Hey everyone, today I’m going to be talking about whether or not personal trainers should recommend at-home workout programs to their clients.

Sometimes as a personal trainer, it can be tricky with clients that prefer to work out in a closed setting. These are the type of people that prefer that you go to their house or they come to your home for training sessions. If you just got certified as a personal trainer, you will realize many clients are like this.

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The biggest problem with some of these clients is that they do not have any workout equipment of their own. At this point, we are stuck in a dilemma. I don’t always recommend my clients use at home workout programs such as P90x, insanity, the 21 day fix, or any of the other beach body programs.

P90X Review

But sometimes, these programs can be very fitting for personal training clients like this. In the end, some exercise is much better than none. I will be doing many reviews on some of the top beach body products for you guys. I’ll do a mini P90x review, insanity review, 21 day fix review, and a Cize review. Obviously, following these instructors is not nearly the same as being trained by a well-certified trainer, but it’s better than nothing.

This can also be a way to increase how much money you make as a personal trainer by also becoming a beach body coach.

I will make some quick comparisons between these beach body at-home programs. You will learn the differences between P90x vs. insanity, P90x vs. the new P90x3, and Piyo vs. T25.

The best part of these programs is that they come with a workout calendar that your clients can follow. I will show you an example of the P90x workout schedule calendar and how to use it with your clients. Let’s jump right into it!

21 Day Fix review. What is the 21 Day Fix?

The 21 day fix is a three-week exercise and diet program to shock your body into losing fat and getting toned as quickly as possible. Autumn Calabrese and beach body bring this program to you, who make other well-known programs such as insanity and P90X, PiYo, and Cize. This is a fantastic workout program for your female personal training clients. This is a good workout program if they want to get in decent shape in only three weeks.

21 day fix extreme review

Overall, the program consists of two separate DVDs with six complete workouts. Each workout session lasts 30 min. Your clients will be expected to do one 30 min. Session every day for three weeks to push your body to change.

It is also recommended to do double days, that is, doing two 30 min. Sessions per day to finish off the program in the last week. Just like the majority of the most successful workout programs, the workouts are broken down into different parts that target different muscle groups for the best results. I’ll describe the six different workouts in more detail down below.

  1. Lower body fix: Strongly emphasizes training your glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps.
  2. Upper body fix: Mostly targets your chest, back, shoulders, and arms, with some additional abdominal exercises thrown in the mix.
  3. Total body cardio fix: This is the most laborious routine, in my opinion, because there are no slow points, and when you hit every body part, your heart rate is elevated significantly.
  4. Yoga fix: This is designed to tone your muscles and improve your flexibility throughout your body.
  5. Pilates fix: Mostly focuses on core exercises but also touches upon your hips, glutes, and thighs as well.
  6. Cardio fix: As the name implies, the goal is to elevate your heart rate and improve your cardio fitness in this workout.

Besides the six workout plans, the 21 day fix also includes a complete diet plan to ensure your clients are in a calorie deficit throughout these three weeks to shed the fattest they can.

Without a proper diet to supplement your extremely tough workouts, you will not see the results you want (if any). Overall I thought all of the exercise routines were fun and challenging at the same time. Any exercise routine will get old over time, but I always look forward to my 30 min Workout for the day for the three weeks. If you already have your diet plan in place for your clients, that is fine as well.

I thought it was cool how the diet plan is arranged. They give you color-coded Tupperware containers to ensure you are within your daily calorie goals. You have a list of foods you can eat, and as long as they fit in the appropriate containers, that is as much food as you can.

No more weighing your food to calculate how many calories something has. The Tupperware containers work exceptionally well, making dieting a fun little game. Here is how the Tupperware containers are broken down.

  1. The green container is for vegetables (1 cup)
  2. The purple container is for fruits (1 cup)
  3. The container is for proteins (3/4 cup)
  4. The red container is for carbohydrates (1/2 cup)
  5. The blue container is for healthy fats and cheese (1/3 cup)
  6. there are two orange containers for oils/dressings and seeds (2 tbsp)
  7. The seventh bonus container is the Shakeology cup (in case you are following that routine as well)

You cannot just fill up these containers as often as you want. There are specific instructions on how many times you could fill up each one for each day. They will also show you how to calculate your daily intake needs for calories.

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And based on these needs, they will then let you know how many containers you can have. I found this extremely easy to follow compared to most exercise diet plans I have looked at.

What makes it magical is the fact that you don’t need to count calories, the Tupperware will do everything for you.

Insanity Review. What is it?

As I have mentioned, insanity is one of the hardest at home workout programs that I have tried up until this point. P90X was also challenging, but I think this one outdoes it when discussing difficulty. Due to the cardio requirements, this is only for your most advanced personal training clients.

Here are some of the insanity results that your clients can expect by completing the program.

  • Increased athletic performance in your desired sport
  • A decrease in weight and body fat percentage overall
  • Better posture. You will notice that you are standing taller.
  • More toned muscles in your arms, legs, and pretty much everywhere.
  • You will be able to break through weight loss plateaus


This workout focuses strongly on your lower body. Primarily on your glutes and quadriceps. Just as the name implies, many plyometrics are involved and is meant to improve your athletic performance overall.

