Sunday, 5 May 2013

No.1 Bootcamp

This post is a little over due, but what with so much uni work and deadlines, I decided to save it till I could explain it all to you properly. When I got an email a month or so ago from the lovely Charlotte from Travel Supermarket asking if I wanted to attend a bootcamp weekend along with 20 other bloggers I jumped at the chance without really thinking what I was getting myself in for. Now when you think off bootcamp what do you think of? Lots of exercise, pain, maybe even tears? Well you wouldn’t be wrong in thinking that, but after an amazing weekend I realised it’s a hell of a lot more too.

No 1 Bootcamp, incase you haven’t herd of it, is a live-in bootcamp based in Norfolk run by a bunch of ultra dedicated ex Marines/Navy. They also run bootcamps in the more glamorous locations of Marbella and Ibiza - although the location and accommodation of the Norfolk bootcamp couldn’t be faulted. To cut a long story short, it’s hard work, no messing around kinda place, known for whipping its celebrity clients into shape.

Day 1 consisted of lots of exercise, including an energetic version of ‘I have never’ and a ‘gun run’. Now I bet your all wondering what an earth is a gun run! Let me tell you I was definitely wondering the same, the word gun had me worried, I knew it was going to be intense, but gun really!?! Luckily, my worst fears were wrong. It involved all us girls carrying the parts of a pretend cannon style gun whilst on a mile run, or in our case a brisk walk to start with. Let me tell you it was not easy, we were all given things to carry from logs, to tractor tyres, balls and weights. It was intense to say the least, but with some firm encouragement and a hell of a lot of team effort we made it back. I was already getting a good idea of how incredibly hard work this Bootcamp is.

After a lot of hard work and some yummy yet extremely healthy food it was time for a nutrition talk. This really was one of my favourite parts. I’m not saying I’m a ‘big’ girl at all, but like most of us I most definitely have my body hang ups, the lumps and bumps that I just can’t seem to shake. This talk gave us ideas about the myths of weight loss and just some general facts about what we should and shouldn’t be eating. Being at uni I find it really hard to be super healthy…I’m the first to admit I’m not the best cook but the talk from Craig, one of the trainers, gave to us girls has inspired me to make a few subtle changes to my eating habits..firstly by cutting out all the unnecessary carbs that I eat on a daily basis. Craig so kindly shared his weight loss journey with us, showing us before and after pictures…it really does make you think how a few small changes can do you a world of good.

After a nice girlie evening and a lovely walk it was time for bed. The rooms were roomy yet cozy, and sharing a room with the lovely Hana made the experience more enjoyable. Before I knew it though it was time to get up…at 6am!! I’m a student I seriously never see that time of the day, but surprisingly I woke up in a cheery mood ready for the day ahead. I don’t think I was quite prepared for what was in store for us. We had to work for our breakfast; a circuit of 600 reps of various exercises were laid out, think squats, burpees, lunges and more. I don’t know what come over me but I zoned in and trooped on with Jess shouting words of encouragement…we wanted to get it done as quickly as possible and back in the warmth ready for breakfast

Before we continued with the day of exercise, Paula, the ‘camp Mummy’ came to give us a girlie chat a bit of a friendly kick up the arse (excuse my French). Whilst Paula was speaking I looked round the room and I could see that every girl in there was gripped. It was inspirational, it genuinely made me realise how lucky we were to have this experience and to be getting all this knowledge from all the staff, everyone of them who are experts at what they do. After this I had some newfound motivation and we went out to do a bleep test. Now this is bootcamp, it wasn’t any ordinary bleep test; it involved weights and various leg, arm and abs exercises. I have to say this was the most enjoyable part of the exercise for me and I learnt some things to incorporate in to my gym routine. To finish the session we had some group games, involving me being lifted into the air on numerous occasions.

