May 22, 2024

Three Must-Try Outdoor Workouts by Gen Levrant

Do not underestimate the power of fresh air!
The majority of the working population spend their days cooped up indoors – is it any wonder stress levels, work-related absence and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) during the winter months are at their highest?
The solution?  GET OUTSIDE!

Walk/Run for Function
It may sound cliché (or you’ve heard it before) but getting out the office and briskly walking round the block even for 10-20 minutes can make the baddest of days better.
Your mind will clear and re-focus from physically removing yourself from the environment, your mood lifted from the natural light and oxygen.
Try this 15 minute fat blast workout:
Brisk walk warm up
2 minute jog
30 second sprint
Repeat x5 before cooling down with a slow walk. Finish with stretching.

Head for the Hills
Hill walks/sprints are a great way of exercising the heart and lungs. Try your local park, woods or venture a little further, making a day of it at the beach or a national park. Vary the terrain: grass, gravel, sand all make a difference and keep it interesting. Running uphill (or some outdoor steps,) walking down and repeating is a great interval training workout of exertion and recovery at your own pace. You can track your progress by recording how many you can do – and see if you can beat it next time. Great fun for all the family so make a game of it!

DIY Bootcamp
Try making your own bootcamp either in your garden or a local playground. Look at what you can use for exercises, even as simple as throwing and catching a ball against a wall. Press ups, step-ups and tricep dips can be done on a bench. Pull ups, mountain climbers and knee tucks can be done using a climbing frame ladder.

Whatever your age and fitness level, you now have three variations of outdoor workouts, all with phenomenal effects. So if it rains, be your own sunshine!

Gen Levrant is an Advanced Personal Trainer and fat-loss specialist operating out of a private functional training studio in Southampton UK. For fitness tips, updates and further info: email Gen via Follow her on Twitter @PTGen, Youtube Channel


5 Must-Try Exercises at the Gym by Gen Levrant

One of the biggest challenges with a gym workout is not having a plan. Wandering around aimlessly between machines, doing a few reps here and there, resting for a bit and then maybe spending remaining time on whatever cardio machine is available is not an effective workout!

What’s the solution?
Here are my five must-try exercises to try at your next visit to the gym. They require little or no equipment, recruit every major muscle group and will give you a short, sharp effective workout without having to wait for any machine! (As always, be sure to obtain clearance from your physician before beginning this or any exercise regime.)

1: Pivot Clock Lunge
Alternative to: regular cardio warm up
Good for: warming up entire body three-dimensionally
Keeping one foot static, pivot the other foot forwards and backwards into a lunge. Repeat in every direction (as if you were lunging to each opposite number on a clock face) before swapping feet.

2: 3D Press Ups
Alternative to: regular press ups/chest press machine
Good for: core, chest, arms
Perform a regular press up (either full or on knees) but keep changing your hand position on each rep: wide, narrow, one hand forward, one hand behind…

3: Wide to Narrow Squats (with/without dumbbells)
Alternative to: leg press, squat rack
Good for: lower body, core, cardio
Perform a regular squat and jump your feet together as you straighten up. Squat again before jumping your feet to wide again.

4: One-legged shoulder press (with/without dumbbells)
Alternative to: shoulder press machine, sit ups
Good for: shoulders, core, balance/proprioception
Set your core and balance on one foot. Reach one arm at a time up. To hit all muscles of your shoulder and challenge your core further, keep changing the direction in which you are reaching: out to the side, across the body…

5: Air Jack Burpees
Alternative to: a long time on any cardio machine!
Good for: fat-burning cardio
Perform a regular burpee but once your feet have jumped towards your chest, perform an air jack: a star jump but off the ground. If this is too intense, try a regular star jump!

You are now armed with a new gym plan that means: no waiting around for machines, every minute spent in the gym will be effective, a fat-burning workout that can be done in minute intervals or a circuit (try 3 rounds of 15 reps of exercises 2-4), and a happier and less frustrated you!

Gen Levrant is a Faster Health and Fitness certified Personal Trainer and Advanced Functional Training Specialist. She operates out of a private studio in Southampton, UK. For more info please visit You can reach Gen via email at visit her Facebook page or follow her on Twitter @PTGen

EVERY Workout Essentials by Gen Levrant

Had you asked me what the above were when I first became a Personal Trainer, I would have replied “warm up, resistance, cardio, core, cool down and stretching.” Six years and two diplomas later, my answer is now somewhat different!

This article hasn’t been written to instruct you on what you ‘should’ be doing when you work out. Everyone’s different personal goals make creating a universal instruction blueprint quite difficult! It is to share my thoughts from experience on what is essential in creating results from every workout.

Functional Purpose
What are you training for? Do you want to lose some stubborn inches? Improve your performance at your sport? Are you training for an event? Whatever your purpose, make your training functional TO it! For example, if you want to improve your soccer or tennis skills, do you really need to be doing deadlifts? If you want to decrease body fat, do you really need to pound the treadmill for hours and raise your cortisol (stress hormone) levels? Tailor your workouts to what you are trying to achieve. Even if your goal is maintaining your general health and well-being; purpose is essential to every workout. Using it to motivate you can be the difference in intending to work out and ACTUALLY working out!

Planning is another essential of every workout. Enough of us start the day with good intentions but events and distractions end up taking priority; thus putting back or even cancelling our workouts altogether. Try scheduling your workouts in your diary as if they were appointments with someone.  Technically…they are! Put your phone in flight mode, close the laptop, turn off the iPad, remove all distractions and dedicate at least twenty minutes to yourself.

3D Training
Training the body three-dimensionally is a big essential in every workout because this is how we are designed to move. Training your muscles and proprioceptors in the three planes of motion; frontal (left and right) sagittal (forward and back) and transverse (rotational) can enhance your results whatever your goal!

So the next time you come to work out (with purpose and zero distractions!) think about the plane of motion in which you are performing each exercise and stretch, and see how it feels to try another. You may, as I was after embracing this style of training for myself and my clients, be pleasantly surprised!

Gen Levrant is a Faster Health and Fitness certified Personal Trainer and Advanced Functional Training Specialist. She operates out of a private studio in Southampton, UK. For more info please visit or email