #1 3 8 75% 4/2/1 Stab. 0
Legs Squat 3 8 75% 2/0/2 Str 60 sec.
Legs Single-leg Romanian deadlift 3 8 75% 4/2/1 Stab. 60 sec.

= 19 minutes

When you add self-myofascial release and cardio to the time, the total session adds up to 29 minutes. Use any remaining time to cool your client down with static flexibility to avoid future muscle imbalances.

30 minute routine for an advanced client

For the advanced client, instead of cardio in the warm-up, utilize dynamic flexibility. An example would be:

  • Prisoner squats (20)
  • Pushups with rotation (10 total, 5 each direction)
  • Single-leg squats (10 each leg)
  • Walking lunge with a twist (10 total, 5 each leg)

Do each exercise in a circuit, quickly moving from one to another. This should take five minutes.

ADVANCED
Body Part Exercise Sets Reps Intensity Tempo Rest Interval
Core Cable rotations 2 10 80% 1/0/1 0
Balance Multi-Planar (MP) hops w/stabilization 2 10 80% 1/0/1 30sec.

= 3 minutes

Body Part Exercise Sets Reps Intensity Tempo Rest Interval
Chest Bench press 3 5 85% As fast as possible 0
Chest Medicine Ball (MB) chest pass 3 8 10% of bodyweight As fast as possible 0
Back Seated row 3 5 85% As fast as possible 0
Back MB soccer throw 3 8 10% of bodyweight As fast as possible 0
Shoulders Seated overhead press 3 5 85% As fast as possible 0
Shoulders MB soccer throw 3 8 10% of bodyweight As fast as possible 0
Legs Squat 3 5 85% As fast as possible 120 sec.
Legs Jump squats 3 8 10% of bodyweight As fast as possible 120 sec.

= 8.6 minutes

When you add self-myofascial release and cardio to the time, the total session adds up to 21.6 minutes. Use any remaining time to cool your client down with static flexibility to avoid future muscle imbalances.

Quick sessions can help your clients get an integrated workout that keeps the heart rate up and burns more calories. Remind your clients that their health should be a top priority and that it takes only a few minutes to add years of good health to their lives!

And if you are wanting to become an online personal trainer, knowing how to design short, effective programs is especially important. Be sure to remember these ideas and apply them to your programming! 

Tags: CPT Tags: Fitness Tags: Workout Plans Tags: 30 minute exercise program Tags: 30 minute personal training Tags: 30 minute session Tags: 30 minute workout

The Author

National Academy of Sports Medicine

National Academy of Sports Medicine

Since 1987 the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) has been the global leader in delivering evidence-based certifications and advanced specializations to health and fitness professionals. Our products and services are scientifically and clinically proven. They are revered and utilized by leading brands and programs around the world and have launched thousands of successful careers.