Travel - Most of us can't get enough of it! Whether it's a 1 week vacation or a year long, worldwide trip it just keeps calling us back for more. Most of us work our butts off in the gym all year round for that one holiday we've got booked in the summer. We finally get into decent shape and are ready to show off our newly acquired abs on the beach, when disaster strikes!
We certainly haven't been quiet about the fact we are adding Sri Lanka to our growing list of escape locations. We have however been relatively quiet about just how amazing this retreat is set to be!
20 places you should visit before you die, travel bucket list ideas, bucket list travel destinations, 20 best places to travel to.
Koh Tao is the ultimate active destination, and we're going to share with you our top picks of ways to stay active.
What is a "Fitness Retreat", and which is the best option for you?
With so many to choose from, looking for a retreat that suits your needs can feel like an impossible task, but we help you choose the right retreat for you
Just one of the great things we bring guests of New Horizon Escapes is a variety of amazing trainers from all over the world. We kicked things off with the UK’s own Zanna Van Dijk, who will be coaching at our October Bali and and February Koh Samui Escapes, and now we are very pleased to announce that we’re flying in US YouTube sensation Tee Major.
Every once in a while you meet a very special kind of fitness professional with an energy and passion for health & fitness that you just can’t fake. Tee is that very person, and we are seriously excited to have him join us for our Koh Tao Escape in April 2017.
With a very successful coaching career behind him that has spanned from training the general public, to developing young athletes in the US, to flying out to military operations in Iraq and training the United States Navy, Army, Air Force, as well as transient troops from Mongolia, Croatia, Poland, Spain, France and other allied forces, we think that Tee ticks all the boxes to ensure our guests have an unforgettable experience
Tee will show our guests ways of using their body in ways they didn’t even know it could be used. Take a pinch of Athletics, add a dash of Team Sport, and garnish with plenty of Military Training, and you’ve got yourself a Tee Major training session……….Excited yet?
No? OK well what if I told you that he’s also ridiculously good looking? In fact I’ve been told on several occasions that we look like we could be related. Obviously he would be the less attractive of the two of us, but that just goes without saying right? I'll tell you what, why don't you be the judge, here we both are in all of our bald headed glory...........OK OK he's better looking, but it's a close one!
All jokes aside, we are honoured to have Tee joining us in Koh Tao, and we know that guests will have an unforgettable time training with him.
So if you fancy a little bit of American flare added to our already awesome retreats, then join us and Tee in Koh Tao next April.
Over the years, Ina and I have come to realise that there are a few key things that keep us happy and sane no matter where we are and what we’re doing. One of those things, is staying on our training game.
Now you might think that staying in shape would be pretty straight forward right? With thousands of cities to choose from in hundreds of countries, surely it’s easy to find gyms on your way around this big, blue and green, spinning marble? Wrong! The world is a very big, diverse place when travelling, and it’s an absolute mine field when it comes to training and eating right.
We’ve done a fair bit of travelling in our few years together and we’ve seen the best, and the worst of what the world has to offer in terms of training facilities and healthy eating, so we’ve put together a little survival guide to hopefully help you a little while you try to stay on your game whilst also staying on the road.
- Plan, Plan, Plan - Might sound like a given that you would plan your route when travelling, but have you taken into consideration when/where your next chance to get a session in will be? I always plan my stop-overs at least 2-3 weeks ahead, so that I can ensure that I know when my next workout will be. This also helps you to plan the best way to train swell, as there’s no point following a 5 day split routine when you’re only going to get to a gym twice in a week. Which brings us to our next point……..
- Adapt your training - Sorry guys, I hate to break it to you but your traditional bodybuilding split just aint gonna cut it when you’re on the road. Be realistic about how many gym sessions you’re going to get in a week, and fill in the gaps with (and I hate to say it) cardio, and bodyweight sessions. I find the best way is to hit up 1-2 HEAVY full body weights sessions in the gym, followed by plenty of conditioning workouts using bodyweight, bags & anything you can get your hands on (stay tuned for a video on the soon). This should mean you hold as much of your muscle as possible, whilst remaining relatively lean and avoiding the typical bloated, skinny fat syndrome that tends to happen to long term travellers.
