It’s true! You can come back from holidays fitter than you arrived, and enjoy a few cheeky cocktails on the side, at one of these athlete-approved destinations
Take the ultimate train(ing) trip: head overseas for a gutsy sports holiday
FOR WANNABE FIGHTERS TIGER MUAY THAI, THAILAND
The lowdown: Sure, Phuket is synonymous with the infamous ping-pong shows on Bangla Road, but for the top mixed martial arts (MMA) and Muay Thai fighters, it’s known for being home to the world’s best training destination, Tiger Muay Thai (tigermuaythai. com). The camp attracts world champions but also everyday fitness fanatics – like us – who love the idea of training hard. Not only will the daily sessions in the humidity see you easily drop weight and get fit, but healthy eating is made simple as the street where the camp is located is filled with clean-eating cafes and restaurants. It’s a health nut’s paradise!
What you’ll do: There are separate classes for beginners, intermediate level and pro fighters in Muay
Thai (the traditional Thai kickboxing), Western boxing, Brazilian jujitsu and MMA, plus fitness conditioning classes (including beach boot camp and Crossfit) and yoga. You can train as many times a day as you’d like, although twice is probably enough. And the best part? You can wind down with a massage that costs less than what you’d spend on your usual weekend brunch. Don’t miss: The Big Buddha Run. Every Tuesday morning the trainers take a group by bus to the bottom of Nakkerd Hills to tackle the 4km, alluphill run to the 45-metretall statue of Buddha at the very top of the mountain. Ideal time to go: It’s cool and dry from November to February, and remains pretty nice until May, when the monsoon season starts.
When you’re not sweating:
A half-hour drive from camp is the Insta-worthy rooftop infinity pool bar at Kata
Rocks (pictured above, katarocks.com), where you can enjoy sunset drinks as you gaze longingly at the water (downside: swimming is only allowed for guests, but the pics are worth it). If you want to meet an elephant up close, make the ethical choice and head to Phuket Elephant Sanctuary (top right, phuketelephantsanctuary.org), where retired working elephants are rehabilitated in 30 acres of amazingly lush jungle. A day at the sanctuary will give you all the feels.
Expect to: Come back home seriously shredded.