Bootcamps. Hard?  Really?  Before embarking on five days at Team Bootcamp I had visions of bootcamp being filled with z list celebrities and training sessions would involve a light bit of circuit training interspersed with walking up a few hills. Easy peasy. I’d always wanted to try one, mostly because I believed I would sail through. Having been a competitive swimmer as a teenager, I thought nothing could possibly compare to waking up at 4.30am for a two-hour pool session. However, I’d forgotten two very crucial points; firstly I was no longer a teenager; secondly I was no longer that fit. By lunchtime of day one, all I wanted to do was hunker down under a big comfy blanket and never move again.  Sadly, inertia was not an option and off I reluctantly jogged for an afternoon filled with hundreds of burpees, squats, lunges, sit-ups and sprints.   

Team Bootcamp, founded by Craig and Paula operates on a basis of training hard one day followed by an active recovery ‘rest’ day.  This is to help avoid injury but not at the expense of weight loss results.  On day one; a hard day, our wake up call was 6am in time for a weigh in and measurements by 6.30am.  We were then out the door by 6.55am jogging on the spot ready for training.  By lunchtime we’d done over three and a half hours of exercise from circuits to boxing to an assault course; it was hard.  The trainers pushed us to our limits ensuring we were working to our full capacity at all times.  After a grueling day, bed was certainly a welcome relief.

The following day was our active recovery day. This involved a 13mile hike, an enforced rest period of an hour followed by Pilates. The active recovery days were my favourite mainly because they were dry and sunny so the hike didn’t feel like a chore plus having enforced rest was amazing!  It was also great being able to stretch out our sore, aching muscles in a pilates session. However, by the end of the day, I was filled with dread at the prospect of another hard day looming ahead!

The philosophy behind Team Bootcamp is to encompass a 360 degree approach in all aspects of life therefore not solely focussing on fitness but bringing awareness to diet and attitudes towards food. Craig and Paula hold nutrition and/or meditation workshops daily to offer help and guidance in our day to day lives. We followed a paleo diet whilst at the camp so carbs and dairy were out and protein was in.  The food was delicious but the portion size was limited which I struggled with as I’m used to eating so much more.

The accommodation is definitely one of the key selling points of Team Bootcamp as the house is gorgeous; warm, welcoming and comfortable. Craig and Paula are keen to ensure the house has a homely feel, which they certainly achieve and makes it feel less like a ‘bootcamp’ and more of a retreat. On top of this there is a therapy room where you can book much needed treatments from massages to facials.

By the end of the five days, I was hugely relieved it was over! But I managed to lose 2 kilos, which I’ve never ever done in such a short space of time proving it does actually work. Having said this, my advice is to only embark on a bootcamp if you are fully committed as you will need to be in the right mindset to stay motivated.  And be prepared for it to hurt!  The bootcamp is perfect if you have a particular goal in mind such as a wedding, holiday or as a kickstart to weight loss. Whatever your goal, focus on this throughout otherwise you’ll want to give up at the first hurdle. And lastly, good luck – you’ll need it!


words by Francesca Londono-Brasington