My fitness journey originally started with the sole purpose of losing weight, I didn’t really like the way I looked as I was always relatively fit but had let myself go. My clothes were tight, my skin dull and my mood low. I knew I was going to have to step up and work hard to make the changes I wanted. Little did I know just how good it would make me feel. It changed my mindset completely, my confidence grew and the compliments I received fed my new appetite.
A close friend of mine won an ultimate fitness holiday on instagram. Lucky duck. She couldn’t rave enough about the place so I decided to check it out for myself. Fitness holidays are a great way to combine sun, fun and fitness. It gives you an opportunity to partake in a well balanced holiday, where training and working hard is combined with sunshine, good food and meeting new, like minded people to create a great experience. The fitness camp I attended was Titan Fitness camp in Chalong, the southern tip of Phuket island in Thailand, 1 hour from Phuket International airport. I stayed for a total of two weeks, but could definitely have stayed longer.
On arrival I was greated by the gym manager Ben, who gave me a tour of the facilities. An air conditioned gym, outdoor gym arena where all classes, open mat gym sessions and additional clinics were held, health’s kitchen where many camp goers eat and refuel with shakes post work out and little hill onsite accomodation. Little hill offers private, air conditioned rooms equipped with wifi, TV, fridge and a well needed clothes horse – all the modern comforts you need to enjoy your stay. Having a swimming pool on your doorstep is a welcome addition. It’s a great communal area to cool off, have fun and meet others. Many people staying long term seek alternative, cheaper accommodation along the street, there’s many to choose from.
Titan fitness do offer inclusive packages, accomodation, daily meals and snacks and personal training. In my opinion if you avail of the classes provided properly a personal trainer is not a necessity. The inclusive package does work out expensive and restricts you to eating in one place. ‘Fighter street’ as it’s known in Chalong is home to endless healthy food options that won’t put a hole in your pocket. The best by far is Mamas, a few minutes walk from Titan. Delicious, cheap food and friendly staff. Other popular spots include a vegan restaurant, the shack, Tony’s, muscle bar, coco ville and Ali’s BBQ where we ate our weight in chicken most nights. There’s also an amazing frozen yogurt shop for those treat days.
Worried about what or how much you should be eating? Every Monday a nutrition seminar is held in order to educate people and provide additional support and encouragement – from full nutritional programmes to common mistakes and healthy tips. Another popular seminar is Bulletproof, the injury fixer as he is known shows how to relieve common niggling and persistent injuries. I found this very educational and still use the tricks provided.
A typical day in Titan involves an early start with yoga at 7am, a great way to stretch and start the day off. Following this I’d usually head to health’s kitchen for a coffee. I’d generally then choose between CrossFit and Body 360 as these classes are back to back. While this could be done it was not recommended. Body 360 is a HIIT style cardio class. No session is ever the same. There’s usually some banging tunes to keep you extra motivated. There’s generally an open mat session from 11am-1pm, giving people a chance to do their own thing, practice by themselves or knock out another workout.
The afternoon is broken up equally with real hardcore classes. Calorie burn (the obstacle course) is just as it says on the tin. I did it on my first day and never returned! It was somewhat militant. Boxercise is sociable, yet challenging. Don’t forget a towel. You’ll leave this class looking like you’ve just been for a swim. This class will leave you with a new found confidence, a spring in your step and excitement for the next one. Strength and technique was a favourite class of mine. The main focus of this class is to learn and improve your technical skills. The best thing is that every day is different. Olympic weightlifting, deadlifts and much more, super educational. Spinning at Titan is one hell of a ride. It’s not by any means your typical conventional spin class. It’s mixed with core and cardio components that really do push you to your limits. Get there early as it’s a popular one, you don’t want to be left using the ski erg or rower instead!
Thursday mornings begin at 6.30am with a 5km run to the famous Big Buddha. It takes roughly between 40-60 minutes depending on your fitness level. The steep hills are challenging but it’s rewarding getting to take in all the sights on the way up. Elephants, monkeys and incredible views over Phuket town, Chalong Bay, Kata and Karon beach. Bring water and your camera.
Every Saturday morning Titan holds functional beach training at Nai Harn beach. It’s a chance to break things up and get down and dirty in the sand. It’s tough, they work you hard, but it’s great aul craic. You also get access to twice weekly Muay Thai classes which can fit around the Titan schedule. Take complete advantage of this as it’s great fun and the guys that teach it are very entertaining.
The weekends are pretty quiet in Chalong as all gyms are closed on Sunday. A number of people enjoy a drink on a Saturday night. Feck it, sure you only live once. Massi and reggae bar are the most popular bars in town. Be careful, training hard and drinking alcohol is not always the best combination, we all learn the hard way! There’s plenty to explore on the island. The best way to get around is by motorbike. Motorbikes are cheap to rent at roughly 150 baht per day, petrol is cheap and a tank gets you very far. If this is not your style, there are taxis everywhere. There’s so much to see and do. Head to Freedom beach, it’s amazing, but be aware that there is quite a hike to reach the beach. I’ve never seen so many monkeys in the one place as we saw on Monkey Hill, they are vicious little guys and will get what they want no matter what. Night markets, shopping malls, you name it, Phuket has it all.
There are launderette facilities at Titan and many other locations along the street. This comes in very handy when you are changing your drenched clothes two or three times a day. Massage parlours are extremely popular in Chalong. There’s nearly always a queue and prices range from 250-400 baht depending on what you are looking for.
I met a huge mix of people during my trip. People from America, Australia,UK, Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, France and of course plenty of Irish- you’ll never get too far away from them! Titan is a social hub as they have organised Facebook and watts app groups to communicate, plan dinners, trips and gatherings and it has a unique, relaxed communal vibe. The trainers are all outgoing, enthusiastic, fun, helpful, professional and easy on the eye which doesn’t hurt.
Titan is an amazing camp to help you reach your goals, a fitness holiday with the sole purpose of getting people into the best shape according to their goals, within a given timeframe. Each person has a different level of fitness but the same goal in mind. Make the most of your time at Titan and embrace all it has to offer. I cannot wait to return.