WATC’s founder snuck off to No.1 Bootcamp for a week of military fitness and boy did it work. It was a tough week in a big brother style house with around 20 other people, each of whom had various fitness levels an even more varied reasons for being there. The goal we all had in mind was to get a little fitter, lose a little weight and above all leave there feeling inspired (and back in our jeans). There were people there who had checked in for months, individuals who wouldn’t leave until they lost the last pound of their goal, a celeb or two fed up of the paps snapping their fat, whereas others just wanted to lose a few inches to fit in to that all important dress or outfit.
The week starts late Saturday afternoon. The house itself is not that wonderful but it’s a functional home for the week and not supposed to be the Hilton. The barn is nicer if you can get manage to get yourself booked in. Once you arrive, you will notice there is no concierge, first job, drag your own suitcase to whatever room you are staying in. The site manager will introduce herself and take you through to the living area where the rules are read by a few burly ex military guys. – I wont spoil the rules, as there has to be some mystique. Thereafter you are weighed and then you get changed in your kit its out for your first fitness test. The fitness test itself isn’t too grueling, 2 mins of situps, 2 mins of press ups and 2 mins of burpee’s (we didn’t like those). You are timed throughout the test and these timings are compared to the same fitness test you will then do on the Friday. Once that’s done, you have dinner and the rest of the Saturday is yours to meet the other members of your group and settle in.
You can choose your accommodation before you go, you can either have your own room or share. I shared with 3 other girls which was the cheapest option (£750) and to be honest I quite enjoyed the camaraderie. Sharing may not be to everyone’s taste so you can request your own room, as mentioned previously the house is OK, but the Barn is better.
I came back home feeling on top of my game
Sunday is the real start of Camp. It’s the first time you that you are awoken by music at 6.30am (if you are in the main house) or drag yourself up if you are in the barn. Work starts at 7.00 and woe betide anyone who pitches up late. We had one person in group who was late once and we all had to wait in plank position (balanced horizontally on your toes and hands) till they eventually arrived – we were not impressed. Once the morning circuit is done you are served breakfast. I have to say the Chef at Bootcamp is amazing, you will notice the portions are smaller and controlled (and the guys get more), but you cant beat the variety of flavours and taste. So once breakfast is done its 1×90 min circuit, then a snack (and I mean a snack, like a quarter of an apple, a segment of orange, or a cracker and a bit of humous). The snack is followed by another 90 min circuit, followed by lunch. Post lunch another circuit and then a bimble, which tends to be a 2 hour walk in the afternoon. Upon return you may have one more circuit and then its an ice bath in the camp wheelie bin – don’t laugh – it’s the best thing since sliced bread after a day of camp activity.
The circuits themselves varying so my schedule may be totally different to anything you experience. We done varying circuit type training, we trained on the beach (which was hard), we flipped tractor tyres and carried logs and sandbags – and we even managed 2 classes of Yoga.
….don’t expect a sugar bowl or biscuit tin.
The trainers themselves are wonderful, highly skilled at what they do, firm but fair. If you are putting the effort in they will support you and leave you alone, if you are milking an exercise because you are being lazy then expect a bit more of a hard time. You have gone there to achieve something and these guys are paid to get you there – skiving won’t happen on their watch !!! the site managers are great to, they are not only there for emergency runs for painkillers but morale support, I totally appreciate the job these guys do because it is hard, people are working their backsides off and some are missing home and kids, so the site managers role goes far beyond ensuring we have all the staple things we need.
Things you should know – there is absolutely no drinking (so rehab is thrown in for free !), there are no sweets or treats allowed (and let’s face it, why cheat). There is a kitchen where you can make tea and coffee but don’t expect a sugar bowl or biscuit tin. There are no soft drinks or access to get any either so again it’s a real chance to detox from all the bad things we put in our bodies. If you are a smoker you can smoke outside, but my advice would be to use this as an ideal opportunity to give up !
Back to the food, again portions are controlled and this takes a bit of getting used to, I felt a little hungry for a day or so but soon passed. There are little treats in the week but again I wont spoil the surprise as when these happen you feel like you have been given the crown jewels. Basically you are the mercy of their set meal times, but again its worth the wait as if you stick to their diet plans you will lose more weight. During the week they also bring in a nutritionist to talk to you about diet, its well worth a listen, plus you get a pack to take away.
So would I recommend it? I can’t tell you how much. It is hard work, but as with anything you get out what you put in.
The week ends on the Friday where your fitness is tested again and benchmarked against last Saturday’s results. You will notice an improvement in your scores and to be honest this puts you on cloud 9 anyway as you can evidence the fruits of your labour. Friday night the Bootcamp team allow you to have a glass of wine to celebrate the weeks effort – no party, just a glass of wine and chance to swap emails and prepare for the big weigh in day on the Saturday. Saturday is weigh in, emotions run high as people find out how much they have achieved. It’s a wonderful time as everyone has genuinely bonded as a team and is willing and wishing everyone to have achieved their own personal goals. For me, I lost 11lb that week and my jeans slid straight on. I can honestly say I felt on top of the world and it was thanks to the boot camp staff, the fantastic group I shared my week with who got me there. It was an amazing feeling all round and you can’t help but to share the elation of others as you watch them achieve their own personal success.
So would I recommend it? I can’t tell you how much. It is hard work, but as with anything you get out what you put in. I think the money it costs is a worthwhile investment. I not only lost weight but I also came back home feeling on top of my game, it was a great place with beautiful surroundings if you need to focus on something or just clear your own air.
Does it work: Yes – we lost 11lb
Cost: £400 for a long weekend, £750+ for a week
Effort rating: High (no pain no gain)
If you want to book yourself on to Bootcamp, you can call 0208 502 1144 quoting WeAreTheCity.
City Guinea would like to extend her personal thanks to Danny, Mike, Scott and Aitch for making the week so great, and to Cheryl, Lauren, Patsy, John, Jay and the others for being so team orientated…