Weight Loss Boot Camp Reviews
Written by Graeme Harwood
The First National Boot Camp Survey
How did they get here?
They arrived here from America, where boot camps were first used to reform prisoners, soldiers and defiant teensbefore reaching the general public in the form of holiday breaks. Camps in the US, though, are different from ours. They'll take a single issue such as detox, weight loss or hiking and stick excusively to that - setting you back in the process over £3000 for one week. That's 50% more than England's most expensive boot camp!
Bringing the idea across the Atlantic, and focusing it on female weight loss through the use of British Military Training techniques, The Camp in Scotland was the very first boot camp in the United Kingdom. It opened its doors in January, 2007. New You Boot Camp started later that year and now, just over two years later, we have 14 boot camps.They are, in chronological order: NuBeginnings, Total Boot Camp, FitFarms, Apples & Pears, No1 Boot Camp, Tesco's BootCamp, Ultimate Boot Camp, Prestige Boot Camp, GI Jane, Bootylicious , Bootcamp Beach, Base Camp & Kick-Start.
In this economic climate, a boom industry certainly; but as every camp at full capacity would still only be treating around 300 people at a time out of a population of 61 million( in less than award-winning health, by and large), this could well be a new industry with a lot further still to go. The arrival of predatory supermarket chain Tesco on the scene would seem to suggest this. However, without any regulatory body to control them, or trade association to promote best practice in them, boot camps can be a bit of a minefield. This First National Boot Camp Survey is here to guide you through it.
Why is their popularity growing?
Boot camps exist to answer a call from people (85%F;15%M) who need outside help. Things have gone way beyond fat-busting knickers and air-brushing holiday photos. Yet, although the UK has more obese people than any other country in Western Europe - twice that of neighbouring France for example - only around 5% actually attend a boot camp.To its increasing cost, the NHS has seen the consequences: high blood pressure, diabetes, back, hip and knee operations, stomach-stapling and gastric by-passes.
Other camp-goers are often not drastically over-weight, just stuck in a ruinously unhealthy rut and needing a kick up the backside to snap out of it. Perhaps, locked into a stressful, sedentary job, they're never exercising - but they are forever eating fatty, fast foods in a hurry. Probably a bit of binge drinking in there too. Or, maybe, it's just The Bridget Jones Syndrome: a blanket, a sofa, a chick-flick, a bottle of Chardonnay and something sweetly filling within a pluck.
Frankly, your issue can be with anything from cocaine to cream cakes, whisky to pizza, down through Coco Pops, Kit Kats, Subway Sandwiches, chocolates, chips and red wine - to whatever; it's just got to be sorted out, and preferably long-term.
Some camp-goers, though, are already in pretty good shape when they arrive but, as rally drivers or social marathon runners, they've just come in for a tune-up. Others aren't too fussed about keeping the weight off, even if they'd never deny they'd like to, because their primary motive in going to a boot camp is fast weight loss in the short term: it's bikini-time again, a new boy-friend, a wedding day - perhaps all three.
And here we bump into the grandest, illogical irony of the boot camp industry. They offer to change your life for good, whilst simultaneously longing for your repeat business! The trick here, if you really want to turn your life around, is to go for camps with a strong holistic side (see, Main Reviews). All boot camp-goers do, however, have one thing in common: they've just spent over £1000 and surrendered a week of their holiday time for a suspected kicking, largely in the company of total strangers. In other words, your fellow campers are more likely to be seriously committed than just vaguely involved.
Another reason for the boom in boot camps is that it's not difficult to open one. In fact, it's a simple procedure. Typically, it goes: rent premises in countryside near Exmoor/ Dartmoor; hire in ex-military trainers, cook, nutritionist, camp manager and guest speakers; post up website, slicker the better; charge £1000+ for the week; invite celebs and journos for free publicity; add more dates; proceed to bank. Accordingly, boot camp owners are a very mixed bunch. They come from backgrounds anywhere between chalet girl and international corporate executive, with differing reasons for founding their camps. Some, like me, passionately believe in boot camps; others are only in it for the money. As a consequence, boot camps are going to behave differently. Some, unfortunately,are only too happy to kick off with some very misleading publicity about themselves.
See also Which Boot Camp is best for you?
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