Category Archives: Worokut Plans

Southampton Personal Trainer Gen Preece Boot Camp

SUNSHINE!!!

Southampton sees Sun: happy times for Personal Trainers…

Such gorgeous sunshine, here’s a few reasons to get outside:

Vitamin D production: it differs to other vitamins because our bodies can manufacture it

PT Gen: personal trainer Southampton

Outdoor training + vitamin D production

with exposure to sunlight! During the winter we can become Vitamin D deficient so now is a good time to go outside, get some fresh air and get some sunlight on your bones!

Vitamin D plays many vital roles within our bodies. It may play a key role in keeping our cognitive function good as we age, as well as helping the absorption of calcium and phosphorus into our bones, keeping them healthy.

Not only this, it plays an important role in keeping us at a healthy body weight.

Stay safe and do not expose your skin to sunlight for extended periods of time without UV protection (even if it doesn’t feel too hot, we can still burn!)

So if you’re not coming to Bootcamp tonight (you can explain yourself later..) get out there and catch some rays like I did earlier when I attempted this killer fat-burning workout! 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lW81BC1xgNg&feature=share&list=UUFuCUZWqvYpMo-6SGKFln4w&index=2

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Southampton Personal Trainer Gen Preece Boot Camp

Fit in five minutes whatever the weather!

Do not underestimate the power of fresh air!

Regardless of how miserable the weather may be, or even if we are blessed with a few moments of Southampton sunshine, the majority of the population spend their days cooped up indoors.

With so many of us up and out before sunrise, and home after it has set, 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!

This post is by no means suggesting you risk yours or anyone else’s safety in the treacherous weather conditions we’ve had in Southampton and the majority of the country lately, but merely think how it can be used to your advantage.

Here are my top 3 ideas that my Personal Training clients have found work best for them:

Walk/Run for Function

It may sound cliché (or you’ve heard it before) but grabbing a brolly, getting out the office and briskly walking around the block even for 10-20 minutes can make even 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 daylight and oxygen.

15 minute fat blast: Warm up by walking briskly for two minutes. Repeat the following x 4: 2 minute jog and 30 second sprint. Walk slowly to cool down, finishing with stretching.

Head for the Hills

Hill walks/sprints are a great interval training workout for the heart and lungs, allowing Get your family involved, exercising in Southamptonexertion and recovery at your own pace. Try your local park, woods or venture further, making a day of it at the beach or a national park. Vary the terrain: grass, gravel and sand all keep it interesting.

10 minute fat blast: run uphill (or up outdoor steps,) walk down and repeat. Record how many you do – and see if you can beat it next time to track your progress. Great fun for all the family so make a game of it!

DIY Boot Camp

As our Boot camp takes place outdoors and undercover, our attendees are fortunately always guaranteed fresh air whatever the weather!

Try making your own in your garden or local playground. Simple exercises like press ups and step-ups can be done on benches. Pull ups and mountain climbers can be done on climbing frame ladders.

PT Gen Levrant at Boot Camp Southampton!

PT Gen at Boot Camp Southampton!

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Southamton Personal Trainer Gen Preece Boot Camp

Don’t be a Plank…

Make your planks functional: Five variations for you to try

I could go on for pages about why and how a standard plank will not give you a flat stomach. Holding your abdominal muscles isometrically for as long as you can is not functional, nor something I would do with any personal training client!

Exercises for a flat stomach from Southampton Personal Trainer Gen Levrant

Exercises for a flat stomach from Southampton Personal Trainer Gen Levrant

Fortunately, there are ways to tweak the plank to make it functional. For a muscle to produce a powerful contraction, it first needs to lengthen. This does not happen in the plank, so here are five variations to ensure it does.

(Please consult with a fitness professional if you are pregnant, new to exercise or unsure of proper and safe technique. And as always, seek medical clearance from you doctor prior to beginning any exercises.)

1. Knee to chest: start in a standard plank position: elbows bent, forearms resting on the floor and abdominal muscles braced. Use your abs to pull one knee towards your chest, bending it at a right angle and exhaling. Repeat with other knee for 10-20 reps.

