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British Military Fitness

The Blurb:

Heralded as ‘the UK’s number one for outdoor fitness’, British Military Fitness was founded in 1999 by a retired army major who wanted to make military-style fitness training available to the masses. The concept is simple: people of all ages and fitness abilities work out together outdoors in classes led by military-trained instructors. What started out as an experiment in Hyde Park quickly became a popular way of keeping fit, and classes are now available at around 145 locations across the UK, including 15 London parks.

The Process:

BMF has a reputation for being quite hardcore and it was with some trepidation that I signed up for my trial class in Battersea Park, but I need not have worried. The instructor immediately put me at ease, explaining that while some people wrongly believe you need to be super fit to take part, BMF is actually one of the most inclusive fitness programmes available and caters for all levels of fitness by dividing the class into ability groups; blue for beginner, red for intermediate and green for advanced.

Members’ ages range from 16 to 70, although the group that turned up on this early Saturday morning was primarily made up of people in their twenties to forties, many of whom had been going to BMF classes for years and raved about it.

Not knowing quite what to expect, I donned a blue bib and joined the beginners group, for which I was thankful later, as I was certainly put through my paces during the hour-long workout. After a rigorous warm-up, jogging up and down a somewhat wet lawn in intervals interspersed by star jumps, high knees and heel flicks, the pace quickened. We ran around the park, stopping at various stations to work our way through an increasingly gruelling set of exercises including squats, burpees, press ups and crunches.

Some exercises were done in pairs, which was a fun way of getting us all to work together and spur each other on. The emphasis was on having fun while being pushed to do our best. The military-style ‘orders’ (‘Keep going, no one told you to slow down!’) were very much in jest and when at one point I was flagging a bit, the instructor was quickly by my side to check I was okay.

The class ended with a cool down and stretch and cheery applause for our instructor and ourselves for getting through it.

The Results:

I can see why people get hooked on it. BMF classes are challenging but rewarding; they provide a full-body workout and no doubt get you fit fast if done regularly. Whether it would be quite as enjoyable during the wet and cold winter months I’m not so sure.

The Details:

There are several membership options, the most popular being the six month unlimited classes contract, which allows you to attend any class at any venue at any time, priced at £51 per month. You can also opt for one class a week, paying £38 per month, or pay as you go.

A £25 joining fee applies to all memberships, and monthly memberships last for a minimum of six full calendar months. Free trial classes are available at all venues.

www.britmilfit.com; 020 7751 9742

Tried & Tested | ,