With the continued success of The Biggest Loser, the fitness industry is brimming with fitness boot-camp programs in such varied locations as sunny California, Mexico and Florida. For some, the idea may seem counterintuitive -- aren't vacations designed for rest and relaxation? But, it turns out, destination-based fitness boot camps are a great way renew yourself and -- the best part -- return home to your daily life looking and feeling better than when you left. Pack your exercise gear for a fitness boost at these 9 inspiring fitness boot camps.
Bikini Boot Camp invites women and men to work out on the beach along the Mayan Riviera and spend downtime exploring the nearby ruins or swimming in secluded cenotes (limestone swimming holes). Adding to the holistic appeal are spa treatments, journaling sessions, African dance, drumming lessons and meditation sessions.
The Camp was the first to bring women’s-only military-style boot camps to Scotland’s green glens with a staff led by ex-UK Special Forces members. The original camp is located at an impressive estate in southwest Scotland; a more affordable option in Scotland’s Peak District National Park is half the price with the same hard-core training techniques.
The Ashram, in the Santa Monica, CA, area, invites guests, who have included A-listers like Oprah, for a week of health and fitness renewal. Visitors exercise discipline while logging nearly 70 miles on the hiking trails, mastering new yoga moves at the hilltop meditation and yoga center, and dining on vegetarian fare.
In southwestern France, Camp Biche is the rare boot camp that allows a nice glass of wine alongside an exercise regimen. Boot-camp options include the Kickstart (daily 3-hour hikes and a variety of fitness classes like Zumba); the more intense Endurance, which takes a week to build up to hiking or running a half-marathon; and the relaxed Lifestyle, with a focus on healthy eating.
Dudes can get buff at Men's Fitness Boot Camp with 5 hours of daily workouts interspersed with low-glycemic meals and nutritional education. With locations in Southern California and the St. Petersburg, FL, area, the boot camp's intense workouts include gut-busting core conditioning, strength training and beach workouts. All-inclusive packages include weekly follow-up calls with the trainers once camp ends.
Trainers at Utah’s Red Mountain Resort put men and women through the paces on spa fitness vacations that include all-inclusive meals, personal training and a vast array of fitness classes. Participants enjoy the spa’s sprawling amenities -- hiking trails, indoor and outdoor pools and luxe accommodations -- surrounded by stunning red cliffs and canyons.
About 4 times a year, the Jungle Bay Resort and Spa in Dominica hosts week-long boot camps for travelers looking to combine a Caribbean holiday with intense workouts in the rainforest. The program caters to the whole body with workouts coupled with healthy food and outdoor adventures, like hiking, snorkeling and ocean kayaking.
As seen on The Biggest Loser, the Fitness Ridge Resort and Spa is a first-rate weight-loss program in the hills of Utah; resorts are also located in Malibu, CA; Niagara, NY; and Itasca, IL, near Chicago. The program is hard-core and high-intensity with a fitness regimen of daily hikes through gorgeous red-rock scenery, a full selection of cardio and fitness courses and tasty calorie-conscious meals.
Mountain Trek's staff helps guests lose weight and get fit while inspiring a love for hiking in an intimate setting that accommodates just 16 guests. Participants are matched with a hiking group based on fitness level and set off on half- or full-day adventures on hiking trails through Baja California, Mexico, at Rancho La Puerta, and at a British Columbia fitness camp. Mountain Trek also offers a unique boot camp experience at Mt. Everest Base Camp.