Personal trainer shows wild side with outdoor exercise sessions

A fitness fanatic has ditched the gym in favour of the great outdoors by launching training sessions which allow clients to be at one with nature.

Zara Redford, 23, started out with Wild Training around a month ago and has been holding daily sessions come rain or shine at Pound Meadow in Tring.

Zara, who lives just off Icknield Way, said: “I was looking for something new and interesting, because I like a challenge.

“Working at the gym had become a bit dead-ended and I felt like I couldn’t take things to the next level.”

In her hour-long sessions of no more than ten people, Zara gets her clients sweating it out using kettlebells, sandbags and Bulgarian bags.

The former Tring School pupil, who has recently returned from a 10-week trip travelling down the East Coast of Australia, said: “I think a lot of people have seen this type of equipment in the gym but don’t really know how to use it, but because I have a maximum of ten people at any time I can really give them that personal training.I’m really excited!”

Wild Training was founded by James Griffiths, a former personal trainer at Champneys Tring, and now he has 15 trainers under his wing, including Dean Clarke in Hemel Hempstead and Paul Rose in Berkhamsted.

Paul, 27, was working at The Fitness Society in the High Street when he decided he needed a change of pace.

The former Ashlyns School pupil said: “I was looking at ways I could branch out and I went to the Leisure Industry Week at the NEC in Birmingham, where I heard about Wild Training for the first time.

“I signed up last December and here I am! I do a lot of Tough Mudder events so I wanted to reflect that in my training style.”

Paul, who lives in Potten End, says in hindsight February probably wasn’t the best month to start up, but he did get some ‘hardcore’ people join him and stick with it, and now the weather is getting warmer he’s seeing an uptake in client numbers.

He said: “It’s not like a traditional boot camp – it’s progressive training, so we exercise in different phases.

“So, for example we do eight sets of one exercise before a 10 second break, so there isn’t much time to rest but you burn a lot of fat.

“People say to me, ‘I can really feel that working!’ Traditional exercises build up the muscles but that won’t help you in real-life situations.

“I remember one guy could bench press huge weights but then he pulled his back getting a baby seat out of the car!

“Seeing people change and get more confident in themselves is really rewarding.”

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