British Military Fitness was founded in April 1999 by Major Robin Cope and Serjeant Harry Sowerby as an alternative form of group fitness training to gyms.
The idea was, and still is, to get people of all fitness abilities outdoors training in parks, with motivation provided by military trained instructors. While many people refer to BMF as a boot camp, it was never the intention to make BMF an intimidating, hard out boot camp. Instead the aim was always for us to give everyone a fun and effective form of training using the highly professional skills learnt in the military to get people fit.
In April 1999, British Military Fitness had its first class in Hyde Park, London. The first session saw just three people turn up. But week by week, the numbers grew as the people being trained told their friends and work colleagues about how great, and fun a BMF work out was, others simply walked up in the park and asked to join in.
By the time we had reached our first winter, BMF had 200 members but was contemplating closing for the winter months. The members’ pure passion indicated that they wanted to continue training through the dark, cold months and that has been the case ever since!
BMF pretty quickly spread across London as people asked for classes to be set up in parks near them. Now we have over 400 classes in more than 145 locations all across the UK, and turned 15 years old this year.