Five Minutes with British Military Fitness

Get soldier fit


Henry Jones has been in the Royal Marines Reserves for 5 years. He says one of the best things about being a BMF instructor is the interesting people that he gets to meet and interact with on a daily basis. Last wednesday, he met the ELLE Running Club and put us through our paces. After our workout, we grilled him:

I've done a lunchtime workout and feel zapped of energy, what should I do instead of running to Starbucks/reaching for the nearest sugar-fix?


After a workout, protein is key to helping muscles rebuild themselves and aid the recovery process. Chocolate milk can be good to aid recovery after an intense workout or some yogurt with fruit/ honey in.

Should we eat before a lunchtime run and will this help prevent an afternoon slump?

Ideally, I would suggest eating afterwards in the manner suggested above: a lighter protein style snack straight after training, followed by a more substantial meal an hour or so later.


How do military bootcamps differ to other circuit training classes?

At British Military Fitness, we bring the intensity of military style fitness sessions and throw in a dash of forces banter to keep you smiling while you work. Partner exercises are greatly encouraged and we try to use as much of the parks we work in as we can, so that you never get bored and have the opportunity to take in as much of the outdoors as possible!

We did a lot of partner exercises but what are your top three moves to do alone in the outdoors if you're not training with a friend/colleague?

Without a partner, your top three exercises in between shuttle sprints/ running should be squats, press-ups and burpees to achieve that all body workout.

If you want to tone up and lose a few pounds, should you aim to lose some weight before starting a strength-training programme?

No not at all. With an appropriate diet/ nutrition plan it is possible to see these gains from a strength-training program if combined with some form of high intensity interval training/ cardio/ conditioning. It is a common misconception that women will instantly get bulky from lifting weights.

What if I don't have an hour to spare to exercise – is all the hype about HIIT true?

HIIT training is great, although as the name suggests it needs to be done at "HIGH INTENSITY!"

If you're short for time, pick four exercises, such as squats, press-ups, sit-ups and burpees, and work one at a time for 8 rounds of 20 seconds on, 10-second rest on each. This is Tabata training, a classic example of HIIT. To make it a quick workout, work each exercise one after another, getting your workout done in only16 cheeky minutes!

What should we tell total beginners who are worried about that lunchtime sessions are too tough for them?

Intimidation is a factor that has been keeping people from training at gyms and clubs for years because they deem it to be too difficult. My advice for them is: Don't be afraid, work at your own pace and enjoy it. 

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Visit British Military Fitness for more information. Follow @britmilfit for instant updates.

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