Have you ever warmed up for a fitness class by fighting fire?
That’s what you’d do – sort of – at the ‘Firefighter Bootcamp’ in Orpington, where exercises are inspired by the courageous daily actions of two London Fire Brigade (LFB) personnel.
Although not directly affiliated with the emergency service, workout sessions draw on training techniques and the everyday exploits of those who rescue us when things get a little heated.
It was set up by friends Mark Lawrence and Stephen Bond, both 28, who’ve served the LFB for around eight years. As qualified personal trainers too they felt they’d stumbled upon a niche.
Mr Lawrence explained: “We’re both firefighters and we took inspiration from our training, and we’re personal trainers as well so that’s how we came up with the idea. We blend in regular regimes.
“We’d seen the British Military Fitness programme and thought we would try to create our own.”
Last year the pair piloted classes over the summer and proving popular have returned to lead twice-weekly sessions at a communal green off Crofton Lane.
Mr Lawrence, who works at New Cross Fire Station, said the workouts include exercises with hoses, ladders, fire extinguishers, and lots of running around.
He and Mr Bond, stationed in Bromley, utilise the tools of their trade to help others get in shape – with a bit of improvisation.
Mr Lawrence added: “The main ‘fire’ stuff is running through ladders, carrying fire extinguishers, and using dummies.
“But we do all sorts. It’s good fun. We blend different things and improvise – to warm up with use a long length of hose that everyone puts up and over their shoulder.
“It got to the point (last year) where it got really popular – people love it and the word is spreading.”
Now the long-term friends are hoping to continue into the future, moving things indoors when winter arrives.
Mr Lawrence said although particularly popular with girls aged 20-25, the classes are “suitable for everyone”.
Classes cost between £6-8. More info here.