After a brief snack it was time for more exercise, it was time for the Boxing Hurricane. If you think this sounds fun or easy you couldn’t be more wrong. Intense intervals of boxing ranging from 15 seconds to 60 seconds, with extremely short breaks. I gave it my all as I was actually scared of Will one of the trainers coming round and taking over from Jess my partner, I saw the pain he was inflicting on others. I have to say these trainers really know how to get the most out of you. I left the session not being able to feel my arms, and truthfully struggling to feel them for a good few days afterwards.

After another delicious lunch it was time for a 7-mile hike in the woods. The walking in the afternoon after a morning of intense exercise is apparently amazing for burning off fat, so all us girls were up for this. The walk has to be one of my favourite parts of the day, being able to talk to like-minded people and chat away about blogging, which I don’t often get to do, was lovely and before I knew it I’d finished the 7 mile hike, something I thought I’d never be able to do. It was now time for the part I'd been dreading since day 1...the ice bath! As you can see from the photos, it wasn't the most pleasant part, but we all knew how important it was for the recovery of our muscles. 'Camp mummy' Paula kept reminding us it as all about the experience, and the ice bath was definitely that..without bootcamp it's an experience that I never would have done.

Now, to some of you that might sound like hell and some of you might not think it sounds hard at all…but I can’t tell you enough that what ever your ability these guys know how to get the best out of you, I can assure you that after every session we were all left covered in sweat, struggling to catch our breath. But what an experience it was, before I left I was thinking god I can’t wait to stop off at McDonalds on the way home, but surprisingly I just didn’t want it, and over a week on I still haven’t had McDonalds…for the girl who on day 1 expressed her pit as not being able to eat McDonalds then something’s definitely changed. The truth is I was completely inspired from not only the absolutely amazing staff at no.1 bootcamp, but also the other girls who every single one of them stuck through it no matter how much I’m sure we all wanted to cry inside.

Within 2 days of being there I’d lost 3 pounds, which I think is absolutely cracking and wouldn’t of been able to do it without, and since then I’ve been going to my uni gym regularly, but this time knowing what exercises work and how to make the most out of my time.

No matter what size you are or how much weight you want to loose, or even if you just want to improve your fitness…no 1 bootcamp can teach you a lot. Find a balance between healthy eating and exercise and you’re half way there, I was shocked that after 2 days it salad over white carbs seemed normal to me. t just shows no matter how scary something may seem at first, it can quickly become routine to you.

I finally want to thank the amazing ladies at Travel Supermarket who gave me this opportunity, an opportunity I was initially scared of that I genuinely feel has had an impact on my life…something I was not expecting. If any of you have any more questions on anything I learnt at my time there, exercises and eating suggestions please do contact me or search the holidayhealthclub # on twitter for more information and pictures.


  1. Wow Maddie, sounds really intense, so proud of you for doing it all though, as I know I wouldn't be able to do a boot camp. Sounds like an incredible experience :D great post! xx

  2. Oh wow!!
    Well done for doing it all
    Think i need something like this to teach me some discipline lol
    S xx

  3. Wow, fair play! Sounds like a tough weekend but also a lot of fun! Definitely would love to do something like this soon!

    Fiona xo

  4. Oh my gosh! Looks like so much fun but a lot of hard work at the same time. I'm planning on joining a gym soon and I can't wait. I really want to motivate myself more and get fit at the same time. Looks like you had such fun at boot camp! Congrats on doing it! Xx

  5. Gutted I couldn't make it. Could have done with a kick up the butt for my summer bikini body!

    Now following you on GFC and would be great to get a follow back, if you would like to follow each other? :)

    Be great if you could check out my latest post: Get Topshop's Varsity Tee Look For Less

    Thanks! Charlie xx UK Fashion & Style Blog | Lurch Hound Loves

  6. im such a wimp i would cry! x

  7. This sounds like such a good experience but I actually don't think I could cope! I might give it a go before a holiday after I've eased myself back into the gym - sitting on a yoga mat actually counts as exercise right?! x