It’s been a while since we updated you on things at 38ºN towers and the reason is we’ve been so busy with a whole load of exciting projects. First up we have our UK Easter Retreat happening at the Spread Eagle – a fantastic and cosy coaching inn nestled in the South Downs. It’s not only steeped in history (Elizabeth the 1st!) but is home to a luxurious spa space and has over 50 gins in the bar… We’ve got the Polo Room for indoor training but we’ll also be outdoors, hiking over the stunning local countryside, powering through circuits in the grounds, kickboxing under the trees and more. For this one James and Faye will be hosting and training, with support from a yoga teacher and some surprises in the mix too…
Medical tests that would previously require a Dr.’s visit are now becoming accessible to us at home, and where bio-science intersects with technology, we’re starting to see consumer facing dashboards that put wellness into our own hands. New blood test programmes like LiveSmart and wellnessfx keep us informed of our health on an ongoing basis, allow us to alter health outcomes, and to understand our genetic makeup and the factors that influence our training and nutrition results. DNA testing is already here, so we can understand the unique genetic markers we carry and how they shape our results, but these new at home blood tests allow us to monitor multiple aspects of our health simultaneously. Plug into the dashboard, build a health plan around it and we have the ability to make changes that really can impact short term goals and long term health. Expect to see more growth in this area in 2016.
There’s the new Apple watch, there are Fitbits, Withings, Jawbones, Nike Bands and more, and more and more of our clients using them to monitor and track their progress. The devices and the technology are getting better all the time. It’s likely that as the market grows there will be some sort of consolidation, perhaps it’s the tech that can best match up with the bio science innovations that will win the day?
One size fits all training programmes and nutrition plans are out, personalisation is in, which means an increase in the number of people using Personal Trainers to help formulate bespoke plans, monitor and track progress and discover new, bespoke training methodologies. Utilising a combination of tests and tech as above allows us to take much of the guesswork out, giving users access to the kind of data previously only available to professional athletes, which in turn means that training and nutrition can be even more specifically tailored to give outstanding results.
This won’t be for everyone, but for clients who already have a good idea of what they’re doing in the gym, the next logical step is a virtual trainer who can not only motivate them, but look at the wealth of data for a client, formulate their training and nutrition programmes, monitor them, and most importantly motivate them. The online coach isn’t just a PT, it’s a health coach, analysing and feeding information to the client, and tweaking their training to deliver the best results. Expect to see growth in this area through 2016.
It might be mighty cold outdoors, but there’s nothing quite like the buzz of an outdoor session, in natural light, in natural surroundings. Why train indoors breathing recycled air when you could be getting primal in the fresh air? As more and more kit suitable for outdoor training (see Functional Training below) we predict more people are going to start to appreciate the kick of getting sweaty in the great outdoors.
We’ve already had Cross Fit, which introduced a lot of people to a new way of training: people are realising that fitness really is a multi-disciplined event, and to be truly fit and get the body composition results, mixing it up is a smart way to go. Forget grunting out reps on machines, 2016 is going to be about hammers, tyres, ropes, gymnastic rings, kettle bells and functional movement twinned with high intensity work to build an athlete’s body, and achieve an athlete’s fitness.
In the modern world we’re all under time pressure, and after lack of motivation, lack of time is the primary reason clients give for not engaging with their training and getting results. Thankfully, if you’re prepared to put in the hard work in terms of intensity, then you can still get the results you crave in short, sharp, focused workouts. This includes things like cardiovascular work such as sprinting twinned with full body circuits, or body part focused strength training in a single session. These work-outs can work wonders and in a short amount of time. 30 minutes is do-able for general fitness and fat -burning, but 2016 will bring with it body part focused protocols of 30 – 40 minutes combining strength, hypertrophy and endurance orientated exercises twinned with hyper-effective fat burners and CV conditioners like HIIT.
Combat Sports Training
Be it MMA, boxing, or other martial arts, we’re predicting a surge in fight style training in 2016. Why? Because it’s so effective – like the ultimate in full body HIIT training. And because it requires an intense concentration, it works not only muscles but co-ordination, reactions and balance. Training for fighting is full body conditioning, which allows you to build strength without sacrificing mobility, and training in rounds with a rest in between gives you the interval effect. After all, when was the last time you saw a professional boxer or MMA fighter with a podgy belly? A strong core is key, and blasting out skipping, running, bag work, grappling, pad work and even sparring is going to get you in tip top shape in no time.
