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What I learned from fitness camp

It’s not about how much weight you lose during the short program, but what lifestyle changes you take away from it
/ 03:05 AM June 07, 2011

We held our first ever fitness camp last month in Legaspi City, Albay. It was my long-time dream as a fitness and weight management coach to conduct a short fitness camp away from Manila as a jumpstart fitness program for clients with serious and realistic goals.

On short notice and despite unpredictable weather conditions, five people still signed up for this first ever luxurious fitness camp in Misibis Bay. The location was just perfect for our objectives—to let participants experience a well-deserved, short break on a luxurious vacation spot, complete with indoor and outdoor activities, while learning and experiencing fitness and weight management from us, their coaches.


As planned and expected, we were able to conduct the three-day itinerary, surprisingly, with perfect weather conditions. However, when we finished the camp, I learned many more things as a coach from our program results. I believe that the insights from our fitness escape can help a lot of people who are trying to achieve their fitness and weight control goals.

How accurate is your journal?


Since I started working as a fitness coach, I have always encouraged clients to write down their food intake and exercise so we can effectively address fitness/weight concerns and future problems that they may encounter.

But seeing the actual food intake of long-time clients who joined our fitness camp just made me realize that people underestimate food intake when they write it down. That’s why I sometimes wonder, “What’s wrong with the program?” But studies show that people who are trying to lose weight usually underestimate their food intake.

I took all photos of the participants’ food intake at each meal, observed their way of eating, analyzed everything and then coached them individually after the camp.

If you want to lose weight faster that what you have been experiencing, you should focus on eating behavior by taking photos of your actual food intake, analyzing it, and making plans on how to lessen actual portions and improve on quality.

This is an alternative way of improving your lifestyle instead of just writing it down. Then show the photos plus your written journal to your coach, and you may be able to create a more effective eating approach to achieve your goal weight.

The basics of fitness and weight management

Short fitness and weight management lectures were also part of the whole program. My co-fitness coach Armand Mendoza explained the most basic components of fitness to the participants after a fitness evaluation.


We realized the importance of always going back to the basics of strength, endurance, and flexibility to create a well-rounded fitness program. Nowadays, more and more people are getting hooked on running, and they often disregard other components of fitness that can be achieved by cross-training—important in preventing injuries and getting faster results.

Throughout the three-day program, we were up and moving as early as 5 a.m. until before dinner time, trying all the outdoor activities like kayaking, hiking, cycling, jogging, walking, exploring the caves and the whole resort, swimming, and fitness activities like beach boot camp, Pilates, yoga, group weight training, aqua aerobics and running.

As coaches, we discovered which activities motivate people and what outdoor activities they would always love to explore. The tiring activities helped all of us learn more about each others’ strengths and weaknesses, and are of utmost importance to be able to design the most effective fitness program for them.

A jumpstart program

I have always believed that quick fix programs (diet and exercise) will never work, and will always backfire. So I even had small doubts at conducting a three-day fitness camp for weight loss because I have always promoted a gradual weight loss program to avoid faster weight regain.

But the results turned out so well, even weeks after the camp, they are still getting favorable fitness and weight loss results. It was fulfilling to spend time and effort on a program like this, because aside from giving them a jumpstart program, we considered the three-day experience the most effective lifestyle and fitness assessment for creating fitness and weight management programs they could use in the real world, after the camp.

So whenever you join a fitness camp, you should be able to give more attention to your lifestyle after the program, and not just the actual numbers on the scale during the camp. Yes, you can lose a great amount of weight in three- or five-day fitness camp, but be able to continue to get gradual results by doing something about your behavior in the real world.

You should choose fitness and weight control programs that combine fitness, nutrition, and behavior modification for long-term results. You should also have follow-up sessions with your coach at least once or twice a month that will help your progress.

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TAGS: Fitness camp, lifestyle changes, Misibis Bay, weight control, weight management
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