Back to nature with Fitness Wild - West Briton's fitness series, part three
IT’S Monday morning, It’s dark, cold and wet.
And at a time when I would usually be waking up, I find myself doing a rope climb and walking downhill on my hands and feet like a bear.
My initial thoughts: this is not going to be a good week.
After the bear walk, I sprint back up the slippery slope, do some press ups and burpees before being taught how to swing some Kettle Bells.
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After that I do a ‘dead lift’ with an Olympic weights bar and suspend myself on some gymnastics rings.
Working out in four degrees Celsius in a field before dawn is not my first choice for exercise, but I don’t get out much.
Besides, Fitness Wild workshops intrigued me.
Using old-school techniques my two fitness instructors – Falmouth Marine School watersports graduate Jimmy Ray and tree surgeon Ben Glazzard – started the company three years ago.
The ‘functional fitness’ techniques, such as Kettle Bells, have slowly made it into the commercial gym environment but, according to Ben, they haven’t quite got it right.
“Gyms are doing similar things but they are not really getting it,” he said.
“The fitness industry says that if you want to train people, especially women, it is more about the social side than actually developing them.”
Ben and Jimmy both studied intensive personal training courses but became disillusioned with the commercialised fitness industry, so developed their own techniques, using the formal training as a base.
“We don’t pamper people,” said Ben. “We are there to develop them.
“It is pretty extreme. You need a bit of grit, a spark in your personality, to push you that little bit extra.
“We are getting a reputation for being hardcore.”
I have never described myself as hardcore, or extreme.
But I enjoyed every minute of it, especially as my instructor talked me through every exercise to ensure I kept the correct ‘form’ and avoid injury.
Through personal one-to-one training and workshops, Ben and Jimmy train train sailors, professional kayakers, gig rowers and a range of mums – around 70 per cent of their clients are women – and professionals.
They are currently training an Olympic sailing hopeful, Zennor Pascoe, in the Nacra 17 class.
Two years ago, they trained half of a transatlantic rowing team, Simon Osborne and Stephen Bowens.
Among their success stories is when one of their advanced personal training clients cancelled a full knee replacement operation after just two months of training.
For the last two years, they have been training all 30 fire fighters at Falmouth Fire Station.
White watch manager Martyn Addinall, said: “With the fitness sessions the main focus on core strength this is essential for the work that firefighters encounter, tending to be dynamic lifting which can cause back injuries.
“Training with Fitness Wild has given us an opportunity to get fit in a way that is specific to our job and actually reduces the chances of getting un-necessarily injured.
“The sessions are challenging and you really know that you are being trained but we all enjoy it.”
Away from the fire station drill yard, Ben and Jimmy run their six weekly workshops at Marlborough Fields and on Gyllyngvase Beach.
On top of this they have around 15 personal training clients.
At the end of the two circuits, I thought we were done.
Far from it. We had to lie down in the water-logged field and do a series of core and ab work.
What a great start to the week.
Contrary to my expectations, I felt great. I was buzzing for the rest of the day and had the best night’s sleep in over six months.
For more information: www.facebook.com/FitnessWild or www.fitnesswild.com. Ben 07896 678 313. Jimmy 07912620666.