Wonder Woman Workshop Kettlebell Bootcamp, Greenwich Park
THE BASICS: Wonder Woman Workshops hold bootcamps throughout the week concentrated around SE London (greenwich, Blackheath….). They also offer PT sessions and run a programme special event workshops and classes. Women are encouraged, but men are also welcome along to some of the classes (check the website for specifics). First bootcamp class, FREE, drop in class, £12.50 (multiple class passes & memberships available).
THE BITCHES: Carly
THE CLASS: While jogging round Greenwich Park for a few Saturday mornings, I’d been transfixed by a bootcamp group swinging a shiny array of colourful kettlebells. I needed to find out what this was all about. And so while my Rollsthulfahrer friend went for his marathon training session round the park, I went to join this class.
No men were in the group this week, although I was assured that they often turned up. Instead, we had a welcoming, funny, chatty group of women at various fitness levels, all sweating and laughing together. This lovely group were able to keep each other focused and urge their neighbour to lift a heavier kettlebell, while still having a giggle about getting stuck on the floor and getting a bit muddy.
Kirsty, Wonder Woman Workshop’s resident nutritionist led this week’s class, and had us sprinting, stretching and racing each other round the bandstand as a warm up.
When we were ready to go with the kettlebells, she was clear in her instructions, and took the time to recommend what weights we should all be using individually, based on our experience and capabilities. I thought this was great, as we had tailored attention. Having her take a few extra moments to check on us individually brought an element of one on one personal training despite it being a group class, which was a real value add.
We went through plenty of swinging, squatting and lifting, each time adjusting kettlebell weights as we worked through reps. As it was my first class, Kirsty took the time to correct my form and supervise me, again making me feel supported and safe. Her care really made the difference.
This isn’t at all to say she was nice with it! Oh no, this woman was firm but fair- having a giggle but at the same time yelling “NO! GO FOR THE 12KG!!” if we tried to sneak a kettlebell that was too easy for us. She had eyes everywhere. There was no easy weight sneakery under Kirsty’s watch (and believe me I tried!)
We ran aorund a bit more, and then finished the class with a mixture of reps in 4 minute sets- some with kettlebells and some without. The dreaded burpees also made an appearance. This section took us around 15 minutes, and was an absolute killer. But WOW did it fire up the endorphins and put you in the right frame of mind for a Saturday. I felt invincible once I’d finished! Invincible and broken. With rubber band arms. And a sore arse. Exactly as should be! BRING IT ON, SATURDAY!
We said our goodbyes and waddled off to our respective modes of transport like a group of sweaty, bow-legged John Waynes. I couldn’t walk again properly for 3 days. It was ace!! :)
THE VERDICT: Fun, friendly, approachable and cheeky banter. This class was a really lovely bootcamp, and certainly not fluffy just because it’s aimed at women. A lot of the group were lifting 20kg+ kettlebells- this class was about strength, stamina and power. The sort that Wonder Woman herself would be proud of! Give it a go and surprise yourself with how quickly you can graduate through the weights. A fantastic intro to kettlebells too.
THE EXTRAS: One other thing worth mentioning was the fact that one woman brought her cute little daughter along to the class (she must have been about 7). She took part with a tiny kettlebell- it was absolutely adorable. She was well supervised by Kirsty and looked after by all of us, and outran us at every sprint (embarrassing!)
I loved the fact the Wonder Woman team are obviously ok with this sort of thing- it enables mums to come along even if they don’t have childcare, and it’s also such a brilliant way for a mum and daughter to bond. Not only that, but this little girl is seeing exercise and strength in a positive way from such a young age- the whole thing was just fantastic.