Upper body resistance training

This upper body workout focuses a lot on your arms, chest, back, and shoulders.

Pure Cardio

This is one of the more difficult cardio workouts. This big circuit will boost your metabolism, increase your heart rate and leave you soaking wet.

Cardio Abs

This core and cardio combination is a big circuit involving many abdominal movements. Your obliques, front, and back of your heart, will feel it the next day.


The recovery DVD is much slower paced, which you will be incredibly grateful for. There is a lot of stretching, and it almost seems like you are doing a yoga class. Take this time to relax and let your body rest before you pound it the next day.

Let’s talk about the four workouts that will be cycled through in the second month. These workouts get longer than the first month and are significantly more challenging.

Max interval circuit

Overall I think the videos in the second month are similar to the first month, with a lot less rest, more time overall, and slightly more challenging exercises. The Max interval circuit gives you very little rest, and you will be begging for the video to the end. At least the first time that you do it.

Max Interval plyometrics

Max interval plyometrics is very similar, with very little rest, a ton of squats, and a ton of lunches overall.

Max cardio conditioning

This is another massive circuit training cardio blast similar to the next interval circuit.

Max Recovery

This recovery video doesn’t give you as much improvement as the first month’s recovery video did. Expect some intermittent strength exercises mixed in. They should have devised another name besides “recovery” for this one.

On top of the nine workouts you receive with Insanity, you also receive four bonus gifts that I will discuss in more detail below.

At-Home Client Workouts - The Personal Trainer's Guide 4
At-Home Client Workouts - The Personal Trainer's Guide 5

Cize Review. What is Cize?

Cize is a four-week exercise program in which you will be taught professionally choreographed routines and will be able to dance your way to a fitter and healthier body. Shaun T has brought the most contemporary choreography to the Cize program. He is also made it easy enough to follow a wide range of individuals with different skill sets.

Cize review

The cool thing about Cize is that the time goes by so much faster than time spent on a treadmill because you are having fun. The Cize program consists of six separate dance routines as well as an ab workout on a total of three DVDs. You also receive a startup guide, a meal plan guide, two calendars (one advanced in one for beginners), and a weekend survival guide.

Does Cize work?

I get asked all the time if Cize works. The best answer depends on what your original goal is, and what types of exercise you like. Cize is a fantastic cardio workout. It gets your heart rate moving in the right direction.

Overall this is a fantastic low impact workout program for your training clients. If you have clients that have joint problems or pain from high impact exercise, this could be perfect for them. This is especially true if they like to dance.

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If your client is trying to build muscle mass, this program is not for them. I would instead check out some other beach body products such as Body beast or master hammer and chisel.

If your client’s number one goal is to lose weight and body fat, this program can be extremely beneficial to them. If they cannot get motivated to hop on a treadmill for an hour, this might be the only type of cardio to keep them motivated. I have a lot of clients of personal training that can’t sit on the bike or run on the treadmill due to boredom.

I also think that Cize works very well for elderly individuals or people that are just getting started with exercise. They do a great job of starting off slow and gradually increasing the intensity over the course of the program. Another reason that Cize works is that you can increase the program’s difficulty by trying the intense schedule after completing the beginner’s plan.

Turbo Fire Review. What are the concepts behind Turbo fire?

The central concepts are based on high-intensity interval training or HIIT. Unlike some other at-home workout programs, HIIT is based on tons of peer-reviewed scientific articles showing its benefits. I recommend short bouts of HIIT a few times for my personal training clients that do not like long steady, state cardio. This is the best way to shed body fat as fast as possible.

Chalene and the Turbo fire crew rename HIIT and called it “fire drills” in this workout program. The concept is simple, go as hard as you can (within any exercise) for a specific time, then rest and repeat. This type of training works so well because it shocks your body and will burn calories long after the exercise session ends.

The workouts combine many different types of exercise, including dance, kickboxing, body weight exercises, aerobic exercise, and some resistance training with the bands.

Does Turbo Firework?

I get a lot of people that ask me does Turbo fireworks. It depends on what goal you have coming into the program. Regarding how efficient it is in helping you lose body fat, I think it is one of the better programs out there because the majority of the program is based off high-intensity interval training. Whenever I am trying to cut down body fat and lose weight, I always incorporate HIIT into my workout schedule.

It is not the best if you’re trying to build muscle mass. I recommend another program such as P90X, Body beast, or master and hammer for that. But this is one of the better programs out there for purely losing weight. If you have clients that are trying to lose weight quickly, this could be a decent solution for them.

Some of the Turbo fire results that your clients can expect are to lose weight, drop body fat percentage, and tone up.

Beach body program comparisons for personal trainers

In this section, I will compare some of the popular programs so that you can recommend the best one for your clients. Many programs are so similar that it is important to know the slight differences between them.

