I was invited to The Hard Yard to review one of their fitness classes. Have you heard of them? They have three locations in Southwark, Angel and Brixton and offer back to basics workouts for all abilities, prison-style. No egos just working out and giving your all. Intrigued? I was!
Every company/brand has a unique selling point that makes them different and The Hard Yard is no exception to this. So what is their USP? The clue is in the name – they employ people who have been to prison to take their sessions. Now I won’t beat around the bush when I told people I was attending this class to review most had a rather strange look on their face. Some people were horrified and others thought it was amazing. I actually loved the concept from the moment I heard it. It is about giving second chances, opportunities, and enabling people to get back on track and that can only be a positive thing.
I won’t try to summarise the concept in my own words as the wording on the company website says it all perfectly:
Although many people develop a passion for fitness + gain relevant qualifications inside prison, this rarely translates into a job on the outside. Only 26% of people leaving prison find work in the first year of release. This isn’t surprising; over half of employers say they wouldn’t consider hiring someone who has spent time behind bars.
We believe mistakes in your past shouldn’t hold you back from opportunities in the future. So in 2016 The Hard Yard was created.
We recruit the best talent from inside four London prisons + start working with them in the first weeks of release.
All our trainers are fully qualified + insured valtabs personal trainers. They’ve used fitness to transform their own lives + now they’ll show you how to do the same.
The back to basics mentality comes from their USP – routine, hard work, determination.
There are three different types of class on offer:
- Power – an explosive workout
- Shock – intense cardio
- Strength – bodyweight
- Stretch – deep stretch
I signed up for the strength class, which was taken by Shab. Shab smiled the whole way through the class, he demonstrated every exercise and kept checking I was ok due to my knee injury and giving me adaptations if necessary.
Shab has this energy that was totally contagious, he was encouraging and motivating throughout and everyone in the class gave their all individually, in pairs and as a group, in this high intensity style strength class. It was tough but so good! One exercise in particular – like being on all fours but lifting your knees a couple of inches off the floor and holding it – wow! That one burnt like a b*tch!
They’ve been in operation since July last year and I’m hoping they go from success to success – no frills, no equipment, pure bodyweight exercises and getting the hard work done!
They also offer wellness classes for companies to put on for staff.
Where: They have three locations: Southwark, Angel and Brixton.
How much: Single classes are £15 or buy a bundle for the best deal, with classes at less than £8 per session.