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  • Writer's pictureTim Oliver

Brexercise Part 1: Keep-fit lessons of Brexit

Updated: Sep 16, 2019

It’s a sure sign that two things figure prominently in my life – Brexit and the gym – that earlier this year with Andrew Brinkley I wrote a piece entitled ‘Brexercise! Brexit lessons for keeping fit in 2019’. We identified several lessons from Brexit for those starting out on a New Year’s resolution to keep fit.

With summer nearly over and us all still coming to terms with a new prime minister known for his sporting moments/fails/crashes, I thought I’d review the piece and do so by thinking about where I’m at with my own workouts and health. As I said back in January, if there’s one thing that Brexit teaches us about changing lifestyles, it’s that it’s about more than glib phrases and quick fixes. It’s a long-term process that requires patience, clear goals and a willingness to ask difficult questions of your progress.

I’m not the only one to connect Brexit and gym workouts. My gym, Gymbox, has for some time run ’Brexfit’ classes offering frustrated gym member the chance to let out their pent-up anger on punchbags bearing the images of Theresa May or Boris Johnson, jumping on the ‘Rowmaoner’ rowing machine, or taking a rest in ‘Cameron’s Quitter’s Corner’.

It’s easy to see GymBox's thinking. Brexit has consumed, confounded and humiliated Britain’s political class. In turn it’s left many in Britain frustrated, angry, irritable and worried. That’s not a good combination for anyone or anything – a gym-user or a country – that wants to be at ease and get on with life.

Over the next few weeks I’ll return to the four lessons Brexit can teach anybody looking to get back into shape, run a marathon, or set a new bench press PB. For me, I’ve set myself the goal of doing the pull over on bars several times in quick succession. As you can see in the video below, this exercise involves pulling the body up and over a high bar. It's a lot harder than it looks and pushes me on strength, flexibility, and confidence. I have the equipment, a basic grasp of what to do and the expert guidance from my PT, Rhys Morgan. As you can see I can manage one pull over followed by an inverted hang. I’m setting myself the goal of doing five of these by... 31 October 2019. That seems an apt date and an easy enough target to meet.

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