We tried a military fitness bootcamp and it broke us

Only one of us soiled ourselves

Hours of Netflix, thousands of chicken nuggets and VKs on tap. Let’s be honest it’s no surprise most students pile on a few pounds during their first few weeks at uni.

After seeing a stream of Facebook posts about fitness fanatics getting involved in military style training, we wanted to see if gruelling exercise in the rain whilst being shouted at by big men in army uniforms was actually worth it. For some of us, it definitely wasn’t.


We arrived at the meeting point so encouragingly described on the website as “behind the Park and Ride information office”, when the weather started to reflect exactly how miserable we felt. Through the rain, we eventually saw a van with the “BritMilFit” logo on the side, and two men in camouflage with biceps as big as Jack’s head stepped out.

The overwhelming realisation that taking part in the class would result in crippling our bodies for the sake of some photos was quickly washed away by the prospect of spending an hour with attractive men in uniform.


We think the numbers are our fitness ages

We think the numbers reflect our fitness ages

This was the point where we met the rest of the group and Stu, the Park Manager for BMF York. He spent eight years in the Royal Logistics Corp.

Quicker than you can say “sexual fantasy”, he yelled “form rank” then suddenly we were being forced to do push ups on the gravel because we didn’t form a rank correctly.

Obviously we immediately considered bailing at the next possible opportunity.

But, we didn’t have a chance as we were then left in the hands of Pete, someone who was very much not a beginner and he didn’t take any shit.

Half an hour of nonstop sprints, jogging and punishment burpees later, it was safe to say that we weren’t feeling optimistic. In fact there were several occasions where passing out or throwing up seemed inevitable, but we soldiered on.


Our saving grace

Next came core, leg and upper body exercises leaving our muscles exhausted, our lungs on fire and our dignity wounded as we struggled to keep up with the men and women who had actually paid to take part in this experience. Thankfully, they were all at beginner level so we didn’t feel too embarrassed when we could barely jog on the spot towards the end.

The session’s penultimate activity was a classic leopard crawl along the filthy North Yorkshire field in our brand spanking new tab tees.

Pete made jam out of our frail student bodies.

Pete made jam out of our frail student bodies.

5 minutes later and we all might as well have set our tinder distances to 5 metres. We weren’t looking great.

I’ve seen less scruffy YSJs.

Can someone help this pathetic gay man please?

Can someone help this pathetic gay man please?

British Military Fitness was  a more rewarding self-discovery experience than a gap yah. We learnt how little of our sass Pete would take, we learnt how many army men it takes to make a grown gay man cry (one, just one.), but perhaps most importantly, we learnt how astronomically unfit we were.

If you want to walk like a cowboy for a week, sign up for a class at britmilfit.com. Your first class is free and it’s actually a proper good laugh.

But until our bruises subside, we’ll probably stick with the Hes East sports village.

University of York fitness gym military york