Boot camp holiday: detox, de-stress, get fit, lose weight and get a suntan

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Boot camp holiday: detox, de-stress, get fit, lose weight and get a suntan

By Debra Barnes, who went to boot camp to get the bikini body she wanted!

bootcamp 17
Debra is in grey!

“Come on Debra, you can run faster than that. You’re living the dream!” shouted Staff Evans in his broad Welsh accent as I ran yet another circuit around the garden.

It was just past 6am and I was already sweating, out of breath and remembering that I had clearly stated on arrival “I am fifty years old and I don’t run.”

What was this madness?

This was the New You luxury boot camp in Spain where 25 guests of all ages came for one week to detox, de-stress, get fit and lose weight. And get a suntan!

Luxury thanks to the location, a secluded rural hotel near Cadiz, and also because the activities are optional.

But if you are planning to just sit by the pool then this is not the holiday for you. You can however combine it with a couple of days in Marbs after, confident that you will have a that bikini body and a healthy glow after a week at boot camp. bootcamp 2

The day starts early here with an hour cardio (that was the running around the garden followed by stretches) before breakfast, then a full day of activities until evening.

Boxing, circuit training, water exercises, abs and core, hill running and treks through the Andalucía countryside kept us busy all day, with ample rest periods in between as “rest is an important part of getting fit.”

pine cliffs 2The two staff officers in charge of the fitness regime are actual military instructors, one with the RAF and the other with the Royal Marines, and they know their stuff.

Cardio, endurance, resistance, aerobic, flexibility – they are happy to explain what you are doing and why you need to do it. Cardio-vascular training will help you live longer.

Weight training will help your bones to stay healthy, especially important for ‘ladies of a certain age’. All training will help with weight loss – that and the tiny portion sizes!

Everyone at boot camp has their reason for being there from the bride-to-be de-stressing before her big day, to the Pilates instructor wanting to improve her own fitness, and the middle-aged lady who couldn’t fit into a favourite dress anymore so brought it with as her goal for the last night.

Apart from two married couples in their sixties and some friends who came together most of the others had travelled alone, many choosing to share a room to keep the cost down and meet new people.

There’s nothing like hunger and sore muscles to bring a group of people together and on a boot camp holiday everyone is friendly and supportive. Evenings are spent chatting and comparing bruises or watching cookery demonstrations.

The last evening is the time that everyone looks forward to, not only because it means the next day proper sized meals await (and the staff officers explain that you do have to start eating normally again because otherwise your body goes into starvation mode and starts to store fat) but also as it is weigh-in.


One by one the guests go to find out how much weight they have lost and how many inches have melted away. One lost 13 lbs, another 11 lbs and 14 inches. I was only there half of the week but I lost 4 lbs and over 6 inches. And the lady whose dream was to have her favourite dress fit again?512862773 hi-res

She wore her dress to dinner that evening, radiant with her sense of achievement.

I would never have considered myself a boot camp type of person but I found the experience to be very positive and I would recommend it as a great way to kick-start a diet, fitness campaign or to just get away from it all and come back feeling really good about yourself.

  • Debra stayed at the New You Boot Camp in Malaga, with prices starting from £685.  She flew to Malaga with Monarch Airlines from Luton.
  • Monarch, the scheduled leisure airline, operates flights to Malaga from Birmingham, East Midlands, London Gatwick, London Luton and Manchester airports. For further information or to book Monarch flights, Monarch Holidays or Monarch Hotels, visit Debra parked at Luton Airport with Holiday Extras.
  • Eight days’ Meet and Greet car parking is available to book with Holiday Extras at Luton Airport from £64.99. To book, visit or call 0800 1313 777
Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: