Drop and give me ten: Trying out a British Military Fitness workout

Ok, I admit it, I’m a floozy. Monogamy just isn’t for me. You see, the thing is, I love running, I really do. It offers me all I could want: it torches fat, it gets me outside if I want to go outside, or, if I want to stay inside, I can just jump on a treadmill. I can run with friends or go it alone; I can go long or short, fast or slow. It clears my head and gets rid of any stresses from the day, it makes me happy, it really does but you see I also really love climbing…and swimming, and Zumba. And no matter how happy running makes me, it just seems I can’t help my exercising eye from wandering.

So there it is, I’m an exercising floozy, I admit it. It only takes the slightest suggestion of another type of workout for me to be there, signed up and in my gym kit ready to go.

My friends don’t help with this sporting promiscuity. If they ever fancy trying something new but fear going it alone, they know who to ask. Touch rugby, yoga, rounders…you name it, I’m there, which is why I now find myself with my first British Military Fitness session under my belt.

I have of course seen the BMF groups swarming all over Clapham Common and Hyde Park during my runs. I’ve looked on with a mixture of envy, interest and trepidation at those groups of panting, bibbed athletic folk, being shouted at by military men in combats. So when a colleague asked if I fancied attending a free trial session I jumped at the chance. My running partner, Louise, was keen too, so we signed up and set a date. How bad could it be, right?

The Hyde Park group starts at 6pm sharp. Now, even though we only work in Green Park, we still managed to be late and found ourselves racing across the park to catch the group who were just about to leave (not a good start). Luckily we were allowed to join and were thrown straight in at the deep end with a sprint across the park interspersed by a mixture of squats, lunges, arm pumping and high knees.

After the first set we were split off into two groups and I was separated from my colleagues and sent off with a smaller team on a run further into the park, with orders to do burpees at each bench en route to the point where we would ‘start’.

The session from here consisted of a mixture of sprinting, squats, lunges, burpess, star jumps, leg raisers, crunches, bicep curls, press-ups, planks and dips. A lot of the exercises were done with partners or in teams, which really helped to keep me motivated, not wanting to let my partner or team down. We were told to encourage our partners to keep each other going. I was partnered off with a red head who was incredibly athletic and definitely ensured I upped my game.

By the end of the session I was exhausted with shaking muscles, but riding on apost-workout high with endorphins pumping and the sense of being part of something; yes it was really tough, but we had all suffered together and had all come out of the other end.

If anything is going to get me ready for Tough Mudder BMF is it. It works on the quick twitch muscles that, in me, are lazy on my long runs, and the cardio fitness required to ‘drop and give me ten’ then jump back up again and keep running.

With everything else, cost is of course a consideration, but I am seriously considering membership and would definitely recommend you try it at least once. The military men are not as scary as they look, (in fact they are rather handsome!), and their shouts are more of encouragement and motivation than agression.

Free trial sessions can be booked through the website: http://www.britmilfit.com and sessions run at oer 180 venues across the country.

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