Are you shelling out lots of wonga each month for the privilege of going to your grotty local gym? Or are paying a personal trainer a fortune to tell you what you should and should not do during a workout? Well, stop right there – we know how you can get fit for free! Read on to find out more.
British Military Fitness (BMF)
Some people pay good money to be screamed at by men in fatigues. We, however, prefer to get our kicks for gratis.
Touting itself as the leading provider of outdoor fitness in the UK, BMF operates at 140 venues across the country – and you can get your first class for absolutely nowt. No long-term contracts or signing over your firstborn required: all you need to do is check out the website to find your nearest session.
Led by military-trained instructors, the boot-camp-style sessions are a mix of team games, strength work, running, and mud – lots and lots of lovely mud.
Don’t worry if it all sounds a bit intimidating: participants are divided into groups of varying abilities, fitness rookies are more than welcome, and the emphasis is less military bollocking, more good-time bants.
They seem to be keeping quiet about it on their website, but Reebok’s FitHubs – the brand’s ever-growing number of flagship stores – offer truckloads of free group fitness sessions and events.
Workouts vary throughout the year but expect to find a pick ‘n’ mix of sweaty treats such as CrossFit, Yoga Rave (we know!), kettle-bell workouts, high-intensity interval training, Les Mills Body Combat, running clubs, circuits, Insanity, boot camp…
We would go on, but we’re exhausted. Find your nearest FitHub here and nip in to check out the timetable.
Sweatshop Running Community
Yeah, yeah, we know – lacing up and going for a run is always free. But if you want to join a club and run with others, you’ll need to pay an annual membership. Not if you pop along to Sweatshop, though. The running-store chain, with branches across the country, offers weekly guided runs, starting from its shops, for nada.
The emphasis is on motivation and enjoyment – there’s no such thing as too slow, and no one gets left behind.
As an added bonus, every time you go you collect stamps, earning running-related rewards such as T-shirts, energy gels and trainers. Yay, more free stuff!
Soz lads, this one’s girls-only. If you’re the proud owner of lady bits, however, you’re in for a treat.
Sweaty Betty is best known for its swanky workout-wear, but it’s also a treasure trove of free fitness shizzle. From yoga and Pilates to boot camp and dance, more than 70 free classes take place in Sweaty Betty boutiques each week.
All you need to do is fill in a membership form at your nearest store (for free, obvs), then you can start booking classes. No Sweaty Betty near you? No fear. They also have free online workouts to do at home.
Rapha Cycle Club/CycleSurgery classes
Live in London or Manchester? Got a bike? You could do worse than accompany the Rapha Cycling Club on a few jaunts.
Free to join, the regular group rides leave from the Rapha Cycle Club stores and offer a choice of social, steady, fast and women-only rides. A good way to meet fellow cyclists and discover new routes, there’s also a healthy emphasis on post-ride cake. You’ll find all the deets here.
In other free-wheeling freebie news, bike shop CycleSurgery offers free basic bike maintenance sessions in all stores nationwide. Taking place on the final Wednesday of the month, you’ll come away knowing how to mend a puncture, clean your bike and lube your chain (snigger).
Want more? Check out our Hints and Tips page for free online workouts and bike maintenance vids