Review: BootCamp Training Live

Various locations, including Frogmore Farm, Toller Porcorum, Dorchester
Mixed and single-sex residential camps available from £300pp
01305 831702

Weight: Before 10 stone 8 After 10 stone 2

Body fat: Before 28.2% After 23.3%

Waist: Before 86cm After 80cm

One mile run: Before 10 minutes 40 After 9 minutes 52

Stretch it out at BootCamp Training Live

Stretch it out at BootCamp Training Live

Bootcamps are deemed ‘trendy’ due to the number of celebrities attending, from Kerry Katona to the cast of TOWIE, male and female. But how does the average person fare? I attended a military style mixed week-long residential camp in Dorset, run by Billy and Boris of BootCamp Training Live, to find out.

Bootcamp cliche number one: being horrified at weigh in.

I jump on the scales fairly regularly at home but I was still really upset when I saw my weight during the consultation with Boris and Billy. I was back at my post-Christmas weight, making all the personal training, gym sessions, faddy diets and hours in the sauna so far in 2011 since seem pointless.

On the other hand, at least I seem to have caught it in time and I’m here to do something about it.

Bootcamp cliche number two: being horrified at the first workout.

The first two days are the hardest. You get up at 6am and are scheduled right through until dinner and, when you feel achy at 7am, the schedule can feel a little overwhelming. However, Boris and Billy may use army style training, but there is plenty of encouragement to keep you going. They shout but they also laugh and joke, keeping spirits up when yet another hill to sprint up looms into sight.

Bootcamp cliche number three: tears before bedtime.

It is quite common to cry at bootcamp but on the first full day? What can I say, I’m special. I felt truly overwhelmed at one point and despite all the encouraging texts from friends and family, I honestly wondered if I’d be able to last the distance.

But I’d learned from previous camps crying is normal, even expected, and just because I’d had to fight tears back on the first day, didn’t mean I wasn’t up to it.

Military style training included battle scenarios

Military style training included battle scenarios

I was a little shy at first but actually lucky enough to be on a camp with a really friendly, large mixed group. I shared a room with two 20-somethings who were really laid back and fun to be around. The rest of the campers had their ups and downs like me but, if you needed a bit of encouragement, there was always someone to hand to give you a smile and a nod to keep you going.

The results

I was obviously delighted with a 6 pound weight loss, with plenty of inch loss to give with it. Body fat is now back in the healthy zone and while I haven’t quite dropped a dress size like I wanted, my clothes fit better. I’m also confident I’ll lose more now I’ve rediscovered my love of exercise and built up some muscle.

In terms of my campmates, one girl lost a whopping 16% body fat! Most seemed to lose around 4-6 pounds, pretty impressive considering the muscle we built during the week.

BootCamp Training Live is one of the few residential camps to offer mixed training weeks and we had three men in total. They were all fairly fit already but all lost weight, the biggest loss was 5 pounds and 5% body fat.

The trainers were fantastic throughout and helped us put our results into context. There are so many measurements – from weight to inches to body fat, water content and muscle density – it can be a little overwhelming but is probably the most thorough pre- and post-holiday fitness test I’ve ever had.


I'm not here to intimidate you, I'm here to motivate you! - Boris

Boris said: “People need to realise that it is more important to build muscle than lose pounds. You can lose pounds in so many ways – lose water, muscle and so on – but the only healthy, long-term way to shape up is to build muscle and reduce body fat.”

“Remember it is impossible for muscle to turn to fat.”

As of today, I start a 6-week aftercare training programme, carried out via email and video, a fantastic idea to help the good habits of bootcamp stick. At half the price of other camps, offering a range of price points and mixed camps to suit all abilities, I’m confident that Boris and Billy and the team will be helping many like me reach their fitness goals for years to come. Thanks guys!

A WEEK AT BOOTCAMP: DIARY (all food provided by Nutrichef)

Day 1: Consultation; weigh in; 1 hour metabolic circuits; sweet & sour chicken, vegetable chow mein

Day 2: AM metabolic circuits; pears, soya yoghurt & blueberries; 2 hour fitness tests and mile run; crudities and seeds; 1 hour boxing; spelt pizza with artichoke; 1 hour strength training; flapjack; 1 hour fitness relay; 20 mins abs; chicken tagine with rice

Day 3: AM circuits; breakfast muffin; 3 hour 9 mile TAB walk, over hills with backpacks; vegetable soup; 1 hour circuits; 1 hour strength training; chicken tagine with basmati rice

Day 4: AM circuits and back stretch; muesli; 3 hour hill sprints and strength training, including lifting and carrying army equipment; cucumber and mint sandwich on spelt bread; 1 hour boxing, 30 mins bleep test (running + abs), 30 mins strength training; Persian sabzi with broccoli and rice

Day 5: AM circuits; Flapjack and boiled egg; 2 hour martial arts demo and combat workout; asparagus hummous on rye bread; 2 hour battle PT (army scenario training); 1 hour strength training; red Thai chicken curry with rice

Day 6: AM stretch; muesli; nutrition talk; 1 hour hill sprints; vegetable soup; 1 hour boxing; 45 min ab workout; haddock fish cakes with roasted vegetables

Day 7: One mile run – time improved by 48 seconds
Fitness test – 35% improvement

Day 8: Weigh in and depart

Some bootcamp survival tips:

Take it one day at a time

It’s easy to get overwhelmed on day one and two by the number of activities on offer, not to mention all the complexities of camp, such as learning people’s names, sharing a room and coping with small portions of two. Don’t be afraid to take some time out alone – go out for a walk or drive, or lose yourself in a good book.

Be realistic with your weight loss goals

Bootcamps are about much more than weight loss. It’s an opportunity to detox, boost fitness and build muscle, which can even result in a weight gain. Focus on how you will feel at the end of the week – full of energy and life – rather than what the scales will say.

Use your time wisely

With long walks and runs across the Dorset countryside, you actually have a lot of time to think. Use this time to set some goals and think about small changes you can make when you get home to improve your work/life balance. Do you need to rejig your workload? Rethink friendships or relationships that are weighing you down? Start a new hobby or club to help expand your social circles? Remember, small changes, big difference… Two weeks after camp, I’ve got more time on my hands, less negativity and more energy to enjoy my life. You can’t put a price on that but, if you did, the starting rate of just £300 for an all-inclusive rate looks even more attractive.



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Editor in chief Suzi Dixon studied at Bournemouth university, went away for a while to work at The Daily Telegraph, then moved back to the sunny South coast for a quiet (er) life. Bournemouth News & Info is her website and she is assisted by the fabulous Fred From France in all things geeky and technical. Hire us to make your website, too, if you like.

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