Fitness / Lifestyle

British Military Fitness Guinness World Record!

BMFBMF This is a proud moment. I am officially a Guinness World Record holder!  On a sunny Saturday in May, I joined 377 others on Wandsworth Common to attempt the record for the most number of people doing squat jumps at the same time for one minute – and we did it! The record attempt was organised by British Military Fitness, which runs outdoor bootcamps in parks across the UK. They decided to hold it on National Outdoor Fitness Day (May 30th) to promote the benefits of getting outside, running around and having fun – with the added benefit of getting fit. BMFI am 100% behind this ethos at bellesse. There’s nothing more invigorating than moving your body, breathing in fresh air and connecting with nature. Even if that “connection” means doing burpees in the mud or going nose-to-grass in a push up. Group outdoor exercise is a great social activity, and it’s been proven – both anecdotally, and by smart psychology types – that you’re more likely to exercise if you arrange to do it with friends, and you’ll get more out of it. As you would expect, the event was organised with military precision. We arrived around 9am and were signed in by lots of smiley, muscly men wearing camo trousers and BMF t-shirts. So far, so good! Then the shouting began… To warm us up, an instructor got us jogging on the spot and doing lots of jumping jacks, high knees, lunges and sit ups. We then ran around in a big loop and into the demarcated zone for the record attempt. After several more push ups and sit ups while they counted us all in we were taken through the technique for the perfect squat jump – no cheating here. Then it was time for the challenge! BMFSometimes one minute can go by in a flash, and sometimes it can seem like an eternity. By the end of this minute, my quads were sure it would never end. But, thanks to barks of friendly encouragement from the BMF team, we fought through 60 seconds of pain to victory. High fives and smiles all round! And to celebrate, what did we do? Yes, an hour-long BMF bootcamp. BMF training might sound brutal, especially if you’ve watched too many Vietnam war films, but it’s amazing fun. My group was lucky enough to get Harry, the founder of BMF, as our instructor. He’s the one in the picture with me in the top left – an expert in bootcamp motivation as well as banter! But there was no time for slacking. An average BMF class burns nearly 700 calories. We did a variety of exercises solo, in pairs and in teams. It’s a great cardio and full-body workout because you’re constantly changing things up. In between sit ups and lunges you do sprints to keep your heart rate up. And when you’ve fatigued one muscle group, you work on another. The interactive element adds a competitive edge, so you work harder without realising it, and it also makes for plenty of laughs. The instructors make you line up a lot – in straight lines, naturally – and there’s the occasional order to drop and give them 10, but it’s all motivational stuff. Having said that, if you collapse on the floor or feel like you want to throw up, then you’re probably doing it right. Bet you can’t wait to join a BMF bootcamp in a park near you soon! British Military Fitness is at more than 140 venues across the UK. First class free; then various membership options with a £25 joining fee


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