Friday, 22 July 2016

Have you ever tried a British Military Fitness class?

A few Sundays ago I was invited over to Clapham Common to join in with a British Military Fitness (BMF) bloggers event comprising of a taster BMF workout and some brunch to follow.

The date in question came a week after running the St Petersburg marathon, I know what your thinking not ideal timing.

However not being one to turn down an opportunity to try out a new workout (with a free breakfast to boot!) or to explore a different part of London I gladly accepted the invitation.

My motivation for giving this bootcamp session a go was my need to do more circuit style training to improve my fitness to aid my running which I have frequently referred to in previous posts.

Despite identifying the need to do more of this type of training it hasn't actually managed to find its way into my schedule so I thought this might be the chance to turn a corner and motivate me to do more circuit training going forward.

So early on a Sunday morning I was up and out early to catch a train across to South London and the vast green expanse of Clapham Common. It felt weird going out early on a Sunday morning and to not be going running but oddly refreshing at the same time  to be trying something different. 

I arrived in Clapham far too early such was my distrust of Sunday mornings public transport provision so I killed some time with a coffee.

It was soon time to meet up with an excited if apprehensive bunch of bloggers ready to be put through their paces by BMF instructors, worried about how they would survive an hour of being barked at by military personnel.

There was of course nothing to worry about, the instructors were all a friendly bunch and we even had the opportunity to hear from BMF founder Serjeant Harry Sowerby who gave us an explanation of how BMF was founded. In fact BMF was the first organisation to ever do any kind of group outdoor fitness classes. Its weird to think that group bootcamp type sessions were once an alien concept as now they seem to be a common part of outdoor exercise.

So down to business, bootcampers are split into ability groups based on your perceived fitness ability, blue bibs for beginners, red for intermediate and green for hardcore nutters! Post marathon I didn't feel brave enough to go for green so played it safe and went for red.

I was glad of the earlier coffee as I think I needed the caffeine boost to help power me through! 

An enjoyable if not sweaty hour followed where we took part in a variety of group and individual exercises.

All the usual kind of bootcamp exercises you would expect, press ups, sit ups, star jumps, squat thrusts, lunges and of course the dreaded burpee, not to mention planks, lots of planks. Planks for a short time, planks for a long time, standard planks, planks with variations and even planks as a rest in between exercises! Torture! 

It was great to be encouraged and put through my paces  doing familiar exercises as well as trying out new exercises and different variations on usual techniques. 

The end result was the rewarding glow of a good workout knowing that my body had been given a good workout and I had event worked out some muscles I never knew I had!

After a quick chill out recovering sitting in the park with some delicious brunch snacks it was time to head home and get ready for the week ahead. Ah yes before I forget the week ahead, my week ahead was plagued by awful pain in my glutes and hamstrings courtesy of all the burpees and lunges!

Big thanks to British Military Fitness and Active in Style for putting in a great event and for inviting me along, the goody bag was awesome! 

British Military Fitness now operate over 400 group exercise classes in 145 locations across the UK, if you are thinking of trying out something a bit different to challenge your fitness levels then why not give it a try!