Long considered a perennial favourite, we expect that yoga will see a bit of a resurgence in 2016. Excellent for breathing, getting into your headspace, and improving mobility, yoga should be part of everyone’s training regime at least once a week. Perhaps more than any other exercise form, it’s vitally important to find a style and teacher that works for you. There are hundreds of classes out there, keep going until you find that one that resonates with you and reap the benefits of a regular practice.
When we came to Ibiza 5 years ago, it was just us and one other fitness holiday company here, last season at least another three joined the party and we already know of several others on the way. It’s a trend that’s being mirrored around Europe – with people looking to get more out of their holiday time. Investing in yourself for an experience with a team of experts and making changes in your healthy living and training is gaining traction. It’s an opportunity to try new exercises and activities, have fun, and go home fitter, stronger, leaner and with a smile on your face. In 2016 we will be supplementing our Ibiza fitness holidays with UK fitness breaks and some pretty special farther flung destinations. Watch this space…
The motto here at 38 degrees North, Ibiza, is “Reset your co-ordinates”. This all sounds a little technical, I thought, Ive never been handy with a compass. Having trained at maximum capacity at the start of 2014 to pose naked for Women’s Health magazine’s ‘Body Issue’, promoting Strong not Skinny, http://www.amandabyram.com/files/press/women_health_sep_2014.pdf I needed to take a step back, and let my body rest, by way of a summer of (healthy) indulgences. I had upped my portions, and exercised less. But now, it was time to get the little push i needed to get back to my “naked shape”, by shedding a small layer and to feel full of energy again. It was all in the hands of the gang here in Ibiza. Yep, I know, Ibiza and health don’t normally go hand in hand. Take for example some lads on my flight, who were here for one night only. “Party til you drop”, they claimed. Boogaloo til you puke i thought. I imagine that somewhere the next day, they were face down in a world of pain, regretting their decision. The truth is that Ibiza is about SO much more than the club scene. In fact for me, its everything BUT the club scene. The Island is truly spectacular, both it’s scenery and it’s genuine (not in a hippy way) spiritual vibe. So where better to open up a fitness retreat that offers programs such as: Optimal Fitness, Optimal Weight Loss, Luxury Yoga Retreats, SUP and Soul (that’s Stand up Paddle boarding for those of us who aren’t in the water sports know) Stress Management Retreats, Detox Retreats and even Deep Sleep Retreats (probably welcomed by the boys on my flights) Whatever you need, 38 Degrees North has a plan for you, and it works. Here’s the run (sprint) down on how my week at Optimal Fitness went. DAY 1 Monday The calm before the storm. Up at at em, early in the morning to be weighed and measured. EEK. I chat with James, Team Leader and font of all knowledge, the male component behind 38ªN. I tell him my reasons for being here and I get weighed in. Ding Ding, let the match commence. 65Kilos. The hotel Aquas De Ibiza where 38 Degrees North operates out of, is absolutely beautiful. It’s 5 star, so you do feel that even though you are here to sweat it out, you are still dabbling in a luxury holiday. The rooms are large, the spa is blissful (for the deep tissue massage you’ll need by day 4) The staff here are all dressed in angelic floaty white clothing, which matches their friendly, floaty personalities. Time to meet my fellow retreaters. 10 fabulous and motivated women and one fabulous and motivated man, David. Poor thing. We have much respect for him by the end of the week, as he gracefully listened to us chicks chatting chick chat, incessantly. Our levels of fitness varied, which is in fact one of the brilliant things about this place. Those with lesser fitness levels were always cheered on and motivated by everyone else. One team, one dream. To get fitter. Nature calls here in Ibiza, not literally, I mean training outdoors. It is part of the 38 Degrees selling point. Most people spend their lives sitting at desks. So to get out and exercise with such a beautiful backdrop, helps you to forget the pain. First up was a fitness test. I made it to level 9 on the bleep test. One minute for each of the following Press ups – 25 full 13 and on my knees. Burpees 29. Crunches 31. Time for beach circuits. Enter Faye. The pocket rocket Middlesborough Lara croft. With a gentle Northern accent, the woman means business. She is silent, but deadly. Her energy pushed us all to get through circuits of tough weights and sporty paraphernalia against the most amazing backdrop. A breakfast buffet (be careful of your choices here, it is a free for all!) I had boiled eggs, veggies and avocado to replenish my body. Post brekkie, a stunning coastal hike – 2.5 hrs long but worth every step. Led by James, we got the lowdown on the area. Lunch at a