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Rating 0.6 (151 votes)

Back2Basics Bootcamp

Listed under Boot Camps in Lake District, United Kingdom.

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Reader, I owe you an apology. I should have visited and reviewed this camp long before now - because Back2Basics Boot Camp, founded way back in 2008 by Joe Ayo & Wayne Butterfield, is the undisputed star of the North. In fact, Joe's first words to me were: " What took you so long?" This is a boot camp I can whole-heartedly recommend to anyone - especially to those of you who live in the North.

To start with, Back2Basics is one of the few boot camps in England to get the full 5 stars for ' Value for Money'. I 'm all in favour of boot camps costing less money, so that more people can afford to use them and get their profound benefits at an affordable price - which £1000- £1500 might not be, even if it's a fantastic boot camp. Furthermore, I have to tell you that only in the matter of its appealing price bracket is Back2Basics a budget boot camp. In many important respects it actually out-performs its more expensive rivals. Let's see how.

Firstly, co-owner and Course Director Joe Ayo, happily combines a background in Naval PTI - to sort you out physically - with qualifications in hypnotherapy & neuro-linguistics to sort you out mentally too. Consequently, Back2Basics puts more psychological assistance into its programme than any other boot camp in the country - (apart, that is, from our two dedicated holistic camps, Nubeginnings & Phoenix) - which is why it scores an astonishing 4 stars for ' Life Changing Potential'. Having said that, Joe is sensitive enough not to go further into your mind than you really want him to; and he makes it clear that you can bale out of the process at any time you want to. But then, you would be wiser just to let him fix you properly and for good - because no long-lasting weight loss is ever going to happen in your life until those underlying patterns of mental and emotional behaviour, which are holding you back from being the person you want to be, are identified and dealt with. Only at that point do you move onwards and upwards into the sunlight of success.

Secondly, the Lake District location of Back2Basics is ideal for a boot camp. That spectacular scenery in the finest,freshest country air can't help but lift your spirits up - making those walks and workouts not seem so bad after all. In fact, one of my fondest memories of any boot camp activity I've ever done was at Back2Basics:rowing across Lake Windermere on an autumn morning when the sky was so improbably blue and the leaves in such glorious mutiny that Van Gogh really should have been in the boat with me, provided he was prepared to do his fair share of the rowing that is. It won't take you long to realise why all those hills, forests and beaches are a Unesco World Heritage site.

Thirdly, the facilities on offer at the camp's venue, imposing C19th Brockwood Hall, are better than those on offer at many far pricier boot camps. Yes, admittedly, the pine lodges are not what you'd call luxuriously upholstered and Brockwood Hall's chef is no Heston Blumenthal either - but those Scandinavian lodges are large and very well-equipped, plus - and this is an enormous plus - there's a sauna and swimming pool complex on site.Every morning starts off at a civilised hour in the therapy of a warm swimming pool to get those aching joints and muscles gently working again. Back2 Basics is the only boot camp in England to begin its days in such a sensible and winning way, (apart from Apples & Pears, when it uses Crepe Farm). Certainly beats racing out the back door at 6am into freezing-cold darkness to join in with a military line-up! Nothing better than a sauna at the end of a long day either.

Fourthly, Joe Ayo has thought through every aspect of his boot camp product with great professionalism - and kept the same team around him to deliver it down through the years. In Dr. Lisa Gatenby, they have an excellent Nutritionist. In The Man From The Military, they have a bit of fun. In Joe(known as 'Coach') & Tony(known as 'Staff T'), they have the ultimate good cop/bad cop training routine. 'Staff T' is so kind as to be almost too nice to be at boot camp, 'Coach' is something else. You'll hear Joe's challenging, evangelising baritone echoing in your head long after you've left camp - and he, in case you hadn't guessed it, is the one you don't mess with.Despite the time given over to sorting out your mindset, Back2Basics will still get that weight off you, just as the others do. They monitor your weight daily, go for fat-burning interval training and adhere strictly to a differential of 3500 calories a day, generally losing you at least 1lb each day. In line with the practice in all our top boot camps, nothing strenuous is expected of you after dinner; and the 1:6 ratio of trainers to clients is pretty much the best in the country.

Fifthly, just go there. In contrast with too many of our other boot camps, Back2Basics is half the price and twice as good.

Accommodation: Spacious Scandinavian pine lodges, complete with balconies, lounge & kitchen area, set in 26 acres of protected woodland looking out over the Irish Sea. Brockwood Hall, a grand C19th country mansion, is the site's impressive focal point and used for most indoor events.

Capacity: 12. F only.

Duration: 7 nts. (2pm Friday- Friday 9am).

Cost: £699(sgles e/suite), £599 (twin share).

Price includes: All food, lodging & activities which typically include gym-style work-outs plus lake rowing, forest & beach hiking, acqua aerobics in the pool, kettle bells, high intensity interval training, structured walks, tabata & resistance training, military tasking, team games &1:1 Personal Training Session. In addition - and this is what sets Back2Basics apart - 8 NLP Workshops, 2 Nutrition Sessions, 1 Alcohol Workshop, 1:1 Emotional Resolve Session, certificate of achievement, souvenir photos of your week & 4 months aftercare.

Evening Events: Body Core, Flexibility & Relaxation sessions - or enjoy yourself in the sauna & swimming pool complex. TV/ DVD/ Sound System too, in all lodges. Free WIFI.

Optional Extras: Massage at £35/1hr. Facials, manicures & pedicures also available.


LOCATION: * * * *


FOOD: * *


VALUE FOR MONEY: * * * * *


Written by  Graeme Harwood.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

Fantastic Experience

I would like to say i had the most fantastic experience at back2basics. The 3 instructors were fantastic, making sure you pushed yourself for optimum results which is what we were all there for. I came away with a sence of achievement that i can do a lot more than i ever thought possible, this is down to the commitment of the Instructors at all times. I would recommend this Boot Camp to everyone, but you will only get the results you want if you are willing to put in the hard work and listen to what the Instructors are telling you. (They do know what they are talking about.) Food is also very good.

Mary Smith


I have completed my 3rd visit to Back 2 Basics Boot Camp, having attended the Lakes camp in 2010, their luxury West Yorkshire venue in 2011 and returned to the Lakes venue in May 2012. Reading the previous post is like I have attended somewhere totally different. One of the key things that made me choose, and keeps making me choose this company is the variety in their training approach and the fact that they DO train you in different environments each day. There were 10 ladies on my latest camp with varying degrees of physical fitness. The Course Director assigned a staff member to cater for each of these fitness levels – sometimes we were getting 1:1 personal training. Each time I’ve been to camp I have found all the staff to be very encouraging and they seem to have a good mix of male and female staff. I must point out they are a no nonsense camp, choosing to use your time effectively rather than wasting time dealing with tantrums. I had considered other boot camps before picking this one, I will hastily add costing twice the price of the £599 that I paid, however the thing that swung it for me was the time the Course Director took to explain what the boot camp was about and how it could work for me. At my first camp I lost 7lbs, at the 2nd camp 8lbs and my last camp 6lbs. I have always had continued support from the Back 2 Basics team after each camp when I have required it. I am nearing my target weight, only 10lbs to go. I for one can say I wouldn’t think twice about booking another B2B camp should I ever have a relapse. B2B has had a life changing effect on my whole life and I will sing their praises for years to come.

Caroline Kirby


I attended B2B camp in 2009. While the location is stunning I found the training to be very repetitive and boring, lots of trail hiking and sprint training up the same hills. In retrospect, I do realise it's how they manage to do a week's course for £700. I lost 8lbs so it was effective from a weight loss perspective but I struggled to stay motivated and to push myself to my limit every day - it was very easy to do the minimum.

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