Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Berkshire Fitness Scene : Metafit at Box Bell Fit

If I didn't have a gym membership (said membership is suffering from non-usage at the moment) I would train regularly at Box Bell Fit. Located in a barn on a farm on the outskirts of Wokingham, this outfit specialises in kettle bells, boxing and high intensity group training classes with side lines in personal training and sports massage. It's run by Anna, who I exchange many emails with before actually making it to a class. When I meet her I'm impressed by her muscle definition as much as by her friendly professionalism and the way in which she's cultivated an inclusive and warm environment in which to train. I decide within the first 5 minutes of being there that I want to come back, provided I enjoy the class I'm about to do.
The barn may not look like much from the outside but inside is a functional and unfussy training environment with lots of thoughtful features such as a bank of cubby holes for bags, comfy stool-style seating at a counter for chatting and enjoying refreshments from the kitchen and a small sofa area for chilling out. A keyring scan system replaces the usual card swipe and membership packages can be bought online. 

In order to partake in kettle bell or boxing-based classes it's usual to go through an induction, but I've not been able to attend any so I've turned up early to prove myself to Anna and fill out the necessary forms. As I've recently completed a kettle bells training course I'm deemed competent enough to forge the induction should I wish to try one of these classes and so I spend the rest of the time chatting to Anna, marvelling at how she remembers everyone's names and makes it feel like home.
The first class I'm trying out is a metafit class, a 30 minute high intensity training session that has attracted a large attendance despite the lure of football on the telly. Metafit was created by a former Royal Marine Commando and a national gymnast and combines traditional bodyweight exercises with the latest interval and Tabata techniques. There are a number of set workouts which Anna has had printed on banners and strung across the roof in the back third of the barn where we train. We get to choose, as a group, which workout we do. Anna makes sure that the newbies get to grips with all the moves we need to know during the warm up and gently corrects and encourages everyone throughout the class. 

The workout consists of four rounds. Each round has three exercises which you spend 20 seconds on apiece before having a short rest and repeating twice more. You work as hard as you are able to, it's not competitive, and frankly you're too busy cursing a burped by another name and wiping sweat out of your eyes to look at anyone else. This was one of only two classes that have worked me so hard even my knees sweated. 

Despite that I loved it. The concept is brilliant and I discover I really enjoy training like this but the environment and Anna's coaching contribute equally to my enjoyment. The next morning I sign up for a 10 class/3 month membership package, which works out at £5 a class. I'm keen to try out the Turbo Box and Kettlebell classes. Even when I'm suffering from DOMS three days later I don't regret my decision. 

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