If you’re looking for a tough workout this summer, but are finding that London’s latest bonkers fitness fads just don’t cut it (vogue yoga anyone?), then it’s time you checked out The Hard Yard.
This social enterprise start-up is pioneering a new exercise regime which promises to get you seriously fit and make a difference at the same time… It’s offering 45-minute prison workouts, designed and led by instructors who themselves have spent time behind bars.
— The Hard Yard (@hardyardlondon) January 3, 2017
According to the founder, Frankie Bennett, fitness plays a hugely important role in prisoners’ life on the inside. Many leave custody in tiptop condition with qualifications to boot; and after spending most of their day stuck in cramped cells, they’ve come up with ingenious exercise regimes to do so. The catch, though, is that ex-offenders rarely get to put their skills to meaningful use on the outside. Stigma and negative perceptions make it difficult to find employment, particularly in the fitness industry where image is everything.
— The Hard Yard (@hardyardlondon) November 27, 2016
Frankie’s brainwave was to set something up which would give ex-offenders a second chance by unlocking their special talents… and offering something new and unique to exercise-hungry and (socially conscious) Londoners in the process. Forget the gimmicks, Hard Yard workouts are all based on creative bodyweight exercises with a focus on good form, hard graft and sweating buckets… No hula hoops, trampolines or vogeuing in sight. And if it’s extra motivation you’re after, what could be more inspiring than being trained by someone who’s genuinely turned their life around? Or knowing that the money you spend on your workout is helping ex-offenders into employment?
— The Hard Yard (@hardyardlondon) January 24, 2017
If you want to give it a go, then The Hard Yard is running sessions throughout July on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays on the rooftop at The Ministry of Startups, Shoreditch (14-22 Elder St, London E1 6BT).
And if it isn’t quite your thing but you still want to get fit and give back, did you hear about GoodGym?…