Some time towards the end of last year I was hunting around for a fitness retreat. Something to get me out of the country as well as doing something I love too. Fortunately I came upon an opportunity in a fitness group that I’m part of on Facebook, and that was that. I was going on the Efficient Fitness Retreat.
Before Flying Out
I’m a planner. I like to organise. So to have a second trip away in 8 months with no control was tough – I’m not going to lie! I like to know exactly what I’m doing, where I’m going and planning ahead of what I want to see or do.
However, an advantage of this retreat is that we didn’t have to worry about anything besides getting to the airport and getting on that plane. All our flights were booked, travel insurance sorted and we didn’t have to think about getting to the villa on the other side. Everything was sorted for us and that of course makes everything a little easier when you’ve got a group of people (who likely don’t know each other) coming together in one place. We all met in the airport and got on the plane together.
We were sent out some fitness gear to bring with us and I really liked this extra touch. We got a Reebok top and leggings with the Efficient Fitness branding, some Reebok trainers, a massage ball, resistance band, BetterYou goodies and a bag that we could use as a carry on. All good quality and comfy stuff!
The Efficient Fitness Retreat Workouts
We arrived Saturday afternoon, ate lunch and then had a little time to settle down before doing our first workout of the trip. It was tough! The lack of sleep, travelling and little food that I’d had all day didn’t help of course, but I powered through and I really enjoyed it. A great entry to the weekend. Sunday gave us a workout in the morning and evening, Monday just the morning and then Tuesday also just a morning one. So five workouts over four days, each one slightly different and giving us something new to learn.
A couple of the sessions were longer, giving us more time to work on form and range of motion to then be able to complete the workout to come. I definitely learnt a lot about different basic exercises, especially squats and lunges, and that’s something that has definitely stuck in mind since getting home.
I’m not used to doing these faster paced workouts, repeating three or so different exercises continuously within a set time period so I did find it tough. Not so much that I wanted to stop though. It actually showed me that I am capable. I may have been the slowest in most things, but I could do it and it definitely gave me that push to keep working. I had jelly legs after most days, and my abs, well… I don’t think my abs have ever worked so had in my life! They were aching from the second day right until I got home.
The Sunday workout almost broke me. So many burpees, and then sprints in between! I couldn’t finish the last set because I just couldn’t catch my breath. And that’s when I realised how much I’d been neglecting my fitness. You know, I’ve spent the past year focusing on my running. I can run a 10k just like that, and I’ve done two half marathons. But that kind of fitness is SO different. I’m fit in those terms, but gym fit – nah I’m relly not!
We did quite a few circuits, and this is the type of thing I loved when I first got into exercise whilst I was at university. It’s something I think I definitely want to incorporate more into my own sessions. This year is the year of getting fitter and stronger.
The food was INCREDIBLE. Seriously. The menu was so varied and so, so tasty. We ate buffet style each day, with main dishes and then other bits to go with. I had a vegan week and everything was made so I could eat it all (besides the meat dishes of course) and this was very much appreciated. It was Stevie’s dad cooking for us on this first fitness retreat, a retired chef who definitely knew how to create tasty dishes. Honestly I didn’t really know what the food would be like as I can be quite fussy, but he definitely exceeded all expectations and got me eating a range of foods.
I tried so many things that I wouldn’t have tried otherwise and I really loved it all. My most surprising discovery was probably the fact that I actually love dried cranberries… I don’t think I’ve ever had one before! They were delicious additions to the breakfast smoothie bowls we had. So many vegetables, so many fruits, so much goodness. Why is the food always tastier in hot countries? I mean I know the answer to that… But it just makes it so much easier to eat healthier when you’ve got so much goodness easily on hand.
Unfortunately the weather wasn’t too great for us. Something that can’t be helped obviously, but it meant that our free time needed to be filled. If it was sunny, we’d have just lounged around the pool, sunbathing and reading. As it was colder and slightly rainy at times, we couldn’t do that and didn’t want to just sit inside.
On the Saturday we had a bit of a walk around Torre Del Mar. Not much to see, but the walk along the coast was nice besides having to put umbrellas up every now and then. Sunday we visited Nerja, enjoyed the little streets and had some tapas at a bar. It was a lovely little town with great views.
Monday was the day of the planned Wine Tour and Tapas/City Tour of Granada. We had a great time, though it didn’t all go to plan. I loved exploring Granada and was so happy to be able to do a bit of walking and see some sights of the city. Tapas is always a good choice and we also had a really tasty meal just before leaving. It was a very long day, and I was glad to be home once we were – slept like a baby!
This was my first ‘solo’ trip. I got myself down to London, to an airport and met up with strangers. That’s a big thing for me! I really enjoyed the experience and I think it has made me a little more confident in travelling alone and in certain exercises too. I’d definitely think about taking part in another fitness retreat as I thought it was a great way to meet like minded people and to be learning something too. I do love a good active holiday!