Attention! Drop and give me 20! Forward march!
You’ll find them in your local park, sports club or gym; a group of sweaty recruits taking commands from their sergeant.
But these aren’t soldiers; they’re civilians taking part in the latest fitness craze, military-style boot camps.
Originating in the USA, boot camps provide hardcore exercise in a supportive team environment and offer a different environment for those who find working out in a gym a little dull.
With the excesses of the holiday season still visible on many a waistline, an intensive exercise pick-me-up might be just what the doctor ordered.
So why not mix a little pleasure with your pain and get fit at one of these Top 10 Destination Boot Camps…
St Vincent, Caribbean
The volcanic St Vincent Island is located in the Caribbean Sea, between Saint Lucia and Grenada, and served as a filming location for Pirates of the Caribbean.
Buccament Bay Resort and Fitness 4 Boot Camps are offering guests the chance to reach (and sustain) their weight and fitness goals with a special holiday exercise camp.
Led by ex-Royal Marines, guests can choose between five, six, 10 or 12-day courses offering a variety of daily exercises including circuit training, obstacle courses, swimming, team games, boxing and yoga.Cheap Flights To St Vincent
The most popular tourist destination in Portugal – and one of the most popular in Europe – Algarve attracts around seven million travellers each year. They are drawn to the region’s year-round sunshine, golden beaches and fabulous food.
With this welcoming location as your backdrop, Luxury Algarve Bootcamp offers training and nutrition courses to take your fitness to next level.
The programme includes health and fitness assessments and consultation with a nutritionist, twice daily boot camp classes that include yoga, Pilates, beach boxing, jogging, running, mountain biking, swimming, circuit training and resistance training.
In the rolling hills of the lush Kent farmland the female only G.I. Jane Bootcamp puts women from all over the world through their paces.
Over three or seven days women take part in intensive physical training supported by a professional team with the aim of getting fit, losing weight and gaining mental strength.
Working in small, close-knit groups, everyone receives equal attention and the varied workouts keep guests on their toes.
Meditation, nutritional advice and life-coaching also help guests to kick-start a new healthy way of living.
St Petersburg, Florida
In the sunshine state of Florida, St Pete Beach is home to Getaway Fitness’ boot camp at the TradeWinds Island Grand Resort.
Travellers come to St Pete for the pristine white sand coastline, clear gulf waters and to soak up the sun. All this makes St Pete Beach the ideal location for a butt-kicking workout.
A typical day begins with a beach boot camp session and is followed by 5-6 hours of structured, intensive fitness activities until about 2:30pm when guests are free to make the most of the beach, spa services or just relax.
Healthy living might not spring to mind when you think of the beautiful party island of Ibiza, but it’s the setting for No1 Boot Camp’s Luxury Fitness Retreat.
This peaceful retreat is the perfect place to detox and exercise with a week’s worth of tough military style fitness and yoga.
A typical day includes challenging, but breath-taking hikes to the Goddess Island, core stability exercises and team activities.
Taking the concept of boot camp to new heights, why not kick off a year of health and fitness with a climb up Kilimanjaro?
Run by British Military Fitness, two experienced military mountain leaders will take a group of 30 on a seven day route up and down Africa’s highest peak.
The package includes training days, assistance in the run-up to the challenge and the crew will give you a great chance of getting as high up the mountain as you are able.
Plus, you’ll be tackling this life changing feat with a group of like-minded, adventurous people.
With ancient Mayan ruins and untouched beaches as your setting a Bikini Boot Camp in Mexico will have you looking summer-ready in no time.
Classes include circuit training, body sculpting, beach cardio, kickboxing, Pilates and cardio dance. Plus, there are guided bike tours to the Mayan ruins of Tulum and the Sian K’aan reserve.
But Bikini Boot Camp is more than just a fitness vacation. It’s a combination of exercise, healthy eating, adventure, relaxing and pampering giving guests a break from routine and a chance for some ‘me time’.
Thailand’s largest island, Phuket is a partygoer’s paradise and one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations.
Surrounded by tropical forest, the Raw Fitness Boot Camp is not only empowering and fun, but aims to transform guests on all levels – body, mind and spirit. There is no competition, judgment or pressure – just support and encouragement every step of the way.
Intensive fitness sessions run from 7am to 8:30pm daily and include beach training, group training sessions, martial arts classes and an optional healthy detox programme.
Within the rainforests, waterfalls and mountain views of Lamington National Park Queensland, the Commando is ready to whip you into shape.
A highly qualified coach famous for his appearance on TV’s The Biggest Loser, the Commando (aka Steve Willis) is hosting five ‘no excuses’ three day camps at Binna Burra Lodge.
The atmosphere on the Camps is one of support and camaraderie to anyone who puts in the effort.
Based on the CrossFit system, the programme also aims to improve endurance, strength, mental toughness and adaptability.
On the white sand beaches of the Indian Ocean, Watamu is the perfect destination for chilling out, watching the sun set, meeting friendly monkeys, snorkelling and getting into shape.
Wildfitness is based at Baraka House on the north coast of Kenya, with panoramic rooftops and beautiful balconies overlooking the sea and within easy reach of the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest Reserve.
The sleepy fishing village of Watamu is a designated UN area of outstanding natural beauty. It is said to be one of the top ten beaches in the world and its waters are teeming coral reefs.
Wildfitness is designed people of all ages and fitness levels. Courses run for nine days, two weeks or three and a half weeks and are packed with workshops, movement classes and adventurous training.
Main image by lululemon athletica