Thaxted fitness instructor appears on BBC military training show

Amy-Jo Simpson appeared on Special Forces - Ultimate Hell Week on BBC Two

Amy-Jo Simpson appeared on Special Forces - Ultimate Hell Week on BBC Two - Credit: Archant

A Thaxted fitness instructor put her body to the ultimate test by appearing in the first episode of a punishing BBC Two military training TV show.

Amy-Jo in training with the Navy Seals on Special Forces - Ultimate Hell Week

Amy-Jo in training with the Navy Seals on Special Forces - Ultimate Hell Week - Credit: Archant

Amy-Jo Simpson, 34, of Boyton End, took part in Special Forces - Ultimate Hell Week, which aired on Sunday, August 30 at 9pm, where she faced gruelling fitness challenges set by American Navy Seals.

Thousands of people answered an online advert to take part in the programme, which is presented by Andrew Flintoff, but Amy-Jo was one of 29 to be selected after a fitness testing weekend at Hatfield University in April.

The group was then sent to the Brecon Beacons where the mum-of-two endured intimidation, sleep deprivation and ‘surf torture’ in filming the experimental documentary.

Unfortunately, the experience ended early for Amy-Jo when she contracted hypothermia after 48 hours of exhausting exercise in the Welsh mountains.

You may also want to watch:

Speaking to the Reporter about her experience, Amy-Jo said: “When I got the call from the producer to say I was one of the 29 who had been picked for the show, I couldn’t believe it. I was quite nervous to be surrounded by all these incredible, inspiring athletes, but it was also an honour to be picked.

“No information was really given to us beforehand so we were all very nervous and on edge. I’m always watching army documentaries, so it was a dream to work with the Navy Seals, but I swear we spent the first four hours doing press-ups.

Most Read

“It was really just relentless exercise with no food or sleep. They took us to the beach to do ‘surf torture’, which involved exercises face down in the water in full army kit.

“I was absolutely gutted to have to leave early but I was shaking uncontrollably and was in so much pain that they had to take me away because of the hypothermia. I was frustrated as it wasn’t the fitness side of things that had ended it for me, but I am still really grateful for the experience.”

Amy-Jo is holding an Insanity Live charity fitness event for adults and children at Oblivion Allstars, Ongar Road, Dunmow, on Saturday,September 12 from 11am - 2pm, in aid of prostate cancer after her dad was diagnosed a few years ago.

She said: “I wanted to do something to try and help with this particular cancer and it’s important to me.

“You do not need to be super fit to join in, it’s a fun day where the whole family can do some exercise and there will be high and low impact instructors on hand to help.”

Tickets are priced at £10 for adults and £2 for children and can be booked at

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter