Matt Shore Personal Trainer

What happens when an Eastbourne Personal Trainer Goes Commando!

Eastbourne Personal Trainer Goes Commando

As a leading personal trainer in Eastbourne the vast majority of my working time is spent delivering training sessions to clients and running Eastbourne Boot Camp and Bulgarian Bag classes. It’s always nice to be able to get away for a day though, go somewhere different and have another trainer open a can of whoop ass on you to test your mettle!

This Sunday gone saw me up at 6am, strong coffee in one hand, porridge with an egg in it (sounds yuk, it isn’t, try it) in front of me and casting my thoughts forward to what lay ahead that morning.

I had booked on or a second serving of the Go Commando Atomic Workshop held in Greenwich Park by Rob Blair and his Go Commando team. Rob works a tight ship and I was hugely impressed and inspired after my first visit which you can read about by clicking this link Go Commando Experience.
On arriving in Greenwich Park it was easy to spot the Go Commando Land Rover and flags waving in the breeze. As I pulled up I noticed a serious lack of equipment, no kettlebells, no ropes, and no Bulgarian bags……NOTHING.

As the group assembled nervous as to what horrors may or may not lie ahead Rob eventually asked us “So whose done a mud race then – Tough Guy, Spartan Race etc.?”

A few nodded, I couldn’t, I hadn’t although I do intend to.

He went on to explain with a wry smile that for the next few hours we would be getting very wet, very muddy and potentially very cold……..yes were to have our very own full on “Tough Guy” experience morning.

The warm up came as no surprise, a short run of around 4 minutes at a reasonable lick and then straight down to business.

Onto the grass we went and then it began……….

Face down on the grass and mud, crawling on elbows, sliding, pulling, clambering along the floor trying to avoid all manner of prickly things and fox mess then “SPRIIIIIINNNTTT” and drop down, crawl, sprint, crawl, sprint………you get the idea, covering a distance of at a guess 200m.

Once we reached the relative “safety” of a path it was a spot of “compromised” rest in a locked out push up position before hitting 10 reps or so of chest to the floor push ups.

This pattern of crawling (on front AND back), hopping, scrabbling, up/down, SPRINT and push ups carried on for a fair old while. Leopard crawls, bear crawls and crab crawls were nothing new to me and I felt like I was on good form. Then came two new moves – crickets and seals……..don’t let their names deceive you, they are both absolute agony!

After around 45 minutes we moved on to a new section, partner wheel barrows combined with sprints which then turned into 3 people teams of “man down” carrying for time to a tree in the distance. As if my arms weren’t already mashed from over 150 push ups they were hanging off trying to stay flexed while carrying one of our fellow team mates.

Time moved quickly as did the session and we ran down hill and along to a tarmac hill. Of course there was only one thing that was going to happen here – hill sprints and lots of them. A climb of around a minute doesn’t sound much but the gradient was perfect becoming steeper at the top which ensured that if your lungs weren’t fully open by half way up they certainly were by the top.

It was evident there were some tired bodies by now but the pace was relentless. Onwards we went to some mud hills, my memory became foggy at this point but I know it involved running up steep, muddy, grassy hills then back down and into push ups, groiners squat thrusts and other cruel and unusual methods designed to test your fortitude to the limit.

We travelled further along the hill and stopped at the foot of steep bank of mud, flanked by brambles and promising clumps of grass. 3 times up the mud hill was all we had to do. It didn’t look that bad, that was until you got on the hill. There were bodies everywhere mainly up the sides desperately trying to hold onto anything that could give a decent footing. It was preferable to be savaged by aggressive bramble thorns than face slipping down in a bath of mud.

Atomic Workshop - Attacking Mud Hill

Atomic Workshop – Attacking Mud Hill

I managed two reps and decided that on the last one a change of tack was needed. I waited for the hill to clear a little and trusting my Inov8 Mud Claw 300 trainers put them to the test and sprinted up the centre of the muddy mountain. The teeth on my shoes dug in, I slipped a little but continued my forward progress. Plunging fingers into the mud for extra grip I pulled myself up and over the crest to receive a “well done” from Rob and the reward of “2 push ups, chest to the floor, hips up……then 48 more”.


Once everyone had done their turn it was onwards to a grassy/muddy “valley”. Here we spent a good 30 minutes running down and crawling up. Leopards were no problem, I felt efficient now rolling over and sprinting on command then diving back down and continuing to crawl. Gone was any thought of keeping clean and diving down into the mud and soggy ground reminded me of being a child again when such things didn’t bother me and didn’t matter…..all that mattered was it was fun.
You know when you are receiving a “commando beasting” when it feels “nice” to be sliding up hill, on your back, pushing yourself along by your feet, unsure of where you are going and what you may be sliding into………..this is how I felt and for a few short moments it felt like some kind of twisted “bliss”.
More “man down” carrying – this time uphill for a round each with the threat of “bastard burpees” for any team that failed and then onwards to pastures new, carrying each other, crawling, grappling, “hit the deck” then “get up”, grapple, sprint, dive, climb those hills and try you best to stay upright.
Those people who think you need an expensive gym to have a good workout need to open their gaze a little wider, look outside and then get down and dirty. I’m used to body weight training as a PT – it’s one of the most basic methods of training, but don’t let basic fool you because this kind of basic – the Go Commando kind of basic, will and does test people. It tested me and I came through it, there was pain, there was doubt, there were things I initially didn’t “want” to do……..but when you cast all of that aside it’s amazing what can be achieved. Everyone at the workshop gave their pound of flesh and got stuck in. A great morning with great people, Sundays don’t get much better. If you are in the Greenwich area (and even if you are not!) I can highly recommend checking out the Go Commando – one things for sure, I’ll be going again so see you there.

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