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?

Comments, questions and reviews by other travellers

Hey Campers past and present... you must watch the video here. Talks about all the issues you mention above. team-bootcamp.com

If thinking about going to a bootcamp please avoid no1bootcamp in Norfolk, it is not basic it is filthy and unhygienic. I was made to sleep with ants in my room for 3 days as all the other rooms were occupied. I roughed it out as I had goals and didn't want to leave and fail. Basic is what I signed up for but not unhygienic. When I did get moved the room I went to was covered in damp and they even took the plug from the bath as there was not enough water to accommodate the guests!! Gym equipment was never cleaned down after workouts and mats were filthy. I took photos as I was so appalled. Chipped mugs were never replaced and when I questioned all theis the manger cried to me saying the owners won't release funds for improvements, I was comforting her.....eh hello ants in my room, away from my comforts, starved of carbs and physically drained.....should I not have been crying.

Hi! I want to find great weight loss camp in Europe, may be anybody have informations about really good camps?

1 Reply

There are some good boot camps around but the best has to be Trimmer You Boot Camp. By far the best value for money too.

Hi everyone, i have just finished another boot camp with Trimmer you boot camp and its was fantastic as always. We had some amazing weather last week and i lost 12.3 lbs. Thank you to all the amazing staff and the amazing chef Fred. If anyone has been recently you will agree with me that he is an amazing chef.

I don't really write reviews but i thought i would let you all know how good Trimmer You are as i have been to a few other companies and they are no where near as good.

I will be going back next year for certain. xx

If anyone else is having ongoing issues with Bootcamp Inc - I have raised a case to Action Fraud (as I believe at least one other person had done), and it is being investigated now by Wirrel Police. I'm happy to feed any other people's details to the police to build a case, so please email me carlyathome@gmail.com with any details.

1 Reply

I had an issue getting my refund from Bootcamp Inc after they cancelled my camp the week before I was due to go - a lucky escape considering what happened to others!!!

They cancelled me in April 11 & I have finally -Dec 11 & Jan 12 - got my refund!!

The emails went from containing full contact details to none!!!

Keep hassling them - not ideal but might work?


i believe her latest scam is northwestsmile.co.uk

same number , same address , but what a surprise there is no business at this address , she is a scam artist and needs to be brought to justice

they have my email address are they fraudsters

2 Replies

Hi bubs - who specifically?

YES they are fraudsters - do not give them any money if you havent already.

Well – just an update really. I logged onto my account today, and the £100 has been refunded!!!

I had totally written it off, despite sending a ‘final notice before legal action’ – I hadn’t actually expected they would respond to it, given what I’ve read about them.

So I am now happy – both my train ticket and £100 supplement refunded, only out of pocket about £40 for a hotel/original train ticket. Meanwhile, I attended another Bootcamp in Scotland, which was AMAZING!!! – and to top it off, I lost 11 1/2 pounds!

So all is well that ends well – for me at least. I hope other can be as lucky in their dealings with the dreaded Bootcamp Inc.

1 Reply

Thanks for the update - really glad you got your money back!

hi Smiley82,

Pleased Groupon refunded you. Perhaps you'd be interested in going on and Total Boot Camp - Hargate Halls Blog and read some more in the woman that's alledgedly running Bootcamp Inc now. Good Luck, Softy

Groupon also refunded my money - although I had paid an upgrade payment direct to Bootcamp Inc of £100. In discussions at the moment - so we'll see....I'm not holding my breath though. So far, they've agreed to repay me....so at least they're still answering the phone and email.

I have rebooked with Apples and Pears Bootcamp :o)

2 Replies

Hey guys..<br /> Anyone got any info on the Bootcamp Inc. stuff?<br /> I too bought a Groupon Voucher..<br /> Mmm... Bit baffled by it all..<br /> :-(<br /> I cant find the connection between 'Kate' and Total Bootcamp but did notice Bootcamp Inc was advertising Marisa Peer and that has now disappeared from their website..<br /> Any feedback would be brill.. Thank You.<br /> <br /> LostBoy.

Smilery82- You should contact your bank to conduct chargeback if you pay by a credit card or visa debit (call and ask for fraud department) now. They promised to refund my train ticket (I called to confirm before bought the ticket for 31/5-3/6 and they emailed me on 26/5 in the evening) but have never seen any money.

LostBoy- Her full name is Mrs Catherine Jane Pennington working with Damian Corley. Their address 2nd Floor, 63 Curzon Street, Mayfair, London, W1J 8PD, UK seems to belong to other parties.

For those who google Five Day All-Inclusive Residential Boot Camp Retreat in North Wales for £299 at Bootcamp INC (Value £749) or bootcamp-inc, make sure you get your money back before 6 months is up and you cannot chargeback (this is way they only accept bank transfer now).

Regarding Marisa Peer advert, you will get an email stated “Please be advised that due to unforeseen circumstances, Merisa Peers will not be attending this course. However, another equally qualified hypnotherapist will be conducting the work shop.”

hi everyone. Just been in contact with Groupon re Bootcamp Inc and they have emailed to say that they will be giving me a full refund as they have issues with Bootcamp inc.

Thank you all for bringing up the matter of Bootcamp Inc as it was a great help.

2 Replies

Glad you got your money back!

Groupon also refunded my money - although I had paid an upgrade payment direct to Bootcamp Inc of £100. In discussions at the moment - so we'll see....I'm not holding my breath though. So far, they've agreed to repay me....so at least they're still answering the phone and email.<br /> <br /> I have rebooked with Apples and Pears Bootcamp :o)

I booked boot camp beach from this website it was fantastic i lost 11 lbs and met some amazing people.I trained on the beach all day loved the location and the sunshine.i have done others before but this is the best training and the best value.I can not thank them enough

Hi Rani, What do you mean that Bootcamp Inc is a con? We have just signed up for a course through Groupon.

2 Replies

Me too, via Groupon, not had any contact from them and am worried

Hey Groupon have just refunded my money - think they had complaints?

Hi. Just needed to let you know an update on the Total Bootcamp reviews which were done a few months ago. The lady who runs it is now using another name - Kate, and is running a new camp called Boot camp inc. Both a trainer from the former Total Bootcamp whose photo is on the Bootcamp Inc website, and Marisa Peer who is advertised as working in conjunction with Bootcamp Inc, have confirmed that they have absolutely nothing to do with this new boot camp. Please be aware that this is another con!!!

1 Reply

Hi rani, I have signed up for a course through Groupon to go to Bootcamp Inc in N. Wales. Have you or anyone heard from someone who have been on the course. from S

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