Last Saturday I trialed a full day session at Revival Boot Camp in Sheen on behalf of the lovely PrettyFit.
Being a boot camp virgin I was slightly apprehensive. The image that boot camp usually brings to mind (at least for me) is muscular military types in camouflage trousers alongside a nervous looking group of people wearing tabards (similar to the ones you had to wear at PE at school). Now, that isn’t necessarily my idea of a great Saturday, but I’m open to new experiences and luckily it turned out my preconceptions were completely unfounded.
After arriving at North Sheen Recreation Ground early enough to watch the Revival team setting up, the first thought that struck me was what a vast and varied set of kit they seemed to be assembling, had I accidentally enrolled in canine agility course rather than a fitness Bootcamp?
Fortunately, nine women gathering around the Revival flags at 10am provided reassurance that the equipment was in fact for people not spaniels.
The day was due to be split into two morning sessions with a short break in-between, lunch and then another session in the afternoon. Gerry the director of Revival was on hand with our lovely trainer Christian who was putting us through our paces for the day.
For the first session Gerry and Christian had us trialling some new wireless headphone technology. The idea being, that rather than having to have music blasting out and potentially disturbing other park users, it can instead be played straight through the headphones, much like a silent (fitness) disco. With Christian hooked up to a microphone we were able to hear all the instructions clearly no matter where we were based in the park. Despite initially feeling a bit weird, it actually worked really well, the only downside being slightly sweaty ears. Definitely a clever solution for a big group who all need to be able to hear the instructor whilst being spread over a large area.
The rest of the morning passed in a blur of jumping, squatting, lunging, lifting and getting in and out of weighted hula hoops. The range of kit was seriously impressive and the circuits were interspersed with team competitions which kept things interesting, a big box of orange segments was provided for group refreshments.
We had been told beforehand we would need to bring our own lunch, but for those who had forgotten there was a handy café on the grounds. Having had a 15 minute break already during the morning, a collective decision was made to spend just half an hour on lunch. This prevented us from cooling down and meant we were soon ready for the afternoon session and round two. Boxing!
Christian had us doing a variety of punches and once he had thoroughly exhausted our arms, it was onto further upper body punishment using the kettle bells, giant ropes, weighted bars and core bags. Following a set of ab work on the mats it was time for the final session of the day, ominously named ‘The Killer’.
Split into pairs, one with boxing gloves the other pads, the instructions were to throw 50 punches before, as a pair, completing a shuttle run in opposite directions and meeting back in the middle to throw another 49 punches. Then 48 punches, sprint, 47 punches, sprint, 46 punches… and on till the final sprint and punch. Quick pad/glove switch and do the whole thing over again.
After doing the sums, I worked out that was 1275 punches and 100 sprints each, it certainly wasn’t named ‘The Killer’ for nothing. An excellent and extremely painful way to end a brilliant day.
It’s a tough ask to keep a group of nine entertained in the corner of a park for six hours, but the Revival guys did a great job. Apart from a brief rainy spell where our mats turned into shallow paddling pools the day went without a hitch. At £45 you can’t really beat it for value for money, you can easily pay that (or more) for just an hour with a PT.
To top everything off Gerry offered those who needed it a lift back to Richmond station, what a star!