The term “bootcamp” generally conjures up images of outdoor, military-style fitness training, with sergeants barking orders at, more often than not, unfit new recruits who, by the looks on their faces, are already totally regretting what they signed up for.
Well, you wouldn’t be far wrong.
So remind me, why do people enrol to be a part of this madness? The answer is simple – it’s torture, but it works.
Bootcamp training is certainly not for the faint-hearted, but advocates are effusive about the fitness benefits and the entire experience, and this style of training is growing in popularity.
But being Dubai we have to go that one step further. Instead of just a decision as to whether you’d like someone to yell at you and make you do sit-ups at a time even before you normally wake up, Dubai gives you the opportunity to pick whether you’d like to partake in this madness in either the hot or the cold. Well, sit tight for just a minute while tabloid! does the research for you by checking out boot camp in the snow and sand right here in the city.
Admittedly, I didn’t do somersaults when my alarm went off at 5.20am on a Sunday morning and I knew what lay ahead. But at 7am, when it was all over, it was worth the pain (or at least I think it was – I may have been so exhausted, I was delirious).
I reluctantly signed up for the Military Bootcamp and met Corey Oliver (who is too fit for words) at the Open Beach, behind the Village shopping mall on Beach Road in Jumeirah.
That’s when it really hit me: there wasn’t just one stupidly-energetic and overly-fit person to bark at me – there were four. I nearly died on the spot.
So, is it hard?
Yes, but not impossible. The thing which first struck me about bootcamp was the fact there were people of all levels of fitness involved.
From super-fit rugby players getting super, super fit in the run-up to the start of the new season, to guys and girls who have not lifted a finger nor got out of breath for years.
It was wake-up time and it happened in a flash. Somehow, these guys seem to whip you into a state of utter denial, where you really do believe in yourself and what your body is capable of.
Even the guys who said they would normally cook up a million excuses as to why they can’t work out – “my back is stiff”, “I’m too busy” or “too old” – found themselves immersed in the passion for the team-building exercise that bootcamps promote.
Don’t be afraid
Although the team pulls together as one, bootcamp works for each individual because you all push yourself to your own personal breaking point, whether that is 10 sit-ups or 100.
Everyone encourages each other and the sessions are broken down to work on different aspects of fitness across the week, so you are never working the same muscles too much.
T-shirts are issued according to rank – solider, commando or elite – and the guys are always on hand to offer advice.
Sessions involve a warm-up and cool-down, bodyweight exercises, running, stretching, relays and exercises with a partner.
Boxing and all the old basics, like sit-ups and push-ups, lunges, along with rope running, rifle carrying and a good old run, certainly keep your heart racing throughout.
Training “al fresco” is also invigorating, especially when your team pick up penalties along the way which result in you having to do the usual routine in the puddles at the beach. Yes, be warned – Corey and the boys will ensure results but they won’t let you get away with much.
Who: Physical Advantage (fitness solutions).
Where: Open beach (behind the Village), sunset beach (next to the Burj Al Arab) and Safa Park.
When: Starting from September 2: Course One: Sunday 6am, Tuesday 6am, Thursday 6am.
Course Two: Sunday 8pm, Tuesday 8pm, Thursday 8pm.
Course Three: Monday 6am, Wednesday 6am, Friday 6am.
Course Four: Monday 8pm, Wednesday 8pm, Friday 6pm.
What: Physical Advantage, based at The Fairmont Dubai, began bootcamps in Dubai on January 29, 2007.
Military Bootcamp has been scientifically designed to achieve optimum results in the minimum time, no matter what your current fitness level is. The basic programme consists of three 60-minute sessions a week over four weeks.
Why: To lose weight, get fit and tone every muscle in your body.
Contact: Corey on 050-8487940, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.physicaladvantage.ae
Cost: Dh950 for 12 sessions.
There’s snow way
The Renegade Bootcamp team has just introduced sessions which take place in the snow at Ski Dubai. Personal trainer Ziggy Darwish said the sessions have been well received and can offer some clients welcome relief from the summer heat.
He said: “The sessions can only be described as refreshing even though they are still hard work because it is a great deal of uphill work.
“It is cold at first but the body works harder in the cold so you soon warm up.”
Ski Dubai courses are priced at Dh650 for six sessions or Dh120 for one.
Athletes who want a winning edge should take in the right nutrition. When you drink enough water and eat a balanced diet, your body can make energy efficiently and fuel top performance. It also enables you to make the most of your athletic talents and gain more strength, power and endurance when you train. Base your diet on a variety of factors including your age, size and physical condition, and the type of exercise you are doing.
Water is the most important factor in sport nutrition. It makes up about 60 per cent of body weight and is involved in almost every bodily process.
Your body cannot make or store water, so you must replace what you eliminate (through urine and sweat).
Everyone should drink at least two quarts (eight cups) of water each day and athletes need more. Drink plenty of fluids before, during and after sport to stay hydrated and avoid overheating. When you work out or compete, especially in hot weather, try to closely match the amount of fluid you drink with the amount you lose to sweat.