At home with SAS Who Dares Wins' recruit number 11 Kirsty Hendey

‘I turned my balcony into an outdoor gym’: At home with SAS Who Dares Wins recruit Kirsty Hendey, who reveals her preparation for the gruelling TV show

  • EXCLUSIVE: Kirsty Hendey says her London home was an ideal training ground
  • The outdoor balcony was where she trained for the tough TV course
  • She deliberately took cold showers in preparation for the water exercises

A balcony in the heart of bustling South West London proved to be an unusual but perfect place to transform into a workout space for Kirsty Hendey, ahead of her stint on Channel 4’s SAS: Who Dares Wins.

The popular TV show, starring Ant Middleton, is currently in its fifth series and follows 25 individuals on a course designed to recreate the SAS’s secret selection process.

Kirsty, 32, was recruit number 11 on the show and made it more than half way through the course filmed on a remote Scottish island – aided by her work in the improvised outdoor gym in London.

Despite not making it to the end of the course, Kirsty said she ‘loved’ being part of the show

The programme’s location is a million miles from her home in London, which is surrounded by the hustle and bustle of city living and none of the wild open conditions she experienced on the course.

And yet it was the outdoor space on her terrace overlooking the rooftops of Fulham that proved to be the ideal training ground for the self-confessed ‘Alpha male’-style female fitness star.

It is where she had the necessary fitness equipment to help her get in shape for the programme, with her workouts including a combination of wide grip pull ups, push ups and hanging ab crunches.

In an exclusive interview with MailOnline Property, she showed off her unique training balcony and revealed the true extent of her workouts.

She also told of her shock at having her number called out on the show two weeks ago, as a part of a process where the training staff eliminate the recruits throughout the course.

SAS: Who Dares Wins recruit number 11 Kirsty Hendey trained for the show on her balcony that she transformed into an outdoor gym

She said: ‘I did not expect my number to be called, I didn’t speak to the directing staff – afterwards, and I had been getting positive feedback.

‘Everyone in there was mentally strong. And while some people made mistakes, they kept going.

‘The course is 11 days and I got through to day six, so at least half way through.’

Her balcony workouts included a combination of wide grip pull ups and hanging ab crunches

Kirsty (pictured left) succeeded in getting through to day six of the 11-day course

She explained: ‘Being part of SAS: Who Dares Wins was incredible but tough.

‘You never realise how tough it is until you put your boots on. But I loved it and it was amazing.

‘It is a condensed version of the actual SAS training and I have so much admiration for the military and the specialist forces, and what they go through. To experience being just a small part of that was incredible.

‘I have been inspired by the military and their training for years, and their ability to do things that put them outside of their comfort zone.’

Despite not making it to the end of the course, she went on to insist: ‘I love the show and I would do it again immediately.’

Pictured (left to right): Foxy, Ollie, chief instructor Ant Middleton and Billy

Kirsty used free-standing equipment on her balcony during her workouts


3 x wide grip pull ups

5 x pull ups

10 x push ups

15 x air squats

5 x tricep dips

10 x chin ups

15 x down ups

5 x sit chin ups

10 x step pull ups

15 x hanging ab crunches  

3 x weighted chin ups

She said the challenges occurred every two hours and throughout the night, explaining: ‘You don’t realise as a viewer how much goes on in there’.

And she added: ‘You’re given a calorie deficiency as I guess they’re trying to test how you would operate on the front line and need to know that you would survive.

As well as working out on the balcony of her home, she also had regular cold showers to prepare for the cold water exercises seen on the show.

These include the infamous ‘surf immersion’, a military water beasting that simulates water torture. 

Linked arm-in-arm, each team of recruits must fall back into freezing cold seawater and stay afloat for as long as possible. If one team member fails, the whole team fails.

The ‘surf immersion’ is a military water beasting that simulates water torture

Linked arm-in-arm, each team of recruits must fall back into freezing cold seawater and stay afloat for as long as possible

Kirsty, who works as a business consultant for gyms across the capital, explained: ‘The surf immersion wasn’t nice as the weather was particularly bad that day but the more you think about how cold it is and how uncomfortable it is, the worse the task is going to be for you. 

‘Being able to control your mind of all negative thoughts is what is going to get you through it. 

‘I allowed the waves to crash over me and stayed as calm as I could. It’s all a time game in there, eventually things will come to an end, you just need to wait them out and be proud of yourself when it is over.’

As for her future fitness adventures, Kirsty would like to mix up her training with ultra marathons and other endurance challenges – with all the required preparation beginning at home, on her balcony.

  • SAS: Who Dares Wins is on Sundays on Channel 4 at 9pm


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