- Carbs, Make your choice - When you’re on the road (particularly in Asia) you have to accept that your days of clean Carbs like sweet potato are over. Welcome to the world of refined Carbohydrates. This is where you need to make a choice, and it will usually depend on how you as an individual react to refined Carbs. Do you cut the Carbs out, and inevitably lose some muscle tissue, or do you keep them in and reside to the fact that you’re going to jiggle a little when you move and you’re not gonna hold onto that six pack you’ve been working so hard on? Personally i’m currently using carbohydrates to immediately replenish Glycogen post workout but avoiding them at all other times, so that usually looks like high protein, high fat, meals for the entire day except my post workout meal where I will try to consume a large quantity of Carbohydrates (100g+). This is trail and error, so I would advise seeing what works for you.
- No more 6 meals a day - Unless you’re planning to hide yourself away in a little apartment somewhere, which you'll leave only to train, and not see any of this beautiful world we live in, then you should probably get the idea of regular/consistent eating out of your head. Again, I speak only from my own experience, but I go back to the traditional 3 square meals a day, just like your mama used to tell you :) Make these meals as calorie dense as possible (high protein, high fat), and then fill in the gaps with fresh fruit and any other healthy snacks you can get your hands on.
- Put the beer down! - Remember, you’re not on a 2 week holiday with the lads, you're in this for the long haul and alcohol is probably the biggest eraser of all your hard work that’s out there. Aside from the calories, alcohol also lowers Testosterone levels and increases Cortisol, meaning you’re on a one way track to skinny fat, not to mention the fact that you’re going to be far less inclined to train when you feel as if you’ve just been hit by a truck, the morning after a night on the buckets! Which brings us nicely to…..
- Hydrate! - If you’re serious about your training, you’re probably guzzling back several litres of water a day when in you’re back home, well news flash, if you’re in a hot country, you’re gonna need considerably more. As an active, adult male, if you’re drinking any less than 6 litres a day when you’re in the heat then it just won’t cut the mustard i’m afraid. Water is the most important thing in your diet, so make sure you get plenty of it!
- Sleep! - This one should be pretty easy for most of you. Yes, the same rule applies when travelling as it does back home, if you want to recover, grow, and develop your body then you need to get a solid nights sleep. Even if it means paying a little more to get a private room instead of a rowdy dorm room, your body will thank you in the long run and your workouts will significantly benefit.
- Get your wallet ready - Yes unfortunately in the places where you will eventually find decent gyms, allot of them are going to cost you almost what you’d pay back home. Why? Because a)They’ve got you by the short & curlys as you need them and they know it b)They are usually run by expats that know the cost of gyms back home. **Money Saving Tip** Most major cities around the world will have one of the big gym chains present, who will almost always offer a Free 1 day trial on their website. If you plan ahead enough you can usually blag your way into most of them as a potential new member. They don;t need to know you’re never coming back ;) We’ve just spent the past week touring almost every Fitness First in Singapore on their Free passes and saved ourselves an absolute fortune! (See our video of how we did it here)
So by now you should have a pretty good insight into how my training and diet have had to evolve in order to try and stay in shape. I’m not going to lie, it’s bloody tough, but it’s totally worth it! I am now in a position where i’m able to sit here, on the beautiful island of Tioman in Malaysia, writing this blog for you guys, whilst the sun begins to set over the horizon. I planned ahead so I know there’s no gym here, which means hiking in the morning before the sun is at it’s peak, followed by some TRX exercises off a palm tree……………It’s a hard life for some ;)
So you may or may not have heard that for our Bali Escape this October we have a “Guest Coach” Miss Zanna Van Dijk joining us, and we’re very excited to have her on board! Why? Well, because in a world where social media influencers rule the hearts and minds of people everywhere, we’ve finally found one we trust.
Now don’t get me wrong, i’m not saying that people on Social Media can’t be trusted………..Oh wait……….Yeah I kinda am, because unfortunately we live in a world where people are ashamed to be themselves, and feel that the only way people will buy into them and their products is to manipulate every aspect of what the follower is seeing and reading. These “influencers” do exactly that, they influence the way that people (both men and women) view themselves and the world around them, and we believe they have a responsibility to be honest and true to the follower, and themselves about the way they live their life, and especially the way they REALLY look.
Of course, like anything, you can’t tar all these guys with the same brush, because there really are some guys and girls with great ethics out there, that are being honest about the way they look, and the way they live their lives. One such person is the gorgeous Zanna Van Dijk. Now this is a woman after our own hearts! Her honest representation of herself and her profession is a real breath of fresh air in a world that is polluted with fitness charlatans, and you only need to watch one of her YouTube videos or Snapchats, to know that what you see is what you get with this one!
We're always drumming into people on our escapes, that it’s not about being perfect, it’s about being consistent. It’s small, positive, consistent changes over a long period of time that will give you the best possible chance of looking, and staying in shape. It’s absolutely not these dramatic, unhealthy, unsustainable changes to your diet and training, like allot of these “12 week transformation” trainers would have you doing, and Zanna shares and promotes this philosophy with us.
Not only will Zanna be taking our guests through a series of fun, high energy workouts in the grounds of our luxury Villa, but she’ll also be sitting down for some “Real Talk” about the best ways to get & stay in shape, and how to live a healthy & balanced lifestyle. All of this on top of the other amazing activities we’ve got in store for guests, means it’s gonna be one hell of a ride…….Oh, and we’ll be there too if anyone cares!
Spaces have sold FAST, meaning we’re down to our last couple of rooms, so if you’d like to join us, and Zanna in paradise for some Sun, Fun & Fitness, get booking now by clicking below.
So I’ve worked in gyms for the best part of 10 years now and t’s no surprise that every gym out there has the typical stereotypes using them. We’ve all seen the YouTube video of the guys acting out every type of gym stereotype you could imagine.
But it doesn’t stop at the gym floor you know. I’ve recently come to realise that every gym i’ve ever been (or worked) in has pretty much the same characters in the changing rooms. Lets explore that shall we…….
- The bench hogger - This is the guy that feels that he must have every single item from his kit bag organised in piles of dirty, clean, and god knows what that is, spread out across an entire bench which is actually designed to serve 10 lockers at any one time. Feel free to ask him to move his things, but expect that he will give you the dirtiest look and free up a piece of bench big enough to rest one butt cheek on, then carry on with his casual reorganising of his bag.
- The lurker - Yep, we’ve all seen you. Standing menacingly in the corner. Observing as everyone gets undressed or towels themselves down. Nobody is quite sure if you’re a dirty pervert or actually just quite nervous to get changed in front of other human beings, but either way it’s equally disturbing, so just stop it!
- No underwear man - It is no underwear man’s goal in life to dress himself with as many of his clothes as possible before finally putting on his pants. This most commonly starts with the shirt, followed by the tie, socks, watch, cufflinks, anything else that might be available to wear, and then, only when there is nothing else available to wear and his penis has received an adequate amount of oxygen may he proceed to put on his underwear.
- The peacock - There’s always one guy that feels compelled to display himself in all his glory for as long as possible in the changing room. He’ll walk around, flapping in the wind, casually showing the world that he’s proud of his manhood. We get it dude, now put that thing away before you take someone’s eye out.
- The wet dog - Any normal human being understands the concept of drying themselves down before leaving the shower area, it’s just common sense. Not the wet dog, he feels that drying in the showers is for losers, so instead opts to drag water all over the changing rooms and dry himself directly in front of his locker, spraying everything and everyone around him with his excess water. I actually didn’t even know it was possible to remain that wet after leaving the shower!
- Selfie guy - Look for the mirror in the changing rooms with a down-light directly above it, then look at the guy standing in front of said mirror with his phone in hand. That’s selfie guy! More time will be spent finding the perfect angle and lighting to show off his abs (or lack of) than will actually be spent in the gym actually getting abs. He will then spend the next 20 mins choosing a suitable filter to further highlight any definition he may have.
- The squeezer - Yep, the squeezer does exactly that, he squeezes. Most people are a little embarrassed by their spots, but not this guy. He’ll squeeze and squeeze until he has sufficiently milked his face, or his chest, or wherever else he might have seen a spot emerging. I don’t usually hang around long enough to find out, but I hope to god he wipes the mirrors after!
- The socialite - It is my belief that changing rooms are a sacred place. A place where men go to change before and after a hard gym session, where one can reflect on the session they just completed, or psych themselves up for the session ahead. Therefore I DO NOT wish to have a conversation with you about pretty much anything. Sport? No! Work? Bugger off! Training? Go away! possibly the only thing i will accept in this environment is a passing comment that i’m looking good at the moment, after all who doesn’t like to be told that, just don’t expect me to say it back!
- The presenter - Now when i say present, I don’t mean in the sense of a TV presenter or something like that. No, I mean like in the animal sense. This guy really wants to you see every bit of detail between his crack when he decides to bend over directly in front of you. Timing is key for this guy and he usually waits until you’re sitting on a bench, putting on your socks or tying your shoelaces before he decides the time is right. If he gets his timing spot you are actually close enough for the hairs on his arse to brush your nose.
- The blowdryer - Most people understand that those big, white, fluffy things, that are rolled up on the shelf are designed specifically for drying yourself with. The humble towel has been used for hundreds of years as a proven technique for drying one’s body after a shower. Therefore it frustrates the hell out of me when I see a man stood at the mirror, using the hairdryer (Yes mate, the clue is in the name) to dry his ENTIRE body from top to toe, and paying particular attention to ensuring that his genitals haven’t got even a molecule of moisture left on them. It is a) an extremely un-economic way of drying yourself b) disgusting c) Something that you can guarantee this guy does NOT do at home, so why the hell is he doing it? STOP IT!
If you’re reading this and find yourself thinking “hmm I actually do that”, I can officially tell you that you are definitely annoying someone, so stop it! If you do more than one of the above, then i’m sorry but you are officially a terrible person and should hang your head in shame, never to taint the sacred place that is the mens changing rooms with your antics ever again!
If you have any other funny stereotypes in your gym please feel free to comment below and maybe I will write a top 10 worldwide stereotypes.
Noooooo! My gains! My beautiful gains!..........
Is this you when you travel? That feeling that with every passing day another pound of muscle is replaced with a pound of fat? The harsh reality that when you return home you're going to have to wear hoodies for at least 6 months until you look the way you did when you left?
Yeah ok that's a little dramatic but it doesn't change the fact that travel is a bitch for destroying a hard earned physique. If you set off on your journey shredded, you're bound to come back as soft as the latest Silent Night mattress, and if you were looking pretty big and holding some good muscle mass, you can guarantee that a good stint of travelling is a sure fire way to coming home looking like a champion racing snake.
NEWS FLASH: It doesn't have to be this way! There IS a way to keep yourself in top shape while you travel and i'm going to tell you the key:
- Be realistic - Let's face it, the likely hood of you maintaining a heavy 5 day split routine while you're travelling is pretty slim. Be realistic with how many days a week you really can commit to training. 2 solid weights sessions a week is enough to maintain muscle mass as long as you're eating enough.
- Plan ahead - It's a little bit of extra work, but whenever I travel i will always plan my route of travel and do some research into gym locations along the way. Try to ensure that every few days you're stopping in an area that has some sort of training facility (they are out there I promise!).
- Toys - There are certain toys that can really help you with maintaining a training regime whilst travelling, the TRX is the perfect example. There's not too many things you can't do with a TRX and you can hang it from doors, trees, & all sorts so there really is no excuse to not train.
- Work with what you've got - Take a look around you, there will always be something you could use to train with: your backpack, logs, rocks, your travel buddy, the possibilities are endless!
- Stay focussed - This is the one most people find hardest. When you're travelling, meeting new people and having a great time it can become pretty easy to just forget the diet, forget the gym, drink every night and trust me it's a downward spiral from there. I'm not saying be a complete boring bastard but just be mindful when ordering food, try not to drink EVERY night, and just keep training in the back of your mind the whole time. Unfortunately this is the only way to ensure you don't turn into skinny-fat traveller.
So as you can see, on paper it's pretty simple to train and keep yourself in shape when you travel, but to be honest, the reality is MUCH harder. There will always be distractions and things to throw you off your game, but if you're determined to stay in shape you WILL find a way, it just depends how badly you want it. Maybe you have great genetics and hold onto your shape really easily, maybe you're confident that muscle memory will mean you'll regain everything as soon as you get home and start training again. Unfortunately I do not have great genetics, nor do I regain my body very easily once it fades, so for me, there is only one option, Keep at it!
