Boot camp holiday: detox, de-stress, get fit, lose weight and get a suntan

Boot camp holiday: detox, de-stress, get fit, lose weight and get a suntan

By Debra Barnes, who went to boot camp to get the bikini body she wanted!

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Debra is in grey!

“Come on Debra, you can run faster than that. You’re living the dream!” shouted Staff Evans in his broad Welsh accent as I ran yet another circuit around the garden.

It was just past 6am and I was already sweating, out of breath and remembering that I had clearly stated on arrival “I am fifty years old and I don’t run.”

What was this madness?

This was the New You luxury boot camp in Spain where 25 guests of all ages came for one week to detox, de-stress, get fit and lose weight. And get a suntan!

Luxury thanks to the location, a secluded rural hotel near Cadiz, and also because the activities are optional.

But if you are planning to just sit by the pool then this is not the holiday for you. You can however combine it with a couple of days in Marbs after, confident that you will have a that bikini body and a healthy glow after a week at boot camp. bootcamp 2

The day starts early here with an hour cardio (that was the running around the garden followed by stretches) before breakfast, then a full day of activities until evening.

Boxing, circuit training, water exercises, abs and core, hill running and treks through the Andalucía countryside kept us busy all day, with ample rest periods in between as “rest is an important part of getting fit.”

pine cliffs 2The two staff officers in charge of the fitness regime are actual military instructors, one with the RAF and the other with the Royal Marines, and they know their stuff.

Cardio, endurance, resistance, aerobic, flexibility – they are happy to explain what you are doing and why you need to do it. Cardio-vascular training will help you live longer.

Weight training will help your bones to stay healthy, especially important for ‘ladies of a certain age’. All training will help with weight loss – that and the tiny portion sizes!

Everyone at boot camp has their reason for being there from the bride-to-be de-stressing before her big day, to the Pilates instructor wanting to improve her own fitness, and the middle-aged lady who couldn’t fit into a favourite dress anymore so brought it with as her goal for the last night.

Apart from two married couples in their sixties and some friends who came together most of the others had travelled alone, many choosing to share a room to keep the cost down and meet new people.

There’s nothing like hunger and sore muscles to bring a group of people together and on a boot camp holiday everyone is friendly and supportive. Evenings are spent chatting and comparing bruises or watching cookery demonstrations.

The last evening is the time that everyone looks forward to, not only because it means the next day proper sized meals await (and the staff officers explain that you do have to start eating normally again because otherwise your body goes into starvation mode and starts to store fat) but also as it is weigh-in.


One by one the guests go to find out how much weight they have lost and how many inches have melted away. One lost 13 lbs, another 11 lbs and 14 inches. I was only there half of the week but I lost 4 lbs and over 6 inches. And the lady whose dream was to have her favourite dress fit again?512862773 hi-res

She wore her dress to dinner that evening, radiant with her sense of achievement.

I would never have considered myself a boot camp type of person but I found the experience to be very positive and I would recommend it as a great way to kick-start a diet, fitness campaign or to just get away from it all and come back feeling really good about yourself.

  • Debra stayed at the New You Boot Camp in Malaga, with prices starting from £685.  She flew to Malaga with Monarch Airlines from Luton.
  • Monarch, the scheduled leisure airline, operates flights to Malaga from Birmingham, East Midlands, London Gatwick, London Luton and Manchester airports. For further information or to book Monarch flights, Monarch Holidays or Monarch Hotels, visit Debra parked at Luton Airport with Holiday Extras.
  • Eight days’ Meet and Greet car parking is available to book with Holiday Extras at Luton Airport from £64.99. To book, visit or call 0800 1313 777
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