BESTFIT Issue 20 – Nat Summers
What’s it like to train Bear Grylls? nat reveals all…
I always plan the workouts I deliver in my studio for my clients, but Bear is more dynamic than most and always pushes past his comfort zone. Planning a full week of training for him is a challenge, but always so exciting to deliver.
The ‘core’ of the training I design for Bear and our fitness company is about functionality. I design with a singular focus; does Bear have the physical strength, core stability and freedom of movement needed to be able to climb mountains, shimmy along ropes, be quick enough to leap, jump, back flip over fast flowing ice flows and run from all and any danger his adventure life may throw at him?
All of our workouts are 30 minutes and combine a mix of disciplines, including Kettlebell training, Primal Power Stretch, Hero and Bodyweight training. I mix up the disciplines during the week to fit around Bear’s filming commitments, but Mondays are always the same, a whole body HIIT workout focused on calisthenics using a mix of both primal (bear crawls, push back push ups) and urban-inspired exercises, including pull ups, levers and ring work.
It’s our power day and a great way to start the week.
With our fitness company now taking on a more adventure-specific and obstacle-style training element, calisthenics and push, pull, core workouts will feature heavily in the next few months programming, especially as the BGV team and I will be competing in the next Bear Grylls Survival Race in August…. Watch this place for weekly training tips.
Bear’s filming commitments change through the year, so I make sure I mix up the workouts in the studio and make sure we keep training specific. Bear has a passion for fitness and one of the challenges is making sure he doesn’t over-train!
I’ve not met anyone in my studio with the same mental and physical ability that he exhibits in his training. I can throw the most complex mix of bodyweight push, pull and strength moves and Bear will make it look effortless with very subtle signs of fatigue. As a trainer, this can be a challenge, as I have to really understand Bear’s body to make sure it is under the right tension and stress to exhibit growth and for fitness gains.
But I am privileged to train Bear in my studio and his love of training with friends and his family is always great to see. Every day without fail, Bear trains with his wife Shara. They are the perfect training partners, always full of encouragement for one another’s fitness goals; they epitomise the ‘couples who train together stay together’ slogan, a true inspiration!
A full week of training Bear means the studio is full of banter, with hundreds of tabata bells ringing in between numerous exercises with a vibrant, inspiring atmosphere. As trainers we have to love what we do and make sure the people who pass through the door engage and pull from our energy. It may be hard work, but the rewards, the giggles and the sweat left behind are a true sign of a fulfilling session.