Fitness Boot Camps
In the wake of the success of The Biggest Loser, the fitness industry is brimming with gym boot-camp programs designed to get people in shape while working closely with a trainer in a group setting. But why the boot-camp frenzy? As Lynne Brick, the President of Brick Bodies Fitness Services in Baltimore, MD, sees it, boot camp popularity is based on a variety of factors, including the personal attention, the social aspect and the variety of exercises; trainees use traditional weights, ropes, tires and even their own body weight for a more unique workout. Motivation is a huge factor, too, as Brick explains, “Trainers and fellow boot-camp participants push each other to the max!”
Many people are taking boot camp to the next level by combining fitness and travel to varied locations including Scotland, Mexico and sunny California. For some, the idea may seem counterintuitive—aren't vacations designed for rest and relaxation? But as Darlene Marone, Lifestyle Consultant and assistant to Melissa Perlman at the Bikini Boot Camp at Amansala, sees it, destination boot camps are here to stay. “People want to refresh and renew themselves and return home to their daily life looking and feeling better than when they left,” she explains. “When our guests leave Amansala’s Bikini Boot Camp, they leave relaxed, renewed, tanner, toner and healthier than when they arrived.”
Pack your exercise gear for a fitness boost at these 10 inspiring boot camps.
Tulum, MexicoBikini 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.
ScotlandThe 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 while a more affordable option in Scotland’s Peak District National Park is half the price with the same hard-core training techniques.
Santa Monica, CaliforniaThe Ashram invites guests, amongst them A-listers including 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.
Lauzerte, FranceIn 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 Kick Start with daily 3-hour hikes and a variety of classes, the more intense Endurance, which takes a week to build up to hiking or running a half-marathon, or the relaxed Lifestyle with a focus on healthy eating.
Florida and CaliforniaDudes can get buff at Men’s Fitness Boot Camp with 5 hours of daily workouts interspersed with low-glycemic meals and nutritional education. 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.
St. George, UtahTrainers at Utah’s Red Mountain Resort and Spa put men and women through the paces on spa fitness vacations with all-inclusive meals, personal training and an vast array of fitness classes. Participants enjoy the spa’s sprawling amenities with hiking trails, indoor and outdoor pools and luxe accommodations surrounded by stunning red cliffs and canyons.
DominicaAbout 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 rain forest. The program caters to the whole body with workouts alongside coupled with healthy food and outdoor adventures like hiking, snorkeling and ocean kayaking.
Utah and CaliforniaAs seen on The Biggest Loser, the Fitness Ridge Resort and Spa is a first-rate weight-loss program in the hills of Utah. 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.
Baja California, Mexico and British Columbia, CanadaThe staff at Mountain Trek 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 Mexico’s Baja at Rancho La Puerta during November and February and in British Columbia from May through October. In 2011, Mountain Trek is reaching new heights, literally, with a unique boot camp experience at Mt. Everest Base Camp.
Vero Beach, FloridaCelebrity trainers Steve and Bonnie Pfiester, of VH1’s Bridal Bootcamp fame, whip bodies into shape in just 3 days at Gloria Estefan’s luxe Costa d’Este Beach Resort in Vero Beach, FL. A weekend of fitness fun includes accommodations, health seminars, beach boot camp, a run through the obstacle course at Pfiester’s Longevity gym, meals and, of course, plenty of protein smoothies.
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