Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to be fit to go on your break?

You don’t need to be fit, but a baseline fitness helps a great deal. If you want to get the most out of your time with us, you’ll want to participate as much as possible. Our training sessions are individualised. Take for instance the sled-pull. The weight is varied for each person.

If you’re out of shape, then we can help get you back into shape before you travel. The main thing is to start! You can use your time in the Algarve to boost your progress.

There was an article written about us in the Irish Times which answers this question better than I can!

I’m overweight and I’m uncomfortable to think that people will be looking at me

It doesn’t happen. Everyone is on these breaks for the same general reason. They want a healthy break, usually with some health and fitness goal in mind. We all have stories, and nobody judges. Not only that, but there’s not one single activity that any guest is unable to do.

Everybody forgets about this really early on. It’s a great, fun, supportive atmosphere.

What’s the accommodation like?

We’ve deliberately chosen Monte Santo for the quality and layout of the accommodation, and the generous outdoor space and privacy.

The resort is comprised of a central hotel building/clubhouse which house houses the indoor gym, saunas etc.

The accommodation in the resort is a mix of one, two and three bed apartments and houses. Every bedroom can be configured as twin or double.

The apartments are referred to as “suites”, but they’re spacious apartments. They all have an open plan kitchen looking onto a large living space with sofa, armchairs, TV and balcony or terraces. Every unit has Wi-Fi, daily maid service, Jacuzzi bath, air-conditioning and everything else you’d expect from a five star resort.

You won’t use the kitchen much, but the fridge-freezer, cooker and other equipment make life very comfortable.

How much weight can I expect to lose?

That’s hard to predict. We’re all different. We don’t promote short term solutions because successful weight-loss and health is a lifestyle choice.

We’ve had many guests drop 3 or 4 kilos during a week with us. We’ve had many guests who don’t have that much to lose!

It really depends on how much you have to lose, and you personally.

You’ll be surprised that you won’t be nearly as hungry as you expect.

When we eat and drink food that doesn’t suit us, we become inflamed. When we clean up our act, this inflammation reduces. We become less bloated. When you lose weight while you’re on our breaks, it will be a combination of fat and “water-weight”. If you don’t start eating the inflammatory foods when you go home this weight-loss should be long-term.

What kind of exercise do we do?

We do a variety of exercise and we schedule the sessions so that you maximise the benefit.

We focus on several things, and there’ll be different emphases based on who you are and what you want to achieve.

  • High Intensity Interval Training
  • Strength and Conditioning Training
  • Functional Patterns and Body Weight Training
  • Dynamic Movements Skills – These are very short sessions, but help train our co-ordination, posture, and highlight areas we may need to work on.
  • Yoga
  • 20km and 14km treks at varying paces.
  • TABATA sessions
  • Metcon sessions
  • TRX
  • Slackline (a bit of fun, but it’s work!)
  • Stand Up Paddling | Kayaking | Surfing
  • Modified Strongman Training
  • Boxing (This is a combination of education and a serious cardio workout - great instructor, very interesting)

While it sounds dry, education is a huge part of our week. It’s incorporated into the programme, and is easy.

By the end of the week we want you to:

  • Know a lot more about your physical condition that when you arrived
  • Learn about new training methods
  • Learn how to train safely
  • Learn to enjoy health and fitness
  • Learn the most effective and efficient ways to get to where we want to be
  • Have seen the Algarve and had a ball
  • Experience new activities that you might consider continuing when you return home
  • Learn new tools to help eat, sleep, train, and enjoy life better.
  • Lose weight, if weight-loss is your goal.

What’s Modified Strongman?

Have you ever watched the World’s Strongest Man competitions on the TV?

This is where huge men push, pull, lift and carry incredible weights. They might pull trucks, carry gas cannisters filled with concrete and so on. Well, modified strongman is that, but adapted for regular people. We’ll push and pull things called sleds and prowlers. We’ve “farmer’s walk” handles, which we load with a weight to suit you, and so on. The purpose of modified strongman is to give you a total body workout.

I don’t like going in the sea, are all activities compulsory?

If you’re not a fan of the water, you don’t have to participate. However, our surfing lessons are in an area of beach where you’ll never be out of your depth, and the instructors are hugely experienced and safety conscious. It might be a chance for you to face a fear and beat it, but we won’t push the issue.

On our kayak and SUP tours, we tour along the coastline, visit the caves and grottos that you’ll see on the Algarve tourism photos, and you’ll have an instructor nearby. The Kayaks are two-people kayaks so, if you like, an instructor will accompany you.

The Stand Up Paddle boards are very stable and great fun. There’s a little bit of balance involved. This offers a low-impact core workout, and it’s why we include it in the middle of the stay as one of our active-recovery sessions.

What’s the maximum and minimum ages?

Anybody from age 18 can attend, although, 24 years old is the youngest we’ve had to date. There’s no upper age limit.

What’s your average age of client?

We’re asked this a lot. There isn’t a typical age profile. Generally we’re joined from mid-twenties to mid-fifties, and have had younger and older. Given the type of break it is, age doesn’t matter.

