Inspired by their own training as former Special Forces Operatives, the duo have launched a new ‘Battle Ready 360: The Mission Series’ programme on fitness and wellbeing app TRUCONNECT.
The two also drew on things they’ve learned from challenges in everyday life and worked with former Royal Marine Commando and elite Personal Trainer Denny Denholm to develop the programme – and yes, there’s a heavy military influence.
We went along for a taster session with Fox and Ollerton to find out what’s in store…
It’s an eight-week programme split into two phases, lasting four weeks each, with four workouts a week within these. Starting with basic military training, you’ll move towards tougher commando training as you progress – mostly doing bodyweight exercises and dynamic movements, with minimal space and very little equipment required, incorporating both strength and cardio.
This is all about making complete, effective workouts as simple and doable as possible. As Ollerton explains, in the SAS, they needed to keep up a training regime wherever they happened to be, at any time of day or night: “That could be a cramped hotel room floor, or on the ground in the jungle.”
As well as following the programme at home, Fox says people will hopefully come away confident they can recreate workouts when they need to: “The beauty of this is you get to learn it to the point where you won’t get freaked out if you’re away without WIFI, if you’re short of time, don’t have access to a gym. This is a gold standard and brings it back to basics.”
Who is it suitable for?
The SAS duo have put careful consideration into designing a workout that’s suitable for both beginners and those looking to push existing fitness further. They stress it’s important everyone starts at the beginning though.
“It doesn’t matter what level you’re at, start at the basic level because it’s about learning those movements and getting an understanding of the programme,” says Ollerton. “And the workouts are geared as such that you can work as intensely as you want within the time. If you’re fitter, you can work harder. If you need to, you can work slower.”
Fox adds: “You control the intensity. You could make the beginner session brutal by just intensifying the movement, increasing the reps.”
Discipline is key
As Fox says: “Consistency is the key bit. It’s about building discipline. Every single person on this planet will sometimes sit there and think nah, I don’t have it in me today, or I don’t have time.”
Ollerton adds: “Discipline overrides motivation. You will not have consistent motivation. That’s how we’re wired as humans, we are going to look for the path of least resistance, the easy way out. And that is why the Special Forces are so good at what they do, because we follow a process, and that process is discipline.”
Another military mindset trick? “You’ve got to understand your ‘why’. Why are you doing this?” says Ollerton.
Fox adds: “Think of the end goal. Don’t focus on the fact you’re going to be working out. It’s only a passage of time. It’s about saying to yourself, ‘I’m going to do it, because I know the minute it’s finished, I’ll feel better than I do right now’.”
For them, this ‘why’ is largely about mental wellbeing and how you feel after putting the work in. Yes, you can get seriously improve your strength and stamina – but Ollerton and Fox suggest it’s best not to get overly hung up on visible differences and how you look (because bodies are all different). Instead, focus on how you feel.
“We’ve structured the workout this way because it’ll keep you engaged, and what’s better than actually understanding your progress?” says Ollerton. “I did that in week one, now I’m doing it like this in week three – wow. I can feel that level of improvement.”
What’s it like?
I joined Fox and Ollerton for a 25-minute taster. After a quick warm-up, we’re straight into some commando-style strength moves – think push-ups, crunches and squats. All I’m using is my bodyweight but the sequences are crafted to work all muscle groups and I’m soon feeling the burn.
I particularly like how they’ve built in movements that focus on muscles I wouldn’t normally know how to work outside the gym. For example, using a rolled-up towel to perform Superman-style moves on the floor works the lats and upper back/shoulders, mimicking what you’d do with pull-ups or lat pull-downs. It takes a few goes to nail the movement but once I do, I really feel it.
There are short rests between sets, but we switch quickly between static and dynamic moves, like burpees and mountain climbers, so my heart rate is constantly pushed too. None of it is complicated – it’s all about intensity and pushing those reps. The workout ends with a round called ‘the punisher’ – a five-minute burst of mega intense moves in rapid succession. The aim is to be constantly moving, mimicking being in a combat danger zone. Imagine you have to make a quick sprint for it, or dive for cover and stay low, hovering above the ground without moving, or crawl and jump your way to safety – you get the idea! After just a couple of minutes, my legs are shaking and all my reserves are slipping away.
Sweat is dripping off me by the end and I’ve nothing left in the tank. But I’m buzzing and definitely feel like I’ve worked hard.