With so much conflicting diet information out there these days and the intentional misinformation that's being fed to us by big food businesses, it's no wonder that the nation (and the world) is totally screwed up when it comes to what we should, or should not be eating.
At New Horizon we believe that one of the biggest contributors to the current obesity statistics is SUGAR. It is literally everywhere! Seriously, try and avoid it, it's almost impossible for the average person. The problem is that most people are eating sugar in food that they genuinely believe is healthy. I mean we all know that fizzy drinks and chocolate are packed full of the stuff, but what about your morning breakfast cereals, or your favourite coffee from Starbucks? Did you know that you're probably consuming almost all of your daily recommended amount in just these two things?
It's the first quarter of 2016, and if you're anything like the countless people we've spoken to, you're all feeling a bit down in the dumps and depressed. Is it you? Is there something wrong with you? Should you go to your doctor and get some pills? Well, maybe, but more than likely i'd say you're absolutely fine.
Think about it for a minute. You're entire year is a series of events and the build up to them. The four main events tend to be 1)A Holiday 2)Your Birthday 3)Christmas 4)New Year. Isn't that a bit sad? That your entire 12 months of a year can be summed up in 4 main events, each of which is a matter of a few days! If we add up the total number of days from a 2 week holiday, your Birthday, Christmas (we'll say it's 3 days), and New Years Eve/Day, that makes a total of 20 days out of 365! So what the hell is happening for the other 345 days of the year? I'll tell you what's happening, you're hoping, wishing and waiting for those pre-determined events that you've managed to persuade your brain are the only things worth living for!
So what's the secret? How can you live a happier, more fulfilling and less depressing life? Well get ready because below is the New Horizon Recipe for happiness:
1) Re-Evaluate - If you wake up every morning, absolutely dreading the work day ahead, then you're in the wrong job! I'm sorry but it's true! I hear people every single day bitching and moaning about their job, about how they feel undervalued, overworked and underpaid. Now this means one of two things 1) You just like complaining about something 2) You're unhappy with your job. If it's the latter, then guess what...........Do something about it! Nobody is going to hand you a dream job on a plate, you've gotta take life by the horns and go get that job you've always dreamed of otherwise i'm sorry but you get no sympathy from us.
2) Break It Up - Why should your year be divided into just 4 main events? If you, like most other hard working Brits get annual holiday allowance from work, don't waste it on random days off at home. There are LOADS of cheap weekend breaks around the world that that you can pick up for just a couple of hundred pounds. Book the Friday & Monday off work and have yourself a nice long weekend in Rome or Madrid. Book all your breaks at the start of the year and try to sandwich them in between your other annual events so you know you've got something fun booked every couple of months throughout the year.
3) Exercise - I know you've all heard this one before and just thought it's a scam created by gyms to get you to sign up for expensive memberships, but believe it or not it's actually true! Exercise is a great antidepressant as it not only releases endorphins (happy hormones) therefore immediately making you feel a little happier, but the more you do it, the better you'll look and that tends to have a knock on effect with your happiness too. Exercise is also the one thing that you are most in control of, no matter how broke you are or where you live etc there really is no excuse to not do SOME exercise each day. Give it a try, I promise you'll feel great!
4) Food - Of course this one has to follow on from exercise because they pretty much go hand in hand. Now i'm sure you've all heard the saying "You are what you eat", well I prefer to say "You feel what you eat". Not as catchy I know, but I think it's allot more relevant than you are what you eat, because what you eat has a more direct correlation with the way that you feel, than what you are. Eat crap, feel crap. Eat well, feel well. It really can be that simple.
5) Sunlight - Now this is a tricky one when living in the UK because we never really can guarantee the weather, but take it from me getting outside when the sun is shining is so important to your happiness. Haven't you ever noticed that even during the winter, on days when the sun is out people smile more? This is no coincidence, the Sun literally is one big antidepressant and I would recommend that you take one dose daily, in between meals for best result. But jokes aside, in a world where most of us spend our entire day working under Ultraviolet lights, it is more important now than ever before to get outside at every possible opportunity and soak up some rays.
