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Katie Martin Southampto Personal Trainer Gen Preece

Well done to Katie!

BBC Radio Solent’s Katie Martin loses 4.2 inches in just five weeks!

A huge congrats to the lovely bride-to-be Katie Martin of BBC Radio Solent, who has been training hard in the lead up to her big day – this Saturday!

Through functional training and clean nutrition, Katie has lost a fantastic total of 4.2 inches off her body in just five weeks!

“I can’t praise Gen enough for her efforts in getting me fit and toned, she’s been an absolute star and made every session loads of fun and really worthwhile. You might think personal training is expensive, but it’s huge value for money and what I got from just a few one to ones with Gen far exceeds what I could achieve at a gym on my own. Katie Martin BBC Radio Solent training with PT GenThe approach Gen takes is completely bespoke, and even the absolute killers like mountain climbers, jumping squats and that press up with the vipr (torture) exercise was achievable with her encouragement and motivational comments. You really feel like you’ve got Gen’s total attention and that she’s thought about what you’ll enjoy in advance so your session is fresh, new and never ever boring. Everyone is motivated in different ways and by different things, and Gen is really good at reading signals and giving you “well dones!” and “come ons!” depending on how you’re doing. Gen’s also great at showing you how to do things properly so you don’t hurt yourself and is mindful of any injuries you might have when devising your session. I found myself doing full pressups in the tens and teens without even really realising I was doing it – you don’t get chance to psych yourself out or think “I can’t do that” when you’re working out with Gen. I have never laughed so much during exercise as I have at the PT sessions with Gen, she is great fun and takes the time to get to know you, and doesn’t let you forget your goal whilst you’re exercising. With six weeks to go until my wedding my goal was to tone up, to have more energy and strength, and to feel fitter. I’ve been able to achieve all that and more, and I will definitely carry on with the training after my honeymoon. This is a long review, but it doesn’t really even scratch the surface, I can’t believe how much I’ve changed in 5 weeks – thank you Gen, so much!”

Well done Katie, I am so proud of you and cannot wait to see the wedding photos 🙂

Looking forward to resuming the training after your fabulous honeymoon!

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Southampton Personal Trainer Gen Preece Boot Camp

Three Foods to Avoid for Successful Weight Loss

My Top Three Suprising Foods to Avoid for Weight Loss

I first decided to change my unhealthy lifestyle, and lose the weight I’d accumulated from years of eating rubbish and avoiding exercise, at age seventeen.

My first step was swapping my food choices to low-fat whatever I could find, the white pasta and baguettes to brown and skimmed milk instead of semi, in my low-fat cereal.

When my weight continued to pile on and I felt even worse (constant tiredness, bloating, lethargy, disrupted sleep…) as well as extremely frustrated, I thought surely there had to be another way?! PT Gen Levrant Personal Trainer Southampton

Luckily there is. And it doesn’t involve fads, pills or shakes. My results really started when I cut the following three out of my diet:

  1. Low fat/Light anything

I found out the hard way just how much these hindered weight loss – they had the exact opposite effect! These types of ‘foods’ have been tampered with, now containing additional sugar, chemicals and salt to make them palatable and often addictive. A good rule of thumb is if you spot any ingredient on a food label you cannot pronounce, it probably isn’t any good for you.

2. Dairy

Not only does dairy create excess mucus and slow down digestion, its acidity levels are so high, they actually encourage fat storage. Fat and disease cannot survive in an alkaline environment. Dairy therefore hinders weight loss quite spectacularly.

Plenty of non-dairy calcium sources exist, including almonds, tahini, kale and white beans.

3. Brown/wholegrain foods

Swapping to brown may be the lesser of the two evils, but bread and pasta are still processed foods. The long-term effects of regular wheat/gluten consumption have been found to contribute to a range of digestion problems; often labelled IBS.

Many of my Personal Training clients had previously believed they were ‘addicted’ to these kinds of carbs, from craving them constantly. In some ways, they were. This is because the more wheat consumed, the more the body expects it. Wheat consumption creates lethargy, which can make exercising an even bigger challenge!

For me, it wasn’t as simple as cutting these foods completely and never looking back. It took a while to realise their true effects on my health and size. I eventually linked the tale-tale signs of feeling drained, having a dodgy stomach and wanting to go to sleep after eating them.

These responses only confirmed how much my body was thriving without them. Try cutting them out for yourself and see how much yours can thrive too!

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Southampton Personal Trainer Gen Preece

Back on 93.7 Express FM: fads, fitness…and Jason Donovan!

Health and fitness myths, and how to stay on track!

It was so great to be invited back on to 93.7 Express FM to chat once again to the awesome Miles Henson!

Gen back on 97.3 Express FM!

January 2014: Gen back on 97.3 Express FM!

As a recap, my top tips for not falling off the New Years Resolution wagon are:

– surround yourself with positive people: we are the amalgamation of the five people we spend the most time with. Make sure yours are radiators and not drains.

– be patient: take things one step at a time, one day at a time, one meal at a time. Results that are permanent are achieved over time, not instantaneously.

– be kind to yourself: focus on what you CAN do, not what you can’t do. And think about what you HAVE rather than what you want. Often this is all it takes to bring us back to the present moment and feel grateful. And when we have gratitude on our mind, it’s impossible to feel anything other than peace.

And finally: becoming buddies with Miles Henson clearly has advantages as I even managed to get Jason Donovan on the air! Thanks Miles once again for having me, and sacrificing your credibility in the process! 😉

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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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