In recent years, fitness camps and other health centres have multiplied around the world. There is something for everyone’s needs and budgets. So, how do you pick up the right one – the one that will match your expectations?
1 – You have to know what you want to achieve.
Don’t choose a hard core fitness camp if your main objective is to work on your flexibility! It seems trivial but believe us, it’s not unusual to see people opting for a certain type of retreat / camp and then, once onsite, realise that they have made a mistake. So one of the most important recommendations that we can give you is to read the websites carefully and understand the details of what each retreat offers before deciding. Don’t hesitate to contact them via email or even by phone to learn more about them, their vision and philosophy.
For those who want to lose weight and / or gain muscles:
Whether you want to lose weight and /or gain muscles, there are some invariable requirements that must be adhered to.
- You have to control your food.
Check if the retreat provides a certified dietician or nutritionist who will be able to give the right recommendations based on science. You also have to make sure the restaurant of the camp will allow a calorie and macronutrient controlled diet. Finally, check if the retreat is equipped with a proper body composition analyser in order to evaluate your progress in terms of fat mass and muscle mass week by week.
- You have to change your habits.
It’s common to feel your body transforming during the stay. You just have to follow the schedule, train properly and eat what’s available. It’s much more difficult to sustain the results once at home without any more guidance. Indeed, knowledge is the key to a sustainable body transformation. Figure out if the retreat provides some workshop or education classes and make sure the teachers are fully qualified in order to avoid learning nutrition fads!
If your main objective is to get fitter:
There are different types of fitness camps. They usually all offer a wide range of fitness classes from beginner to advanced level. Some retreats are more ‘hard core’ than others and it would be wise to choose one that suits your current fitness level.
Check out their schedule to see which type of classes they offer and if they will challenge you enough. A schedule full of CrossFit, strength and HIIT classes would be ideal for someone who is used to training hard for more than four days a week but maybe not for the others.
The design and the themes of the websites are a good indicator. They often truly reflect the aim of the camp. Aggressive colours or slogans such as “Train hard or go home” clearly means that you will fall behind if your fitness level is not that good.
2- Make sure there are no (bad) surprises
Most of the time, fitness retreats display their attractive program prices on their website, but they also knowingly do not make everything clear, i.e. the price might include the program but not the accommodation, or the transportation from the airport but not the way back. The main reason for this is to encourage people to book quickly by preventing them from comparing the prices and the services between different competitors.
Take your time to compare all the offers as you might have some surprises. You may discover that some fitness retreats which, at a first glance, look more expensive are actually cheaper than others once all the extra costs are calculated.
Everyone is keen to invest money for their own health, but an unexpected bad surprise can ruin your holiday. Make sure you know exactly what you will get for the price you are ready to pay before you commit to any booking.
3- Cheap VS expensive
- Generally speaking, we can say that the cheaper the fitness camp is, the more people it will attract… and this has some consequences:
The fitness classes can be more motivating but each guest will get less attention from the trainers. The equipment may be missing or the class area can quickly become overcrowded.
The quality of the different services, food, accommodation and the staff might not be great. When the number of guests is growing, equally more staff are needed and it may be difficult to find the right amount of motivated staff or to train them properly.
There is also a good chance for the rules of the camp to be very strict and not flexible (refund policy, schedule, facility rule etc.)
We would recommend these kinds of fitness / weight-loss camp for those who are autonomous, who already know exercise and do not search for high quality services.
- Expensive Fitness retreats don’t necessarily mean better…
A high price can be justified if it reflects quality in all fields: welcoming and clean facilities and bedrooms, a nice location, tasty food with high quality ingredients, qualified and experienced trainers, a wide range of activities, all-inclusive services etc.
Unfortunately, at some retreats, a high price may be more indicative of a five star hotel (spa, gastronomic food etc.) rather than a high quality fitness facility. Do not expect to experience the best fitness of your life at these kinds of retreats.
Once again, find out what you want to achieve and which kind of experience you want to have.
4- Don’t forget the word “holiday”!
For most of us, we have to use our annual leave to join these retreats. Of course, your main goal will be to get fitter, lose weight and / or gain muscles but bear in mind that resting times are integral parts of any fitness program and believe us, a nice location where you can enjoy the beaches and some local activities will make the whole experience much better again.
Check the guests’ comments on social media to know more about the facility and the surroundings and the quality of the rooms. Also check if there is a swimming pool, the cleanliness of the place, the Wi-Fi connection etc. Together, all these elements will help create unforgettable memories at the end.