Unfortunately we can't help with the job part, but the great news is we can help with every other point on this list! New Horizon Active Escapes can be the holiday to look forward to, the exercise, the healthy eating and the sunshine. What's more is we've currently got some crazy discounts on our website for our 2016 escapes. So if you need a little happiness in your life, don't waste anymore time being miserable, get yourself on a New Horizon Active Escape.
As we build up to our awesome Koh Tao Thailand Fitness Retreat, i'm writing about all of our favourite places that we will be visiting with our guests on the island. Next up for review is the appropriately named Fitness Cafe.
Neatly tucked away behind Gym & Fitness, you could be forgiven for not knowing this little gem of a restaurant was even there, but peep round the corner and there it is, a little piece of healthy heaven perched up on a cozy little patio, underneath a huge Mango tree. Now when I say "healthy" that obviously comes with some conditions, for example, I'm not sure exactly how healthy it is to sit and devour a stack of American Pancakes, with a side of English Breakfast and drink one of their amazing Peanut Butter Truffle protein smoothies all in the same sitting, however that's not to say I wouldn't do it given half the chance!
But seriously lets talk food! You hungry? Thirsty? What do you fancy? How about a super healthy cold pressed juice? Well you're in luck, Fitness Cafe have a whole range of tasty and super healthy juices specially designed by the gorgeous Sofia, from Cleanse & Detox, Weight Loss, as well as Energy & Immunity juices they've got you covered.
Or maybe you're like me, and could pretty much eat breakfast for every meal of the day? Well then these guys definitely have your back! Whether it's a beautifully made English Breakfast (To which I usually add a few extra eggs because i'm a pig), or the Smoked Salmon Set for those that like the lighter touch, Fitness Cafe really does deliver. Veggies will love the Wellness Set that comes with a gorgeous fruit salad, topped with Greek Yogurt and homemade (Yes you heard right, Homemade!) Granola, with seed crackers & humous, or if you like something a little sweeter then may I suggest my personal favourite............PROTEIN PANCAKES! Seriously, I cannot describe the affection that I have for these damn pancakes. I've been off the island for 2 bloody years and I still get cravings for them. Can't wait for June!
If the breakfasts are not your your cup of tea (Oh.......Tea.......Fresh Tea, they do that as well by the way) then you can always go for one of the awesome Salads or wraps on offer. Made with the freshest ingredients available on the day they've got some great combinations that you just don't find in Thailand. Chicken, Feta & Quinoa for one, and Mediterranean Vegetable, Chicken & Quinoa on another. No meat? No problem, try the popular Veggie Bean Patty Salad or one of the other Vegetarian options on for size.
All of Fitness Cafe's dishes are prepared on site by their amazing team, and under the direction of owners Marek & Sofia. They have Koh Tao's smallest little kitchen, but somehow manage day in day out to produce dish after dish of fresh, nutritious, beautiful food. These guys not only became good friends of ours while we lived in Koh Tao but they also became a real inspiration for us to take a leap and do what we love. There's a famous saying "Do something you love, and you'll never work a day in your life" and these guys have got it down to a tee. Now with the addition of Koh Tao's finest Bar and Craft Ale distributor "The Beer Masons" (Yeah sure it's a slight contrast to the health cafe, but life is to be lived and trust me the beer is worth it), they really are a formidable team, and we can't wait to treat our lucky guests to some delicious food..............and maybe a beer if they're lucky!
So as i'm sure you're all aware by now, we have our Koh Tao Fitness Retreat coming in June this year, and it got me reminiscing about the time that we spent on the island, and most importantly the time that we spent in the gym. So i thought i'd write a blog on our favourite gym on the island "Koh Tao Gym & Fitness".
Ina and I have travelled a fair bit, and with us being in our profession there is one thing that we ALWAYS look for when researching areas to go..........A GYM. Yes I know it's a sad state of affairs that we can't have a nice trip away without worrying about whether we're going to get a workout in or not, but training is our drug. It's something that we genuinely really enjoy to do and a holiday without training to us is not a holiday. So some people look for the nearest bar, others need to be somewhere that they can get a good Sunday roast (Now i'm sorry but THAT is sad), others like to have the biggest possible pool to hang out at and we like to have a gym at hand, simple.
