British Military Fitness

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by babiesarm, May 5, 2004.

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  1. I don’t work for them, neither have I attended a training session, however, they look good and what a great idea for a company!! If you wish to offer me a free trial period then please PM me!!

    www.britmilfit.com

    Article from the Saturday Times:
    IT IS a rainy Thursday evening in Battersea Park and 30 City workers, civil servants and media types, dressed in shorts and T-shirts, are standing around shivering in the cold.



    In front of us is a Jeep containing the kind of torture equipment last seen during school PE lessons, including the deadly medicine ball, which looks like a football but weighs like a bowling ball.
    To make matters worse, the Jeep’s drivers, a corporal from the Marines and a major from the Royal Engineers, are preparing to take charge of the bedraggled, undisciplined crew in front of them.
    Within half an hour they will be making us lie on our ample stomachs in the mud and wet of this South London park, wrestling against one another. Never has the phrase “gluttons for punishment” seemed so apt.
    Welcome to a workout, army-style. This session has been organised by British Military Fitness, a company dedicated to fighting flab in civvy street by bringing military discipline from the exercise yard to public parks across Britain.
    They have answered the Government’s calls to help to force Britain’s collective backside off the couch and now have 1,500 members paying between £30 and £50 a month for “training” as this brand of sadism is known. Their organisation, staffed by former members of the armed forces, unashamedly targets a masochistic streak in the British psyche and offers an opportunity to be bullied into shape.
    No one here tonight really believes this week’s claims by the Department of Health that half-an-hour’s vigorous vacuuming will get you fit. BMF even thinks gyms are for sissies because they slim down your wallet without a corresponding effect on your thighs.
    “We push people harder than they’re used to being pushed. Fitness training needs to be challenging or there’s no point in doing it,” says Kevin Lomas, BMF’s operations manager and a former commander in the Royal Marines.
    So every week gluttons of all shapes and girths gather in parks in London, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester, to be cut down to size. Their punishment is an hour-long class which takes exercise back to basics by involving an awful lot of press-ups.
    So with a brisk shout from the organiser, “Fat Camp” is in session. The hour is spent running around the park, jogging on the spot and doing games to exercise different muscles.
    For that time, your daytime status — from high-flying executive, to power-broker to senior manager — means nothing. Name is irrelevant and in true army style you are referred to only by your rank (intermediate in my case) and serial number (34, on my coloured bib). You quickly realise you are the plaything of the instructor, at a whim sent to the far corner of the park and back again sometimes backwards, sideways or (the depths of humiliation) doing forward rolls.
    There is little room for slacking, and the golden rule is not to fall behind. Coming last means doing press-ups. And cheating during press-ups just means doing them again, as I quickly discovered. The instructors use the numbers on your chest to humiliating effect. It allows them to holler commands such as: “Number 34, get those knees up.” Which they did. Frequently.
    The organisers claim that the best sessions take place in the rain and, certainly, getting dirty is an integral part of the experience. One woman, who wanted to go to the lavatory half-way through was told: “There’s the bush over there.”
    The toughest part involved rapid running with a medicine ball, interspersed with press-ups and squats, a combination that brought back hideous memories of school PE. It was the one exercise that made me regret the cheese and onion pie earlier in the day.
    At no point were we allowed to stop and we were made to jog on the spot whenever things were being explained to us. Even the half-time “break” lasted just a minute and there wasn’t enough time to drink the small bottle of water provided, one between three.
    But at the end there was a genuine sense of achievement among all participants. Although relentless, much of the banter from the staff was good humoured and fears that the organisers might resemble Sergeant Hartman in Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket proved unfounded.
    No wonder the organisation’s devotees keep coming back for more.
    Helen Sanders, a nutritionist who has been attending classes for over two years, said: “People at work think I’m mad, but it keeps me fit and now I never get sick.”
    John Gordon, 42, who works in the City and has been attending for a year, said: “There’s a sense of teamwork and you get more done than you would do on your own in the gym.”
    According to Mr Lomas, there is a fine balance between pushing someone and embarrassing them.
    “The British psyche doesn’t like being shouted at or humiliated. Yes, you do need to raise your voice. There’s not going to be an old sergeant-major screaming at you.”
    He said that gyms lulled users into a false sense of security. “We get people all the time who cancel their gym membership because they don’t work hard enough. They go to the sauna and work at a nice easy pace and this eases their conscience without getting them fit.”
    But for me, the final humiliation came after the session. Having hopped, rolled and sprinted through the course, I was pretty pleased at keeping up with the rest of the group. Not so, according to Kevin. In future, I would be better off in the novice group.
    That was too much. I won’t be going back. Give me vacuuming any day of the week
     
  2. Hmm - shame we can't treat recruits like that!
     
  3. chimera

    chimera LE Moderator

    Indeed. In fact it is a shame that we cannot train some of our adult soldiers like that.

    I hope (of course) that the 2 instructors had completed an appropriate ETL course. I was also disturbed to see reference to the punters shivering - presumably the PTIs had not conducted the appropriate cold weather index assessment. No mention either of the mandatory 30 minute warm up (...when I shout 1 touch your right hand on the ground, 2 left hand, 3 jump up in the air....etc etc carry on normal jogging ...etc etc)

    I see there was some shouting by the staff - isn't that humiliation these days? - perhaps someone will sue...

    Oh dear, am I getting cynical??