British Military Fitness was founded in April 1999 by Major Robin Cope and Serjeant Harry Sowerby as an alternative form of group fitness training to gyms.
The idea was, and still is, to get people of all fitness abilities outdoors training in parks, with motivation provided by military trained instructors. While many people refer to BMF as a boot camp, it was never the intention to make BMF an intimidating, hard out boot camp. Instead the aim was always for us to give everyone a fun and effective form of training using the highly professional skills learnt in the military to get people fit.
In April 1999, British Military Fitness had its first class in Hyde Park, London. The first session saw just three people turn up. But week by week, the numbers grew as the people being trained told their friends and work colleagues about how great, and fun a BMF work out was, others simply walked up in the park and asked to join in.
By the time we had reached our first winter, BMF had 200 members but was contemplating closing for the winter months. The members’ pure passion indicated that they wanted to continue training through the dark, cold months and that has been the case ever since!
BMF pretty quickly spread across London as people asked for classes to be set up in parks near them. Now we have over 400 classes in more than 145 locations all across the UK, and turned 15 years old this year.
We have developed a ‘civilian friendly’ version of physical exercise (‘phys’) used to improve and maintain the fitness levels of the British Army, Navy and RAF - some of the fittest individuals on the planet.
As the military need to conduct ‘phys’ wherever they may find themselves, it has evolved highly effective group fitness training programmes. Very little equipment is required other than body weight (either your own or that of a partner) to perform a wide range of individual, partner and team speed, strength, agility and stamina exercises – all tried and tested by the military.
We often get asked - am I fit enough do do a BMF class? The answer is YES.
We understand that our classes are only effective and fun if you’re exercising at the right ability level for you. This is why we divide all class participants into three main ability groups:
At our larger venues we sub-divide the groups further still, so that everyone gets the most appropriate workout for their fitness level. The numbers on your bibs also help the instructor to personally encourage and congratulate you on your effort, and ensure that you’re doing every exercise correctly.
Whichever group you join at a British Military Fitness class – you’ll be guaranteed an effective workout with people with a similar level of fitness. Every week, you’ll work hard, have fun and make tangible progress that you’ll be able to see and feel.
If you've still got some questions for us you can have a look at our FAQs, or alternatively give our membership team a call on 020 8996 2220.
We encourage everyone, from exercise rookies to fitness veterans, to give BMF a go. This is why your first class is free. Sign up here.
April 29th, 2016
With the recent boom in popularity of sports and fitness in the general population, technology and systems usually reserved for the elite sporting world have become more accessible and widely used than ever. This extends from MAMIL’s (middle-aged men in Lycra) riding £9000 bikes, through to GPS watches, heart rate monitoring and nutritional supplementation. One…
April 21st, 2016
David Hellard is a member of the British Military Fitness Race Team and is their long distance specialist. He is a championship marathon runner, has run the London Marathon nine times and this year is again an official Runner’s World Pacer, pacing all of his last five marathons 9-22 seconds under the target time. Here,…
April 14th, 2016
Since launching our very own sponsored race team at the start of the year, we’ve been on the look out for 3 new members to bring our team of seven up to ten. The British Military Fitness Race Team is made up of some of the leading athletes from across the country, who take part in events such as…