The Amazons Bootcamp: Forget the gym, get outside with a car tire on your back

Health & Fitness On Trial

"Want to tone up, lose weight, improve your cardio fitness and feel stronger, more energised, and more confident?" The Amazons Bootcamp website asks me. And yes, yes I do.

Where do I sign up?

Personal trainer and bootcamp founder Ana Legin comes to a park near to my house one evening, complete with a bizarre collection of equipment including an old tire, hessian sacks of different weights, boxing gloves and rope.

She explains that working out should be fun and she likes to use lots of props that women might not normally think of (which explains the tire). She's also a former kickboxing champion and enthusiastic to get women into boxing.

This also means she expertly helps me get the form right for my kicks and punches to get the most out of them and protect my knees. So even if you've never thought of hitting anything ever, you can get stuck in straight away.

[Beat: The heartrate workout]
[Superfoods: Foods that really make a difference]

We start with a warm up, making the most of being outdoors, running around the park, before moving onto some boxing. I really enjoy getting the gloves on and having a go at the pads and because you're concentrating on your form and where to hit, it's easy to forget that it's seriously hard work.

After boxing, we start on the more unusual props for a few rounds of circuit training - but not like any class I've ever tried before.

We carry 'Russian heavy bags' from one side of the course to the other, of different weights, before moving onto lunges with a sack on my back. Then to the most fun exercise - a tire you pull along with rope and then bash with a huge, heavy hammer - quite the stress reliever I can tell you. Then there's standard press ups, and I finish up by shaking a heavy rope up and down, which I'm assured will work marvels on the old bingo wings.

Throughout Ana is encouraging and advises on how I'm doing and how to improve or make exercises harder or slightly easier where necessary. She's a wealth of knowledge and is really fun to work out with too, with none of the scary preconceptions you might have of PTs! There was no 'drop and give me 20!' (thankfully) at any point.

After a couple of routes of the circuits, we're onto the kicking part of the kickboxing, which is super HIIT and mixed in with a sprint after every set. Ana explains that this will help create the 'afterburn' that burns calories for the next 48 hours after working out.

Without even noticing it, it's time for a warmdown and stretch and I'm good to go. My whole body feels well-worked-out and I notice my energy levels and endorphins are high.

This is one of the most fun workouts I've tried and as it was tailored to me it's much easier to see results, particularly as you continue and adapt the workouts. It's based on tried-and-tested exercises and is outside so gives you fresh air and some precious vitamin D.

Ana tells me she changes the exercises round regularly and even brings in new props to make sure things stay interesting and workouts fly by - she promises a beer barrel next time. I can't wait!

The Amazons Bootcamp training is available at bootcamps across South West London, or London-wide on a 121 basis at personal training sessions lasting either 30 minutes (aka express training) or one hour.