10 Genius Fitness Tips From Trainers’ Workout Routines

Shannon Farrell
Photo: John Fedale

Photo: John Fedale

If you’ve ever worked out with a trainer, you know they practice what they preach (and they have the bodies to prove it). Making time for cardio and strength training is a no-brainer, but some of the things trainers incorporate into their own fitness routines may surprise you—and get you one step closer to your goals. Learn from the best below:

“The night before shooting videos or a hard workout day, I take a lavender Epson salt bath to relax and release any muscle tightness. I make sure to keep my muscles very warm for flexibility and increased range of motion for the following day.”
—Tanya Becker, the Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Physique 57 

“Learning how to move like an animal has improved my mobility like nothing else. Examples of animal movements include bear crawling, crab walks, duck walks and side gorillas. There is a lot of mental coordination involved and they are compound movements, which means they require the use of most or all of the muscles in the body.”
—Grace Menendez, Personal Trainer at Crunch Gym 34th Street in Manhattan, New York

“I always try to stretch my chest before I work out. I have a tight chest (like most people), which inhibits the range of motion in my shoulders. By opening up my chest prior to working out, I have an easier time accessing the muscles in my back, which helps improve my postural alignment. My favorite stretch is simply laying over a foam roller with feet steady on the floor, while reaching my arms straight out to the sides, palms facing up.”
—Astrid Bengston, Personal Trainer at Crunch Sunset in Hollywood, California

‘When I want a boost before a workout, I drink a double espresso coffee. It has on average around half the amount of caffeine contained in most pre-workout energy drinks, and it’s a natural source of caffeine so it’s a much healthier alternative.”
Christian Baker, a personal trainer and fitness blogger from Australia

“I work out first thing in the morning. It sets the tone for my day, raising both energy and endorphins. Plus, I don’t have the rest of the day to come up with an excuse for skipping a workout. I use the app Tabata Pro to do one minute intervals of high intensity cardio, one minute of strength and one minute of core—I do this for about 20-30 minutes.”
—Lisa Druxman, the CEO of Fit4Mom

“Because I sit at a desk most of the work day, I always do 2-3 minutes of pre-workout stretches for my hips, hamstrings and glutes prior to evening workouts. I actively stretch the hip flexors and hamstrings and perform bodyweight squats or lateral lunges to wake up my glutes. If I neglect this warmup, my training performance will be compromised and the potential for injury increases.
—Chan Gannaway, Fitness Education Director at Orangetheory Fitness

“The average American consumes 130 pounds of sugar a year. Our grandparents consumed 5 pounds. I try to eat more like our grandparents. This makes it a lot easier to have a healthy body because I’m giving it the things it’s been used to consuming for generations, rather than the garbage most people eat.”
—John Paul Engel, Strength and Conditioning Coach at Project Be The Change

“I always start with an exercises that works the most muscle (dead lifts, squats, shoulder presses and rows). You have the most energy at the start of your workout so it makes sense to go big.”
Shane McLean, a A.C.E. Certified Personal Trainer in Dallas, Texas

“I always eat a banana with peanut butter before a workout. The carb and protein combo gives you long sustained energy, keeps your blood sugar level down, and it won’t make you too full. After a workout I try to get protein within 30 minutes to refuel and replenish the breakdown of my muscles. I usually have two eggs with cottage cheese and salad, or a whey protein shake.
—Minna Herskowitz, Owner of Sandbox Fitness in Sherman Oaks, California

“My personal workout routine involves one very important aspect: variety. I like to get in three sessions of cardio, three sessions of resistance training, as well as one yoga/stretching session. Each week, I try to vary my exercises in order to continue challenging my body.”
Ashley Pitt, A NESTA certified personal trainer

Read more: 10 Mistakes Healthy People Make All the Time