Ahead of their exciting appearance at this year’s festival, we caught up with Farm Fitness founder Tom Kemp to find out more about the new outdoor strength building trend set to take over the fitness scene!
In a nutshell – What is Farm Fitness?
Farm Fitness has quickly become a ferociously burning beacon on the UK fitness scene. It attracts spectators and participants from all over the country to come and take a swing at its alchemic blend of modified strongman, functional bodybuilding, calisthenics and blistering cardio efforts - all carefully programmed to be accessible for all fitness levels. Come and give your workouts a rural shake-up!
Where is farm fitness? What’s the setup?
We are located in Little Canfield, a small rural village located in the district of Essex. It’s a short 5-10 minute drive from Stansted Airport.
The main equipment is a custom made functional rig with various exercise attachments, surrounded by an all-weather training track, with a breathtaking arable view. We also use a wide range of strength equipment: Loadable farmers’ walk handles, wheelbarrow, prowler, sandbags. We also utilise raw farm equipment, such as hay bales, chains, tractor tires and lifting straps.
How did FF come about?
I have been a Personal Trainer for 6 years and was very privileged to grow up on my family’s arable farm, which gave me a very active start to life. I was always encouraged to follow my own path, so it was natural that a passion for sport and a love of outdoor training transpired into creating ‘Farm Fitness’ - a unique outdoor workout concept with a custom training facility locates against the idyllic farmyard backdrop.
Tell us a bit about your journey as the Founder? What inspired you?
One of my major early setbacks was the fact I never took my sporting career to the top level and hovered around regional standards. Ironically this gave me the discipline and mindset needed to continually stick to strict training and work ethic. I’ve always had the vision to create a top-class training facility.
What different sessions do you have?
Our three main offerings of 'BUILD' 'BURN' and 'BLAST', these are our signature classes at capacity each week. We also accommodate weekly small group Personal Training sessions.
Our BUILD sessions combine compound lifts, modified strongman and non-traditional movements with field tested rep schemes and rest periods. This class is scalable and accessible for all levels of fitness, however a reasonable level of strength is recommended.
Turn your body into a calorie burning furnace, build mental toughness and torch body fat with our metabolically demanding workouts. You’ll have a blast of fun in the process. Adaptable to all levels of fitness.
Working in small teams to battle through multiple blocks incorporating; dynamic strength, static holds, and measurable explosive cardio efforts to boost fitness levels, torch calories and build functional strength across the board.
Who is FF for?
Anyone who is ready to hop off the treadmill and reap the benefits of effective programming from experienced coaches, without the price tag associated with one-to-one personal training.
Do you need to be the hulk to train at FF?
No way! We have an extremely varied demographic of regulars, but the largest portion of our attendees is made up of enthusiastic ladies looking for an effective way to get in shape in a safe but challenging environment. Of course we have a handful of strong guys pushing themselves to the limit, but everyone works within their capabilities here.
How would you best introduce a beginner to FF?
Although the training floor can look a bit intimidating, most of the things we do at FF are incredibly low-skill with a relatively small learning curve. Although it might look like we’re doing crazy exercises that you’ve only ever seen on World’s Strongest Man, but once we’ve scaled them back to your ability level, you’ll find it much less complicated and daunting than wandering around the average commercial gym!
We meet people ‘where they are’ and everything we do has a myriad of progressions and regressions. Even if you’ve never picked up a weight in your life, there’s still plenty of scope for you to be going head to head with a rugby player…and winning!
What benefits can you get from FF training?
We make sure we leave no stone unturned with our class choices, training a variety of energy systems and for a selection of goals. We use a unique team based score system, to make sure you’re pushing not just yourself, but each other to go further and faster each session. This all takes place in a supportive environment where each new challenge is scaled to your level. You can expect to see an increase in overall fitness levels and strength, a decrease in body fat and a new- found enthusiasm for training. Our pragmatic, functional approach to exercise selection, programming exercises with the most ‘real world carryover’, will have your everyday chores and activities starting to feel a lot easier!
What body areas does it develop?
Our class selection ensures that throughout the week everything is hit from top to bottom, inside and out. Our private small group and one-to-one training offers much more personalized programming meticulously geared towards your individual goals.
What 3 words best describe the FF concept?
Unique, grit, results.
How do you think this kind of fitness will grow in the scene?
Group training with an eye on progressive programming and focusing on scaling and individualization within the group is an extremely tempting alternative to personal training. It offers great value for money versus one-to-one training, but still safeguards the experience and guidance of a great coach. This is making fitness much more accessible and will hopefully see more and more people who suffer from ‘gymtimidation’ hop off the treadmill and set heading for much more effective pastures.