5 Types of Cardio Every Trainer Should Be Using

5 Types of Cardio Every Trainer Should Be Using

Everyone who seeks out a personal trainer has different goals. This is the driving reason they look for a bespoke service rather than heading to a class or randomly buying an elliptical machine and hoping for the best.

Group sessions are perfect for some but evidently don’t focus on the individual.

Clearly, each client has unique wants and needs but there tends to one common thread… A desire for being coached in solid cardio work.

Whether it’s weight loss, general fitness or toning, cardiovascular workouts cover most fitness bases.

We’ll look now at 5 types of cardio every trainer should be using.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

HIIT is continuing to gain popularity as a truly effective approach to cardio.

The premise of HIIT is an extremely intense workout conducted at up to 95% of maximal heart rate. This full-bore stint could be as short as a few seconds or up to ten minutes long depending on the client.

After such high intensity comes the recovery interval. This generally mirrors the time of the workout. This recovery period is flexible and can range from complete rest to a gentle work period at around 50% of maximal heart rate.

Rinse and repeat for 20 minutes to 1 hour.

Find 10 great ideas here.

HIIT can be tweaked for all ages and fitness levels. You can incorporate a wide variety of exercises from cycling or walking to swimming and aqua training. With HIIT, your client will lose weight rather than muscle. It can boost the production of HGH (human growth hormone) post-workout.

HIIT is challenging and extraordinarily versatile.

Cross Training

If your client is training in a particular sport or discipline already, cross training is a wonderful way to keep boredom at bay.

Put simply, get them to train in other areas. Have swimmers working out on land and take runners to the pool.

The core aim of cross training is to enhance overall performance. Improved muscle strength not only helps your client to develop more power but can lessen the risk of injury into the bargain.

Walking can work wonders for endurance. For runners, lifting weights can boost their running economy. Intervals on a bike can lead to a spike in speed.

Mix it up. Keep things fresh and stimulating.

Circuit Training

The high intensity aerobic exercises used in circuit training are fantastic for resistance training and conditioning the body.

If your client is looking for strength, stamina and mobility in one grueling package, put them through some circuits.

Circuit training, with its infinite variety, is another surefire way to stave off monotony. Rattling through a dozen workstations with minimal rest is a great way to spend half an hour without wasting any time at all.

Whether it’s body weight exercises or machine-based work, imagination is your only limitation with circuits.

If you’re after some ideas, this military-inspired routine delivers a grueling experience. Here are more great options if your client is nearer the beginner end of the spectrum.

Rowing Machine

Strangely, rowing machines at the gym are often overlooked.

For a first-rate shot of cardio, rowing has a raft of benefits.

Getting your client to use their whole body simultaneously is perfect for those with busy schedules and limited time to work out. Have them hammering their upper and lower body while also harnessing the core.

Hitting the rowing machine hard keeps the heart rate maxed out and the calories burning nicely.

Lengthy rowing sessions can become a trifle tedious so throw in some sprinting to prevent boredom setting in.

This very complete exercise should not be neglected.


Last up on our list of 5 is plyometrics.

Sometimes abbreviated to plyos and often referred to as jump training, this explosive form of working out delivers every time.

The first action is eccentric and lengthens the muscles. This is followed up instantly with a muscle-shortening or concentric move.

Much like HIIT, intensity rules with plyometrics. For stamina, leg strength and overall power, plyos are not for the lighthearted. It’s no accident that when this type of workout came to the fore around forty years ago it was known as shock training!

There’s no one-size fit as so much depends on the experience and skill level of your client.

Chat with them and see if plyometrics aligns with their overall goal.


Variety is the spice of life and with any exercise program it’s absolutely crucial.

Don’t get stuck in a rut with the same old routines and always strive to inject as diverse an assortment of cardio as possible.

Make things fun as well as effective. Your clients will thank you, stay with you and you can watch the referrals pour in.

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My name is Harry Wilson. I'm the author of GoodHealthPlanning. Whether it’s workout routines, diet ideas or a guide to the equipment you need, we’ll help you get in the best shape possible. If you like this post, you can follow me on Twitter. Subscribe to Goodhealthplanning to receive instant updates.
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