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Best bootcamps: Building fitness and character

RW Rachel V Wall

There’s nothing quite like training in the Great British outdoors to give sessions an extra dose of pep as you survive battle ropes and avoid frostbite with the grit of a true champion. Whether you favour military-style mornings with the BMF or are looking for a heart pumper, like the calorie-burning Bootcamp HIIT offered by Train Dirty London, it's the ideal time to head outdoors.   

1BMF with Bear Grylls

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Be military fit

Be Military Fit has been leading fearless outdoor training sessions for over 20 years, offering something for everyone. Promising cutting-edge training programmes, the latest military methodology and the opportunity to be part of “the strongest community in fitness”. Workouts are tailored to all abilities and newcomers are always welcome – regardless of fitness level. Classes are coloured by ability, with blue suiting beginners, red for intermediates and green for advanced. Prepare for benches, tyres, ropes, partner bodyweight work and burpees in the mud as you join their movement to #TRAINANYWHERE. 

With boot camps available across the country you can find your closest via the button below.

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2Train Dirty London - Highbury Fields Bootcamp

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Launched by a group of ex-professional athletes, Train Dirty London delivers Bootcamp HIIT sessions that push your body and mind to the limit. The 45-minute classes combine high-intensity interval training and a heavier, weights-based bootcamp workout for optimum fitness gains. Post-workout you’ll benefit from hours of burning fat, thanks to a rise in metabolic activity and, over time, all those kettlebell swings will lead to increased fat loss and an improvement in heart health. 

Sessions run on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday and cost £12.50. Book now via button below.

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3Rabble

Unfortunately, we reach an age where sporadically running after each other is no longer acceptable. Rabble sets out to change all that by creating the outdoor workout we never knew we needed – think dodgeball, British bulldog, capture the flag and frisbee for sessions rich in fat burn and adrenaline. The beauty is in the high-intensity intervals hiding among the natural ebb and flow of the organised games. Couple that with the upbeat, community spirit and we’re in danger of forgetting we’re working out. 

Rabble is committed to inclusivity and has classes for every fitness level and age – including dedicated mother and children sessions. There are over 50 locations worldwide and you can find your nearest via the button below.

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4OSR Bootcamps

OSR Bootcamps reinvent tough love as they promise to learn your limits before they push them and will adapt any workout to suit the varying fitness levels, injuries and limitations we bring to the table. They’ve designed a trio of bootcamps which, over the course of a week, put your whole body to the test. Monday kick-offs with HIIT, a classic session focused on working those intervals. Midweek moves to metabolic conditioning, think sandbags, medicine balls and battle ropes for a workout “designed to challenge the two major energy systems in the body”. And then there’s their third offering, ominously titled Total Body Blitz, it’s the signature OSR bootcamp and combines cardio, weights, bodyweight exercises and plyometrics for 30 rounds of 50 seconds. Expect your endurance and stamina to reach new, faraway places.  

You’ll find their main outdoor bootcamp on The Heath at Blackheath. They run 500 sessions throughout the year (whatever the weather) and can be booked easily via the MINDBODY app.

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5Bootcamp SE16

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Bootcamp SE16 is all about intense workouts in a welcoming community environment. Based at Stave Hill, you can take in the London skyline while ferociously flipping tyres and, thanks to their team of expert trainers, no two sessions are ever the same. Combining a variety of kit with bodyweight exercises and the encouragement of coaches, you can meet your goals while also indulging in their lively social scene (gym clothes not obligatory). Prior to your first session, Bootcamp SE16 will take you through a consultation and buddy you up with a regular bootcamper to help ease those first-day nerves. 

Sessions are held six days a week and invite everyone from “mums with buggies” to semi-pro athletes. Details of signing-up are available below.

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6Strong + Bendy

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Founded by twin sisters Faye (also known as Mouse) and Rhi, Strong + Bendy is a beautiful fitness studio and exercise garden located in Hackney Wick, London. Their outdoor offering Battleropes + Bodyweight is a high intensity interval class that works your arms, legs, back, chest and core. The brand was born of a desire to create a friendly and welcoming exercise space that could make intimidating gym floors a thing of the past. They welcome all fitness levels and if you’ve never laid your hand on battleropes before, you’ll be taught the proper technique but be warned – classes are always taught outside so dress for the English climate. 

Introductory classes start at £12 and details of Strong + Bendy’s timetable and pricing structure are available below.

More info

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Best bootcamps: Building fitness and character

RW Rachel V Wall

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