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Shooka Boot Camp – Day 3

Day 3 is meant to be the worst day of a Boot Camp and is a good reason that they always last more than 5 days; if you finished after 3 days you wouldn’t come back. Muscles are tired, your body is starting to use fat rather than food as its main source of energy, you are physically and mentally tired, tempers are frayed and we are not halfway through our week yet.



Yet another day of fun.

Everyone is suffering sleep deprivation, an apparent side effect of eating so few carbohydrates, except for Amy and Taly who tried my trusty bottle of Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax oil last night and slept for 10 hours. Word gets round that that is the solution so an email is fired off to the Aromatherapy Associates head office for urgent samples before my bottle is completely depleted.

aromatherapy associates

Lovely samples from Aromatherapy Associates.

The chef, Sarah Louise, who has transformed her life since losing 4.5 stone at boot camps, carefully judges the mood in the camp and knows that this morning it is time to play her trump card; scrambled eggs on toast. It works; the group breeze through the pre-breakfast workout, a class with Will and a workout in a field of mud and poo. The film crew have left and spirits are high.


No bread…?

After lunch of spicy soup (no bread…is that all?) we head off for a 6 mile walk in the hills followed by a stretching session. With danger of rebellion in the camp the 4pm swim became optional, but the few of us who ventured up the hill to find the indoor pool enjoyed stretching sore muscles with a leisurely swim and sauna.

Hydrotherapy continued with the evening ice plunge (why was I the only one again?) and a much needed jacuzzi. A massage therapist has driven down from Hampshire to give Lava Shell massages to everyone over the next 2 days. People are appearing in various stages of bliss and it will be nice to try it tomorrow having seen this treatment, which is set to replace hot stone massages, at so many of the spas we work with.

With Danni’s birthday today we had high hopes of a nice chocolate cake at the end of supper, but there are no exceptions at boot camp. The ceremonial candle was carefully placed in a fish pie instead.

shooka fish pie

Shooka Fish Pie – this one without a birthday candle

Quiz after supper, with Calum’s team losing despite having Google as their 7th team member. Deep Relax oil is liberally applied to everyone’s pulse points in front of a relaxing log fire; we have all made it to the halfway point, and hopefully tonight we will all sleep.

Shooka Boot Camp – Day 1

Friday 11th January; Shooka Boot Camp, near Exeter, opens its doors for the first time, with a motley selection of movers and shakers in the health and beauty industry, fitness fanatics, a model, an actress, celebrities …. and three journalists. Welcomed by co-owners John and Stuart, who have visions of affordable boot camps in the UK and a uber-luxury option in Klosters, we settle in for the evening. The Wedding Ideas Awards ceremony was on live stream and I enviously peered at the screen for clues of the sumptuous meal the Guides for Brides team had enjoyed while I had tucked into a tiny, but delicious, piece of nut crusted cod.

Today’s schedule

7am on a Saturday is not a time I often witness. Today it is followed by a 7.30am fitness test and my first experience of going for a run since my son banned me from running in public several years ago. The juice-only breakfast followed by a second far more punishing workout proved too much for my level of (un)fitness and I was removed from the gym while it spun around me. “Do I need a doctor?” No, but a stretcher would be handy. Banished for a rest I contemplated my frustration at failing on the first morning. Just not an option. A strong mug of coffee was smuggled to the room by Bear – an RAF parachute instructor who’s mission is to cajole and cuddle us through the week, and I was instantly revived. Sometimes these things are best taken slowly.

After a lunch of spicy roast sweet potatoes, rocket and cream cheese we are off for a walk.


Looking like community service workers in our florescent jackets on our 9 mile walk.

9 miles of lanes and tracks in this beautiful, but incredibly hilly, part of Exeter,  arriving back in the dark.

The view from the top is worth it.
Instructors Will, Stuart and Bear with Calum Best

Throughout the day our instructor, Stuart Saxby – personal trainer to the stars – had been very honest with all he had planned for us, so when he told us that we would all be suffering the next day, but 40% less if we had a ice plunge, we didn’t hesitate in grabbing swimwear and heading to the unheated outdoor pool. Immersing yourself in icy water for 2 minutes before leaping into a jacuzzi would be easier without a film crew trying to capture the experience – complete with a sound track of screaming.


Britain’s “Biggest Loser” Will Graham trying out the dreaded Ice Plunge

Supper followed – a delicious concoction of chicken, beansprouts, mange tout and peppers in an Asian style dressing, then at last a couple of hours to relax, chat and contemplate the day.


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