Levi Ackerman hasn’t had the simplest of lives. Since childhood, he has been training in skills to survive. And even the short Levi height of 5’3″ did not deter him. In the end, after going through all the struggles, he’s become “The Humanity’s Strongest Soldier.” And even though I’m talking about anime characters in a world where gigantic Titans exist, it takes certain dedication to reach the power level of Levy that any of us would admire.
Training like Levi Ackerman means utmost dedication and constant improvement. To become the most deadly human weapon in the country, you must possess a diverse range of skills. Suppose your admiration for the character pushes you towards becoming just as strong. In that case, you have to be ready for rigorous training that exceeds simple weightlifting and encompasses balance, agility, strength, speed, and so on.
Although Levi is not the protagonist of Attack on Titan, he is one of the beloved characters anyway. Year after year, Levi has been leading the popularity polls on various platforms. At the least, he’s always been in the top three. Considering that a fair part of the character’s popularity comes from his top-notch Titan slaying skills, there is no wonder that people are searching for a Levi Ackerman workout routine!
Today, I’d like to highlight the main aspects of “in real life” training needed for Levi’s skills and what workout types should be included.
How to Remain Thin But Toned Like Levi?
One of the possible questions you may have about Ackerman’s training is how he is not bulky with the amount of working out he does.
There are several factors at play here.
First of all, to maintain a lean form, you have to take into account your diet and daily energy expenditure. The rule is simple – if you burn more calories than consume, you burn fat (but only when working out to keep muscles); if you eat more than burn – you gain (fat and muscles alike). Accordingly, weight maintenance requires roughly the same number of gain/burn.
The sad part is that Levi’s been having problems with eating healthy and plenty since childhood. His story is about poverty and a hostile environment. Thus, thinness means that Levi just maintains the balance.
Secondly, there are two main distinct types of eight training – strength and hypertrophy .
Nowadays, many fitness enthusiasts prefer hypertrophy training – increasing muscle mass. It focuses on increasing your muscle fibers’ size in the area that you strain. It focuses on moderate weight and repetitions.
Strength training is meant to enhance your power without increasing muscle mass as much as hypertrophy does. Instead, strength training is based on taking heavier weights and doing fewer reps.
For beginners, doing 8 reps is a great in-between count that somewhat increases muscle definition but primarily focuses on developing strength.
Levi Ackerman Workout Basics
As I’ve mentioned, to really train like Levi, you have to dedicate lots of time to various training types and techniques. Dedication and consistency are the ultimate requirements.
If you were to take Levi himself as a personal trainer, you’d be in a world of pain and constant exhaustion. Considering his main training credo:
This is just my opinion, but when it comes to teaching somebody discipline…I think pain is the most effective way.
Utilize All Three Planes of Motion
Considering that the Omni-directional mobility gear the characters use in the manga allows you unlimited 3D movement, you have to master all three planes of motion!
For well-rounded strength and power, you have to utilize all three movement axes for optimal balance and to minimize the risk of injuries.
The detailed guide from Makeba Edwards , M.S in Kinesiology, explains how the planes work in detail.
The sagittal plane is about the left and right halves of your body. It’s “activated” as you move front and back. Its main movements are flexion and extension.
The sagittal plane is involved in the following movements:
- bicep curls
- front and back lunges
- Romain deadlift
- jumping rope
These are only the most widespread exercises in the sagittal plane. Incorporate at least one of these into each of your training sessions.
The frontal plane cuts your body into the front and back sides. It’s “activated” by moving from side to side. All the lateral exercises can be assigned to this plane.
A few frontal plane exercise examples:
- lateral lunges
- jumping jacks
- side plank
- military press
- lateral shoulder raise
The transverse plane cuts your body into the upper and lower parts; thus, it’s also known as a horizontal plane. This movement axis usually includes rotational exercises.
Transverse plane exercises:
- Russian twist
- horizontal woodchop
- rotational kettlebell swing
- plank hip dips (rotational)
- Pallof press
- fire hydrant
A well-designed program that includes all planes of motion for every training improves the overall fluidity of the movement, which is essential for the operation of such gear.
Train With TRX
To my mind, TRX training is the closest type of workout that imitates the Survey Corps training.
The equipment was created by a military man as well, U.S. Navy SEAL Randy Hetrick. Who’s to have a better understanding of fictional military training?
TRX suspension training boosts up the complexity of each movement twice (such as the “flying” gear would do). According to the creators of the method, TRX 
improves mobility, flexibility, strength, endurance, power, core, and heart health.
From personal experience, I can attest to how hard TRX training is compared to regular weight lifting. Even the same targeted movements are ten times harder as anything you do pushes your core strength and overall stability.
TRX is the closest to imitating being suspended in the air and pushing your muscles to comply. Unfortunately, gravity is your resistance and greatest enemy at the same time.
According to a 2015 study , a 12-week TRX training program was proven effective for older adults in enhancing core muscle activation, strength, and balance improvements, as it is fruitful for younger adults.
You can find the basic TRX exercises in the following Men’s Health article .
Don’t Miss Leg Days
Do you remember the infamous leg kick of Levi’s? It’s done with such grace and is still highly effective (as proven by Eren). Thus, what should we do? Focus on those legs!
