Battle bad habits and boot out junk food at new camp

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To some it might sound like a full-on fitness trial, but exercise programme Battlecamp promises to be gentler than it appears

It’s military-inspired but focuses on fun, looks after the mind as well as the body and is suitable for all fitness levels, promises founder Matthew Smith.

He explains: ‘I think the reason we went for the name Battlecamp is that life sometimes feels like a battle.

‘You come across situations and have hurdles to jump and it can be tricky.

‘Our aim is to give people the tools to cope better and feel as good as they can.And we don’t just look at the physical side of things but the behavioural side as well.’

Battlecamp – a week-long residential course – includes outdoor military fitness classes, circuits and exercises with weights.

But is also focuses on behavioural patterns, offering group and one-to-one sessions in a bid to stop participants reverting to bad habits when they return home.

‘We want this to be a lifestyle change, we want people to carry on the good work when they go back to their normal lives,’ says Matthew. ‘I suppose our aim would be for people to never come back but a lot of them do because they enjoy the experience.’

The programme, which has been running in Scotland but is coming to the south in September, also includes dietary advice, nutritious meals and a daily massage.

Boot camps have become a big deal in the fitness world and Matthew believes the outdoor element has a lot to do with the surge in popularity.

‘I think a lot of people are looking for something a bit different away from the gym,’ he says.

‘I think getting away, getting out into the fresh air and being with like- minded people is a big part of the appeal.’

Matthew has 20 years of military experience as a Royal Marine and in Airborne Forces and Special Forces, and 10 years as a personal trainer under his belt.

But he says Battlecamp is for people of all fitness levels and while it is based on military training – and yes there is some shouting – it’s lighthearted.

Battlecamp runs between September 19 and 26 at NorthCourt Manor on the Isle of Wight. Visit