Can you get me ready for…

Getting fit is often inspired by clients’ life events; big and small. For many, motivation starts a little something like this, “I’m going to be in a wedding.” “My reunion…” or my vacation is around the corner.” “Summer is coming, and I want to look great on the beach.”  

You’ve heard every reason under the sun to prepare your clients for whatever it is that is coming up in their calendars. Their pleas are so ubiquitous that you likely have a dozen or so go-to routines to whip those bodies into shape and quickly.

Drum roll please

Months of dedication have lead to visible physical benefits, and even new thresholds. 

At last you send your client off looking nothing short of fabulous and feeling amazing to boot.

Time to reboot

When your client returns, some of the hard work you put in to prepare them for their big reveal has, not so uncommonly, taken a few steps back. They complain that they haven’t worked out since they left; they feel that they’ve lost momentum gained. How could this have happened?

One of the biggest impediments to working out while away is the lack of access to a gym. Even if your client has access to a fitness center, they want to be outdoors exploring the exotic environment and all it has to offer.

What clients may not realize is that they are not in fact exploring all there is to offer. Their trip to the beach could be turned into a productive calorie burning session prior to frolicking in the waves.

The world is your gym

As a trainer, what you can do is change the way your clients see their outside world. Put a new meaning on the old adage, “The world is your playground.” Instead, teach them that the world is their gym.

It’s not necessary to re-invent the wheel when it comes to outdoor workouts, but you might want to think outside of the box when it comes to giving your clients tools to working out outside. Show exercisers how ordinary things, such as a chair or bench, can function as a piece of workout equipment.

6 whole body chair or bench exercises

Here are 6 back-to-basics exercises to have your clients get a whole body workout using a chair or bench overlooking their favorite vacation vista.


Start with the larger muscles, the legs, move on to the arms, then core. Repeat.

1. Step ups– can be done slowly or quickly to up the cardio ante. Easy: step up with one foot. Moderate: bring the knee up. Advanced: throw in a kick. 

2. Reverse lunges– can also be completed with a plyometric hop to keep the cardio element. Easy: a slow controlled lunge. Advanced: add a hop at the top of the lunge.

3. Push-ups– can be done incline or decline. Easy: push-ups in the incline position. Moderate: decline push-ups. Advanced: Decline push-ups with shoulder taps.

4. Decline spiders– can be mixed up by focusing on bringing the knee to the same elbow, and/or the opposite elbow.

5. Plank– easy: hold the plank with hands under shoulders. Moderate: hold plank on forearms. Advanced: to add some cardio and arms, alternate between forearms and hands.

6. Pikes– can be mixed up by completing the pike in the center and/or on the side focusing on the obliques.


Theresa Perales

Theresa Perales has an MA in Spanish, and is an ESL teacher at San Diego State University (SDSU). After years of struggling with her weight, she decided to give exercise a try. A passion for health and fitness grew instantly and inspired her to become certified as a personal trainer with NFPT, and as a group fitness instructor with AFAA Group Fitness and Madd Dog Athletics® Spinning. Theresa believes that nutrition and fitness are not about aesthetics but ultimately about feeling healthy and empowered.