Many of my clients sought me out as a personal trainer because they want to feel strong.

They want to experience the mental and physical benefits of having a strong body that’s equipped to handle what life throws at them.

Because they’re career women, moms, and active members of their communities, it’s important for them to have the energy to handle all the obligations that come with those roles (roles which, if I’m being honest, they all totally slay!)


That being said, there’s something to say for aesthetics.

My clients care a lot about how they look (I mean, don’t we all?!), and they want to look like they lift!

And here’s the truth, whether we who often prioritize performance and strength over looking good naked (or clothed, for that matter!): the desire to look fit is most folks’ entry point into fitness.

It was for me, and it continues to be for most people who seek out personal trainers.


But where the great trainers set themselves apart from the rest of the pack is their ability to find creative ways to weave function, strength, and fat loss together in their workouts and programming to give their clients 1) what they want; 2) what hey need; and 3) what they don’t even know they want!

It’s those three intertwined characteristics that inspired these 5 brand-spankin’ new workouts for you to try!

I’ve provided modifications and progressions for each workout, as well a sample workout calendar to show you how to incorporate these workouts into your schedule so you can be stronger, leaner and more fit in a month!!!!


Workout #1: The “Simple” Scorcher: (5 exercises, 5 sets; Equipment: one set of dumbbells)

Exercise Reps/Time Sets Cues
Dumbbell split squat 20/leg 5 Pulse up and down, one leg in front, lowering back knee towards the ground, weights at your side.
Push-ups 15 5 On your toes or knees, or a combination of both.
Dumbbell bent over row 20 5 Feet at least hip width apart, dumbbell is either hand, bend forward slightly, knees slightly bent. Extend arms toward ground and “row” bells toward armpits, squeezing the back at the top of the movement.
Dumbbell goblet squat 25 5 Hold one dumbbell in the goblet position and squat down so that the elbows are in between the knees.
Mountain climbers 30 seconds 5 From the top of a push up position, alternate pulling the knees in toward the chest and extending them out. Move as quickly as possible with control.

Workout #2: The Bench-warmer: (4 exercises, 20-minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible/pretty (with good form!))

Exercise Reps/Time Cues
Bench tricep dips 15 To make it harder, keep leg straight; easier, bend your knees.
Bench inclined push-ups 15 Chest is elevated, feet on the floor. Lower your chest toward the bench and push back up (this version is slightly easier than regular push-ups on a flat surface).
Bench squats 20 Stand in front of the bench and squat down so that your bum just brushes the top of bench, then stand back up (if it’s too hard, squat all the way to sit and then stand back up).
Bench “jump overs” 10/side (20 total) Place your hands on either side of the bench (narrow part). Kick up off your toe and jump your legs to the opposite side of the bench. Continue switching until you’ve completed the prescribed number of reps.

Workout #3: Show-stoppin’ Shoulders: (5 exercises, shoulder-sculpting emphasis, 3 sets; Equipment: set of dumbbells)

Exercise Reps/Time Sets Cues
Dumbbell squat 25 3 Weights at your side, squat down to parallel or as close to it as you can; keep your chest up, butt down.
Shoulder press 20 3 Rest a dumbbell on either shoulder, palms facing each other or away from you; press overhead, maintaining a very slight bend in the elbows.
Renegade row 10/side (20 total) 3 Get into plank position on the dumbbells on the floor; alternate “rowing” one arm up and back down to start position.
Forearm plank 45 seconds 3 Shoulders over elbows, weight slightly forward. Tight abs, glutes, quads, and push through the heels; stay super-engaged, nice straight line from crown of the head through heels.
Dumbbell walking lunges 45 seconds, alternating legs 3 Weights on either side of you, walk forward in lunge position, reaching back knee towards the ground.

Workout #4: Early Bird Gets the Inchworm: (5 exercises, 4 sets; book-ended by the inchworm-to-push-up; Equipment needed: set of dumbbells)

Exercise Reps/Time Sets Cues
Inchworm-to-push-up 10 4 From standing, bend your knees and reach your hands toward the floor, walking yourself out into a plank. From there, lift your hips and slowly walk your feet forward to a standing position.
Ratchet shoulder press 15 4 From the starting position of a press, press up ⅓, then ⅔, then all the way to the top. Repeat as you descend back to start.
Weighted glute bridges 20 4 With your back on the floor, grab one dumbbell and place it along your hips. Push through the soles of the feet into a bridge, then lower back down to tap and repeat.
Rear delt fly 10 4 Sit on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand, bring the chest to the knees, and “fly” the arms out to the side, maintaining a slight bend in the elbows.
Inchworm-to-push-up 10 4 See above.

Workout #5: Bodyweight-only Burner: (5 exercises, incorporating plyometrics and strict strength-building movements, 5 sets; Equipment: bodyweight only)

Exercise Reps/Time Rest Sets Cues
Jump squats 30 seconds 15 seconds 5 Squat down low, bringing your arms above your head. As you bring your arms down to meet your hips, extend forcefully through the hips and get air. Modify with air squats (fast bodyweight squats).
Mountain climbers 45 seconds 15 seconds 5 From the top of a push up position, alternate pulling the knees in toward the chest and extending them out. Move as quickly as possible with control.
Bodyweight squat 45 seconds 15 seconds 5 Squat down to parallel to the knees or below. Stand back up.
High knees 30 seconds 15 seconds 5 From standing, rapidly alternate pulling one and then the other knee in towards the chest.
Push-ups 15 reps 15 seconds 5 On toes or knees, or a combo of both

Make sure you drop me a line if you try any of these workouts! xo, Hil

Wanna move AND look better?! Here are 5 Full-Body, Functionally-Strong Fat Loss Workouts for ya!!!

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