I love working out outside. I'll always prefer being out in the elements to sweating away in the dull confines of a gym. It's just the way I am. I love the freedom to explore and the element of play that only comes with running around outside. Muddy knees, all the better. It's one of the many (many) reasons I'm a runner.
Given all of that it is a bit weird that, before last Saturday, I'd never got my act in get to check out British Military Fitness, the UK's biggest and best outdoor fitness classes. Whenever I'd seen the classes in the park I'd though they looked like a lot of fun, but for whatever reason (I have no good reason) I didn't make it along...not even for a freebie first class...so it's probably a good thing they invited me along to celebrate National Outdoor Fitness Day through the medium of squat jumps. Obviously I loved it.
So, those squat jumps. The idea was that we'd try and break the World Record for most number of people squat jumping in one place, at one time. An easy feat you think. It wasn't. Squat jumping for a minute straight, with your hands behind your head is hard. Really hard. Sore bum for days after hard. Which I guess was the point of the challenge...after all British Military Fitness have a reputation for working hard and having fun. We're still awaiting the results of our record attempt, but with over 300 people jumping for their lives it's looking like a good bet!
After the record attempt we split in to groups to take part in the biggest British Military Fitness Session - an hour of fun and games that saw me crawling around on the floor, sprinting back and forth and hauling another woman around on my back. On paper it sounds awful, out in a field it was awesome!
I was really impressed with the set up at British Military Fitness, all their instructors have military experience and are trained to the highest standard. The sessions are super organised and whatever your fitness level you'll be pushing yourself in a safe, supervised way, with just the right balance of 'encouragement' and humour from your instructor.
One of the things that really struck me was the sense of team work and camaraderie that developed during the session - we were in this together, supporting out team mates and getting stronger together! I could imagine that if you went every week you'd develop some awesome friendships!
times vary by venue, but in London parks get taken over by British Military Fitness most Saturday mornings and on various week day evenings.
140 venues across the UK
there are various membership options and the price varies depending on location. you can also buy pay as you go class credits.
what to wear
gear for the elements. I went with cropped running tights, a vest and a half zip top. the half zip top was quickly abandoned.
a fun civilian friendly workout that'll get you fighting fit
*many thanks to British Military Fitness for inviting me along to participate in National Outdoor Fitness Day, as always all opinions are very much my own*