On a crisp winter’s day in Primrose Hill, I was being put to the test using Muddy Plimsolls training principles. But an early exercise in my workout with co-Founder Jason involves pushing him across a muddy field. And it was getting the best of me.
“Keep pushing, Brit,” Jason said, far too casually. “Just another twenty metres to go.”
I consider myself a fit person – more physically capable than the average person, even. Left to my own devices this morning, though, I would have jogged on and accepted the regret for not completing the challenge.
However, Jason knew I had it in me. And the glory of reaching the end of the field was worthy reward. I pushed on until my legs grew heavy and my arms were like a slinky.
So when we arrived at the trim trail in Primrose Hill, a few sprints later, I knew my strength would be put to the test. Jason picked out my biggest weakness straight away: the pull-up bar. Despite being one of the best exercises for targeting every muscle in your body, I’ve avoided it for years because my grip is weak and my shoulders give way. Through progressive exercises using bars of varying heights and circumferences, Jason was able to explain the source of my frustration in seconds. Small tweaks to my hold and posture made a big difference. I’m not going to say I can now do a successful pull-up without grimacing, but I do feel confident it’s within my reach.
Another memorable exercise in the session was the reverse lunge with a resistance band wrapped around my torso. ‘Easy’, I thought. But, with the combination of uneven terrain and elastic resistance, I felt the impact in core muscles I didn’t know I had. And I’ve done a lot of reverse lunges before.
Even though the press-up is a familiar exercise to me, when we moved to different slopes and surfaces, this exercise presented a new challenge I hadn’t come across before. When I had more in me, Jason found a way to extract it but ensured I had sufficient rest between intervals and exercises.
Training under the principles of the Muddy Plimsolls system, I had a workout unlike any I’ve had before. Not once did I lift a weight and not once did I need to because Jason knows the body very well. The Muddy Plimsolls approach to outdoor exercise is to take familiar moves and transform them into physique-changing exercises for people of all capabilities.