When I first moved to Christchurch, I tried to find a BMF (British Military Fitness) replacement. Well maybe not a replacement, as BMF Cheltenham was pretty special, but something similar. Something outside, high intensity, fun and maybe involving mud, and somewhere I could make friends. I didn’t want somewhere to just go, work out, not speak to anyone and leave again, that’s not what I was looking for.
I found this thing called The HIIT Squad (already liked it just for the fun name) who did classes in Hagley Park. It was the nearest I’d seen. The only other possibility was a bootcamp type thing but far out-of-town if I remember rightly, and loads more $$ than I had to spend.
After a chatty message from the guys who ran it telling me it was all about the fun and community as well as fitness, it sounded like just my thing, so I went along to try it on a hot sunny Wednesday evening. I spent 45 minutes doing loads of types of exercise my body had got used to not doing for a couple of months, trying to keep up with very fit lean people who knew what a gorilla crawl and kicksit was. Not going to lie, I swear I felt like I nearly died, it was insanely hot and I was bemused by the provision of baby wipes and hand sanitiser, having been used to BMF where if you didn’t get dragged through muddy puddles by the instructors or crawl through dog poo you were one of the lucky ones.
It was enough fun though to make me go again the following week, and sporadically over the summer when I wasn’t away. The people were pretty cool and I was out to make friends.
When I got a job I had a bit more routine and started going more often, but this also coincided with the moving of classes inside over the winter. Whaaaattttt? You mean you don’t carry on training in the park when it’s cold, dark and wet?
I admit, this was a bit of a revelation and I had to decide whether to carry on or not, as I’m not really a fan of an indoor workout. What a quandary. Sigh. But it seemed there weren’t really any fitness outfits that worked outside in Christchurch over winter, and I liked the classes and people enough to want to stick with it.
So I did, and the rest is history. I’ve been going ever since, and may have changed my mind about indoor workouts. They moved into a new studio last year, and it’s chocka-block full with super-fun equipment that I actually <gasp> love. They do a few different types of workout, using all kinds of equipment from your own bodyweight to kettlebells to ski machines and resistance bikes (see thehiitsquad.org for more details).
The classes are full of fun, laughs, high-fives, music, sweat and pain. No session is the same, and each one will leave you wondering what the very hell just happened.
I’ve been going for a while now and I don’t feel like it’s getting easier, but that’s because I know I’m working harder and I’ve definitely noticed an improvement. Which is pretty impressive, given I was known at BMF for just going to dick about a bit and chat for an hour.
It’s run by Matt, a super friendly guy with so much passion and enthusiasm for what he does it’s actually infectious. It’s his dream, and he and his team love sharing it with other people.
Nothing can replace BMF Chelts, but I have a lot of fun, I’ve made some great friends and definitely got fitter. That’s a big WIN in my book.