After much cajoling from an enthusiastic colleague and the opportunity of a two week free trial; it was with great trepidation that I dipped my toe, or entirely un-sculpted body, into the British Military Fitness regime. Now dominating most of the UK’s green public spaces, BMF has grown phenomenally in the last few years with 20,000 members and 400 classes a week and with so many varied work-out times, along with a class to suit any level of fitness – it’s easy to see why.
I had often seen the famous BMFer’s swarming over Clapham common in their sea of blue, red and occasionally green tabards – looking like a flock of birds with an unspoken secret colour coding that could only be revealed upon joining the elite clan. Arriving at my first session I was soon privy to the secret code: blues are beginner fitness level, red’s medium and greens intimidating fit. Simple, really. Feeling smug and after declaring my fitness as ‘good’ on the health screening (realistically, it was average at best) I said that I wanted to join the mighty reds for my first session. Apparently not – all new members should start in the blue camp. With each colour then subsequently split into another three levels, I decided to go into the top blue group. Predictably extinguishing my smugness – it was extremely hard.
Each group is led by a currently serving or an ex-military fitness instructor. The hour long sessions are a mix of interval training, including intense cardio and body sculpting. There is a great deal of partner work, which although admittedly awkward at first, enhances your variation of exercises and is a great opportunity to meet new people. Contrary to popular belief, the military instructors make the class fun and even have bottles of Isklar thrown in for a halfway break so you don’t need to bring your own water.
After two (free) weeks and six sessions, I felt fitter and noticed subtle changes in my body – a slightly less protruding stomach and stronger thighs. I immediately signed up to become a fully fledged member. If you are looking to get fit and sustain it whilst putting in minimum hours, I couldn’t recommend it highly enough.
Prices: Classes from £36 per month for one session a week; £48 per month for unlimited sessions. Running Club is also included.
Contact: 020 7751 9742