Not a fan of workout gimmicks? No time for spirulina spin classes? The Hard Yard might just be your scene. Led by ex-prisoners, The Hard Yard is a no-nonsense workout that's been stripped back to basics.The guys behind the Hard Yard believe that everyone deserves a second shot and after learning that only 26% of people leaving prison find work in their first year of release, the company was founded in 2016. Hiring the best of prison talent, all of the Hard Yard classes are led by PTs who gained their qualifications on the inside. Fuelled by a helping of our high-protein porridge, we headed down to an early morning session to experience the hype. These guys don't hold back. Developing their fitness regimes in the confines of their cells, these workouts maximise your body's potential using simple & explosive movements.
After 4 sets of intense body weight exercises (and what felt like a million lunges), we were led through a through a full body stretch to help aid recovery.
After the session, we spoke to Beth, one of the co-founders of the Hard Yard about the company, exercise and making the most of your morning.What is The Hard Yard all about and how did it begin? The Hard Yard started in November 2016. We're a fitness business that trains and employs ex-offenders as fitness instructors. Although many people develop a passion for fitness + gain relevant qualifications inside prison, this rarely translates into a job on the outside. Only 26% of people leaving prison find work in the first year of release. This isn't surprising; over half of employers say they wouldn't consider hiring someone who has spent time behind bars. We created The Hard Yard to provide the opportunities we couldn't see in the fitness industry - we believe mistakes in your past shouldn't hold you back from opportunities in the future. Tell us a bit about the type of workouts you run. Our workouts are all bodyweight, no equipment. As much as you can give in 45 minutes. They are all about self-sufficiency - using the tools you already have to achieve maximum results. We run three types of workouts which give a well-rounded training approach. Shock is our cardio workout - all about sweat and improving fitness. Strength is focused on endurance and building muscle. Power is plyometric training - explosive movements and maximum effort. How do you start your mornings? Our mornings begin with sweat. We like to train first thing to kick start our day with a rush of endorphins. It doesn't have to be a long session, just a quick 20 minute blast can be enough to wake you up and get you going for the day. If you had a bit of extra time in the morning, how would you make the most of that extra time? One of the most neglected aspects of fitness and health is recovery. If we had an extra half hour in the morning, we'd be stretching out our muscles and resetting before a busy day. We love this stretching video from Millionaire Hoy and pop it on whenever there is a spare half an hour to unwind. What advice would you give to people who want to make more of their mornings like you do? You don't need to set the alarm for 4am to make the most of your morning. If you want to be active in the morning like we are, factor it in to your routine and prioritise it. Get off the tube or bus a few stops early and walk the rest of the way to work. Pack your bag and lay your things out the night before so you have the extra time in the morning for a quick workout or stretch. How can people get involved with the Hard Yard? You can train with The Hard Yard until the end of April. We're currently running an offer giving you 50% off workouts with code TRAIN50 and 50% off bundles with APRIL50 valid until the end of April. Book your sessions here.