I’ve just come back from a week in Bali. I’d like to say I was blissing-out poolside with daily massages and facials, but truth be known I was also sweating buckets while punishing my body at a fitness retreat. With encouragement from a girlfriend, I signed up to go on the week-long Revive Fitness Retreat at the Komune Resort in Bali. I’m not a huge fan of Bali, but what got me over the line was that the Komune Resort is far away from the hectic and gritty tourist-laden Bali that I don’t like. It’s at Keramas Beach by a surf break, about 20 minutes drive north of Sanur on the east coast of Bali (the other side of the island from Kuta and Seminyak).
Here’s a short video of our week:
We arrived at the resort at about 2pm, by the time we checked in and got to our lovely beach-view pool room, we had just 45 minutes before we had to front up to our first training session in the resort’s well-equipped gym.
Let’s backtrack a little. I want to be fit, I really do, but I’m not. I do yoga regularly which I love but the thought of slogging it out in a gym or jogging or doing triathlons (no way!) makes me shudder. The way I see it is that it’s just not fun. But every so often I get all enthused about getting fit and start going to the gym, then a few weeks later I stop, then get out of the rhythm of going and before I know it, three months pass and all I’ve done is walk the dog.
I took comfort knowing of the ten ladies on the retreat, eight were in their 30s and 40s, and two were in their 60s. Little did I know that these women were all regulars at the gym in the Margaret River region owned by Katie, a sweet but punishing trainer and yoga instructor. Katie’s partner in the Revive Retreat is nutritionist and trainer Sarah.
That first training session would’ve been an eye opener … if I was able to open my eyes. Instead, my eyes were winced shut as I squatted, jumped, pushed, lifted, squeezed and burpeed my way through 60 tough minutes. I almost spewed but managed not to. I must’ve lost 2kg in sweat, but I did feel pretty proud of myself for being able to mostly keep up with the gang. Katie and Sarah kept a close eye on me to ensure I was okay, training hard enough and using good technique. They also encouraged me a lot – it’s amazing how three simple words can help: ‘Good work Di’. That’s the beauty of having two trainers and ten participants – you get plenty of attention (but you also can’t slacken off!).
On return to our room, I jumped straight into our private pool and let the cool water work magic on my screaming muscles. I knew I was going to be in a world of pain the following day.
That first training session was one of the hardest. We trained with intensity like that most days, but the sessions were mixed up; sometimes in the morning during sunrise on the grassy area by the beach, sometimes in the gym, sometimes doing HIIT or weight circuits but always hardcore sweat-inducing training. We also had some stretch sessions, yoga in the open-air pavilion overlooking the ocean and foam roller sessions (so painful but gee I felt amazing afterwards). However, it wasn’t all working out and yoga.
We climbed a mountain (well, most of us did), Mount Batur which is one of Bali’s volcanoes, went for a long stand up paddle in a calm bay in Sanur, did a challenging high ropes course with flying foxes, tight ropes, swaying bridge walks and rope wall climbs at the Tree Top Adventure Park, and my favourite, we visited the Balinese Farm Cooking School set on acres of lush beautiful vegetable gardens with a well-set-up cooking school, situated near Ubud.
As part of our package, we had a voucher to use the resort’s day spa, and ample free time to book in other treatments during the week; I had a fantastic facial, Balinese massage, body scrub and pedicure. We had dinner in Sanur one night, some time to shop in Ubud, and time to chill out by the adult-only pool.
We ate really well too, as you’d expect. The Komune Resort has a healthy menu for those on retreats like us. Just about everything I ate was delicious – sesame crusted tuna and organic green leaf salad, poached eggs with pumpkin, feta and charred asparagus, and a really satisfying roast vegetable bowl with chicken satay. We were able to choose a fresh juice with each meal – the Inflammation Buster with pineapple and ginger was my favourite, and our package included a protein smoothie each day. I’m delighted to report that dinner time commenced with a cocktail or Bintang – yay for holidays!
It’s also worth noting that Katie and Sarah gave some interesting talks on nutrition, health and fitness and we all had one-on-one time to discuss our goals, blocks and strategies to reach those goals. We were all given a health journal and a manual that includes training programs and lots of useful information.
I was stiff and sore for the entire week, at one point unable to raise my arms above my head because my shoulder muscles were in agony. Despite the muscle soreness, by the end of the week, I felt amazing. My skin was glowing, I looked less bloated, felt stronger, I was a little more tanned but the best thing is that I left feeling inspired and motivated. It was the kickstart I needed to get my butt moving this winter. The added bonus is that I left with new friends. It’s the perfect program that mixes a holiday with fitness. The next Bali fitness retreat is 12th to 18th August 2017.
Revive regular runs health retreats (focus on fat loss) in the Margaret River Region and fitness retreats in Bali. The next fitness retreat in Bali is 12-18 August and early bird prices $2,590 twin share, all inclusive. (I spent less than $200 during the week, mostly on spa treatments and drinks).
I paid to attend this retreat and did not receive any incentive or discount to write about it. I had a great time and reckon you might too.