It wasn't until the year I was leaving my hometown, beautiful Edinburgh, that I realised we had this huge, almighty festival in August that would bring performers, tourists and thousands of others to the city. True, this was partly because I would've been sheltered in school life, learning my times tables a year ahead than required and practising my piano (Grade 1, with distinction, thank you very much. Which gave me 2 hours of pride until Big Bro told me that they gave everyone Grade 1 with distinction so that you're encouraged to keep going) but still, there's something about never exploring the city you live in. It's not foreign, you think you'll always be able to do it and so you take it for granted a little. Unless you live in Hull. There's nothing to take for granted in Hull.
So it'll come as little surprise to you if I said that there is a cool, outdoor amphitheatre just by the river beside the iconic tower bridge, aptly named the Scoop (at the less aptly names More London). I imagine it's home for shows there on the few sunny evenings that London experiences, a comfy pitstop and photo op for wandering tourists and while you might think its wasted and unused in the mornings, fret not, it's not. For every Wednesday morning (during the summer as far as I think), the neighbouring swish 37° arranges a free morning bootcamp session. And though the grey clouds loomed ominously, 6 brave girls turned up at 7.30am to follow Instructor Hester (and her impressive arms!)
We started with running - round the amphitheatre 3 times, sprinting round the interior once then jumping/stepping up the seated rows to the top row and performing zig zag sprint intervals along a section of the amphitheatre, stepping down a level and sprinting back etc. And then all again (if you wanted)!
After the running section we gathered inside the scoop and did some fitness exercises - animal crawls on fours while swinging legs from side to side (similar to what a drunk orangutan would look like I thought), Spiderman crawl (moving opposite arm and leg at the same time trying to keep low, like Spiderman obviously) and Spiderman crawl backwards (a surprising amount of focus required for this. And warning - passer bys do look). The final exercise (of this section!) was squat walks (walking slowly while staying in a squat position - thighs burn!) after which we had a short burst of paired running shuttle competitions.
As the session started to draw to a close, Instructor Hester led us through a hybrid mountain climber/burpee exercise and the we (finally) finished on a series of core/balance exercises, similar to a couple of moves from Day 41 Bikram Yoga.
Topping the session with some paired stretching, we were finished up by 8.30am and could all feel satisfied that we had started the day off well. Other than the painful wake-up call, morning exercise is the way forward, thank you Instructor Hester!
The Need To Know:
- Where: The Scoop at More London (www.morelondon.com/events_details.asp?ID=193)
- Nearest Station: London Bridge (5 mins) / Tower Hill (10 mins)
- When: Every Wednesday 07.30am-08.30am until end of July
- How Much: Free!
The Want to Know:
- Who's it For: For those who fancy a refreshing outdoor workout to start their day
- Sweat Scale: 8/10. (Even considering that it was outside!)
- Strength / Cardio / Flexi / Tone: Cardio and toning
- Complexity: 6/10
- Fun Factor: 7/10.
- Changing Facilities: None
- Instructor Inspiration: 8/10. Impressive arm definition!
- Total Time: 55mins
- Calories Burnt: 291 (5.8 calories burnt/min)
- Average Heart Rate: 128pm
- Max Heart Rate: 164bpm