Over the past few months people at Fitness First gyms across the country have been taking part in the FitBrit challenge: nine different exercises done back-to-back against the clock, which has become the UK’s ultimate test of speed, strength and stamina.

And on Saturday 3rd December, 2016, at Fitness First’s Black Label gym at London Bridge, those competitors who set the fastest times in qualifying battled it out at this year’s event, sponsored by Lucozade Sport.

There were many familiar faces from previous finals – including Richard Burton, who finished just outside the podium places last year – as well as lots of first-time finalists eager to push themselves against the nation’s fittest amateur athletes.

The team challenge, the first event of the day, was won by Eat Sleep Eat, despite being pushed to their collective limits by Mere Green and Stirchley Strong.

The Masters event, open to those competitors aged 40 or older on the 4th November 2016, was won by Nicola French in the Women’s category and by Danny Olive in the Men’s category, with both winners proving that age is just a number: the Fitness First personal trainers on time-keeping duty – many of them 20 years younger than the Masters finalists – were clearly in awe of their fitness prowess.

The final two events of the day, the Open Men’s and the Open Women’s event, saw the fierce competition reach new heights. In the latter event Kathryn Shaw took the title, winning more than £2,000 of health and fitness prizes in the process, after seeing off some incredible performances from Kerry Peters and Evie Burr.

The Men’s Open final didn’t disappoint either, with Richard Burton more than making up for the disappointment of finishing fourth in last year to claim the 2016 title a full 4 seconds ahead of his nearest rival in an awesome display of speed, strength and stamina.

Joe Warner, editorial director of Men’s Fitness magazine, said: “It was a day full of pumping hearts, burning lungs and aching muscles, but the only way to be crowned as one of the UK’s fittest amateur athletes is to push your mind and your muscles to their absolute limit and give it everything you’ve got to post your quickest-time possible. Well done to all our finalists – the effort on display was incredible and inspiring, and cemented FitBrit’s place as the UK’s best and toughest fitness challenge.”

The Winners In Full

Open Men

  1. Richard Burton
  2. Ryan Hogan
  3. Daniel Blake

Open Women

  1. Kathryn Shaw
  2. Kerry Peters
  3. Evie Burr

Masters Men

  1. Danny Olive
  2. Matt Latorre
  3. Michael Usher

Masters Women

  1. Nicola French
  2. Jo Dilling
  3. Nuria Ribaslequerica

Team

  1. Eat sleep Eat
  2. Mere Green
  3. Stirchley Strong

The FitBrit 2016 Challenge

Here’s the nine events of the challenge, in order, our finalists had to do

800m Run

Start on a stationary treadmill with a 0% incline. The timer starts when the speed is selected and the enter button is pressed.

30 Kettlebell Swings

Men 24kg / Women 16kg

Hold the kettlebell between your legs with both hands. Use your hips and glutes to swing the kettlebell up with straight arms, raising it to shoulder height.

20 Vipr Tilts

Men 20kg / Women 12kg

Stand the ViPR on its end and grip the
top end with one hand. Bend your knees slightly, then step to the side and lower the ViPR to the floor. Switch hands and repeat on the other side. Continue, alternating sides – the ViPR must touch the floor on both sides. One rep equals one floor touch.

10 Burpee Box Jumps

Your chest must touch the floor at the bottom of the move with your hands off the floor to ensure strict form is followed. Jump up onto the box with your heels landing on it. Every time you land on the box is one rep.

1.5km Bike

Men level 14 / Women level 12

The “spin and wheel” freewheeling technique is not allowed and your feet must be secured in the pedals at all times

10 Paralette Shooters

Kick through the parallettes without touching the floor to full extension each side. Each kick-through is one rep.

20 Kettlebell Sumo Deadlift High Pulls

Men 20kg / Women 12kg

Grasp the kettlebell handle with both hands. Pull it from floor to chin height with full hip extension.

30 Sandbell Rainbow Slams

Men 7kg / Women 5.5kg

Hold the sandbell in both hands to one side of your body. Raise it up over your head and slam into the floor on the other side of your body. That’s one rep. Alternate sides.

400m Row

Men 140 drag factor / Women 130

Set the drag factor to the correct level and start rowing. Your feet must be strapped in throughout.

FitBrit 2016 Prizes

Thanks to Madison, Skechers, Fitbit, Salter, Ellesse, Physical and Wild West

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