2. Tilting hips: start in a press up position. Keeping your feet together, tilt your right hip to the side as if trying to point it to the ceiling. The same side elbow will bend a little. Go back to the start and repeat with the other hip for a total of 10-20 reps

3. Reverse plank: start on all fours facing the ceiling with your elbows straight, knees bent and bottom off floor. Reach to  the ceiling with one hand, raising your pelvis to the ceiling and engaging your gluts. Dip your elbow and repeat for 10-15 reps before switching arms.

4. Up & under: start in a press up position, open one arm up as far as it goes. Bring it down under the body, reaching as far as you can before replacing it back at the start. Repeat with the other arm for 20 reps (10 each arm.)

5. Foot crossovers: start in standard plank. Cross one foot over the other to touch the floor outside of it, and bring back to the start. Repeat for 30 secs before switching legs.

These will hit your abdominals in three planes of motion, which is how we are designed to move. They can be added on to one of your existing workout routines or performed alone. Happy training and have fun!

Here’s a video demonstrating each plank variation

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Faster Personal Trainer Southampton Boot Camp

What’s Your Excuse?

Make yourself stronger than your excuses with The Personal Trainer’s Top 6 Most Popular Excuses of All Time

We all know just how easy it is to make excuses for why we haven’t done something or done it as well as we should have done. A lot of the time we’re so used to making them we don’t even realise we’re doing it!

When it comes to eating well and exercising however, the excuses for not doing so are endless. So I thought I’d share with you the Top 6 most common excuses that I’ve been hearing from when I first became a trainer to the present day – and provide you with my solutions to help you overcome them.

Excuse No1: “I’ve got no time to eat properly

Solution: use and utilise your days or hours off to get organised! Look at your diary for the week and put some time aside to think about what you’re likely to be able to eat depending on where you will be. One idea that works for a lot of people is to cook healthy meals in large quantities that can be divided up, frozen, defrosted and either taken to work or eaten when you get home.

It also helps to be prepared for the cravings you know you will have – when doing the weekly shop, make sure you buy a week’s worth of healthy snacks to keep at work, in your car and at home so you always have access to something healthy.
You can also help yourself out by not keeping unhealthy rubbish in the house in the first place – remember if it’s not there you’re a lot more likely to not be eating it!

Excuse No2: “I don’t think it’s healthy/right to deprive myself of anything

Solution: if this sounds familiar, then ask yourself how far this has got you to date. Nobody wants to feel deprived which is why having regular ‘treats’ may mean that you don’t – but at the same time, constantly ‘treating’ yourself won’t be doing you and your body any favours!
The easiest solution is to follow the 90% rule: eat healthily 90% of the time and things you wouldn’t normally eat in the other 10%. Being organised here will help you as you can plan for the week in advance and find other ways besides eating unhealthy food to ‘treat’ yourself.

Excuse No3: “I hate the gym”

Solution: you’re not alone! Exercise doesn’t have to be confined to the gym and this is one of my strongest philosophies.
However, if you find it difficult to motivate yourself to work out at home or on your own, and you think the gym will be the only means of ensuring that you do exercise, then you need to view it as a long term investment for your health the same way you would view having a Personal Trainer – think of the money you’ll be saving on potential medical costs in the future.

By exercising regularly and fueling your body correctly, you will also be saving the money you would normally have spent on either eating out or unhealthy food which will result in two positive things:
1) When you do eat out, it will be a much more special occasion
2) You’ll find buying healthier alternatives means you will actually be eating a greater amount of less calorie dense foods, but spending less throughout the day on quick hunger fixes such as chocolate or sugar loaded cereal bars.

Excuse No4: “I can’t eat healthy all the time as I eat out a lot/go to lots of parties etc”
Solution: if eating out is a big part of your life then of course this doesn’t have to stop. Just use your common sense when ordering off the menu, and remember that, as a customer, you are entitled to modify certain dishes in order to suit you.

Just because the bread basket is there doesn’t mean you have to reach for it. And if you decide to have a dessert, make sure you make up for it the next day with a good workout and healthy meal choices as a means of balancing it out.

If you’re attending a party where you know there is likely to be a lot of unhealthy food, then just make sure you have eaten before you go so you don’t arrive hungry and make a beeline for it.

And if you really want to be prepared, then have something healthy, such as the leftovers from the meal you ate before you left ready to eat for when you get home if you are worried you may be hungry then.