All jokes aside, the leg kick is not the only reason to pay special attention to leg days. When operating the mobility gear, characters are constantly jumping and pushing from all kinds of surfaces. For that, you’ll have to develop impeccable leg strength.
If you prefer training according to an upper/lower body split (you can check the article for some tips), I believe the following leg day workout will suit your taste.
- Goblet Squat (8 reps, three sets)
- Romanian Deadlift (8 reps, 3 sets)
- Weighted Lateral Lunges (8 reps each leg, 3 sets)
- 180˚ Squat Jump with Toe Touch (30 reps, 3 sets)
- Weighted Bulgarian Split Squat (8 reps each leg, 3 sets)
- a core exercise (any plank variation, mountain climbers, dumbbell side bend, reverse crunches, etc.)
As you see, the workout I’ve offered incorporates all three movement planes – this is what I’ve been speaking about previously. Training only two out of three planes will not give you the flawless movement needed in the air in 3D.
Do Lots of Cardio
The importance of cardio for Levi workout is two-fold.
The first reason lies behind the number of calories cardio exercises burn. As they are high-intensity, you burn more calories in a shorter period of time. I’ve already written an article about the most effective types of cardio workouts previously. You can check it for a detailed analysis of exactly how many calories one can possibly burn.
The second reason lies in that we actually see doing lots of cardio work while using ODM gear. Though the gas-powered mechanism is meant to propel you in a predetermined direction, Levi uses it to gain momentum with lots of running in between the swings. YOu cannot leave all the hard work to ODM; when dealing with dangerous Titans, you have to be swift on your own.
Granted the deadly flesh-eating monsters are nowhere in sight; if you want to indeed train like Levi, you’ll have to do a lot of cardio anyway.
The great news is that the modern fitness coaches generally support the variety in cardio training – you can choose whatever makes you happy and satisfied.
Levi Ackerman Workout for Balance
Flying around like you are really a bird born to do so requires the perfect balance from you. And while compound and traverse movements improve your balance, you need a bit of an extra “oomph” to become like Levi.
Tai Chi and Yoga
These two directions practice graceful forms of exercises to achieve balance, mobility, strength, and learn to feel your body as a whole and its separate parts. Basically, they both learn people to be aware of their bodies and what they are capable of.
Tai Chi is a Chinese form of gentle and mindful exercise and stretching. There are various Tai Chi routes and exercises; you can either focus on the balance-related forms or dive deeper into this stress-relieving practice to stabilize your life.
This Tai Chi guide  posted by NHS UK states the following advantages of practicing:
- reduced stress
- improved mobility
- increased muscle strength in legs
- preventing arthritis
Yoga is a similar practice that is focused on a steady flow, mobility, and balance. Our author has previously written about the balance-oriented yoga practice, and what types of exercises are the most suitable. You can find yoga benefits there as well.
What Are Levi Ackerman’s Specific Skills?
The previous points were generalized to prepare your body physically, similar to how Levi was training. All the mentioned techniques create a strong, powerful body with utmost agility when combined in regular training.
However, I should also highlight more specific fields of Levi’s training, so you have an option to adopt a unique skill as well.
I believe you may be interested in two forms of training.
The world of Attack on Titan is drastically different from our modern world, especially on Paradis.
And while we perceive horseback riding as a hobby, Levi needs it to survive. So, how masterful do you think he is on the horse? I believe he could win any racing event and show tricks while doing that.
So, if you want to add this kind of entertaining training (it’s pretty hard as well!) to your schedule to really train live Levi in all aspects, I encourage you to make a hobby out of it.
Weapon and Combat Training
The ODM is only a transportation means; the actual fight with titans is conducted via swords or firearms later in the series.
However, Levi’s personal feature technique is two blades in a spinning motion that powers up his attack with the rotation force, thus keeping his stamina and strength in shape for longer.
Note that this type of training  is always conducted in safe environments with a professional coach and necessary safety equipment. So no worries about your health! Both solo drills and sparrings are conducted under the watchful eye!
Plus, you can add one more option to the “offensive” type of training.
A Humanity’s Strongest is destined to be the master of combat fighting. And as we see in the manga, his kicks and punches can send you flying. Combat training is a must for soldiers, even in a fictional land.
Overall, Levi Ackerman is one of the most hard-working characters in the series when it comes to physical training. This is his ticket to getting home alive after a meeting with Titans. And this determination is evident in the way he treats his colleagues.
“No casualties, Don’t you dare die!”
Among all the types of training you’ll have to include in order to take a look at how a Humanity’s Stronger person lives, there is one thing that you should never adopt from Levi. No, that’s not the manic cleaning habits. It’s all about an awful sleeping pattern. While Levi can manage it somehow by sleeping only about three hours a day, all the health and fitness professionals highlight the importance of proper night sleep.
In this aspect, don’t be like Levi.
- The Difference Between Strength Training and Hypertrophy Training (webmd.com)
- The Planes of Motion Explained (2017, acefitness.org)
- What’s TRX – Fitness Unlimited (trxtraining.com)
- RX Suspension Training: A New Functional Training Approach for Older Adults – Development, Training Control and Feasibility (2015, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- 10 of the Best TRX Exercises to Build Functional Total-body Muscle (2021, menshealth.com)
- A guide to Tai Chi (nhs.uk)
- Safety in Swordfighting (martialenergyworks.com)