My first (and won’t be the last) encounter with the Fitness Playground team was on the 4th September 2013 where they were appointed by the lovely Lunges and Lycra ladies to host our fitness activity of the evening as part of the Lunges and Lycra Woman’s Only Blogger’s Summer Social Event.
Fitness Playground Background
Fitness Playground is a full body workout that enables participants to pick a session that evidently matches their goals and targets. Sessions are generally split into what I’d like to call the four B’s… Burn, Best, Blast and Build.
Participant meet up a location where there are changing and showers facilities available before warming up and taking to the streets of Central London.
Here’s the twist… Rather than have you run continuously over a lengthy time periods (which let’s face it, can be quite boring at times) , a work station is set up every 1 km and is designed to challenge the participant whilst having fun with your friends or work colleagues. A variety of games, obstacle courses, wacky races, partner resistance exercises and plyometrics are thrown into the mix whilst you explore the glorious city streets. This is what makes Fitness Playground so unique to other bootcamp style classes available.
Back to Our Unique Treasure Hunt Race Designed by Dan.
Once we were settled and after signing our lives away via the waiver form, Dan Nixon (Director and Personal Trainer at the Fitness Playground) informed us twenty plus ladies in attendance how Fitness Playground works and gave us a small indication that he was going to change things up by doing a treasure hunt style race running around the streets of Central London as opposed to their typical classes previously mentioned.
I was teamed with Kim and Laura (team captain) and after a touch of glitter had been applied to our faces by a strictly come dancing make up artist, we were ready for our team picture. When asked to pick names for our team Lauren aptly named us ‘Team 5’ the number each of us we were given when being split up into teams *love it! :)*
As soon as Dan shouted ‘GOOO’ some of the ladies opted for the lifts whilst others *including my team* dashed / jumped down the five flights of stairs, sprinted through the main lobby and burst out onto the streets of Soho like our lives depended on it (getting a bunch of fitness ladies together for a challenge was bound to be uber competitive, and competitive with banter we were!)
Throughout the challenge Dan sent us a variety of clue’s via whatsapp to Laura’s phone which included objects to identify and / or our next destination we had to run to in order to gain those all important points.
Our first challenge was correctly identifying that we had to run to Soho Square. Being the second team to arrive we waited for our turn to beat a man at table tennis *whilst I consider myself an all round sportswomen, table tennis is clearly NOT my thing lol*. Both Laura and Kim were goood at this and between us picked up 30 points.
After we all had a turn at beating the man at table tennis Laura informed Dan via Whatsapp that we successfully completed our first challenge and eagerly awaited a signal for our next clue, to identify the colour of the stik’s in Phoenix’s Garden.
If my memory serves me well this is where my team lost a bit of time. Trying to find the entrance to the Phoenix Gardens proved to be a struggle and it didn’t help that other teams were going in different directions in a bid to also gain access to the gardens. After what seemed like 3 minutes we eventually found the entrance and successfully identified the colour of the Stik’s (yellow I think).
Yessss, two challenges down… what’s the third we anticipated amongst ourselves? The answer, to get a move on and run to Leicester Square where we would be greeted with an Egg and Spoon Race. Kim upped the pace (quite literally) to make up for lost time when trying to find the gardens and Laura and I responded to the new pace.
We arrived at Leicester Square having not quite recovered from our dash and was immediately thrown into more running (in my case sprinting) around the greenery and seating area with an egg and spoon in one hand and the other placed gently onto of it.
This game was an all-time favourite of mine and brought back many fond memories during primary school and sports days. It was joyous experience to relive those childhood memories again, even if it was just for 30 odd seconds as a 28 year old lady. All to often we get caught up with the hustle and bustle of city life and the daily stresses life brings so was nice to awaken my inner child, forget about the world for a minute and completely loose myself within the challenges set.
With the egg and spoon race under our belts we were instructed to make our way to Trafalgar Square where we had to climb the Nelson’s Column. I am ashamed to say I felt like a tourist in my own city for I don’t make it a priority to get out and explore the very city I grew up in *covers face*. I am pretty certain if it wasn’t for Kim’s superb navigation skills (no doubt enhanced by Tuesday’s regular runs with Run Dem Crew) I wouldn’t have known how to get myself to and from these locations!
Nelson’s Column Climbed and we couldn’t resist a cheeky group photo displaying the ‘Lightening Bolt’ pose before heading out to our next challenge (to work out the Roman Numerals at Piccadilly Circus).
This we found hilarious as we used our dear friend Google to retrieve the answer only to find out we had given an incorrect answer. Our second answer (forgive me as I cannot recall our answer) was correct and we were instructed to make a mad dash back to the hotel.
I struggled to keep up with Kim and Laura in the last stages of our dash back to The Soho Hotel. Due to focusing on kickboxing training for the majority of this year, running beyond 2miles was not part of our training but glad I finished in one piece, even if I looked like a drenched cat (the sweat levels were high that day).
Bonus points were awarded for completing tasks in addition to our challenge.
We were awarded four for….
- taking pictures with a policeman
- performing yoga moves *of which I seriously suck at*
- do a monkey impression (Kim’s attempt had us all in stitches when shown back to us)
- taking a photo with a stranger
My team finished in 4th place and we all had a giggle at each teams photos we submitted whilst completing the challenges. I thoroughly enjoyed Fitness Playground’s Treasure Hunt in Central London, the hour or so seemed to have whizzed by and it honestly didn’t feel like I was working out as I was far too busy having sooo much fun with my team-mates.
I loved working as part of a team to help solve the clue’s whilst navigating our way through Central London and would highly recommend these sessions to anyone looking for a challenge that brings the ‘fun’ back into working out.
I look forward to returning to Central London before the year is out with my Breakin’ Boundrez team in towe so we can take on our first Fitness Playground experience together (I hope Dan is ready for us as we are a highly competitive bunch who loves to win and has banter for daaays)
For more information about Fitness Playground follow them on Twitter.