So when we travelled to the little island of Koh Tao (which if you look on a map you'll actually struggle to see it), we did not hold out much hope of finding a decent gym, but knew there was "something", and to us at that point "something" was definitely better than "nothing".
As we arrived on the island we immediately started our search for some sort of training facility, and after a bit of asking around we eventually found out that there was a gym not far from where we were staying, but nothing could prepare us for the gym that we would find. Now, bear in mind that the gyms we had come across up to this point were..............basic (to say the least), so expectations were very low. Below is kind of what we had in mind.............
As we walked through the door i could immediately see a flat bench and a decline bench, so i was already satisfied that I would manage a decent enough workout, but as i peered round the corner I caught a glimpse of a dumbbell rack, a very large dumbbell rack at that, and as I investigated further I saw that the dumbbells actually went up to 120lb! Well lets just say a little bit of wee came out at that point and I was throwing my money at the front desk.
Upon full inspection of the gym they had a full Matrix cable crossover, Lat Pull Down, 2 Seated rows, a smith machine, flat, incline & decline barbell benches and a whole host of other gear. Lets just say I spent the next 2 hours grunting away at every piece of kit I could get possibly get my hands on!
Morgan the owner (and now a very good friend of ours) is one of the nicest (and slightly crazy) people you'll ever meet. After a short conversation with him we could tell that this guy was super passionate about business and the gym, and we told him that we were on the look out for opportunities that could take us out to Thailand. What came next was a complete shock to us both..........he offered us a job! This guy, after meeting us for around 45mins was prepared to offer us jobs, and when I say jobs I mean real jobs, with work permits and everything, which if you know anything about working in Thailand you'll know is very rare!
I could explain about the fact that we went back to the UK to think things over and Blah Blah Blah, but long story short is that OF COURSE WE SAID YES! One month later I was boarding a plane and relocating to the beautiful island of Koh Tao, to work in the best gym in Thailand!
Well that was a couple of years ago now, and the awesome little gym i worked in, has now expanded BIG TIME. Morgan has gone all out to get the best plate loaded Hammer Strength equipment possible, as well as knock a big fricking hole in the wall to pretty much double the gym space! There's now a sealed off studio upstairs for classes, and a new area opening up for Muai Thai training. Koh Tao Gym & Fitness really is your one stop shop for training. I'll be updating with some newer photo's of the full refurb very soon!
So if you're reading this and thinking about going to Koh Tao, get your asses to Koh Tao Gym & Fitness and make your holiday complete with a killer workout!
So we're putting the final touches to our Retreat in Koh Tao and I wanted to post a final run down of the location, what's included and share with you just what activities we have in store for our guests.
Retreat Location - Koh Tao (Thailand)
There it is, that tiny little island off the eastern coast of Thailand, and at a mere 21sqkm it really is a spec in the ocean. Don't be fooled by it's size though because Koh Tao is packed full of awesome activities and the best bit is that you'll never have to travel more than 20mins to get to any of them!
The Beautiful Villa
Our guests will feel right at home in this gorgeous Villa. Perched on the hill overlooking the main strip of Sairee Beach and boasting it's own private pool and sun terrace, we really are pulling out all the stops. We also provide a private shuttle from the Villa to anywhere on the island so you'll have the freedom to go wherever you want whenever you want.
Sairee, Mae Haad, Chalok, Ao Leuk, Mango Bay and many more to choose from, for such a small island guests will be totally spoilt for choice when it comes to relaxing on the beach and topping up that tan.
Fitness & Activities
Guests will enjoy a huge selection of fitness and outdoor activities in Koh Tao, including Yoga, Kickboxing, Hiking, Climbing, Abseiling & Water Sports. We'll have options every single day but it's entirely your choice if you participate or if you want to continue frazzling by the pool.
From healthy & nutritious breakfasts from our friends at Fitness Cafe, juices and smoothies from the amazing Janine at Living Juices, to the best seafood dishes on the island at the famous Barracuda Restaurant, we'll make sure guests really are spoilt for choice when it comes to food choices.
There really is so much we've got in store for our guests on our Koh Tao Retreat that we couldn't even come close to fitting it all into this blog, so if you want to know more simply CLICK HERE for all the information you could possibly want. There's only 2 Rooms left on this one so if you want to get this Koh Tao Retreat for a never again LOW PRICE then don't delay, get booking before it sells out!