P90x vs. Insanity

P90x overview

P90x is a massive blend of different disciplines of exercise. It combines mixed martial arts, yoga, Pilates, weightlifting, flexibility training, and cardiovascular training into one great 90-day workout routine.

They use what they call “muscle confusion” to keep your body guessing so that it can adapt and transform. The program was released in 2004 and has had other workout series since then, such as P90x2 and P90x3. But still to this day, P90x is still very popular and overall a very effective workout program.

The program consists of 12 different DVDs with 12 workouts in total.

P90X vs Insanity

Insanity overview

The original insanity program, on the other hand, came out in 2009. This program was created for people that wanted to be pushed to their limits during exercise. It self-proclaims to be one of the most robust workout programs ever to exist. And if you have ever tried insanity, you would know that they might be correct.

The program lasts 60 days and contains ten workout DVDs and ten intense workouts, but you will be cycling through for the two months.

What are the differences?

P90x is meant to Tone, burn fat and teach functional movements, whereas Insanity is intended to burn as many calories as possible to get you shredded. The differences between both programs depend on your goals. Both of them are good at-home workout products and can be a decent option for your clients that are advanced.

Check out the chart below to check out the major differences between P90x and Insanity:

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P90x vs P90x3: Overview

P90X vs P90X3

P90x3 overview

Just like the other P90x series, P90x3 is also a 90-day program. The number three in the name not only represents the third workout series of P90x, but it also stands for 30 min. Instead of the grueling hour-long workouts performed in the first and second installments of P90x, all P90x3 workouts hover around 30 min. Long.

Although some might think this should be a walk in the park compared to the first and second programs, you should think twice. However, they were only 30 min. Long, the intensity is very high, and I guarantee you will leave your clients soaking wet by the end.

P90x vs. P90x3: what are the differences?

P90x is meant to tone and burn fat in an hour, whereas P90x3 adds stabilization to the mix and only lasts a half hour.  The differences between both programs depend on your goals. Both of them are great at-home workout products. 

Check out the chart below to check out the major differences between P90x and P90x3:

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Piyo vs T25: who are they meant for?


Piyo is meant for anyone who wants to get into Pilates or yoga. It is also intended for people not exercising for an extended period. This is because it is much easier on your joints and muscles than other workout programs (like T25, insanity, or p90x). This is fantastic for personal training clients with joint pain.

I am not saying that this is an easy program. It is still very difficult cardiovascular-wise, and you also get a great abdominal workout. Another plus is that you do not need any equipment to use Piyo.

This is a huge benefit; you can do it anywhere you have enough space and a TV/computer to watch from. Overall if your clients want to build flexibility and core strength while minimizing joint problems, piyo seems right up their alley.

At-Home Client Workouts - The Personal Trainer's Guide 6

Focus T25

Focus T25, on the other hand, is much more intense and focuses more on muscle building and sculpting than Piyo. This is designed for people that don’t have too much time to work out. They can squeeze this 25 min. Work out on your lunch break if they would like if that is the only time they have free.

Even from the very beginning, T25 pushes you pretty hard, and it only gets tougher as the weeks go on. Also though some of the workouts are shorter than Piyo, I’m sure that you will be burning more calories overall, even during the aftermath of the hours when you are recovering from the workout.

This is called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption or EPOC/the afterburn effect. If the workouts are a little bit too intense in the beginning, there are modifiers that you can follow to make it a little bit easier.

Piyo vs. T25: What are the Differences?

Piyo is meant to teach the basics of yoga and pilates, whereas T25 is a tough workout for people who only have a half hour to work out each day. The differences between both programs depend on your goals.

Check out the Piyo vs. T25 Chart below to check out the major differences:

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Workout calendars can help your personal training clients stay on task

The Classic P90x workout calendar

The classic routine will have you doing three days of weight training with either free weights or resistance bands. I recommend using free weights personally. You will also be doing three days of yoga and cardio training. All of the beach body programs come with a workout calendar to follow.

You can recommend which program or calendar to follow for your personal training clients so that they can see the best results. For example, here is what the P90x workout calendar looks like.

Overall I recommend starting out with the classic routine if your client is starting out working out. It is the best fit for the most significant amount of people. Lean is for people who love cardio and want to add even more than the classic routine.

The doubles are the same as the classic for the most part, except that after one month, it starts adding 30 mins of cardio as a separate workout. So you will have one workout in the morning and one at night.

Should you recommend these workout programs to clients?

The preferred type of personal training for your clients is to be there with them for every session. Is also preferred to have all of the necessary equipment at your fingertips for the best training sessions possible. Sometimes these are not available. Other times, your client would like to do workout sessions alone, in the comfort of their home.

This is where I recommend having them try an at-home workout program, such as one of the beach body programs that I mentioned above. Being a great personal trainer means being able to work around unusual circumstances. Having your clients work out at home is better than having them fall into bad habits and not work out at all. Let me know what you guys think of these workout programs.

Do you recommend them to your clients? If you want to become a personal trainer, I recommend checking out my article to see how long it takes.

Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

Tyler Read

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