'We have escaped the rain' - Outdoor fitness boot camp proves a hit

An outdoor fitness class in full swing at Barkers Lane in Sprowston

An outdoor fitness class in full swing at Barkers Lane in Sprowston - Credit: Matt Philpot

People eager to take part in outdoor fitness classes have even braved the cold weather by turning up in hats, gloves and scarves for the sessions.

A socially distanced outdoor boot camp has been running every Monday in Sprowston by ATP Health and Fitness Norwich, with extra sessions being held due to demand. 

With up to 29 people allowed to be taught outside, fitness instructor Matt Philpot has been holding the sessions on Barkers Lane next to the cricket ground. 

Although he said it has been frustrating not being able to hold indoor classes, Mr Philpot has seen a decent turnout as those attending bring their own towels and mats for the classes. 

Mr Philpot, who has been running classes for more than 10 years, said: "Luckily the weather has been good and we have escaped the rain.

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"The first week or two was cold with people turning up in hats, gloves and scarves, but people are still desperate to get out for exercise and to meet others for their own sanity."

One of Matt Philpot's kettlebells class at Hellesdon High School

One of Matt Philpot's kettlebells class at Hellesdon High School - Credit: Matt Philpot

On the challenges of the pandemic, Mr Philpot added: "It has been interesting. Most of my clients are still here but a few are a bit anxious and some are waiting for both [vaccine] injections. Some have family members with illnesses or conditions who want things to calm down a bit more."

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Being able to run his own on-demand online platform, in a similar style to television personality Joe Wicks, has enabled Mr Philpot to continue holding classes for customers to do from home before the coronavirus restrictions began to ease.

Mr Philpot continued: "It's a bit frustrating not being able to return indoors yet but I understand why it has to be that way. 

"Nothing beats going out and seeing people's body language and facial expressions. It's a step in the right direction but the ultimate goal is to be back inside with 30 to 40 rather than being restricted."

After his 6.30pm classes filled up in Sprowston on Mondays, Mr Phillpot has added an extra group at 7.30pm to meet the demand.

He also runs another class for over 50s at Barkers Lane at 10am on Mondays. 

The ATP Health and Fitness sessions are run throughout Norwich and include kettlebell classes.

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