If just the thought of physical exercise is enough to make you ache all over then the latest fitness craze from the United States is probably not for you.

Styled as the “sport of fitness”, CrossFit is an all-in-one workout system designed to test and improve strength, endurance and agility.

While it might be going too far to say its followers are fanatical, they are certainly committed.

Scott Jenkins, co-owner of the Crossfit Blackwater Gym, in Crittal Road, Witham, is one such enthusiast.

The magazine designer, who at 45-years-old has a physique most 20-year-olds could only dream of, is officially the fittest man in Europe.

He is on course to reach the California final of the international CrossFit Games, in which more than 200,000 people take part.

He agreed to put me through a workout, which I quickly regretted.

He said: “It usually consists of strength first with squats, deadlifts and Olympic lifts. That’s done under a timeframe where you take two minute rests between sets.

“The next part we call metcon, which is short for metabolic conditioning. It’s anything that consists of multiple exercises against the clock.

“Sometimes it’s for how long it takes you to do a certain task or it can be for how much work you can get done in a certain time.”

After a quick burst of skipping, pull-ups, box jumps, rowing and burpees – where you go from a press-up position into a vertical jump –Iasked how my metcon was going.

Through my gasps for air I think I heard him laugh before he said: “It’s not started yet, this is just the warm-up.”

It turned out my task was even more demanding –a 200 metre run around the gym followed by ten standing jumps onto a two-foot box followed by ten rope ring pull-ups – three times!

After completing the task in 7 mins and 12 secs –a good time apparently–I was an achey, sweaty mess.

Even though I felt rough for a day or so afterwards, it was a great workout – although I am not sure I would like to take it up a notch.

Although I’m not unfit –I go to the gym about three times a week – CrossFit training definitely takes things up a gear.

The multiple exercises and the intensity of competing against the clock force you to go beyond your comfort zone.

For the CrossFit Games, the tasks are even more challenging.

Visit crossfitblackwater.com