beachside cafe was our reward. Grilled salmon and veg for me, then back to hotel with 2 hours to kill in the beautiful spa before Pilates. Stretch and unwind after a busy first day. Dinner at Passion Cafe – a wonderfully healthy restaurant. Opt for raw detox salad, buddha bowl or raw pizza. With a sliver of a moon over the ocean, it was bedtime by 1030. Not very Ibiza of us at all. Day 2 Tuesday Another early rise (you’ll get used to this) My whole body aches. Everywhere. Pain in parts I didn’t know existed. This is good though, it’s called DOMS – you know something is working! The day starts with an 8 am coastal run, led by the female component behind 38 Degrees, James’ wife – the raven haired beauty that is, Kelly. She teaches us how to run properly, not something I had ever considered before, but it makes a huge difference. One of the things I LOVE about 38 Degrees is that they focus on technique and form, which is ESSENTIAL to proper training and results. Incorrect form will inevitably lead to injury, which in turn slows us down and stops us training, catch 22. We run through the local area, which is stunning and watching the sun split over the marina takes your mind off the 8am heat. Stretch- post run is equally important, and Kelly talks you through the correct way to do that. Looking at her, you want to know exactly what she does. With her beautiful physique, she leads by example. Back to the hotel in time for 8.45 Swiss ball with Faye and a dynamic stretch, all before a 10am breakfast. 1130 and we are back kickboxing with ‘Faye Croft’. Turns out she is a two time British KickBox champ!! So not only do you know these moves are authentic, you also know you should never mess with her. She made us sweat from head to toe, literally, sweat pouring from our legs! Time for lunch, and strangely I’m not even that hungry. Not something I’m used to! Lunch is at the hotel restaurant today, Alabasto. There is a menu that James and Kelly have created with the hotel, The Retreat Menu. Mostly healthy (but not necessarily all low calorie) you still need to be diligent if weight loss is your goal. Seabass and veg, with no oil/salt for me. Perfect. Ballet class next, David the only man opts out with Bolshoi grace. Ballet is the latest craze in fitness, and it works. Pirouette and plié your way to a tight butt. Jeebers. I’ve been sweating consistently all day! Coastal run, swiss ball, kickboxing and ballet OH MY. Time for bed. DAY 3 Wednesday Woke up well rested with a bit of a lie in today. I have opted to try a juice only diet for a couple of days, to see if I can hack it. I juice cleanse a few times a year, but this intensity of training will test me. 9am Pilates – perfectly positioned in the weekly itinerary with plenty of gentle stretching. Another thing that’s great here at 38 degrees is how much thought has gone into each class, it’s timing and the positing of each class in the itinerary. It’s been carefully planned with military precision. Juice # 1 is fruit based for an energy kick, the perfect way to start a 2 hour mountain bike outing. We collect our bikes and helmets and set off through the windy roads, led by James like papa duck, while mama duck Kelly sticks to the back, to make sure all their ducklings in a safe in a row.. We cycle up some steep hills, and beautiful settings. I’m not a cyclist, so I find this tougher than the other activities, but a great workout nonetheless. Lunch is at a great restaurant at the beach for lunch, which of course i had to avoid, and sucked on my second juice of the day instead. Back home and BOOTCAMP with Rob. A circuit of Kettles/Rope slams/Hill sprits/Mountain climbers and TABATA is not for the faint hearted, or the juicers. I was cream crackered. (a cream cracker would have been welcome) Next a DEEP STRETCH WITH FAYE. Bliss. My energy levels were low, so an early night for me, ready for what tomorrow brings. DAY4 Thursday A stunning coastal run at 8am, which encompassed the true natural rugged beauty of Ibiza, watching the sun rise while running can be hazardous, but worth it! No rest for the wicked, we take to the outdoors again and straight into beach circuits at 8:45 with Faye . This feels so tough – we are all feeling the pain from the week kick in. My calves are so sore I can barely walk down the stairs to the circuit area! My brekkie was just juice, but a very welcome one. 11am kickboxing, and I am admittedly feeling weak, so I leave class and head to see Pablo for a deep tissue massage. After that and another juice, I’m ready for 3pm TRX circuits on the beach with James. This is some serious stuff. No pain no gain though, but I called it a day here. This juicing and exercise combo is too much for me to handle, I decide to have grilled veggies for dinner and all is well with the world. DAY 5 Friday Today starts with a sunrise yoga session on the Rooftop. What a way to start your day! Stretch, meditate and taking it all in from above. Bliss. Not for long though as 9am took us to self defence class with the tough kick ass Mirav www.defense-tactics.com. This is one little Israeli firecracker you do