AN OTLEY soldier's fitness regime could end up being adopted by a Central American army.

The Belize Defence Force (BDF) have been so impressed by Army Physical Training Instructor Lance Sergeant Sebastian Bentley's example they are considering rewriting their exercise programme.

The 27-year-old has been carrying out physical training instruction for the Force and British soldiers for Exercise Mayan Warrior, a two-month programme involving 392 troops.

Lance Sgt Bentley, who is in the Grenadier Guards, has been toughening the BDF’s personal fitness programme, for example by adding a 35lb weight to their two and three-mile runs, like they do in the UK.

He has also been advising them on technique and how to best focus their training.

He said: "Their hierarchy got quite interested and asked for the format.

"They did the two-mile run and they didn’t pass, so I told them how to run properly – the technique of shuffling and then picking up the pace."

The soldiers were also put through a Tactical Advance to Battle (TAB) loaded march to test how they work together as a squad, before a log race and then a stretcher run.

Lance Sgt Bentley, a father-of-two and former car body-fitting student at Leeds College of Technology, said: "It’s better for them to do a TAB as they might do when they are doing border patrols for drugs.

"They are never going to do an eight-mile run on their own, so it’s better to work as a TAB or a group.

"Their commanders and officers are looking into that now and are quite interested in it.

“I was quite chuffed – it’s nice to be helping them over here. The relationship I have with their physical training staff is brilliant. They are willing to learn, even though some of them have been in the BDF longer than I have in the British Army."

He also put soldiers through a march and shoot contest, pitting BDF and Coldstream Guards sections against each other over a nine-mile route, with the final mile including a casualty evacuation.

Based in Aldershot but posted to Catterick, Lance Sgt Bentley has been in the Army for nearly seven years and has served in Afghanistan.

Also a fitness instructor in his civilian life, he has been a keen Thai boxer since he was 16 and says his next goal is to try for selection for the 22 Regiment SAS.