Now that summer is with us, we are all for training in the sunshine – abs and a tan is a winning combo! And although running outside is awesome, we all know that strength and resistance training is as important as cardio albeit a little trickier to take out of the gym. Our hunt for a challenging outdoor circuit which would make us strong, fit and seriously burn calories, led us to City Strongman. Kathleen Fleming went to check it out……..

The Background
City Strongman is run by two awesome, well-respected trainers, Dave Thomas and Ben Gotting, and although it has “man” in the name, this is a great class for both guys and girls. In fact, it is a great class for anyone – you are immediately made to feel welcome and there is such a fun, friendly vibe created by Dave and Ben. During the week the one hour sessions take place at 7pm in Vauxhall (a short stroll from the station) and the Saturday morning class is at Rosslyn Park Rugby Club in South West London.

The Class
This is not your average strength workout. The clue is in the name – City Strongman incorporates many of the activities often seen at strong man events such as tyre flipping and the log press. As well as the strength components, the trainers like to throw in some sprinting, squatting and lunging to maximise the calorie-burn. It might sound a little scary but the class isn’t just bulging muscles and testosterone.  In fact, there are guys and girls of all ages, mixed in fitness ability from professional rugby players to those who have never picked up a dumbbell. During the class, everyone works in teams so there is always someone spurring you along from the side line. Dave and Ben make sure that you are teamed up with someone who knows what they are doing and they also keep watchful eyes over technique and form. By the end of the hour, your legs will burn, you will be sweating, your hands and clothes will be grubby but you will still be smiling. And thanks to the team-work set up, you will probably come away with a few new friends as well. The Verdict This class is brilliant for anyone, from the strength-training novice to the pro athlete. As a fitness class regular, I can honestly say this is one of the best all-round training sessions I have done in a long time. Outdoor bootcamps are ten-a –penny nowadays but what really sets City Strongman apart from the rest is not the mega calorie-burn or the huge tyre flips but the kindness and enthusiasm of Dave and Ben – these guys have created a class where you work seriously hard but always come away smiling.

To book a class visit www.citystrongman.co.uk 

words by Kathleen Fleming