Chasing a ball and bringing it back again may sound like fun for dogs, but for participants of new fitness bootcamp Work Out Like A Dog, it’s strictly humans doing the retrieving.
That’s because Work Out Like A Dog is the world’s first exercise class in which humans exclusively exercise like dogs.
The slightly barking bootcamp, which has been created by national pet charity Blue Cross and qualified PT and fitness instructor Born Barikor, is designed to get humans to understand and appreciate the health benefits that dogs get from their favourite outdoor activities – by literally having people take on the role of dogs!
All of the exercises in the 45-minute aerobic and conditioning workout for humans have either been adapted from a dog’s favourite exercises or have been directly inspired by man’s best friend. They include HIIT ball fetch, tug-of-war, Frisbee and even having humans mimic a dog’s bag of tricks as part of a circuit routine.
The class was commissioned by the charity to raise awareness of how exercise keeps dogs healthy and happy, as high numbers of dogs arrive at the Blue Cross centres across the country due to behavioural needs stemmed from under-stimulus or lack of appropriate activities and exercise.
Work Out Like A Dog combines full-body strength training with high intensity cardio bursts to tone, improve endurance and fill participants with positive energy – in much the same way that regular exercise helps our four-legged friends stay not just physically but emotionally healthy too.
The Work Out Like A Dog class breakdown: WARM UP (8mins): consisting of agility, obstacle course and hurdle exercises; TRICK CIRCUIT (10mins): get up, down, rollover, sit, and stay your way through squats, planks and more;
GAMES (15 mins): a round of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) ball fetching, frisbee and tug-of-war; COOL DOWN(WARD) DOG (3-4 mins): stretch and end with a Howl of Happiness!
The bootcamp will be running daily from Monday, January 30 to Friday, February 3 at 7.30am in Victoria Park, Grove Road, London, meeting at the Park Pavilion. Spots are available to book via EventBrite [https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/work-out-like-a-dog-tickets-31159664395] with a suggested donation of £5 to Blue Cross. There is also a workout sheet available to download from [https://www.bluecross.org.uk/workout] for those who can’t make it to the classes.
Sarah Dickinson, Head of Media Relations from Blue Cross added “We hope the Work Out Like A Dog bootcamp will be an eye-opener for dog owners and would-be dog owners.
“Humans can communicate when they feel frustrated or want a change of scenery; if they need to let off steam with a good long run they just head out and do it. By contrast most pet dogs are completely reliant on us picking up signals that they require some stimulation or have to spend some energy. This workout should remind everyone what a huge emotional and physical difference it can make when we get that right!”
PT Born Barikor added: “Anyone would agree that in addition to losing weight or toning up, regular exercise acts as an incredible release for pent-up energy or stress. We weren’t designed to spend all day cooped up and sedentary - and neither were our furry friends! With Work Out Like A Dog we wanted participants to channel the joy a dog feels playing their favourite games in the park, as well as the physical benefits.”