I keep hearing that song by Queen in the back of my head. The one with the chorus that says “I want it all, I want it all, I want it all and I want it now”. Many of our clients are very busy people and do not have tons of time to devote to exercise outside of the time they choose to spend with us.
Most personal trainers focus on strength training with their clients. They have come to think of “cardio” as some long duration, low intensity activity that the clients should be doing, but on their own time. They make recommendations like “do 30-60 minutes of cardio 3-5 times a week”. I actually know a trainer that tells his clients that in order to be successful they need to do four, 90-minute strength sessions a week, plus another 3-5 hours of cardio on their own time. Talk about inefficient.
The truth is, when implemented properly, High Intensity, Total-Body, circuit style strength training will produce dramatic improvements in global metabolic conditioning. Rather than plod away at a low-level for 30, 45 or 60 minutes on a treadmill, elliptical machine or running track, a more time-efficient 20-30 minute strength training circuit will not only use more calories per unit of time, it will also increase calorie consumption post-exercise due to a greater recovery demand placed on the body. Physically demanding circuit strength training is the total package: more muscle contractions = more energy expended, more muscle fibers overloaded = better muscle tone / strength, and the higher the intensity of work = the greater the demand placed on the cardio-vascular system.
Still, sometimes our clients may crave a little more variety, and dynamic movement patterns while training at home. With this in mind we offer our Mixed-Mode Hybrid Training workouts. The Mixed-Mode Hybrid workout is one we use to make sure that our clients can get a little bit of everything they may want or need, in our time together.
The plan combines heavy strength training movements with interval style “conditioning” training, alternating between the two. Depending on the current needs and abilities of the client, there may be from 3-5 exposures to each. The strength training is done in three-set mini circuits, where you choose a pushing movement, a pulling movement, and a lower body movement. The interval training is conducted in four minute blocks using mixed modalities in which the work to rest ratios are varied during each exposure. Rest between the strength and interval bouts is the time it takes to walk from one area to another (or as needed to proceed with maximum effort). During the strength movements you may vary the rest from 30 – 90 seconds depending on how heavy you wish to train and how challenged you wish to be.
If you are an athlete looking for a great general plan for any sport or activity, give this style of mixed-mode Hybrid training a try. If you are a trainer who usually just does strength training with your clients, surprise them with one of these brief, and brutal workouts. I guarantee you or your clients will see and feel a difference in performance in no time.
Remember: the circuits below are just a few examples of 100s you can create. Use these as a template and see what kind of workouts you can come up with. You are limited only by your imagination and the tools you have access to.
Mixed-Mode Hybrid Examples:
Strength Circuit 1. 1 x 6-10 reps each
Chin-up or weighted Chin-up
Dip or weighted Dip or Push-ups
Single leg Squat off a box Body-weight or weighted
H.I.I.T. Mode 1. Four minutes
Mountain Climbers – :20 sec work / :10 sec recovery
Strength Circuit 2. 1 x 6-10 reps each
Dumbbell CDL&S (Clean-grip Deadlift & Shrug)
H.I.I.T. Mode 2. Four minutes
Basic Burpees or Jump Rope – :30 sec work / :30 sec recovery
Strength Circuit 3. 1 x 6-10 reps each
Dumbbell Alternating High pull
Dumbbell Alternating Shoulder press
Dumbbell reverse lunge
H.I.I.T. Mode 3. Four minutes
Stair / Hill / Stationary Sprints – :20 sec work / :20 sec recovery
Strength Circuit 4. 1 x 6-10 reps each
Hanging Knee raise (weighted if more then 10 reps can be completed)
Super Hero / GHD raise (weighted if more then 10 reps can be completed)
Cable / Band rotations
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TNT has over 35 years of combined fitness experience, so if you’re looking for a coach who can train you online from anywhere in the world, visit our online training page to book a consultation.
TNT wants you to maximize your strength as safely and efficiently as possible, so if you’re looking for a stand alone workout plan, check out our Blackjack training program.