British Military Fitness Session, Victoria Park
THE BASICS: British Military Fitness (BMF) is run by ex-soldiers, and takes place in parks all around the UK- usually week nights after work or on Saturday mornings. There is a big social element to them too. First class is free.
THE BITCHES: Carly
THE CLASS: Work finished dangerously late, and so I pegged it to Victoria Park for the Monday night class, making it with literally a minute to spare. I was lightly scalded when I arrived, fair enough, these guys are ex-army types, not yoga teachers after all. I popped my bags in the van and promptly had my bottle of water confiscated.
I know that training with water is a bit of a safety blanket for me, but nevertheless I am always happy to lug a bottle around, should I desire a drink. And as a grown up lady I think I should be trusted with being responsible enough to manage this. Not so!
This set me off in a bit of a grump, but I decided to see past it. People seemed friendly and genuinely all sizes and abilities- it was nice to see that. The number of people attending was huge too- about 45 in all!
We got to the park and were split into three, depending on abilities. Blue is the beginners and the easiest tier- I was in with the blue bibs.
The park was dark, cold and wet, which is something you need to be prepared for if you are attempting some BMF action- especially as you are going to spend at least 1/3 of the lying on your belly, your back or with your hands and knees on the floor. I like this muddy outdoor element personally, but definitely don’t go there wearing white!
We did a lot of partner work, which is a good way to meet lots of people, and you swap about a bit. You’re encouraged to introduce yourself to each new partner, and work together to reach a goal. We had a couple of team games to initiate some friendly competition, and again this was a good way to bond with fellow BMF-ers.
All I will say is that after I asked for water twice, and was made to feel a bit silly and weak for doing so. We were finally given one bottle to share around the sub-group of about 20 of us…. and it was the bottle I had had confiscated from me earlier! Rude!
This made me feel even grumpier, and the second time water went round, despite being thirsty, I didn’t really fancy sharing a bottle with 20 other people’s spit all over it. Maybe that makes me weak. Maybe that makes me sound too precious for BMF. Maybe that makes me keen on my oral health. I’ll leave you to decide yourselves.
The class was fine, and I got a really good work out. This certainly isn’t meant to be a negative review. I just felt like, after such an amazing few months of feeling empowered, strong and slightly high on the endorphins of a good workout, I had taken about 10 steps backwards. Instead of feeling great, I ended the session feeling a bit rubbish about myself. I write this feeling like the awkward, weak girl who had to earn my place at the class, instead of feeling strong and proud of my awesome body, and being accepted and celebrated for getting off my arse and challenging myself with a new workout.
Don’t get me wrong- I’m not here to pick at someone individually; the trainer was friendly enough and seemed like a nice person. However, I think maybe I just prefer a supportive, encouraging trainer, and not one who takes the mickey when you ask a reasonable question like “can I have a drink please?”.
Well…. at least we know I’ll never join the army. Either that or I’ll join the army and tell the Sergent to do one when he tries to make me jog up a hill. Yeah, I like the second version better :)
THE VERDICT: Some people will love BMF, some will hate it- they certainly seem to have a big fan base and one person’s mediocre review won’t phase them, I’m certain. If you respond well to no bullsh*t, get-on-and-shut-up exercise then you may well really like BMF. I genuinely appreciate that some people will “get” this, and subsequently enjoy it.
I just don’t think it was quite right for me. It don’t feel like it syncs well with the happy energy and supportiveness of what Project Hot Bitch is all about. Look at it this way- the first class if free so the best way to decide it so try it out, really!