Get Creative with Your Exercises and Workouts in 2023

Have your workouts been in a creative rut? I have seen this time and time again.

I see personal trainers that get stuck in a routine of doing the same thing repeatedly with their clients suffering from plateaus and boredom.

I even admit I am guilty of falling into this trap of repetitiveness. Sometimes it is tough to individualize a program for every single one of your clients. This is especially true if you have dozens of clients.

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Creative Workouts & Exercises - The Trainer's Guide 1
Creative Workouts & Exercises - The Trainer's Guide 2

Getting creative with your exercises

Although this is a common trap to fall into, this is terrible for your client and your reputation as a personal trainer.

Each and every single one of your clients has entirely different goals that you need to be able to address separately. This article was written to spark some creativity in your exercises and workout routines so that your clients do not hit a roadblock or get bored.

Your clients should be excited whenever they see you in the gym. Here is another article on how to keep them motivated!  Here are some tips to keep your clients guessing and excited to see what is next.

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These creative tips are not only useful for your clients, but they are also excellent for your brain, so get ready to have your mind blown!

Different ways to discover new routines and exercises

Scope out the rest of the gym, and you may learn something new!

When you have downtime, you should bust out your binoculars and check what other trainers do with their clients. But really just kidding about the binoculars… That would be pretty creepy.

You should also have open conversations with other personal trainers about their exercises and routines with their clients. Of course, other people roaming around your gym besides personal trainers are knowledgeable about health and fitness.

Pick out a couple of fit individuals and spark a conversation about different techniques and strategies they use to succeed. There are 1000 books worth of knowledge walking around your gym; you need to acquire it. You should also be in the process of developing an “exercise library” for yourself. Jot down any new exercises you see and add them to your collection!

Creative Workouts & Exercises - The Trainer's Guide 1
Creative Workouts & Exercises - The Trainer's Guide 2

Subscribe to health magazines or get an RSS feed to your favorite fitness blogs

Another way to learn about more exercises and routines is to subscribe to your favorite fitness magazines such as men’s health, muscle and fitness, or women’s health. If you do not feel like subscribing to any of these magazines, you can always head to your local grocery store, such as Safeway, and check them out there.

Make a mental note of the cool exercises you see, or add a note to your smartphone. I like fitness blogs and websites more than my favorite magazines. For example, bodybuilding.com has a fantastic library of exercises to check out and add to your routines.

If you have a favorite fitness blog, they most likely have an RSS feed you can subscribe to. An RSS subscription will send you new content, such as articles or blog posts, directly to your e-mail. I highly suggest you take advantage of this tactic.

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NASM Gold Standard Personal Trainer Certification - Save 25%<br />
Most Popular Cert
ISSA - Most Popular Online Personal Trainer Certification 3 Certs for
Best Study Materials
TA - Trainer Academy - Best Study Materials for Personal Trainer Certification Online - See MVP discount
A Good Option
ACE Certification- A Good Fitness Course Online Option - 25% off<br />
A Good Option
NCSF Certification - A Good Option - Save 25%
Best CPT for you?
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Some good blogs I subscribe to are nerdfitness.com and bornfitness.com. I recommend that you check both of those out!

Studying new stuff online

Get creative with combining different exercises

If you have been following the tips above, then in a short period, you will have an extensive list in your exercise library! Something that I like to do is combine exercises to make something entirely new!

For example, if you typically do dumbbell bicep curls with clients and want to add stability training to the same exercise, have them stand on a Bosu ball simultaneously.

One piece of equipment that I like to incorporate into my exercises is TRX bands (check out the TRX certification)! That these are great for combining exercises and are excellent for functional training.

Combining exercises spark the creative process because it allows you to think of to exercises and imagine what they would look like if done simultaneously.

Most combinations might look quite funny in your head, but you will find tons that can work together! The most important thing is ensuring that your new movement is safe for your client.

Besides combining different exercises to create new ones, you should also switch up which of your client’s body parts you work with. The key to success in breaking plateaus is to keep your client’s body guessing.

For example, if you are used to training chest and biceps together, switch it up and do chest with back or chest with triceps. You should switch up your client’s routines at least every month. You can even do a lower body/upper body split.

There are hundreds of different split routines you can learn from. Also, try to change intensity principles by switching up the number of reps and the timing between sets, or maybe try including supersets or drop set training principles to shock their body.

Another great way to get creative with your exercises is by gaining a new certification specializing in one area or another.

Some of my favorite advanced certifications are the NASM PES, CES, ACE health coach, prenatal certification, this cycling certification, and group exercise certification! From all of these, you’ll learn many new exercises, techniques, and tips for changing your routines.

They also act as excellent continuing education credit! If you want to become a health coach, check out my article here!

Conclusion on the creative process

I hope that the bright light bulb just popped above your head while reading this article. The most important thing is not to let your clients get stuck in any cookie-cutter routine.

Not only will they get extraordinarily bored, but so will you! People can recognize from a mile away from a trainer that is using the same routine with all of their clients. You will not get a good reputation.

Keep coming up with new routines, strategies, and exercises, and you will be rewarded tenfold by gaining many new clients into making much more money! It is great when you get complimented for a great workout and cool new exercises.

Leave a comment below and let me know any cool exercises or routines you have created for your clients. I would love to collaborate with all of you to make personal training more enjoyable than it already is!

That is what they creativity process is all about! Also, check out some of my training tips articles, such as beginning core workouts and the best software for personal trainers!

Tyler Read

Tyler Read, BSc, CPT. Tyler holds a B.S. in Kinesiology from Sonoma State University and is a certified personal trainer (CPT) with NASM (National Academy of sports medicine), and has over 15 years of experience working as a personal trainer. He is a published author of running start, and a frequent contributing author on Healthline and Eat this, not that.

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