At this time of year, gyms can be unpleasant, crowded sweat boxes and jogging laps around the park solo can be a little soul destroying. With the summer in full swing, it’s time to exercise al fresco, get a bit of a tan and enjoy a good old physical challenge. We’ve all seen the strong man contests on television – watching in awe as the bulging muscles pull trucks and lift atlas stones heavier than us. And now we can give it a go, albeit a modified version (no truck pulling!) brought to us by City Strongman. Londoners, you are about to get seriously strong.

City Strongman: What

city strongman2

City Strongman is run by two awesome guys, Dave Thomas and Ben Gotting, and although it has “man” in the name, this is a great class for both guys and girls. In fact, it is a great class for anyone from the well-fed and unfit to the protein-shake swigging athlete. Unlike a lot of group exercise, there are no cliques and there is zero gym-pretentiousness – everyone is made to feel welcome, part of a happy family.

Despite the happy-chappy atmosphere, be warned – this is not your average workout. The clue is in the name. City Strongman incorporates many of the activities often seen at strong man events such as tyre flipping, sled pulling and the log press. As well as the strength components, the trainers like to throw in some sprinting, squatting and lunging – nobody said it was easy! During the class, everyone works in teams so there is always someone spurring you along and encouraging from the side line. Dave and Ben make sure that you are teamed up with someone who knows what they are doing and they also keep a watchful eye over your technique and form. By the end of the hour, your legs will burn, you will be sweating, your hands and clothes will be grubby but you will still be smiling. And thanks to the team-work set up, you will probably come away with a few new friends.

City Strongman: Where

city strongman3

During the week the one hour sessions take place at 7pm in Vauxhall (a short stroll from the station) and the Saturday morning class is at Rosslyn Park Rugby Club in South West London.

City Strongman: The Verdict

city strongman 4

City Strongman is fun! Ok, it is hard and yes, your body will ache (seriously ache) the next day but you are guaranteed to leave with a smile. What makes this class different to other group fitness is the laid back, come-one-come-all atmosphere where you know you aren’t being judged on your leggings or your abs. Like anything, it’s the people that make it good and Ben and Dave have created more than just a fitness class – City Strongman is a pretty awesome way to spend an hour of your day.

Classes are £15. To book a class and for more information visit 

Follow them on Twitter @city_strongman