Many of us start the new year full of good intentions; in fact how many of us have drunkenly vowed to get fit ‘for real this time’ on New Year’s Eve, only to drop the ball almost instantly? For those of us in the colder parts of the northern hemisphere, January can be a dismal time to start the year fresh – short, dark and cold days can mean we have a natural desire to hibernate, so getting fit can feel extra tough… but starting the year as you mean to continue is always a good idea. The setting of the No1 Bootcamp on the coastline of Ibiza is quite spectacular – but don’t be fooled – this is no seaside holiday, you will (quite literally) work your arse off.
Here’s a roundup of my gruelling but effective – even enjoyable – five days at the Bootcamp…
On the first day of training I wake up at 6.30am, nervous but excited. In the communal eating area the trainers write up the day plan, and I see that we’re to begin with a fitness test, so the results of the course can be assessed at the end, eek. The day consists of a intense exercise and small portions of delicious food. I hit my bed at 8.30pm, exhausted after a very full day.
“I wake up on day two ravenous and feel like I’ve been beaten up in my sleep… I can barely move!”
I wake up on day 2 ravenous and feel like I’ve been beaten up in my sleep. I can barely move! Luckily today is what they call an ‘easy’ day, but even still I can feel yesterday’s workouts in everything I do. We head to the hills for a three and a half hour hike. After a painful run in the sweltering heat, followed by a pool workout we get to stretch out our muscle pain by doing some yoga.
“I find myself feeling grateful and mindful of the food I’m eating, however small, rather than wolfing it down without noticing, like I do back home”
Despite some mental fatigue, my body feels energetic and strong; I’m ready to take the day on. Knowing the set routine helps, and even though the sessions are hard today, I can feel a change in the way my body is coping. We also learn about nutrition and then finish the day with a meditation session.
“I take the opportunity to use the on-site masseuse, who is amazing and gets deep into the knots”
“Everything is down to the power of the mind, and is a matter of deciding we can do it… He’s right, I can do it!”
Miraculously, I jump out of bed feeling like my muscles have repaired, and they don’t ache at all! Taking a hike later with one of the trainers, who’s also a qualified life coach, we discuss the mental aspect of training: as he explains, everything is down to the power of the mind, and is a matter of deciding we can do it if we want to. He’s right I can do it! However, my positivity wanes when I’m standing at the bottom of 260 steps called the ‘Stairway to Heaven’, ugh, more like Stairway to Hell. Naturally we run up and down these stairs for an hour – and I have to say, this is the hardest and most painful exercise of the whole week; definitely not a group fave!
“However, my positivity wanes when I’m standing at the bottom of 260 steps called the ‘Stairway to Heaven’; ugh, more like Stairway to Hell”
It’s our last day! This makes everyone keen to push it a bit harder. Plus I’m seeing real results when I look in the mirror – actual muscle definition! Interestingly, what felt like a measly portion at the start now feels filling and so enjoyable. Along with all our usual sessions, we have some class time, where we’re taught about keeping the momentum going once we’re not in the boot camp. This is the real point of difference with the No. 1 Bootcamp – unlike regular classes, where you’re given no real advice, structure and personal help, here we’re given an arsenal of information that I know I’ll use for the rest of my life.
I’ve learnt that I’m the master of my fitness destiny, but having the right knowledge is the greatest power. Only I can make the change in my body – there’s no magic pill, only hard work (that can become genuinely enjoyable), so it’s best to just get on with it. Oh, and I dropped 6.5 pounds! Feeling toned, tanned and inspired; the best possible start to the new year – and new me – ahead.
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