Back to British Military Fitness

So, last week I was browsing Groupon and came across the offer of 6 BMF classes for £24 – how could I resist?

I used to go to BMF in Finsbury Park religiously 3 times a week for several years until I broke my arm last year and was out of training for months and so by the time I was ready to go back it was time for London Marathon training and I gave up my membership (very sad times) so I could fit in all my training for that.

BMF is more than just an exercise class, it’s super friendly and sociable – which was great as I joined when I first moved to London and instantly found myself among a group of friends – hot, sweaty friends who you’ve held hands with and crawled between their legs before you’ve had time to find out their name!

But as an exercise class it pushes you far further than you think you can go – they tell you to run a bit faster when already your lungs are screaming? Somehow you find you can!! And it’s not all shouty shouty – they are ex-military people but they are among the nicest people you could meet – they encourage and push you, as time passes they know when you need pushing more (no easy classes with BMF!) but also, like in my class last night, they know when you’ve pushed too far and allow you to recover and finish the rest of the class. In, what I’ve realised, must have been 4 years of BMF-ing I don’t remember a time when someone didn’t finish a class they’d started (and often half way through the temptation is great).

With the Groupon offer you had to nominate the date and time of your first class when you signed up – having no idea that the heat wave was going to last into this week I picked Tuesday at 6pm. Monday evening I was walking home from the tube at 6.30 and it was boiling hot – fear kicked in as to what it would be like the same time on Tuesday…. Thankfully it was a bit cooler last night and there was a breeze. Now, when I say a bit cooler, we’re not talking cool, just not as hot…….

It was lovely turning up for class, lots of familiar faces there, the lovely Jel for starters and 2 other fab instructors along with classmates from before – most of who I’ve kept in touch with via the pub!!

I went in the lowest group – the ‘blues’ – after asking Jel’s advice for which one to join. There’s also Reds, a medium group, and Greens where you find the crazy uber fast runners and super strong people (in the past I’d made it into a Green class twice (wearing a red bib, but in our breakdown sneaking into the Green cut-off) and both times, although feeling like I was going to pass out or never be able to move again, I have lived to tell the tale!!).

The Blues is a great place to be – there’s a range from people taking their first steps into exercise to someone more like me that exercises regularly but isn’t ready to step up into the Reds (it’s a scary transition to make, but fine once you’re there!!) But everyone is so friendly and kind – always checking that each other is ok and supporting each other along the way. Despite the range of abilities the instructors always make sure everyone gets a good workout. Last night a girl, having picked that evening as her first ever session, was really struggling with the heat and hayfever and Charlie (our instructor) was making sure she was ok, giving her easier versions of exercises we were doing, more recovery time etc, and I strongly suspect she’ll be back – BMF is like that, it’s painful at the time, but feels so great that it’s over you just want to do it again!!

Anyway, my first session back was fab! Wearing my vivos though I think was a mistake, during an exercise where we had to have our bib held around our waist with a partner stood behind us holding the bib resisting our progress as we tried to run up a hill I over extended my calf (like I did before Tough Mudder) and was in quite a bit of pain – not sure my calves are ready to be put through that kind of intense exertion just yet….

I powered on through the rest of the session, but it’s a bit sore today….. hopefully not so sore I can’t enjoy something called ‘WillPower and Grace’ that’s being run at my gym tonight.

It’s advertised as..

‘If you’ve already embraced the barefoot running trend, then you’ll love willPower & grace, the latest indoor workout that sees you shaping up . Based on the idea that going shoeless improves foot biomechanics, reduces the risk of injury and will strengthen the feet while correcting any niggling joint issues, this workout fuses high-energy sculpting moves with yoga postures and promises to whip you into summer-ready shape.

WillPower and Grace is the high-energy, cardiovascular solution that mind-body practitioners have been looking for, and the foot fitness conditioning program that we all need for everyday lives.’

Will let you know how I get on….. in the mean time I’ll share with you a beautiful picture taken after BMF last night…..

People have met their long-term parners while looking like this!!
People have met their long-term partners while looking like this!!

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