Alcohol and its effects on your fat burning metabolism is also something that can be greatly underestimated and misunderstood. Without over-complicating things just remember this: whenever you drink, your body recognises it as a foreign chemical. It will therefore choose to oxidise the alcohol instead of your fat stores, therefore hindering your previous efforts quite a bit. Something to bear in mind when you reach for that glass of wine!

Excuse No5: “I’ve got no time to exercise

Solution: check out my youtube channel, or Fitness Newspaper’s ‘Alive in 5′ workouts for examples of intense 5 minute workouts that you can fit in either before work or in the evenings. Again, taking the time to get organised will mean you will always have time.

Many of my clients motivate themselves by thinking of the benefits of exercise and how great you feel afterwards before you do it. Little things like packing your gym bag the night before or keeping it in the car, and scheduling in solo exercise sessions (whether they are in the gym or at home) in your diary will mean you are far more likely to stick to them.

Excuse No6: “I’ve already tried everything and nothing works

Solution: ok then maybe try this – stop believing in the fads and quick fixes we are subject to every day on TV and in magazines – many are based on a loose theory and have no long term maintenance plan. Remember that any long term success plan is going to take time and requires patience but the results you experience will be well worth it!

Now you’re aware there is always a solution for every excuse, I hope this will help you to stay focused and motivated in your quest for achieving your ideal body.

Print and keep this article with you to read the next time you catch yourself making an excuse. You now know how to overcome it – and your body will thank you!

Good luck and happy training!

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Outdoor Fitness Equipment: Taking the 'play' out of the playground?

Recently there seems to have been an increase in the number of parks that have outdoor ‘gyms’, with more and more community parks sprouting pieces of specialised equipment designed to encourage adults to be active. In theory, these ‘adult playground

s’ sound like a great idea:

 

1. They’re free: for anyone put off by the cost of gym memberships or home equipment, free outdoor gyms are a great alternative.

2. They’re outside: perfect for anyone who doesn’t have space at home to workout, or who wants to get out in the fresh air and maybe get some sun (not that we’ve had much of that here in the UK lately).

3. They’re a good exercise reminder: acting as a prompt to anyone walking past that they should maybe get a little more exercise.

4. They’re inexpensive: As far as public health interventions, outdoor gyms are relatively cheap – there’s a one-off payment for the equipment and that’s it – no fees for staff, no printing/advertising costs etc.

 

 

BUT, how effective are these outdoor gyms in practice, really? Personally, I think there are a number of reasons why investing public money in outdoor fitness equipment isn’t the best idea:

 

1. No privacy

For anyone wanting to get fitter/ get in shape, an outdoor gym probably comes a close second to donning a swimsuit in terms of potential for embarrassment. Many people often claim that they dislike gyms because they feel embarrassed about working out in public, so working out in a community park (surrounded by children, teenagers, dog walkers, etc.) would probably not be a good alternative!

 

2. No instruction

Again, for anyone starting out, these workout spaces provide very little instruction about how to use the equipment. Sure, each piece of kit may come with a sign explaining how to use it and what it’s good for (e.g. cardiovascular conditioning, leg strength, balance etc.) but there’s rarely any information about how to put everything together – for example, how long should you do each exercise for, how many exercises should you do in one session, how often should you do the exercises. This might seem to take the ‘fun’ out of using the equipment, but another barrier to exercise often cited by people is that they don’t know what to do! Providing free equipment is therefore only one half of the solution.

 

3. They just make no sense!

Okay, so this is my biggest argument against these outdoor ‘gyms’. Most of the ones that I have seen have at least one or two pieces of equipment that are designed to mimic the ‘cardio’ machines found in fitness centres. Now, call me crazy, but surely you have to question the sense of producing specialised outdoor equipment that mimics gym equipment…which was itself originally designed to mimic the kind of activities that people do outdoors! For example:

  • An outdoor ‘treadmill’ (i.e. steel rollers that you ‘run’ on) mimics an indoor treadmill which mimics walking or running!

  • An outdoor stationary bike mimics an indoor stationary bike which mimics cycling!

 

  • An ‘air walker’ mimics the beloved cross-trainer which mimics…well, I never really have managed to figure out what movement a cross-trainer is designed to imitate!

