Travel: Enhance Body Boot Camp, Green Craigs, East Lothian.
Many people’s idea of a holiday is a nice relaxing break on a beach, with wonderful company, great food, luxurious accommodation and perhaps some fun activities to pass the time.
This is kind of what I got when I embarked on a week-long boot camp at Enhance Body Boot Camp, based at Green Craigs, East Lothian.
OK, so I’m being slightly disingenuous by suggesting that a seven-day boot camp is a “nice relaxing break”, although after a week of relentless (and I mean relentless) physical exercise on limited rations and strictly no alcohol, caffeine or sugar I feel 100 per cent more chilled out and energised than before I went away.
There are nine of us on this particular camp. And our goals range from “trying to get a bit fitter” to wanting to get started on losing a couple of stones. Most of us have experienced some form of boot camp previously, meaning that the 6:30am wake-up call isn’t too much of a shock to the system and the tiny portions served at mealtimes are pretty much taken in our stride.
Enhance Body Boot Camp is unusual in that it offers three different styles of training: Body Slim for people whose main motivation is to lose weight, Body Fit, for those looking to achieve cardiovascular fitness and improve stamina, and Body Sculpt, for those who wish to increase muscle tone. I opted for “Sculpt” and found myself in the majority of the group.
Our first session involves Tabata circuits – something we will all become very familiar with over the week. It’s a short sharp hit of intense exercise designed to rev up the metabolism. Our personal trainer (known to us only as Staff B) sets up stations of exercises, ranging from lunges, jump squats and crunches to overhead presses with weighted bars, and then stands over us with a stopwatch and a booming voice while we try to bash out as many reps as we can in 20 seconds, followed by ten seconds rest, and repeat. At the end of the half hour we’re shattered and ready for breakfast.
The rhythm of our typical day goes a bit like this: Tabata training, breakfast, a bit of running, a tiny snack, circuits, break for lunch, some kind of challenge (dune running, timed sprints), yoga, dinner, a ridiculously early night.
Tuesday offers a break from the routine as we embark on a 24-mile coastal walk along the John Muir Way. I think this may be the furthest that I’ve ever walked and it’s certainly the greatest distance I’ve covered fuelled on only a small cup of soup, a handful of nuts and a homemade granola bar. As soon as we return to the house in the late afternoon, I crawl on to the nearest soft object and promptly fall asleep. When I awake I feel as though someone has taken a sledgehammer to my knees. Luckily this feeling has passed in time for our morning blast of fat-torching Tabata, although my spirits are feeling somewhat tested at this critical point of Day Four.
Later in the week, we cycle on hired bikes around the Pentlands. The weather is gorgeous and the views are astonishing – it’s an uplifting and much-needed change from the routine. We get back to base in time to take part in a “fun” Zumba class. I only feel sorry for our enthusiastic instructor faced with a room full of broken, stony-faced women trying to move our exhausted bodies in unison, looking like an army of zombies advancing upon her.
Unlike other boot camps I’ve been to (yes, I’m rather a fan) this one is fairly laid back. Nobody gets away with actual skiving, but there isn’t a sergeant major with a boot on your back forcing you to do push-ups in the mud till you cry. And although Staff B is fairly gentle – offering lots of affirmation and even sympathy towards rebelling bootcampers on the edge – the end results are still impressive.
On our final day we’re measured and weighed and I’m pleased to have lost 5lb and a total of 5.5 inches. The “biggest loser” of the group lost an impressive 14lbs and everybody is justly satisfied with what we’ve achieved.
On returning home, I feel as if I’ve been “reprogrammed”. I have more energy, my urge to snack and to overeat at mealtimes has all but gone and a daily 5k run has become something I look forward to. Who needs a “nice, relaxing break”?
THE FACTS Enhance Body Boot Camp holds boot camps in a variety of locations. The next is at Penblaith Barn, Herefordshire on 2-6 July and costs £550pp. Tel: 0131-564 0234 or visit www.enhancebodybootcamp.co.uk
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 12 C to 20 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: East