British Military Fitness
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British Military Fitness, or BMF, is a private company which runs outdoor group fitness classes in over 145 public parks and outdoor spaces across the United Kingdom. The classes are run by former or serving members of the British armed forces with recognised fitness training qualifications.
British Military Fitness (BMF) was founded in 1999 by retired Major Robin Cope as an alternative to gyms for fitness training. He felt that an added emphasis should be made on providing motivation which was lacking in the majority of those who work out in gyms. The first-ever BMF class attracted just three clients – two nurses, and a wannabe commando who turned up in his own uniform. Today, the business boasts more than 20,000 participants a week attending classes at more than 145 parks covering the length and breadth of the country.
Each lesson lasts approximately sixty minutes, and, in order to cater for all abilities, classes are broken up into three ability groups indicated by the wearing of coloured bibs: blue for beginners, red for intermediates and green for advanced.
The first ten minutes of a class are spent warming up, before fifty minutes of intense fitness exercises, which can vary from circuit training, relays, sprints, military activities and team games. The class is punctuated by a quick water break at the midpoint and ends with a five-minute cool-down and stretching session.
Unlike the controlled environment of a gym, lessons vary from class to class with instructors making full use of the surrounding features of the park. Alongside the military fitness classes, BMF also offers running clubs in certain locations.
Notes and references
- "Profile of Robin Cope, founder of British Military Fitness, on Startups" Archived September 27, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.