7 butt-busting boot camps
Even the keenest fitness enthusiast struggles with motivation from time to time. Boot camps are a brilliant way of rediscovering your fitness mojo – and there’s one for every goal and budget.
1 The women-only boot camp
Whether you’re looking to reduce stress levels, lose a bit of weight or take some time out for a serious ‘life audit’, there’s a Body Retreat to suit every need and timescale, with retreats running over a weekend, week or fortnight.
They’re women-only, and based in both the UK and Andalucía (bag some rays AND get fit? Now we’re talking). Address mind / body issues with experienced wellbeing experts, who offer hypnotherapy, mindfulness coaching, yoga and meditation alongside traditional fitness training and nutritional therapy. You’ll skip home happy and healthy in mind, body and spirit.
The details: Body Retreat costs from £495 for a two-night weekend (Buckinghamshire).
2 The gentle boot camp
Want to shed pounds and make new friends? The week-long Revival course offers ample chCances for group bonding – and that’s just with the trainers, who, despite having predominantly Armed Forces backgrounds, keep their inner sergeant majors hidden in favour of a more supportive approach.
The rural beauty of Sussex and Suffolk is as refreshing for the soul as the food served is nourishing for the body. Individual needs are catered to and fitness fears sensitively addressed. The approach pays off: average weight loss over the week is between 5-12lb. Revival aims to pinpoint bad habits and send you home with new healthy ones – along with a fabulous diet plan and training regime, so you can keep up the good work.
The details: From £399 (Sussex) for five days (Mon-Fri), based on two people sharing a twin room.
3 The London boot camp
Head to the Big Smoke (but avoid the tourists) for a weekend that’s all about you. The fitness retreats at the luxurious Jumeirah Carlton Tower in the heart of exclusive Knightsbridge run from Friday to Sunday and include outdoor sessions in some of London’s most beautiful and well-known parks, as well circuits, yoga and core-training classes in the hotel’s state-of-the-art gym. After enjoying meals in your own private dining room at Jumeirah’s Rib Room Bar and Restaurant, attending nutrition workshops, using their award-winning Peak Health Club and Spa and hearing motivational talks, you’ll leave feeling like a new woman.
The details: From £775 per person based on two people sharing.
4 The foodie boot camp
If your love of food matches your love of exercise, then The Point at Polzeath’s fitness weekend in Cornwall is for you. It combines fun, energy-boosting exercises with delicious meals made from fresh, local produce. Your regime is tailored as per questionnaires completed prior to your visit, with activities ranging from boxing and TRX, to Pilates, kettlebells and spinning.
The food is spectacular. Highlights include Fizz and Chips (no forsaking alcohol here) and a delectable Cornish feast. After your hard work, enjoy a complimentary massage, relax in the spa or stroll on stunning Polzeath beach – worth every squat and star jump.
The details: From £385 per person for three nights, based on two sharing an apartment with most meals included.
5 The luxury boot camp
Fitness expert Andy Elliott promises to whip you into shape in a week or less, and with three workouts a day and an eagle eye over each morsel you put in your mouth, he’s not joking. Based at London’s Milestone Hotel, Kensington, the smart gym has all the latest in fitness technology, although Andy is also keen on old-school, circuit-style killers.
Workouts are split into cardio in the mornings, an intensive circuit mid-afternoon and a strength circuit in the evening, with meal breaks and spa treatments in-between to refuel and revitalise aching muscles. Andy briefs the chefs on what you’ll eat, devising menus based on your aims.
It’s not cheap but you’ll leave feeling sleeker, healthier and much fitter.
The details: From £6000 for four days; with three personal training sessions per day, a luxury room, all meals, and a selection of spa treatments.
6 The Hollywood boot camp
This infamous bootcamp was dreamt up by Barry Jay in West Hollywood (where else?) in 1998 and quickly earned the accolade of ‘Best Workout in the World’. Celeb fans include Jessica Alba and Kim Kardashian and you can burn an amazing 1000 calories per hour with a relentless mix of intense sprints and floor-based weight circuits.
You’ll need a big whack of Californian can-do spirit to get through it – it’s seriously tough work. You’ll combine chest presses, jump squats and tricep dips, all done in double time. But even in such a big and intense class, trainers spot and correct individual techniques so no muscle is left unworked. You’ll leave on jelly legs and with a sweat-sodden T-shirt, but feeling energised and stimulated. Not one for the faint-hearted.
The details: Classes are £20 each: £90 for five.
7 The military boot camp
Kick-start your fitness or weight-loss regime with an Xtreme Bootcamp weekend of training. Definitely not one for those opposed to being in the great outdoors, the training follows British Military Fitness principles, and is 72 hours of no-nonsense, physically demanding challenges, from bear-crawling uphill and outdoor obstacle courses to squatting with sandbags. The instructors are tough, but as long as you’re giving it your all, whatever your fitness level, you’ll escape their wrath. And your efforts are rewarded with good, healthy food, too, in order to fuel your body for the physical challenges.
The details: From £199 for two nights, in a shared dormitory room. Three-, four- and seven-night options are also available.