NOT want to mess with. She teaches us how to protect ourselves in volatile, hostile and deadly situations. We are scared, but now prepared. We all leave with a Certificate, but more importantly the knowledge of how to kick someones ass in a dark alley. A Strength training class follows, now that we are all hardened, then circuits with Faye. Deadlifts, squat and Leg raises followed by a beach lunch, followed by Stand up paddle boarding. I am the first to fall in, but the water is so warm and beautiful that i take the ego knock on the chin. SUP is great for upper body and core strength, not to mention a wicked tan! Our final class of the week is a brilliant cardio dance/kick box with Faye, Her pro moves make you feel like you’re kickboxing at a rave. A massive cheer for our last class leaves us all feeling a bit sad… A true indicator that we have all had an amazing week. DAY 6 Saturday This is it, the moment we have all been secretly dreading. THE FITNESS TEST! This is our indicator as to how far we have come this week. I get from Level 9 to 10 on the bleep test! YES! My push ups improved from 29 to 32 Burpees, 31 to 64 crunches, 25 to 40 push ups. I have lost 3 kilos and 1.5% bodyfat. The layer I wanted to shed, left behind in a pile of sand and sweat! High fives all round. EVERYONE has increased their fitness levels. So I have officially reset my co-ordinates and have been given me the kickstart I needed to get back to “naked shape”. 38 Degrees North is not a military bootcamp. But it IS run with military precision. The activities are perfectly timed and paced out, so you have just enough time in between so as not to get bored. You even forget you are hungry, and as a regular snacker, this is unusual for me. You don’t HAVE to partake in all of the activities, but the team spirit and the team themselves really make you want to be a part of everything. Mon/Wed/Friday are long endurance. Tuesday and Thursday packed with high intensity. One thing is for sure, if you want to up your fitness levels, increase stamina, shed a few lbs while still enjoying the local fresh food, bond with new friends, and get yourself a tan while doing so then 38 Degrees North Optimal Fitness is the holiday for you. My only complaint? That I can’t stay longer. Notes: Food. Because 38 Degrees North is set in a 5 star hotel the temptation is all around you. That’s why the Retreat menu is in the restaurant. So make sure you pay attention! The food on the retreat menu is healthy, but not super low in calories, this is not a place that is strict on portions do just be diligent if you want to shed lbs. Remember, that’s not what this particular course is geared towards. You will eat out a few nights and there is temptation, so just be clever. Just make sure everything you order comes grilled/steamed/sauceless. If you want to push it another level get juicing. Energy levels will wane. Your body, your call. Fitness Levels Fear? Don’t worry! I am pretty fit, and found it hard. Others were not fit at all, and still managed to get through classes. One class may be easier for you than another. You are not pushed but you WANT to partake, simply because the group environment is so damn lovely. You would miss out otherwise.
It was back to Ibiza with a bang for Easter as the 38ºN team set sail from the UK and headed across Spain back to Ibiza’s sunny embrace. Our first Optimal Fitness retreat ran over the Easter break and we were blessed not only with clear skies, glorious sunshine and sparkling seas, but a fantastic group of people.Easter turned out to be so popular we actually ran two groups simultaneously which created a lot of team camaraderie and friendly competition. We kicked off with an early morning fitness test in the shade of the woods overlooking the sea, and what a fit bunch we turned out to have. Then it was into training proper, with beach circuits, outdoor boxing, strength circuits, boxing, kickboxing, TRX, mountain biking and a cliff top hike with stunning views of Es Vedra and a refreshing sea swim that almost everyone indulged in. We ended the week with a day at the Beach Stand Up PaddleBoarding.We always stress that it’s how you feel at the end that counts, and everyone agreed that they felt much fitter, more relaxed, and less stressed than when they arrived. Results count to though, and on the final day everyone managed to smash their fitness test scores, and many lost significant amounts of body fat in just a week of training. One client who opted for our Optimal Weight Loss package (the fitness week but with additional slimming treatments like cavitation) lost over 2kg of body fat!One client, who works 70 hours a week said that he loved being with like-minded people and by keeping active he was able to give his mind a much-needed rest. Others said it was their “best holiday ever”, that we “exceeded their expectations”, and that they will come back!The most rewarding thing for us as a team is seeing people leave with smiles on their faces. We hope to see you again, and we look forward to welcoming our next clients to Ibiza for a fabulous week of fitness in the sun.