It's just a couple of weeks away and chances are you haven't bought anything for her (or him) yet. So you'll probably leave it until a day or two before to go and buy something that you probably haven't put that much thought into but you hope will look like a grand gesture of love.
Well I hate to break it to you, but chances are, your gift will not blow her (or him) away. I'm sorry but it just won't, because lets face it, it's all been done before. The flowers, the teddy bear, the over-sized card, the balloons, the expensive meal out, the theatre show............I could go on for a long time, but the point is that NONE of these are original ideas. They've all been done a million times and i'm sorry but no matter how happy your other half looks when you unveil your grand Valentines gesture to them, they're probably not all that impressed.
I'm not trying to be harsh when I say these things, I purely wish to help you. I have something that will seriously keep you in the good books for years to come. In fact you could probably just skip the next couple of Valentines Days and you would STILL be in the good books, because this gesture fills several categories: 1) It's in the most beautiful location 2) It definitely won't make you fat 3) It will be totally unexpected 4) Neither of you will have ever done anything quite like it.
So what is this amazing present?...........Well, one of our upcoming fitness retreats of course! Now I know you're probably reading this and thinking this is just a shameless plug for our retreats (which it kinda is), but it's not just about that. It's also about the reason that we started doing these retreats, to improve people's lives, to make people smile, and to most importantly give people the type of holiday we think they deserve. One with adventure, action & adrenaline but also with an equal amount of serenity, stillness & relaxation. So before you immediately discount the idea, just think to yourself, do you both deserve this?
With less than 5 months to go until our Koh Tao Retreat, we're getting super excited and have got an awesome trip in store for all of our lucky guests! If you can think of an activity, we will almost certainly be doing it!
Kickboxing? Yep doing it. Hiking? Yeah got that too. Abseiling & Rock Climbing? Of course! Water Sports? Are you kidding? Hell yes! Not only are we doing loads of high energy, action packed activities like the few I just mentioned, but we also have loads of things planned for when you're not huffing & puffing.
There's so many beaches to choose from on our little island of Koh Tao, and so many nice pools and paces to chill out. We make sure our guests get that perfect mix in their day of high energy activity and zero energy sun soaking, so when you're not training and moving you can literally just stop, relax, unwind, and most importantly BRONZE.
I almost for got one of the best bits......THE FOOD! Luckily, we just so happen to have spent a year on this little piece of paradise and during that time lets just say we "sampled" a few of the local eateries. From healthy breakfasts, to detox juices, through to scrumptious seafood dishes, we've got it all covered and more so whatever our guests desire, we will provide!
For more information about all the awesome things we have in store for our Koh Tao Retreat.........
........and if you like what you see we still have 2 Rooms left at our discounted price so get booking while it's still available.
Today is a very exciting day. All the hard work over the past month has finally paid off and we can officially start selling our SECOND location BALI!
Join us for 9 Nights, 10 Days in the most beautiful Villa that we could lay our hands on. Wake up with us for morning Yoga in the private garden, Walk with us through the famous rice fields of Ubud, Climb with us to watch the sunrise from the top of Mount Batur, Paddle with us through the many white water rapids and train with us in our daily group exercise sessions, leaving you by the end of the 10 days completely and utterly in love with Bali & New Horizon Escapes and not wanting to ever go home.
We are already ridiculously excited about our escape to Koh Tao in June, but Bali is the big one. Our largest retreat so far and hopefully paving the way for many more retreats to come, both in and out of Bali.
If you're reading this you have the privilege of knowing that we're giving you £150 discount for early bird sales before March when the retreat will go up to full price. So get it booked while it's HOT, because we have 16 spaces (7 rooms) and we do expect this one to sell pretty fast!
I'm sure there's allot of questions and queries out there about what you can expect on this trip, so if you can't find all the information you need HERE then please feel free to fill in the below enquiry box and we'd be happy to share all of our plans with you, but i'm warning you, once you hear what we've got in store you will be handing us all of your money!
Right, i've been working on the Bali Escape & the website non-stop for a couple days now so I think i've finally earned a full night sleep! Peace & Love Guys & Girls.
See you in Bali!
New Horizon Active Escapes