Going on holiday can be good for your health

UP at 5.30am circuit training or running, followed by a healthy lunch and then more strenuous exercise all under the watchful eye and sometimes sharp tongue of former military fitness instructors.

If this sounds like your idea of a holiday, then Tom Gill and his colleague Mark Nesbitt have the perfect solution for you.

It may sound like hard work, and it is, but on the plus side you are likely to drop a dress size and get yourself well on the road

to a healthier and fitter lifestyle.

Tom, who was a sports-mad boy growing up in Keighley, played badminton for the county before studying sports science and then joining the RAF as a physical training instructor.

Tom believes there is no way that you can lose weight without discipline, and that's what his new business Fit Bootcamps is all about.

"I suppose we are pretty tough on people," says the father of one.

"But people have to understand that to lose weight you to have to be disciplined about what you eat and about exercise. People lead busy lives and without being disciplined find it hard to

fit in exercise."

Tom met Mark, a former navy PT instructor, when they worked for a bootcamp company after leaving the forces.

"We decided to set up our own company giving people what they want."

They started out running fitness retreats in Italy, where people would lose weight, but still had a five-star holiday with wine and three- course dinners.

"But we soon realised that people wanted a more cost- effective bootcamp type holiday at the cheaper end where after a week they would really see results."

And they seem to have come up with a winning formula. They have 100 per cent repeat business, despite admitting that the bootcamps are pretty tough.

"We try to educate as well," says Tom. "We have a top chef who cooks our nutritious meals which are low in carbohydrates and try to explain to people about portion control. We want them to go home not just having lost weight but able to change their lifestyles."

They originally ran their bootcamps from Falmouth, but have now started running them from near Settle.

A Yorkshire Bootcamp kicks off next week and another is planned for November.

"It doesn't matter how fit or unfit you are," says Tom.

"We send out a six-week programme before people come just so that they can gain some level of fitness so that they can get the most out of the camp."

Tom says women are his main clients ranging in age from the minimum 18 up to 62.

"People, especially women, want more out of their holidays these days. Money is tight and so they want something more for their money. They want to get something back, and dropping a dress size does seem worth it for most people."

He says people only get shouted at if they don't turn up on time or don't have the right kit, but people seem happy to pay for the pleasure.

If the bootcamp sounds just too hardcore for you then Tom and Mark still run the Fit Retreats in Italy for the more faint-hearted.


Next week in Life & Style, see how journalist Sheron Boyle fared at a Bootcamp and also a Detox retreat to mark her 50th birthday.