Do you offer group discounts?

Yes. If we can save on cost, we’ll pass on savings on a case by case basis.

We have kept our prices as low as possible, but we can save a little on group bookings.

These are five star luxury holidays and you’ll see that comparable breaks are much more expensive.

Do you run breaks during the summer?

We don’t have health retreats during July and August

The Algarve is frantically busy during those months, and is extremely expensive. Your accommodation alone would cost more than we charge for our entire break.

The beaches are really busy, watersports guys have very limited availability

The temperatures can peak at over 40 degrees C sometimes, and that’s just too hot. The point of going to the Algarve is to get outside, enjoy the weather and have a complete break from home.

We will be offering breaks in Ireland during July and August soon. We’ll also be offering long weekend events in Ireland.

What’s included?

It’s easier to say what’s not included!

You have to look after your flights. Our guests come from different locations and can arrive on different dates, so it’s easier that you take care of this part.

We’ll collect you from Faro airport and bring you to the resort.

All activities and training are included.

Your breakfast, lunch, dinner and meals out are included, and we’ll stock your suite with water, which you’re welcome to replenish.

We provide protein shakes to whomever wants them.

On arrival, we offer you an assessment by our physio, and he’ll provide a sports massage during the week.

If you like, you can weigh yourself and take your measurements. We can measure you, or you can measure yourself. The weighing scales can be a very useful guide, but it’s inches or centimetres that we see in the mirror. We need to adapt the way we measure according to our condition. We’ll talk to you about that.

The less overweight we are, the less reliable the scales can become as a gauge of excess fat.

Are your breaks suitable for single travellers

Our breaks are ideal singles' holidays. Most of our clients are travelling solo. Some are single, others join us without their partner. The breaks are safe, we know everyone we work with, and have done all the spade-work so that you don't have to go through the typical trial and error of finding the best restaurants, best activities guys and so on. If you're interested in getting healthier and fitter, then you've immediately something in common with the guys you're joining. You don't have to join in everything and there's plenty of time to get your own space if you'd prefer.

Are airport transfers included?

Yes, these are included in the rate, however transfers prior to 7am and after 11pm have a €20 surcharge.

Are your breaks suitable for vegetarians?

Yes. Our meals typically have meat, fish, poultry and eggs, however we prepare vegetarian options. We generally have vegetarians in our groups.

Can you send me a programme for the week?

You'll find the programme for the week in our info sheet at the bottom of this page. You are welcome to download the pdf

Will I be stiff and sore from the exercise?

It's generally not much of a problem. But you might be, and it can absolutely be minimised. You will definitely feel the exercise and you'll be tired. That's why we've plenty of rest and recovery time. It's also why we have active recovery days; we've thought about the week carefully, so that you get the most out of it. There are plenty of ways to avoid or reduce stiffness and the DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) that comes from exercise. They're really effective and you don't need to be fit to benefit.

  • Do some relevant exercise before you join us. Don't come out from a position of zero activity. We can help on that.
  • While you're with us, use the sauna and hot-tub often, and soak in salts in the bath in your suite. This is pure pleasure and it's really effective.
  • Stretch and warm up and down before and after exercise. We'll do all of this with you. We'll show you how; it's one of the longer term benefits of your week with us. You'll take away plenty of new knowledge to make your life at home much easier.
  • We include a sports massage session in your week and you're free to book extra sessions.
We don't pressurise you, and we don't push you beyond your limits. You'll exercise correctly, with our activity days placed in order to give you fantastic active recovery.

I'm overweight, 17stone, age 55 female.. but otherwise healthy :-) Was thinking that aiming to go on your break in two months would be a good incentive to get out and about now... can you advise if you have specific weight loss groups ?

Our breaks are suitable for most people, and the mix works very well. We don't do weight-loss only groups. As we keep saying, we're all normal, and we're after the same things usually, just to different extents. If you were to join us, you'd be with people with varying weight-loss goals, and others that have other priorities. Some want to add muscle and learn about health and fitness, others already train quite a bit and just want to "mix it up" a bit. We can all become stale even the fit guys! 17 stone is quite heavy and there are some activities that might not suit you, like the 20km walk; but then again, it might! That walk has two exit points, so if you were to start and decide that the full distance would be too much, you can shorten your journey and meet the group at the end. We'll work privately with you to replace some of the activities that you may like to sit out. As you have two months, I agree that you should use our break as both an incentive and a reward for efforts that you'll start now. You can work with our weight-loss expert now, and we'd hope that you'd be more than 2 stone lighter in 9 weeks. Stick with us, and perhaps pop over again later in the year. There's no reason why we can't expect a 5 stone weight loss by the year-end, and achieved in really healthy way, and at a healthy, enjoyable pace. You'll almost certainly drop half a stone during the week your with us. You might consider a second week. Two weeks gives your body a chance to re-calibrate and helps a little towards forming new habits.

Download our brochure - details of our weeks and our attitude. We're  all about you!