 

I mean, come on! You’re in a PARK! If you want to encourage people to excise, what about providing them with actual bikes? Or setting up a walking or running group? Or even a setting up a frisbee golf course?!

 

Now, okay, some of you may agree that providing outdoor cardio equipment might not be the best idea, but surely there’s a place for outdoor resistance machines like a shoulder press, chest press or leg press?

Well, I don’t know if you’ve ever come across any outdoor resistance machines, but on the whole they actually offer very little actual ‘resistance’, mainly because it’s tricky to provide an adjustable outdoor machine which won’t rust excessively or need regular maintenance, but also because it’s generally considered unsafe to provide heavy weights to the (unsupervised) general public. So, given that the ‘resistance’ machines don’t actually offer much resistance, why not just encourage people to use their own bodyweight instead:

  • Chest Press? —-> Why not a push up?
  • Shoulder Press? —–>Why not a pike push up?
  • Leg Press? —–> Why not a squat?

The same goes for machines like the ‘twist plate’ that are designed to improve hip mobility – what about good, old-fashioned hip circles? Or multi-planar lunges?

 

The solution?

I really do appreciate the councils are genuinely trying to encourage people to be more physically active and I definitely think that money invested in physical activity promotion / interventions could bring significant savings in terms of NHS costs. However, I think that money spent on outdoor cardio equipment and resistance machines is just a waste of resources. But what’s the alternative?

Personally, I would love to see some money spent on creating outdoor ‘gyms’ for adults which not only provide areas and advice on bodyweight exercises, but that also put the ‘play’ back into ‘playgrounds’ with balance beams, monkey bars, cargo nets and zip wires!

 

 

What are your thoughts on this issue and what physical activity promotion programmes do YOU think would be a good idea?

Personal Trainer

 

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Skipping isn't just for little girls

Over the past year, I have increasingly incorporated skipping into the warm up routine of several clients. At first, some of them hate it, because they are not good at it, having never gone near a skipping rope since leaving primary school, or simply

because they are not especially well co-ordinated. Clients with MS, Dyspraxia, ADHD, ASD and Parkinsons, for example, will struggle with the reciprocal pattern of swinging the rope downwards and jumping over it. But there are rewards there waiting to be reaped: improved hand:eye co-ordination, as well as cardiovascular health, mobility at the shoulders and hips, and a routine that hits both upper and lower body.

So here’s my favourite warm up routine: this is a full length version, and usually I pick bits out of it, to suit the movement patterns I want to focus on.

Skipping workout


1. Double Foot Bounce Skip

2. Plank with alternating arm reach

3. Single Foot Bounce Skip

4. Squat

5. High Knees Skip

6. Mountain Climbers

7. Hop Skips

8. Squat with Front Kick

9. Skier Slalom Skip

10. Single Leg Deadlifts
(from standing lift one leg up and back and hold. Once balanced,
lean forward and reach down to touch ground. Pause, then return to start)

11. Skip Sprint -.as fast and as high as possible

12. Burpees

13. Double Foot Bounce Skip

14.  Lateral lunges to Touchdown

15. Single Foot Bounce Skip

16. Commando Planks ( press up to plank)

17. High Knees Skip

18. Alternate Lunges

19. Hop Skips

20. Core Board Step Up

21. Skier Slalom Skip

22. Skip Sprint

 

 

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Training For Sport – Part 2a – Exercise Selection

The bell just sounded and we are off with the second instalment of my blog… How far am I going to run today? Well I’m aiming to cover the art of exercise selection or at least appropriate selection for sports by the time I run out of breath…

If we look back at my 3 key points I left you with:

  • What it is you want to achieve/improve
  • How you intend to measure improvements
  • How much time can you give to this

I would like to start by focusing on the first of the points, what is it we are trying to improve? If you haven’t already started writing your plan down, you may want to start now… Just a thought…

I shall start with a simple example… Lets say you’re a prop (if you don’t play rugby, that’s one of the two really fat guys) and you want to improve your strength when lifting a jumper in a lineout. I don’t want to get overly technical here, I want this blog to appeal to regular people as much as for trainers, we can debate the more technical items at another time.

