CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Devon Life today CLICK HERE

New Year, New Healthier You

PUBLISHED: 10:01 06 January 2015 | UPDATED: 10:01 06 January 2015

An early morning woodland workout

An early morning woodland workout


The start of a new year often sees us kick-start our fitness routine and promises the start of a ‘new you’. GEMMA CLAPP heads to Revitalise Fitness Retreat to see how their weekends can help you achieve it

Brooke puts the BeAtBoUnCe class through their pacesBrooke puts the BeAtBoUnCe class through their paces

Driving to Revitalise Fitness Retreat, which lies on the Devon/Cornwall border just 5 miles from Widemouth beach, there is only one thought crossing my mind: what on earth have I let myself into? While I enjoy the occasional pilates or Zumba class, I’m not a religious gym-goer, meaning I’m hardly at my fittest. How would I cope with a whole weekend jam-packed with exercise?

As soon as I arrived, however, I was put immediately at ease. Personal trainers David Youldon and Brooke Graddon, a former Team GB diver, who run the retreats were welcoming and friendly, assuring me that while it would be tough it would also be a lot of fun. By the end of the weekend, I definitely agreed, despite my aching muscles.

Two other ladies and I were there for an action-packed weekend of exercise and tasty, healthy food cooked by Revitalise Fitness Retreat’s chef, Nicky Vereker. And first up on the itinerary was BeAtBoUnCe – a trampoline-based exercise with routines created by Brooke. With an upbeat soundtrack full of chart-toppers, it’s definitely the most fun I’ve had while working out in a long time. There’s no denying that it’s tough – especially those burpees that are thrown in midway through one of the tracks – but it’s an exercise that is now a real hit with Revitalise Fitness Retreat’s regular customers.

The next morning saw us join in with Revitalise’s regular Saturday bootcamp class, which that day was a woodland workout. Nestled in the private woods just a short walk from the cottage, David and Brooke have created an amazing circuit using logs, tyres and ropes, meaning you work out using the environment around you. Whether you’re running, squatting, pulling a heavy tyre up with a rope or doing those dreaded lunges, each exercise is performed for just one minute before moving onto the next one, ensuring all your muscles are worked on.

Stay in luxury accommodation at Revitalise Fitness RetreatStay in luxury accommodation at Revitalise Fitness Retreat

I won’t lie, the woodland workout is tough. After we had completed the circuit the three of us that were there for the weekend were looking forward to putting our feet up – that is, until Brooke told us the unthinkable; we had to do it all again.

After a short rest back in the cottage we were off to another BeAtBoUnCe class, while the afternoon saw a Legs, Bums and Tums class that works muscles in short bursts – 20 seconds of reps followed by a 10 second rest, before a relaxing neck and shoulder massage from local masseuse, Vicky Barnes and a quick dip in the private hot tub.

Sunday was a more relaxing day, but you can choose to do another workout if you wish. With aching muscles, we opted for a short walk across Widemouth beach before we made our journey home, not brave enough to face the tyre challenge David and Brooke had prepared. Maybe next time.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Devon Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Devon Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Devon Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & About


Now is the perfect time to head for the bright lights of Exeter, where you can hunker down in one of the city’s many pubs, cafés and indoor attractions. Here’s our pick of the best places to keep warm, dry and entertained | Words: Chrissy Harris

Read more

From cosy pubs galore to winter beach walks, there’s plenty to enjoy in Devon at Christmas. We list 19 reasons you should come visit us this December.

Read more
Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Devon is particularly stunning at this time of year and so we’ve picked out 18 stunning pictures that encapsulate the county during the festive period

Read more
Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Devon is a joy to explore with its beautiful beaches, pretty woodland and charming towns and villages. Made even more magical under a blanket of glistening frost, we pick 12 walks to blow away the cobwebs in the county this winter

Read more
Tuesday, November 27, 2018

A South Devon walk along a wreck-rich coastline with SIMONE STANBROOK-BYRNE

Read more
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

In the latest of our 24-hour tours of Devon’s best locations, we head to Britain’s Ocean City

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

With breathtaking beaches, rolling countryside, stately homes and unique villages, it’s no wonder high-profile film productions flock to Devon - how well do you know the movies that have set up camp here however?

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Whether it’s on our beautiful beaches, in our magnificent moors or within our stunning stately homes, film productions are constantly setting up in Devon. Here are 16 that you might not know used the county as a filming location

Read more
Friday, October 26, 2018

From angry spirits to headless horses and ghoulish monks, Devon has more than a few supernatural stories to get your skin crawling. We have picked 11 haunted places in the county

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

October is the perfect time to discover the joys of Exmoor. Jennette Baxter of Visit Exmoor suggests five great ways to enjoy autumn on the moor

Read more
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Wild camping can be one of the best ways to escape the crowds for a night or two and lose yourself in the landscape - SOPHIE PAVELLE chooses her five favourite places to ‘wild-life’ camp in Devon

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

From sandy beaches and lighthouse-topped cliffs to views of the Jurassic Coast, the Devon coastline offers many perfect locations for a seaside walk. We pick 10 of the prettiest routes to take

Read more
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Take our quiz to find out how well you really know Devon

Read more
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

As the weather starts to warm up and the Devon countryside beckons, LIZZIE JANE of the National Trust in the South West offers plenty of walk ideas for you to try. Whether you want a relaxed Sunday stroll or a more strenuous hike, here are 10 walks across Devon (and beyond) to help you escape the crowds and head off the beaten track

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search