Lunges in Leggings
My motto has always been that fitness should be fun and that's exactly why I created Lunges in Leggings. In all classes you will sweat and move but more importantly you'll learn about your body, become stronger and more mobile. And as the group is highly social, you'll make friends too!
Classes include Outdoor Bootcamp during the spring, summer and autumn, and year-round Calisthenics and Yoga classes.
To learn more about the Lunges in Leggings story, read on…
The idea for Lunges in Leggings started out in November of 2015. I had just completed my Level 2 fitness qualifications and I wanted to teach a fun bootcamp somewhere that I could customise based on my fitness interests: high intensity, mobility, body weight, resistance bands, and partner work. I’ve been going to a traditional gym for over 10 years, having been trained by my sister (who was a PT, yoga teacher, acupuncturist, and all around fitness junkie), and I found the gym just simply boring. Fitness should be fun, it should make you sweat and make you smile, and you should be able to do it anywhere. Clearly I needed to create a fabulously fun outdoor bootcamp class.
Having been called Thunder Thighs my entire life (the first 18 years, not so happy, although now I’m quite fond of the nickname), lunges naturally have always been one of my favourite exercises, heating the body by engaging the most powerful muscle groups (legs and bum). Back in 2012 I became obsessed with leggings while living in Provincetown. Male leggings are a bit camp, but in reality exercising in leggings outdoors is much easier on the knees, and looking at a group of people wearing flashy leggings will definitely make you smile. With a bit of help naming the brand from my bestie in advertising, Lunges in Leggings was born.
I started teaching the classes outdoors in Haggerston Park, which is a gorgeous park near my flat, mostly empty. When London Fields and Victoria Park are rammed with people, Haggerston Park’s open space makes it a perfect place for bootcamp.
I invited everyone I knew in London, and as a gay man with mostly gay male friends, the class was 95% gay men. I never saw Lunges in Leggings as a strictly gay fitness group, although with the name Lunges in Leggings, it‘s clearly gay leaning. To me, Lunges in Leggings has more a camp element than a strictly “gay” one (with leggings as a suggested but not required attire). One of my students came up with the perfect tagline for my outdoor bootcamp class: “Putting the Camp in Bootcamp.” People exercise to feel good about themselves, to be happy, and to that extent fitness should be fun. Yes, there will be burpees, pushups, squat jumps, and more exercises to make you sweat (and die a little), but you’ll be smiling...eventually.
To me the most interesting thing about Lunges (shorthand for Lunges in Leggings) is how quickly it became a community, rather than just a class. My original intention was for it to be just a bootcamp class, but it was clear attendees wanted a bit more social interaction and fun. Meeting people outside of class who you may have been doing circling vultures or human hopscotch (fun/torturous exercises I came up with) became part of the experience: who doesn’t love a pint or a glass of wine after an hour of bootcamp? So after every class we would go to a pub, have a picnic, or do something social together.
3 years later, Lunges in Leggings is still going strong. While bootcamp classes are only held outdoors on Saturdays in the warmer months of spring, summer, and autumn, I’ve expanded the range of class offerings to include indoor weekly Yoga and Calisthenics classes nearby to Haggerston Park. Yoga and Calisthenics are 2 of my other fitness passions, and I feel lucky that I’m able to teach them both.
All classes (Bootcamp, Yoga, and Calisthenics) are open to all levels, and newbies are highly encouraged to try out a class. As my own fitness knowledge increases, as do the class structure and types of exercises, and I continue to learn loads from my students. I’m excited to see Lunges in Leggings continue to grow, through collaborations with other groups, different classes and class structures, and perhaps future retreats and weekend getaways.