7 Ways to be more active Outside of the Gym

I would be so bold as to say that when it comes to Personal Training in Cork, we know what we are talking about. We opened our doors in August 2013 and since then have given back around 10,000 hours of coaching to our clients, with a lot of success stories along the way. However, doing some personal training 2 or 3 times per week is not enough in its own to get real life changing results. Real results, whether that be in body transformation, or sports performance comes from within. It comes from finally deciding to make the change, and pursue your goals consistently. Having expert advice, coaching, motivation, and accountability are crucial aspects of success when it comes to personal training, and strength and conditioning. This article is about the time you spend AWAY from the gym, and how you can get to your goal in the most efficient way possible. Enjoy

So you go to the gym. But you wish you could get a bit more from your training. So what can you do? You can’t seem to squeeze another couple of gym sessions in due to your busy schedule, and sometimes you just cant make it to your gym session, and you want to stay on course. Here are 6 activities that you can do with pretty much no equipment, at the drop of a hat, and will have a major impact on the progress you see with your training.

1. 20 minute walk

If fat loss is your goal, I can tell you from first hand experience that a 20-minute walk early in the morning is a brilliant addition to your training program. Get out of bed, brush your teeth, and walk as fast as you can from your front door for 10 minutes. Turn around and walk back as fast as you can. Every day for 30 days, especially on the days that you know you are not going to get to the gym. Do the walk before having anything to eat, and you will be burning fat like its going out of fashion!

2. Fartlek Run

If you really want to make good progress with your body composition, throwing in 2-3 Farlek type training sessions per week will really work wonders for you. Farlek training essentially entails running/ jogging/ walking at a high pace for a period oftime, and walking or jogging slowly for a set period afterwards as your recovery. It can also be fun to do this over varying terrain and inclines. Think forest part, or grass field. Spend 20 minutes running/ jogging/ fast walking for 30 seconds, followed by a 30 second slow walk/ jog. This is a really enjoyable way to boost your fat burning capabilities, and improve your fitness into the bargain.

3. 30 minute squat challenge

Full disclosure here. The 30 minute squat challenge was ‘created’ by Ido Portal, and has already been completed by thousands of people that have had all kinds of major breakthroughs by doing it. From increased energy, ease of movement, and massive improvements in rage of motion, and improved digestion, the 30 minute challenge is a no-brainer for you if you want to find a way to get more from your training, be healthier, and move freer. I’m actually squatting right now as I write this!

Accumulate 30 minutes of squatting every day for 30 days. And check out Ido’s page on the squat challenge for more information and tips on squatting.

4. 7 minute hang challenge

Self explanatory really. Accumulate 7 minutes hanging from something(s) across the whole day, for 30 days. This is another one of Ido’s 30 day challenges, and the benefits of hanging make it another no-brainer. Start off with passive hangs, just letting everything go, until you can do 2 minutes of continuous hanging. Check out Ido’s page about the hanging challenge for more information and hanging variations.

5. Mobility Circuit

This is one that you can do anywhere that you have a bit of floor space. Listening to a nice piece of music or as a break from the daily grind. Go through the following mobility routine once, and twice if you are feeling the love.

  1. 10 air squats
  2. 10 Single leg Romanian deadlifts each side
  3. 10 squatting extension rotations
  4. 10 active down dogs
  5. 10 reps each side of ‘worlds greatest stretch’


  1. Foam rolling circuit


If you are training hard, and you are in the market for something less taxing and more relaxing, jump down on the floor with your foam roller, and give you calves, quads, ITB, groin, and thoracic spine a nice gentle run over with your foam roller. Spend 1-2 minutes on each area on each leg, and about 20 minutes total time. Your heart rate will come up a bit, but more importantly, you will be moving for 20 minutes, and feel like a million dollars afterwards.

6. Kettlebell circuit

All you need to perform this circuit, is a bit of floor space, and a kettlebell of your choosing. Dan John created this circuit as a ‘finisher’ (Check his book Intervention for a great read, and WAY more great stuff) to raise the metabolism improve fitness, and get the heart rate up.  You can go to this page right here to see the full details of the routine. For now, this is the long and the short of it; perform the routine below with 30 seconds rest in between each circuit.

1 x Push Up

1 x Goblet Squat

10 Kettlebell Swings

2 x Push Up

2 x Goblet Squat

10 Kettlebell Swings

3 x Push Up

3 x Goblet Squat

10 Kettlebell Swings

4 x Push Up

4 x Goblet Squat

10 Kettlebell Swings

5 x Push Up

5 x Goblet Squat

10 Kettlebell Swings

Of course, if you want to keep it even more simple than the workout above, swing your kettlebell for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds, and keep going for 15 minutes. Technique is crucial when doing this type of a workout, so be double sure you are doing the exercises right before you launch into it.

The Key to Success:

Pick 1 of the routines above, and concentrate on doing it for the next 30 days. The 2 things that I want you to focus are technique, and consistency.

Make sure that you are performing the exercises/ moves correctly, and seek expert advice on this if required. After technique, the most important thing that I want you to take on board is sticking to the practice of doing your chosen challenge consistently. If you say you are going to do 2 Fartlek sessions per week, or 20 minutes walking everyday for a month, or the squat or hanging challenges for a month, then do it. Make a contract with yourself, and reward yourself at the end of the challenge if you complete it successfully. Let me know how you are getting on by leaving a comment below this article.

This article is by Coach Ainle Ó Cairealláin