When my friends ask me what I have been up to, or where I’m going at the weekend, most of them seem pretty nonplussed when I say I was at the gym. When they find out that my gym is located in the middle of a forest in Essex, however, they are rightly confused. Places like Wild Forest Gym are a godsend for those of us who can’t whip up rigs in the garden or get ourselves to obstacle specific bootcamps, and I’m telling you, they are the future.
The Wild Forest Gym, headed by Coach Michael Cohen and a team of outdoorsy PTs is just off the Nuclear Bunker in Ongar. It welcomes members and casual attendees for a one-off day fee/ 2 hour pass, and is just generally awesome. It boasts a natural trail run, a unique jump course and a brilliantly equipped obstacle training force comprising all of the ‘standard’ obstacles plus some twists on the originals.
The best thing about WFG is that it’s constantly evolving – Coach Michael is really responsive to feedback, and is genuinely in to helping OCR devotees hone their technique.
Whether you want to specifically strengthen tiny little muscles in your feet, improve your core, work on your body-weight exercises or simply bash out a time trial on a great course, there is something here that you’ll never find in a run-of-the-mill gym.
Recently, the RAW lot descended upon WFG for a training and jam session. I had just completed the Reaper night race the evening before, and was quite honestly in no mood to do anything, so I basically moped about and got frustrated with myself for still not being able to manage that SODDING Irish table, but that’s by the by. I still managed to cheer up and set some times on the jump and obstacle training courses, and completely overhaul my technique on the monkey bars.
Each time I go to WFG, I end up conquering something – whether it’s a fear, a technical hitch, or an obstacle that has been my nemesis, I never fail to progress when I’m out there, and it feels brilliant.
With masterclasses and technical training available on a day pass, there really is no excuse not to get yourself down to WFG and see what it has to offer – it really is obstacle race heaven.