A week of exercise may not sound everyone’s idea of fun – but Body Camp Ibiza takes a holistic approach to getting you back in shape, physically and mentally, as MMM Editor Rasa Dregva reveals after her trip!
When it comes to taking a holiday, high on my list of priorities is taking it easy – relaxing on a beach or taking a stroll through beautiful countryside. A holiday normally does just what I need to recharge the batteries and allow me to put my hectic life on pause.
So how did I end up booking a week where the ‘entertainment’ consisted of a 20km hike fi rst thing in the morning and regular weight-training sessions? Welcome to the wonderful world of The Body Camp Ibiza – a one-week shock to your system which does more than just recharge your batteries, it swaps them for super-powered ones.
I must admit, at first my enthusiasm was low. I’d booked the trip in a bid to get myself out of my comfort zone and back in trim. But I shouldn’t have worried. Yes, it was tough at times – both physically and mentally – but the rewards were something I could never have imagined. So just what is Boot Camp Ibiza? A favourite of celebrities such as TV presenter Emma Willis and Spice Girl Mel B, the idea is simple – to take you out of your normal life for a week and set about tackling your physical, mental and spiritual health to ensure you are fighting fit for your return. The organisers describe their Ibiza programme as ‘where to go when you’re ready to fully submerge yourself into life change; it will lift you up and make you feel strong, back
“The benefits only come from fully embracing what is happening, and the rewards on my trip were remarkable”
in control and give you new tools for life. You just need to take an open mind, an open heart and be ready to open up to learn and express yourself’. And they make sure they deliver on that bold promise. And Body Camp Ibiza is just one of three courses they hold around the world. The others are in Mallorca and Bali, and it’s a detox with a difference. In addition to being taught new ways to exercise, you get a full guide to nutrition, relaxation techniques and a full body checkup through their trained osteopath. But, perhaps key to the whole set-up is the ability to work on our minds, too – opening us up, bringing forth issues we’ve been afraid to confront, and creating a space in which you can safely discuss everything. It was a liberating experience. And at the heart of it all is a mission to ensure you enjoy it and have fun – and, remarkably, it works.
Joining a small group of 14 – aged between 22 and 62 – I was plunged into a blend of cultures, with guests coming from around the world to take part. The physical tests start first thing in the morning, before the sun reaches its peak, with hikes and runs across the beautiful landscape. Then it’s back for organic coffee and teas, plus delicious, healthy, smoothies, before the rest of the day weaves between cooking lessons, group talks, yoga, weight training and meditation. Sprinkled in with this are delicious lunches and dinners, pool time and fun activities. Now, it may sound a little full-on, but the benefits only come from fully embracing what is happening, and the rewards on my trip were remarkable. Encouraged to really open up to one another, souls in our group were laid bare in a secure environment, with deep-seated issues discussed and the pressures they had applied to tired shoulders released. It may be a cliché, but it really does strip you bare and make you learn about yourself; and realise that it’s OK to get stressed and to question yourself.
Yes, it was physically quite demanding, but for someone who had never done anything like this before, I honestly couldn’t recommend it highly enough. At the end of the week I had made some good new friends – we all still keep in touch – and, more importantly, when I came back I continued the good habits I had learned. The company behind the course talks of life transformation, and I admit to being a little cynical at first – but it really does deliver a key shift in your thinking and actions. And how often can you say a holiday to Ibiza has a life-changing effect?
So you’re probably thinking a health camp isn’t going to be up to much when it comes to food. How wrong you would be… Given two options, you either have the choice of eating for optimum health for fat loss, or for fitness and body-building – depending on what you want to achieve. The dishes themselves use only fresh, natural, quality ingredients without processed sugars, chemicals and additives. And the specially-designed menu is a vegan’s dream, being 100% plant-based. Meals are served three times a day, with two servings of treats, too. What’s more, the chef teaches you how to source and cook foods when you return to normal life to ensure you can continue the good habits you have learned. Sarmado Sibley is the raw vegan chef at the camp, bringing with him his early training in Michelin-starred kitchens, his stints managing major commercial catering enterprises, and raw and plant-based food coaching for optimal wellbeing. He has worked as a private chef for celebrities, developed raw vegan products for commercial food companies (especially in the Middle East), and trained hundreds of raw foodies in how to prepare great nutrition.
Lisa Strong is the coach and lifestyle mentor, with the aim of ensuring you are mentally fit as well as physically. She spent 19 years in the corporate banking world, then five years ago she took a leap of faith to follow her dreams and move to Ibiza. An absolutely essential member of the team during your week, Lisa trained as a nutritionist with the Institute of Natural Healing. She is a great listener and is always there for any guests who feel they need an ear to bend, share how they are feeling and generally want to put a smile back on their face. Lisa is one of the first people you will meet when you arrive at The Body Camp Ibiza, and her down-to-earth northern vibes are sure to make you feel right at home. She’s not someone I will forget in a hurry.
To find out more information about the Body Camps in Ibiza, Mallorca and Bali, visit thebodycamp.com