Ultimate Bootcamp Review: Day 1
In an attempt to look super svelte at the multiple weddings I'm attending this summer I'm heading down to Devon to try out the Ultimate BootCamp Weekend- think four days of enforced exercise, controlled diets and 5am wake up calls. My kit list request 4 pairs of trainer -2 outdoor, 1 indoor and 1 walking boot and a total of nine tops, so I guess I'm going to be worked pretty hard., This is the diary of my experience.
I arrive in the wilds of Devon after a 3 hour train ride to meet four similarly nervous looking women at the train station. Two men wearing army gear introduce themselves and load up our bags in the minibus and drive us to the secret location - a country estate with 52 hectares of grassland and Enid Blyton style cottages, washed in white. The beds have Cath Kidston coverlets and everything is very quaint and adorable, with a notable lack of anything processed or chocolaty- it feels more like a vacation than an attempt to knock my body into shape.
We meet the owner, a lovely woman who is incredibly eco-conscious and stressed that during our stay we should nurture and respect the environment- think recycling and eco laundry powder.
In total the weekend consists of 10 women of varying fitness levels, ages and body shapes, and we then assemble in the meeting room for an intro. Some are in pairs, buts some are alone, and I'm relieved I won't be the solitary loner on the trip. They normally undertake 7 day courses, but have realized that not everyone has 7 days spare to give up, so a intensive weekend blast seems like the best option for time poor people.
2 Personal Training instructors (PTI's) dressed in combat gear take us through the ropes, telling us to expect banter and encouragement during out stay, Their gruff voices belie hearts of gold, and their experience training all types of people mean they'll be able to cope with our individual demands. Think of us as ' a marine first, and a personal trainer second', says Jon, but he does have a twinkle in his eye...
First up it's time to create a contract with them camp, and this involves highlighter pens and spider diagrams promising them communication, and enthusiasm whilst they agree to be compassionate , communicative and encouraging. Next up is the weigh in and measurement taking which is rather scary, followed by a fitness test which involves heart rate monitors, a blood pressure test and some lunging onto steps. But now it's time to start training, and we quickly change into our sports gear.
We started with 2 hours of ball games, running through the long grass that surrounds the buildings, and doing sit ups in piles of cow shit. We follow on from this with static stretches and are very exhausted once we've raced up and down the hill a couple of times.
Were told that the next detail is 5 to 6 in the main room and it takes us all a bit of time before we realize that means supper. We rush to change and are all slightly late and guilty, wolfing down the couscous and stuffed pepper with gusto. All meals have been specially designed to keep us at optimum level for fat burning, and it's really nice how the recipe for dinner is displayed on the detail- with a nutrition breakdown that lists protein, fat and calories for each portion.
Supper is couscous with roasted tomatoes and stuffed pepper (for veggies or fish) really lovely and they even have a nutrition handout as well!
We get 20 minutes to the next detail which is a three hour hikes across cliffs and beaches, with some very hilly steps- think interval training gone wild!
I've never been so glad to see a mini bus in my life one bootcampee exclaims as we finally reach our carriage, and then it's a quick pep talk in the lounge before we retire. Blisters are already starting to pop on my ankles, and it' only the thought of multiple summer weddings that have me setting my alarm for 5.30 am.. on a Saturday (sob). To be continued...