Fox runs the rule over fitness

Former Premiership winger Ruel Fox hung up his boots in 2002 - now he is running boot camps in his home town of Ipswich. STUART WATSON spoke to the former Norwich, Newcastle and Tottenham star about his latest project.

Former Premiership winger Ruel Fox hung up his boots in 2002 - now he is running boot camps in his home town of Ipswich. STUART WATSON spoke to the former Norwich, Newcastle and Tottenham star about his latest project.

MOTIVATION has never been an issue for Ruel Fox - now he wants to motivate others.

Having spent a decade playing football at the highest level of the English game it would have been very easy for the speedy right-winger to take the easy road.

But while many professionals from his era remained in the comfort zone of football coaching and punditry, Fox decided he needed to test himself.


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After hanging up hits boots in 2002, he made the decision to enrol at college and earn his qualifications as a personal fitness instructor.

The result is that Fox - who has been instructing at a variety of Ipswich Borough Council's gyms for the past three years - is 42 years old and looking as trim as ever.

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Now, through his own series of Ipswich-based 'Boot Camps', he hopes he can motivate others to keep fit too. Don't read too much into the title though.

“The initial reaction of people is to see the words 'boot camp' and think that they are going to be dressed up in army uniform, with stripes on their face and running through the forest.

“I can promise you it's nothing like that,” said Fox, who is running his classes out of Copleston Sports College.

He's not wrong. the motivational boot camps are a world away from the testosterone fuelled, assault course image it initially paints. For a start, the group he's working with at the moment is ladies only.

“It's called a boot camp purely because of the motivational factor,” explains Fox.

“We do a lot of things people wouldn't expect us to do. A lot of it is just aerobic exercises, while we also do a lot of fun-based sports games like football and netball.

“We call it a boot camp because we want to get across how serious it is. Everything we do is achievable by your average person, but what we try and do is give people that extra push. I like to think we get that extra 10 minutes out of people.”

The boot camps comprise of a maximum of 20 people meeting for one hour, three times a week. Fox and his fellow instructors lead their members through their exercises during that time and then send them home with dietary information and meal plans.

“We call it the Boot Camp Bible,” says Fox. “We also have an internet forum where members can talk to each other and help each other along.

“The idea is that the people that join a gym only to get bored of the individual routines and then give up will stick with this because of the motivational environment we provide.

“This is not just for crazy people who want to go and run ultra marathons and all that sort of thing, these classes are simply to provide motivation for people to get to whatever level of fitness they want to. I've got people from 18 through to their late 40s and they've all got their own targets.”

Fox - who is also currently the chairman of non-league side Whitton United - added: “Motivation to stay fit hasn't been too much of a problem for me. I've been playing football since the age of nine so it becomes part of your life.

“Of course I had days where I would turn up to training on a Monday and think 'I don't fancy this much' but luckily I always had good people around me, the likes of Ronnie Brooks, (Kevin) Keegan and Mike Walker, that would keep me bubbly.

“Now these boot camps are also giving me the motivation to keep fit because I can hardly turn up weighing 20 stone and start shouting the odds at people can I?!”

As if working full-time for Ipswich Borough Council, running a series of boot camps and being chairman of a non-league football club wasn't enough, Fox has now taken on the role of pundit for the BBC's new Football League show 'Late Kick-Off'.

“I'm hoping to get one of the professional teams from the area down to try out one of the boot camps for the show,” revealed Fox.

“I'm going to try and persuade Matt Holland (ex-Ipswich Town midfielder now presenting the show) to give it a try too, but he always was very fit so I might have to work him harder than everyone else!”

- Ruel Fox's next set of boot camps start on March 1. To register, or for more information, visit: www.ipswichbootcamps.co.uk.

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