Get Active: Barking Body Attack session challenges inactivity

PUBLISHED: 19:00 09 September 2015

Body Attack classes at Abbey leisure centre challenges people with a high-intensity workout

Body Attack classes at Abbey leisure centre challenges people with a high-intensity workout


National Fitness Day landed at Abbey Leisure Centre and Becontree Heath Leisure Centre as free classes offered body-shocking workouts.

Twenty-four sessions were on offer on Wednesday last week, one of which was Body Attack, a high-intensity workout created by New Zealand-based fitness company Les Mills.

Alison Overton, who runs Body Attack classes as Abbey Leisure Centre’s group exercise instructor, said National Fitness Day gave her the opportunity to challenge newcomers.

“I’ve been teaching Body Attack for 10 years and when I started it was one of the hardest exercises in the fitness industry,” she said. “I started doing it because I wanted to give myself a challenge.

“The training was extremely hard but you get such a buzz and it gives you a goal to work toward.”

Body Attack sessions are split into two sections, which Alison says makes the workouts accessible, as newcomers on the day had the option of leaving after the first half and building up to the second.

“We’re seeing more people coming to classes,” she said. “It’s an all-over body workout and a great way of making friends.

“And Body Attack is great for motivating people to work out.”

Personal trainer James Robertson, health and fitness manager at Abbey Leisure Centre, said the day helped change perceptions about health.

“The day’s about getting people to come together and encouraging them to get active,” he said. “Historically, the borough’s quite a good area for sport, but one of the battles we face is changing perceptions of training, exercise and healthy eating.”

He said one challenge was the diversity of the borough and the different attitudes of social groups.

“There’s a whole host of different cultures in the borough,” he said. “We run ladies only sessions to encourage women who don’t feel comfortable training around men due to their beliefs.”

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