So I’d say start by thinking about what the move you’re looking to improve in the following way:

  • What does it look like?
  • Does that vary?
  • What does it feel like?
  • How is it loaded?

A few examples of lineout lifting

Let’s start with the first question, what does it look like? Well it looks like a step (or steps) into a squat to a press with the weight moving from chest height to above head in a shoulder pressing type motion. So that’s going to be my exercise, a step into a squat where as I rise from the crouched position, I shoulder press.

Now does that vary? What I mean by that is if you’re lifting someone, are your feet always going to be in the same position? The chances are no. So why not vary the foot positions of the exercise so that you ensure that you are strong no matter where you are? So vary the exercise with different feet positions and take a wide, narrow, normal, right foot forward, left foot forward stance.

What does it feel like? Is it fast or slow? Heavy or light? The fact is you get what you train for and so if you train slow, you’ll be slow. In this case the move is explosive and heavy so your exercise needs to replicate that otherwise you’re going shoot yourself in the foot. This said, I wouldn’t hurtle out of the blocks straight into explosive and heavy lifting tomorrow, you should build up to this, especially in terms of weight.

Finally how is it loaded? Or more importantly, what in terms of weighted object would replicate the lifting of a grown man the best? Is it a barbell or a medicine ball or a dumbbell etc? I’m going to say for the sake of argument 2 dumbells, you could probably find a better loading vehicle but not everyone will have access to 50kg powerbags!

If everything has gone to plan, we should now have an exercise to improve our lineout lifting, either that or we now have a very confused reader! I’m hoping you have followed this… If not, don’t worry, I will post a video for this tomorrow and talk about how we add some meat to the bones of our workout and also a few other exercises for you to have a look at. Then I’ll do the same for golf, football and anything else you want me to look at…

Si Tate

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Training For Sport – Part 1 – Introduction

I’ll tell you straight away that this is going to be an incomplete read, I’ll be finishing this post as the week goes on… What can I say? Time is tight and I’m pretty lousy when it comes to writing long articles so I prefer to do it in a set of

sprints, rather than a long slow jog.

In this ‘interval blog’ I’d like to help those of you trying to incorporate some sports specific exercises into your gym training. I often have people asking me about the best exercises for sports such as rugby, football or golf (this incidentally is not a sport but I’m going to address it anyway) and so instead of answering you all individually, I thought I’d do it right here and save myself the masses of copying and pasting…

Ok so first up, before you lift a weight, squat jump or shake a corestick you need to have a clear idea of:

  • What it is you want to achieve/improve
  • How you intend to measure improvements
  • How much time can you give to this

If you have these, the rest is simple or at least a lot more simple! If you don’t have this information, you are going to struggle to:

  • Select appropriate exercises
  • Determine success/failure
  • Plan the training schedule

So let’s say you play football and you’re a winger and you’re looking to run faster, first up you need to determine what exactly this means. Are we talking about acceleration? Or do you mean top speed? Is this in a straight line or multiple directions?

Once you know this, the next part becomes simple enough… How do you measure that? If you’re looking to improve acceleration over a short distance across multiple directions for example, set up a series of cones across short distances in a number of directions. This will enable you to test the attributes that you are looking to improve and therefore in a month you will be able to re-test and to see whether or not your training has worked.

The final part is then to workout how much time you can dedicate to training towards your goal and get it in the diary… oh and be realistic… Don’t bullsh*t yourself!

Here ends my writing for today, I have a client in 5, but I leave you with the age old adage “Failure to prepare is preparing to fail” and I’ll be back tomorrow with Part 2…

Si Tate

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FASTER personal training showing how it is done!

The elite level of personal trainer for FASTER, are thorough and get great results quickly.

In this video you get to see the FASTER guys working a client who plays professional football, through all of the assessments, solutions and the

n take away techniques he will need in order to carry on playing at a high level.

Notice the intent to keep the movements true to the players needs and then the solutions get applied as close to the movement the client asks for, as possible. The range of techniques move from Functional Therapy, Fascial Manipulation, Tool assisted massage and Functional Performance training, all used to help the client become better at movement. For a footballer, that means better performance and more injury free games, to a regular every day client, it means efficient, quality movement that burn more calories and allows you to train harder…

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