Going on holiday is often a time when people allow fitness routines to slide, but can a break in training make it harder to restart once you’re back?
Ben Jones, PTA Global UK faculty member and director of BlueSkies Fitness, says: “Having a two-week training break won’t make much of a difference to your muscular strength, though you may see a drop in your cardiovascular ability."
Conversely, Jones feels that a break from your regular routine might prove beneficial. “Most people won’t programme in active recovery. If you’ve been pushing yourself over 8-12 weeks then a change of pace might give your body a chance to catch up. However, some people, particularly those concerned with pumped muscles, will feel that they lose some of their conditioning during a break.”
Jones recommends finding alternative ways to stay active on holiday. “Taking up a holiday activity such as windsurfing or travelling with a bodyweight routine that you can do in your hotel room are good ways of staying active,” he says.
DIY fitness break
If you’re in training for a particular event, head to a destination that offers specific training. Cyprus has a respected sports and fitness pedigree with elite athlete coaches available across a range of disciplines.
The Coral Beach Hotel (www.coral.com.cy), near the UNESCO-protected Akamas peninsula, has been training Olympic teams including Team GB since the 2004 Athens Olympics. The stand out feature is the 50m Olympic standard pool, which can be used by teams and individuals and has automatic officiating equipment. Elsewhere on site there’s an Olympic standard gym, personal training and Pilates classes.
Tour de France veteran Thomas Wegmüller who runs Bike Cyprus mountain bike tours (www.bikecyprus.com) brings expertise from his Tour de France podium triumphs to his Troodos Mountain tours. He also offers skills courses which concentrate on developing mountain biking techniques for competition and amateur use.
The recently opened Annabel Croft Tennis Academy (www.annabelcrofttennis.com) at Aphrodite Hills offers competitive training in their grand slam classes as well as the beginners' and intermediate classes. As well as the eponymous former England number one, all the other coaches have competed at international level.
Boot camp holidays
Tailored to your particular fitness level, boot camp breaks are a worthwhile option particularly if you’re new to exercise, as the intensity can be a motivational way to kick-start your resolve. However, for seasoned exercisers, camps such as Brighton’s Fit Bitch (www.fitbitchbootcamp.com) also make for a sound fitness break which provides a challenging workout with options tailored to advanced levels.
As the level of exercise on boot camps is likely to be sustained and intensive, it’s worth vetting your company carefully to make sure that they are fit for purpose. Make sure you choose one that is run by members of the Register of Exercise Professionals and check testimonials carefully.
Organised fitness holidays
Several companies offer fitness holidays with activities including trekking, mountain biking, trail runs and one-on-one training. A good choice is Fitscape (www.fitscape.co.uk) which has properties in Italy, Southern Spain and the South of France. They have a team of personal trainers to arrange bespoke programmes geared to meet your fitness goals.