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March 14, 2021

"As a youngster, I grew up in Devon, just down the road from Lympstone Royal Marine Commando Training Centre. Many of my Dad’s friends were Royal Marines including my Godfather so this had a huge influence on my early life. I had spent the last few years, since leaving my professional cooking career in an office-based job, spending most of my day sitting at a desk, and had started to put on quite a bit of weight. I was quite unhappy about this but wasn’t sure how to go about tackling it and working out in a gym environment was always something I felt would be quite intimidating. One evening, my daughter saw Bear Grylls promoting BMF on the One Show on BBC1 and immediately said to me “Daddy, you should go and do that”. Thinking that she may be on to something, I went online to check out the website and find some more information. I eventually booked myself on for a trial session and have never looked back.

I have been training with BMF for about 2 years now. I think when I started with BMF, my only goal was to lose some weight and improve my general fitness. However, with the encouragement of the Instructors and other members, I have pushed way past this and achieved a level of fitness I wasn’t even sure I had originally aspired to. The structure of sessions and military-style instructions have helped me to focus on technique and learn how to push myself that little bit further every session and achieve a little bit more. It has been challenging in the last year with the Covid pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, but I feel that BMF and Stu in particular have done so much for the members to offer such a wide range of options so we can all keep doing the workouts we love and keep healthy.

Fitness has always been something that I have wanted to be involved in, but sadly during my cheffing career, there was very little time for anything outside of the kitchen. However, since becoming a BMF member at the age of 40, I have discovered a real passion for fitness and I think it goes to show that it’s never too late to make the move and improve not just your physical fitness but all other forms of overall wellness which are key benefits of physical exercise.

I was chatting with Stu Clark one evening before a session and he mentioned that he was looking for a couple of instructors to join his team. At first, I didn’t think anything of it but as the idea grew in my mind, I started to consider the possibility of whether this might be something I could do. I love training with BMF and the whole company ethos so much, I was getting to a point that where I was thinking about how I could make this the thing that I do all the time. So I gave Stu a call to see what he thought of the idea and it all grew from there. Once we were both certain that this was something I really wanted to do, Stu offered to fund my Level 2 Instructors course and I flew through it, completing the course in just under 7 weeks. Stu has put real faith in me as a member and on a personal level too by funding this course and it has given me the incentive to put into practice everything I have learned in my course and through training with BMF for the past 2 years.

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BMF Instructor & franchise owner, Stuart Clark, says:

"As a member, Dan clearly had promise when he started and he really took to BMF quickly, using multiple parks in and around London and Hertfordshire. His fitness grew quickly, because he committed and applied himself, which of course is an instructor‘s dream scenario. As an instructor, Dan has all the traits to inspire, to create quality sessions and to lead a group of members through a BMF session using his experiences as a member, but also using his newfound knowledge of the human body and exercise.Strange as it sounds, I’m incredibly proud of Dan, it’s tough to retrain in a field, even if you are passionate about it. I’m incredibly excited about working with Dan and think he will hit the ground running. I'm confident that our BMF members will absolutely love his style and approach especially as he is one of our own!"

Joining BMF has had the most incredible effect on my life. I love every session. I love getting out in the park no matter the weather. Sun, rain, or snow, we are all out there training together, and we always feel amazing after every session. The sense of achievement along with the spirit of community from other BMF members helps and encourages everyone to do their best no matter what level they are at. I feel this is so important as many people have barriers to exercise and feel self-conscious when they first start.

I hope that as an Instructor I will be able to show to new and existing members what can be possible to achieve training with BMF and the commitment they show to their members. Just 2 years ago I was starting very much as a blue bib member, struggling to finish a session, but determined to work through it and really improve my fitness levels. Having progressed to a red bib and then quite rapidly on to a green bib has been amazing. But now to become an instructor is a bit of a dream moment for me. I feel this is a really powerful story which I hope will encourage and inspire new members to see what they too could achieve with a little hard work. I would also like to use an instructor’s role to promote the benefits to mental health which come with physical exercise. Having struggled with my mental health issues in life, this is incredibly important to me. The benefits I have experienced from getting into BMF are wide-ranging so I would like to use this experience to help others in a similar situation."

Dan Pennington

Topics: BMF AT HOME, Nutrition & Mental Wellbeing, Fitness, Member Stories