10 strong & healthy reasons to attend Northern Bootcamp

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Tempted by the idea of attending a residential boot camp as a way of losing weight and improving your fitness? They’re not all about being bawled at and crawling through mud. This post provides 10 strong and healthy reasons to attend Northern Bootcamp.

Disclosure: A member of the MannedUp team was invited to attend a four-day Northern Bootcamp in order to write an honest review about the experience of attending camp.

Northern Bootcamp is a non-military boot camp based in Northumberland, north-east England. MannedUp.com dispatched one of the team to a four-day camp and he came back having shed nine pounds (yes, 3.8kg lighter in just four days!).

So, here’s a look at ten reasons why attending Northern Bootcamp can be rewarding.

It’s an effective way of losing weight

Losing weight is, ultimately, down to maths, right? Ultimately, if you burn more calories than you consume, you’re going to lose weight.

Northern Bootcamp’s residential boot camps are all-inclusive and involve portion control at meal times. At the start of the camp, the camp cook gives guests an option between weight loss or regular portions.

The food served at the communal dinner table is designed be nutritional, balanced and tasty. Dishes tend to be low in carbohydrates but big in flavour. Combined with the calorie-burning exercises undertaken during the boot camp, they foster weight loss.

Beef Salad, Food, Northern Bootcamp
Beef salad served at Northern Bootcamp.

Northern Bootcamp introduces ideas for long-term healthy eating

In addition to the main meals of the day — breakfast, lunch and dinner — healthy snacks are served in the mid-morning and mid-afternoon. The boot camp proves you can eat healthily and well, yet still lose weight.

Recipes of the food served at the Northern Bootcamp are available in the Bootcamp Kitchen Recipe Book (RRP £19.99).

Attending a residential camp is an opportunity to introduce lasting change

Trying to exercise at home, while subject to the same distractions and temptations as usual, can make it difficult to achieve rapid, noticable results. Getting away into a new environment means leaving those behind. Attending a residential boot camp means it’s likelier that you’ll break with routine and get out of bad habits.

Of course, we all know how tricky it is to introduce lasting lifestyle changes. That takes genuine willpower. But without giving it a go, it’ll never happen. You, ultimately, can make positive changes if you really want. Attending a residential boot camp can you kickstart a new regime in terms of personal fitness and training.

Breakfast, Northern Bootcamp
One for back at home? A breakfast at Northern Bootcamp.

You’ll get plenty of fresh air and exercise

Northern Bootcamp is based at a Bradford Farm near Belford in rural Northumberland. The farmhouse is at a place called Golden Hill, which overlooks surrounding fields and the distant Cheviot Hills.

Several of the sessions take place outdoors, meaning you’ll get plenty of fresh air over the time at boot camp. The instructors vary the emphasis of sessions, ensuring a mix of strength, cardio, flexibility and endurance exercises.

The first sessions the day tends to start at 7.30am, before breakfast, while the final one is timed to end before dinner, which is served around 6.00pm. That means days filled with physical activity.

St Cuthbert's Cave, Northumberland.
St Cuthbert’s Cave, one of the sights seen during an endurance walk in Northumberland.

It introduces exercises that you can practise after camp has ended

Sports science is evolving. Not all the exercises recommended today are ones you’d necessarily recognise from Physical Education classes at school.

The experienced instructors at Northern Bootcamp demonstrate and recommend exercises that you can practise at home, after the camp has ended. Those include stretches, planks, kettlebell lifts and many more.

You can workout as hard as you want

The instructors at Northern Bootcamp provide participants with encouragement. They don’t shout at people: it isn’t one of those pseudo-military camps where the instructors bawl and rage as if they’re Gunnery Sergeant Hartman from the film Full Metal Jacket. Interestingly, though, Dan Smith, who founded the camp with his wife, Caroline, was a physical training instructor in the British Army.

You’ll be encouraged to push yourself as hard as you want. That helps in digging deeper into mental and physical reserves to keep going. The result? Aching muscles and a sense of achievement.

Dan Smith, Northern Bootcamp
Dan, one of the founders of Northern Bootcamp.

Attending camp is a way of meeting like-minded people

By no means all the people who attend Northern Bootcamp are super-toned fitness fanatics or markedly overweight. Some of the participants simply want to get away from their everyday lives and do something different for a few days. The common thread seems to be that people are self-motivated, though the motivations for attending vary.

Working out and dining together results in conversations and the exchange of ideas. Seeing that you’re not alone in seeking to change your life is motivational.

It’s a way of working towards being beach body ready

The workouts at Northern Bootcamp are as tough as you want to make them. If you are willing to work hard then you’ll feel it, and know you’ve pushed yourself at the end of each day (and when trying to get up the following morning).

If you want to get in shape then attending Northern Bootcamp can be a catalyst to working towards that goal. The instructors make it clear there are no shortcuts to that. Plenty of exercise and a healthy diet are part of the work that goes into getting beach body ready.

Northern Bootcamp, Bodyboarding,  Bamburgh Castle.
Northern Bootcamp about to go bodyboarding in the North Sea near Bamburgh Castle.

The camp provides a positive environment

As mentioned already, the instructors provide encouragement to boot camp attendees. That ranges from tips on stance and technique, when performing exercises, to the occasional “that’s it” and “keep it going”.

Additionally, signs around the farmhouse display motivational slogans.

The chalkboard in the dining room — which is used to share information about the weather, up-and-coming activities and gear required — is also used to share motivational messages. “Sore today, strong tomorrow!” was among them.

Motivational material on a wall at Northern Bootcamp.

It’s a way of seeing and experiencing Northumberland’s beautiful landscape

Not all the sessions take place at the Northern Bootcamp farmhouse. Several of them bring opportunities of seeing the Northumbrian coast and countryside.

The all-day endurance walk might mean traversing the Cheviots from Wooler or skirting the coast past landmarks such as Dunstanburgh Castle.

You might start the day running on the beach by Bamburgh Castle.

Activities such as coasteering along the shoreline, bodyboarding and sea kayaking are all ways of getting into the North Sea and viewing the Northumbrian coastline.

Beautiful landscape, Cheviot Hills, Northumberland, England
The Cheviot Hills in Northumberland.

Further information

Northern Bootcamp (tel. 01668 260 076) is based at Belford in Northumberland, north-east England. See the Northern Bootcamp website for more details, including activities and accommodation.

Getting to Northern Bootcamp

Northern Bootcamp is located roughly 50 miles north of Newcastle upon Tyne and 80 miles south-east of Edinburgh. That places the camp approximately 333 miles north of London.

The nearest railway station is at Berwick-upon-Tweed (approximately three hours 35 minutes journey time from London Kings Cross). Arrangements can be made for guests to be picked up and dropped at the Berwick’s railway station.

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