Which type of Boot Camp is best for you?

Written by  Graeme Harwood


The First National Boot Camp Survey is covering one-week residential boot camps only. The term 'BootCamp' is also used to describe people meeting to train during the week in a municipal park. Run by British Military Fitness instructors though they may be, and good deveolpment though they are - they are nothing like real, residential boot camps, and little more than PT in the open-air.

Holistic Camp? 

If your weight has become a major concern to you and you want  far more than just weight loss in the short term - which any boot camp is going to give you anyway - then Nubeginnings  is the only camp for you  - but they do aim to fix you for good.

And the way they do that is to dissect and explain your emotions about food to you, show you practically how to re-structure your eating and follow up to make sure you're sticking to it.

Plus - and this is the killer - through acupuncture and hypnotherapy, getting through to your subconscious mind and bringing into line the Bad Angel who's been partying away unchallenged for years, so that all of you ends up singing from the same hymn sheet and the weight stays off permanently. It enjoys a high success rate.

  • Apples and Pears Retreat

    Apples & Pears Retreat is one of England's top camps because it occupies a rarely taken spot in the boot camp market: it's alwa…

  • Prestige Boot Camp

    In March 2009, Prestige's very first camp won it the national award for 'Best Women's Boot Camp'. By March 2011, Prestige Boot …

  • Bootcamp Beach

    Since first opening up in 2009, little under two years ago, Bootcamp Beach has absolutely taken off. In fact, so popular has it…

Mixed Camp?   

Only six out of the fourteen camps are always open to men: Apples & Pears , No.1 Boot Camp, Tesco,   Nubeginnings , Bootcamp Beach & Base Camp , although there is a growing trend among camps that started out as women only, now to be offering dates for mixed and men-only camps too: Prestige & Total spring to mind here.

Although my personal preference is for camps with both men and women, it's your call alone on this one. If it helps, I've always found that the genders mix together extremely well at camp. There's less likelihood of closed-shop cliques developing and whilst the guys and gals do tend to hang around with their own, it's refreshing to be able to talk to someone of the opposite sex when you're in the mood to. Obviously, a women-only camp is going to take away that option. And rule out your chances, completely, of accidentally bumping into a guy you may actually like.

NuBeginnings Mixed Camp
NuBeginnings Mixed Camp
Apples and Pears Retreat: Always open to men.
Apples and Pears Retreat: Always open to men.

Which brings me to a final rallying cry : Men of England, Wake up to Boot Camps! The women have got the point; and you, too, should be making up far more than just 15% of the market. In fact you would, guys -  if you only but tried it once.

My mind never thinks clearer, or for longer, than when I am away from the world at boot camp. And, as the body doesn't know what's hit it either -  with every muscle and joint historically hard at work yet fuelled by only a comparatively empty, alcohol-free stomach - the combined physical and psychological benefits to be derived in such a short time, are quite mind-blowing. I hope that doesn't sound too much like a young vicar in his first parish. In case it does, boot camps are part of my life now - and I fall into the arms of The Good Parent, whenever I need a kick up the arse and wire-wool between my ears.

Women Only?  

Unsurprisingly, as women make up 85% of the market, nine out of thirteen boot camps are for women only. It's common to see women who've roped in a friend for mutual support, sometimes so in a gang of four. There's a strong sense of camaraderie at women-only boot camps, plenty of emotions on display and significant new friendships are often forged in the heat of it all.

Rarely do camps field female trainers only, so you will normally be put through your stuff by men from the military. Read on, to find out if this is your style or not.

Military Style?  

Military-style means that formal, services conduct is expected of you:lining up on parade, addressing combat-geared trainers as "Staff" at all times, doing whatever you're told to do whenever and however you're told to do it, individual and group forfeits for infringing any rules - of which they're plenty - with no sin more dire than pitching up late (1 minute will qualify here). You'll be worked pretty hard, have your self-confidence boosted by your fear-conquering exploits on adventure training outings and - truth be told - you will be shouted at often. The venom with which this is done is anywhere between no. 10 on The Richter Scale of Menace....... right down to Prestige Boot Camp's altogether more amiable 3.                          

It's also true to say that, for some people, there is a certain appeal in doing things military-style, being dominated by very fit young men, in skin-tight fatigues, their bodies apparently stuffed with walnuts. And, hey you know, they've had years of experience at what they're doing to you, and you're going to get down and dirty together.

Yet, be simperingly nice or crack a joke, and he's also your toy soldier to flirt with too. He will, anyway. I don't think it's pure paranoia on my part in thinking that cries of " Suck it in, girls" and "See it all the way home, girls", might just conceivably be pandering to another agenda.

However, you might well not grow to share Staff's enthusiasm for teaching you services slang, and the continuous deal-striking of "Is that fair?" and "Is everybody happy with that?" does begin to grate. For other women, who take the more uncharitable view of 'Sod that for a game of soldiers', opting instead for civilian life and being on christian name terms with everyone. See below for Military/Non-Military Style Camps.

Military Style: Prestige, No1 Boot Camp, GI Jane, Total, & Kick-Start.

Non-Military Style: Bootylicious, Apples&Pears, Nubeginnings, Ultimate, Fitfarms/Tesco, Bootcamp Beach & Base Camp.

Comments by other travellers

I have been to Slim Farm Paleo Boot Camps. I liked them. I lost 6 pounds in 6 days. They only take groups of 6 people so were very personable. They offer a Paleo Diet which is higher in fats & protein, I find it's been easy to keep my weight steady and now enjoy a new healthy lifestyle. Other camps seem to restrict calories and starve you which was not sustainable for me.

I have been to NuBeginningsFrance weight loss boot camp I lost 19lbs in two weeks. But the best thing was changing my relationship with food.

Food no longer controls me and is no longer a demon but rather a pleasure to enjoy.

this sounds good is there an age group

Post a comment

I want to
My comment - optional
Rating - how would you rate this place or experience?

Other articles from other sites you might like