Manuka Life does The Skinny Rebel Workout


Guest post by: Lucy Overs

When we first got to the beautiful Conrad St. James Hotel for our Skinny Rebel Workout personal training session we realised neither of I nor our graphic designer, Yvona even own a pair of trainers, which shows you how much exercise we do and how obviously un-fit we are going into this.

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Luckily we were told that’s fine, I did the entire workout in my Converse without a problem and Yvona even did half of it barefoot. I felt the need to warn Dean, our personal trainer that I have never done a proper workout in my life, my time at the gym involves some beginner yoga classes, light cross-training for about 20 minutes and not much else. Yvona does all sorts of Acro Yoga and things so she was going to do a whole lot better than me, but the way the workout is designed, that’s not a problem, you can do as much or as little as possible and a lot of the moves can be easily adapted to different levels.
The thing that makes this workout different to any other is the altitude masks you’re given to wear throughout the personal training session. As we’re a yoga company, rather than straight up fitness, Dean let us take it easy and only wear the altitude masks for a few of the less intense exercises. The point of the masks is to reduce oxygen flow which includes a whole host of benefits like increasing your lung capacity and re-training the way you breathe. Although initially intimidating, we found it immediately made us take deeper breaths as you’re very aware that the air is restricted and once you get used to the breathing technique it’s actually very easy to forget the mask is there.


We started with some squat jumps and jogging, doing lunges etc. before moving on to the tougher workouts where you really have to push yourself, and finishing up with some interval training on the bike. As someone who just doesn’t workout I always assumed I could but it wasn’t what I expected, I would never be able to push myself that much alone at the gym and having Yvona there as well made it so much more fun than cross-training with Beyoncé blasting in my ears. The 40 mins I would usually spend in the gym seem like a relaxing waste of time in comparison to the intense, 45 minute session with Skinny Rebel.

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The main benefit I found from the experience was learning new exercises, most of what we did involved little or no equipment so it gives you a lot of knowledge to take home and do on your own. I can definitely see how much doing the entire course (which is 12 sessions over 6 weeks) would completely change your fitness levels but even if you can only afford/have time for one or two sessions, there’s a lot you can learn and take away from it. It was a really good taster session for different exercises and equipment I’d never used before, there were plenty of rest breaks and my fears of a terrifying personal trainer who is going to yell at me were squashed, Dean was really lovely and encouraging, making sure we were keeping our form correct and only doing as much as we could while still pushing ourselves to the limit.

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This is the type of workout I would recommend to pretty much anyone, it was really good fun and like I said, as a beginner I found it really informative, it’s changed the way I spend my time at the gym. The masks are a step up for if you’re more advanced and they even get personal trainers and marathon runners coming to sessions so it really is suitable for any level of fitness. You get the small gym to yourself and bottles of ice cold water were provided plus the luxurious, central location makes the price tag seem like a bargain.

Learn more about the altitude masks and Skinny Rebel on the Train Dirty website and make sure to check out their Instagram too.