By Grace Germaine, NCEF Course Leader & Tutor. Grace is Course Leader on the Higher Certificate in Exercise & Health Fitness, Advanced Personal Training, Strength & Conditioning for Athletes & Teams and Pilates & Corrective Exercise.
My decision to go to a fitness camp started in 2018 after lots of chats with NCEF students on what was involved in a fitness camp and researching the different types of camps available. After a lot of thought, I settled on Bali and booked in 2019 to travel in March of 2020. My google search was full of things to do in Bali and this was going to be not just about the fitness camp but about the culture and country as well. I couldn’t wait! And then COVID hit. Fast forward to July 2021 and I finally made it to the island of Mallorca in the very beautiful bay of Port De Pollenca for my fitness camp.
As I started out on my 5am journey on the 25th of July, the idea of going to an airport was beyond exciting. Paperwork in order, Covid test done and mask at the ready, 7 hours later I arrived in Mallorca and so started my time in the Ultimate Fitness Camp.
I was shown into a bedroom with 3 beds and a communal bathroom for 10 people...at this stage I would be lying if I told you I wasn’t second guessing my decision regarding shared accommodation! But thankfully, this was soon forgotten when I met my housemates and my amazing roomie, Hannah. I can safely say that after a few hours spent with everyone, I knew I had made friends for life.
The first day was a lovely ease-in with chats and dinner. This was about to change. Monday and every morning thereafter began with Claire and yoga on the roof terrace at 7.30am. This beautiful smiling Scottish girl’s greeting was as warm as the morning sun (28 degrees). Yoga was followed by some fruit and a strong coffee before we went into a high intensity session until 10am with Karlotta and Maria. This session varied as the week went by with a mix of HIIT, Boxercise, CrossFit & burpees...soooo many burpees...I hope I don’t ever hear the word burpees again! This was followed by breakfast and then onto a few hours of stand-up paddle boarding (SUP). I’ll talk more about this further on.
Lunch was followed by some free time until the next session which varied from a HIIT, hike or volleyball session which ended around 7.30–8pm. Training in heat of 32 degrees was very sweaty to say the least but very manageable, especially working as a group and being with so many likeminded people.
Let me take you back to the stand-up paddle boarding on the first morning and a brief 15-minute lesson before I was sent off into the sea! The amount of wind surfers out should have pre-warned me on what I was about to encounter! The image I had was lake-like conditions, not even a ripple and I would majestically paddle away on my board, effortlessly popping up to standing without any issues whatsoever (notions springs to mind!). Two hours later, after countless falls and more time spent in the water than on the board, I realised I was surfing the waves more than paddling through them. Day two wasn’t much better for Rhea and I, with Hannah getting the hang of it, gliding over the waves. I was more than impressed!
The game changer was when we discovered sunrise paddling. Going out in the dark of the morning into the warm still, flat water was a game changer on how to paddle board like a pro. Add in the most spectacular sunrises, this was without any doubt the highlight of the week for me. This was so good for the body and soul and an amazing way to set up every morning. The peace and harmony you feel, it’s hard to articulate in words how we all felt but thanks to Martha, we all need a bit of Martha in our lives, she captured these moments with amazing photos and Isabella took videos that I will treasure.
My time in Ultimate Fitness, whilst not Bali, was super and this was down to the most kind, amazing group I met and the laughs we had through every session, but also the deep conversation we had on almost every topic. I think at times Jenni, Mimi, Hannah, Martha and I put the world to right!!!
When we all got a little stiffer as the week went on, dreading the whiteboard of what was ahead that day and the happiness when we didn’t see a burpee or mountain climber on it (very rare), we drew support from the comradery in the group that was there from day one and the familiarity of the group of people was amazing. It was like we had always known each other. We didn’t get any rest days and Saturday was a boat hire day when Hannah took on the Captain role with six co-drivers, a decision I feel she may have regretted before we even left the port, but 5 hours later some great snorkeling, laughs, food and a glass or two of Prosecco, it was the best round off to the best week.
I was so glad to have the opportunity to travel this year and experience the camp but even more so for the people I met. Since coming back, I am already planning my trip for next year.
I would like to sincerely thank the NCEF for the opportunity and support of experiencing the fitness camp. This type of experience in the fitness industry is so important for new ideas, networking and upskilling and yes NCEF students, you will have the pleasure of all I experienced in your sessions in the coming semester including burpees!!
If you are thinking about going to a fitness camp, don’t think any more...just go and do it and experience all it has to offer.
Find an Ultimate Fitness Holiday on www.ultimatefitnessholiday.com