‘Are you ready to get your work out for Adventure?!’
The Virgin Active trainer shouted at us rag tag group of bloggers.
A half hearted Woop came from us and the reality of what I was about to do sank in.
I was about to undergo a punishing circuit training regime that I had no preparation for at the Virgin Active Walbrook Centre in Bank, London.
Sweat beads started to appear on my forehead as I watched Helen Anderz demonstrate the different stations of the circuit. Check out her video here:
‘Why am I doing this?’
In my last article, I talked about getting that beach body. I’ve really let myself go in the last two years and I needed to get fitter, stronger and indeed leaner.
See more: Get me that Beach Body!
One of the rules I had was to say yes to any sporting activity that came my way. Opportunity came a knocking when I suddenly got invited to get #MyWorkOutFor Adventure by Virgin Active.
So what is Virgin Active’s #MyWorkOutFor Adventure?
Virgin Active is working with a small number of bloggers/vloggers who have got something important they want to get fit for this year, to devise an exclusive class to host and allow others to join. Their adventure workout has been put together by blogger and vlogger Helen Anderson, and will be run by a PT. Helen is off trekking around America this summer, so this class is sure to help us and yourself both prepare for your next adventures!
So, I psyched myself up. I can totally do this. It didn’t matter I was only one of two guys in a massive group of girls. (flexing guns alert!)
I was going to kickstart my training for when I’m on the road for Adventure. Perhaps I ought to have done this before I went trekking myself in America!
See more: iTrekHere: Hiking the Grand Canyon
It’s easy to forget about keeping fit on the road while you’re backpacking. You’re sampling local foods, you’re trying out other countries’ beers and you’re relaxing to the max in your new luxury hostel. If you’re travelling for months, working out in intense training can soon fall by the wayside.
So thanks to Virgin Active, here was a work out that you can do using your backpack and using all the elements you can find around you.
Here’s the order that I did. There are a few other exercises that aren’t on the list above so I’d thought I’d share with you those too! (Aren’t I a nice guy?)
1st station – Walking lunges with Bulgarian Bag
Who doesn’t love lunges with a weight on your shoulders?
It’s actually one of my favourite exercises. I already got strong legs and it’s nice to feel that they can be given a workout as many people choose to skip leg day wherever they are.
During my travelling, I usually did lunges with a full backpack as heavy as me and I actually didn’t mind walking around with it for long periods of time.
But remember to stretch those lunges as far as you can.
2nd station – Squat to Shoulder Press with Barbell
Here’s a great shoulder and tricep workout. Again, using your backpack, you can lift it over your head from shoulder to shoulder. My triceps are one of the weakest muscles in my body so it was grand to push them a bit whereas before I cared more about my biceps.
But this is actually being done whilst taking squats. I despise squats with a passion. But it’s got to be done! Who knows, it could turn in handy when you’re squatting over a hole in the ground for you know what!
3rd station – Step ups over three levels of boxes
This really perplexed me. When I jump, I usually stretch out with one of my legs choosing to land on one foot first before the other to steady my body. But to jump with both feet together? It was certainly the first challenge that Virgin Active has given me. Jumping on high blocks that got higher, i could feel myself having squeaky bum time at the final hurdle!
Perfect if you’re away and you can find high raised pavements or steps to try this out.
4th Station – Farmer’s Walk with TiYR
With your back upright and your shoulders straight, it’s amazing how lifting up a tire around you and walking with it can exude so much effort! Strengthening my back, hips and arms, it’s surely a full body workout.
But I’m still stretching my head how this can be replicated on my travels abroad. It’s not every day I come across a disused tractor tyre. Could I pack one in my bag and beat the airline baggage weight restrictions?
5th Station – Curve run
Ah, the old fashioned run. Running on your travels is a great way to sightsee the destination you are in. I’d recommend running in the parks to avoid crossing unfamiliar traffic crossings such as Madrid’s Retiro Park or even Barcelona’s Gaudi Park.
But remember to take water with you and slap on sunscreen before you go.
6th Station – Upper body back strengthen
It’s all about fighting your body weight isn’t it? Leaning back 45 degrees whilst gripping on to the bendy handles, you can feel gravity taking hold. Now, you got to straighten yourself up using your back and arms alone. This is a great way to strengthen up your back to carry your backpack and also to tone up your biceps. This is really important to men so we can say flash those guns on the beach.
Okay, so now you get the picture about those stations. How would you feel doing this circuit three times without a break? This is what happened:
But you know what?
I loved it.
I felt good. I mean really good!
This was just the right kick start I needed to get things going to get me that beach body for summer and also get a work out regime to call my own while I’m travelling. This would be #MyWorkOutFor Adventure thanks to Virgin Active at the Walbrook Centre.
Work out and relax with Virgin Active
After we all clapped our sweaty backs followed by exclaims of disgust, we were delighted to find out we could use the luxurious facilities of the Walbrook Centre and hob nob with the rather ridiculously in shape executive directors that pounded their way through their work outs in the gym area.
So could we work out some more?
After immediately embarrassing myself getting caught taking a selfie by the changing room staff who gave me towels, I sauntered over to the spa area while marvelling just how exclusive this gym is! (Can I get a year’s membership please?!)
Of course, there’s a sauna and a steam room but there were two spa refreshing treatments to have.
1) The Salt Room
Okay, I was a little puzzled when I entered this room. The air was kind of dry and you were expected to lay down and breathe in the salty air. Actually, I could see why within a few minutes. I could feel rejuvenated! Move over electrolytes, I can have this instead!
2) The misty showers
There were two showers that offered a tropical monsoon rainfall that was pleasant and warm. But my favourite definitely has to be the arctic mist where freezing mist is sprayed at your body from all directions. It was exhilarating!
But I could only stay for an hour as I had to meet my friends on the River Thames.
But I just want to say thank you to Virgin Active for giving me the much needed kick up the backside to get back into shape through my work out for adventure and to gain that beach body.
So, thanks! I now feel good enough to do my ironing topless. Stranger things have happened…
Find out more about Virgin Active here: Get my work out for…