Let’s get physical

03 Apr 2014
POSTED BY Y Magazine

Get your fitness routine down to a science and lose up to 15kg in two months with Muscat’s latest weight loss program

You squeeze your blubbery body into Lycra and haul your less than toned behind into a gym only to wonder what the heck you should do while there.

Between the impossible-to-decipher cardio equipment and the endless wait for the treadmill, you barely break a sweat. Which isn’t great when bits start to wobble and you need to get the bikini ready for June’s holiday. Whatever to do?

Forget draconian diets and melting in heated yoga sessions – the latest fitness fad sweeping Muscat is Boot Camp Zulu’s Operation SS (Summer Slim).

The two-month program, which starts on May 4, is designed to help you drop a dress size with a low-carb diet and series of beach-based exercises. And you don’t have to be super-sporty to take part. Anyone can do it and the results are monitored by international sports scientists.

The main benefit of Boot Camp Zulu, according to its director Elsa Andrews, is that it helps you slim down the more social way.

“It creates an atmosphere of accountability,” she says. “If you don’t show up you’ll be letting others down. Plus, the operation comes with an instructor so you’re not left to your own devices in a gym. Exercising in a group makes exercising fun. And we all know that if you enjoy your workout, you’ll keep going until you get the results you want.”


Rosalind Buckton-Tucker describes her boot camp experience


My Boot Camp journey began on seeing a 2010 advertisement in the Women’s Guild of Oman newsletter inviting Muscat residents to get fit (and slimmer) in time for summer. I had always been attracted to physical challenges and, with mountaineering as a hobby, fitness was important to me.

As a regular hiker in the wadis and mountains, I wasn’t exactly unfit, but while recovering from a major operation for a thankfully benign brain tumour the previous year, I had certainly lost some of my conditioning and the discipline of Boot Camp sounded like just what I needed.

I headed off to the beach somewhat apprehensively for the session, wondering whether I was going to be left in the shade by an army of tanned and toned fitness fanatics. However, as other prospective Boot Campers arrived in all shapes and sizes and we compared notes, I began to look forward to my initiation.

The sessions followed a set routine: a warm up with jogging and stretching, followed by progressively more strenuous exercises – push-ups, sit-ups, squats and the boot campers’ bête noire, burpees (a variation on squat thrusts), interspersed with runs and sprints until the 30-second water breaks assumed the proportions of a five-star holiday. Finally, depending on the season, we cooled off with more stretches or exercises in the sea – a welcome treat in temperatures of 30˚C plus.

We got fitter and thinner, as promised – but determination was required. I would get up mechanically with the 4.30 alarm, often after only a few hours’ sleep, wondering if I really wanted to go but knowing at the same time that I would regret it later if I did not. In the winter and at high tide, grunting brief greetings to each other, we negotiated the submerged and slippery concrete steps to Shatti Beach by torchlight, impatient to start training if only to get warm. Then, halfway through, the sky lightened, the sun spread warmth over the sand, faces developed an identity, and it was all worth it. Relaxing afterwards over coffee at Costa, I could not imagine a better way to start the day.

I made good friends from the very start, meeting people of diverse nationalities and occupations whom I might never otherwise have known. Boot Camp brought with it a great sense of camaraderie and of belonging to a huge family. It was hard not to be a little smug when recounting our exploits to the uninitiated, whose reaction was often: “How can you do it?” or “Not for me!” We had social events where we dressed up and partied until late, with presentations of ‘Super Elite’ mugs and T-Shirts to the highest achievers in terms of attendance, weight loss and improved performance. There were cabaret turns too, with Adrian and Clint’s ‘Full Monty’ going down in the annals of Boot Camp history.

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