Training outdoors with Strength& has not only helped me feel stronger and fitter, it's also helped boost my confidence and self-esteem. When I heard that Strength& was planning to expand to new locations I felt like I had to help so others have the chance to benefit in the same way that I have - and what better way to do that, and prove how effective the training is, by participating in the "carry to Paris", a strongman style challenge to carry a keg (or in my case a 40kg sandbag) the equivalent distance from Stevenage to Paris.
Strength& is more than just exercise outside, it's a community of incredibly supportive people. I'd really appreciate it if you'd consider donating a few quid or even buying some of the branded clobber to help support getting another Strength& group off the ground.
Here are some more words from the Strength& crew about the initiative:
I'm taking part in a 239 mile keg carry from Stevenage to the Eiffel Tower. For four weeks I'm going to be carrying a heavy object at least 1km a week with a group of friends that I train with!
It's a lot of work and I'm hoping this will inspire you to help me out and donate to this cause.
If you pledge £11 we'll send you a signed photo of Ollie Clarke - one of our coaches and the Strongest Man in the UK (u23). If you can spare £23 or more you'll receive a Strength& t-shirt to say thank you. Pledge £38 and up to get a hoodie.
Or if you'd like to find out more about Strength& - or perhaps become a member yourself - check out www.strengthand.com - or search Strength& here on Crowdfunder, where you can grab an extra two trial sessions for just £12. Everyone's first session is free: https://strengthand.com/free-trial
Strength& is an outdoor training community. It's a modified type of exercise you might have seen in 'World's Strongest Man'. Lighter, obviously, so everyone can get involved.
It's so good it's even endorsed by the Fitness Editor of Men's Health, Andrew Tracey.
With two groups up and running - in Hertford and Stevenage - the team want to open another in Harlow, so they can help another 200 members improve their physical and mental wellbeing.
Why does it members like me happier? It's a triple mental health whammy of The Great Outdoors, a community of encouraging mates and, of course, brilliant exercise.
I've seen massive benefits since starting and want to help more people get access too.
Strength&'s programming is written by experts who understand the science of how strength and conditioning releases endorphins. The buzz it gives you is addictive which is why we keep on coming back for more!
I think that's the secret of how to become and stay fitter, stronger and happier.
And, of course, we all get coached by Ollie Clarke, the UK's Strongest Man (u23).
Luckily he's also helping out on the Carry to Paa-ree challenge!
Just to be completely clear - Strength& is not a charity, it's part of the new generation of purposeful businesses. The founders (Brett Sizeland and Scott Wilkinson) are on a mission to help improve the mental and physical wellbeing of as many people as possible.
At the start of the journey Brett and Scott considered making Strength& a charity but realised that it would grow more quickly if it were structured as a business.
In the last year, they've invested more than £25,000 in the first two groups and haven't taken a penny out - they each work other jobs to keep Strength& funded while supporting their own families too. And not being a charity means Strength& isn't entirely reliant on donations - but can grow and sustain itself like any other business whilst achieving its purpose. This crowdfunder will accelerate its growth and help open a third group - which allows another 200 people to start their journey.
We're all very sure this is going to work. Why? Strength& now has a proven training system which keeps people coming back. The business is helping coaches stay in the industry and make a decent living. And the no-contract subscriptions are priced as low as possible low for members. It's £37.50/mo for unlimited sessions, making it more accessible than most gym memberships. Yet with the extra benefits of better training plans, extra motivation, being taught in groups and becoming part of a community.
I really hope you can help get the next group up and running. Please make a pledge and let me know if you'd like a reward to say thank you.