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Go for it
While boot camps are all the rage two Paphos-based fitness trainers have opened an outdoor exercise park to encourage people to push themselves to fitness where they promise there will be no bellowing. BEJAY BROWNE checks it out
The mere mention of the words Boot Camp are enough to terrify most people as they conjure up images of purple-faced participants being bellowed at by a large ex-servicemen with lungs the size of a small country. And while the term may be a little bit strong for a new fitness park in Paphos the idea behind it is similar – to hang, swing, climb and jump your way to fitness.
Situated next to the football ground of Saint George’s football team in Peyia, Paphos, the outdoor fitness park is stuffed full of equipment and fitness items suitable for use by all ages and both sexes, but were enough to send me away quivering.
Offering classes to the uninitiated, the park is the brainchild of Paphos-based personal trainers Dave Metcalf, 37, and Mike Chater-Poole, 23, who say Go Geko is less boot camp experience and more “enjoyable outdoor fitness experience”.
“We don’t want to use the term Boot Camp because it puts a lot of people off. It sounds a bit scary,” says Metcalf. “This is a fun outdoor experience where you can come and get fit with other people, including your friends. We don’t scream orders at people, we’re here to encourage. This isn’t army style training,” adds Chater-Poole.
A climbing wall, monkey bars, platforms and steps as well as a couple of massive tyres and other paraphernalia make up Go Geko, which offers classes Monday to Friday.
“We have a Mediterranean climate here in Cyprus, and we thought, why not train outside. We do CrossFit style of training, which, as far as I know, no-one else on the island does. This is an all over body work out which uses every single muscle group in a compound complex way. We use all different sorts of means to accomplish this,” says Metcalf.
And it is completely different to the type of training you would get in a gym says Chater-Poole as people climb across rather than up a wall behind him. “Dave owns a gym and I work in one, so we both feel that a gym has its benefits and is great in its own right, but outdoor training is something completely different. For example, you can climb the outdoor wall or pull weights with our bungee ropes. You wouldn’t do these sorts of things in the gym.”
The pair designed the fitness park themselves, which took nine months to complete. “We imported some equipment and created others ourselves,” says Metcalf.
Most of the Go Geko sessions are an hour in length, although there is also a ‘power half hour’ aimed at the busy or those who want to increase their fitness levels. Otherwise there are classes suitable for everyone, no matter what the level of fitness. “We have different classes; Go Girls for women, Go For It, which is mixed abilities session for both men and women and Go Extreme which is for those who really want to go for it. There’s also a session called Go Crazy which is for kids aged from nine to 16 years,” says Metcalf.
“The outdoor training experience is more fun with groups of people. A lot of the work we do here is on a partnership basis or with a team. You’re never doing a particular exercise on your own, there’s always someone doing it with you and to support you,” adds Chater-Poole. “Go Geko operates like a buddy system - you’re going to do more if someone is doing it with you; you’re not going to stop first and you’re going to push yourself to do more. You push each other.”
“Each class we aim to do something different. It’s not an assault course as such and each time we change what people are doing. Thousands of exercises are possible,” they say.
All this is possible because the equipment on site was hand picked for its versatility at an investment of €15,000. “We have numerous types of equipment to help people get fit, such as the monkey bars and power bags. These are like an up-market sand bag. We can vary the weight inside them and they can be used to do a multitude of exercises.”
Go Geko will be open all year round, whatever the weather, and the pair also train the Saint George’s football team next door. As the outdoor training park is floodlit, night time sessions are also available.
“You don’t have to have experience to come. All that’s needed is a bit of enthusiasm and the determination to try. People can work at their own pace,” says Chater-Poole. If only I could remember where I stored those trainers and work out gear.
www.go-gecko-fit.com, Tel: 99 037988 (Dave Metcalf), 97 671446 (Mike Chater-Poole)