“Exercise is a celebration” says Head Coach Rick Parcell as sweat drips down our faces. The hot summer sun beats intensely overhead as the song “Dream On” by Aerosmith blares through the speakers. It’s 7:30am and we’ve already done karaoke, burpees, and three rounds of high intensity circuit training. Welcome to The Body Camp, a holistic fitness retreat in Mallorca, Spain.
Body Camp is set on a secluded, 25-acre estate in the heart of Mallorca. The property is decked out with luxury accommodations, indoor and outdoor workout areas, and shared lounging spaces home to three resident chihuahuas. It offers a respite from the noise of everyday life, packaged in a healthy dose of fitness and fun.
I recently spent a week here and had a transformational experience. I came here craving new lifestyle habits and left as a stronger, healthier, and happier human. From the daily fitness program and entertainment activities to the nutritious plant-based food, Body Camp is so much more than a boot camp. In fact, there was a big emphasis on mental health, so I believe “Mind and Body Camp” is more fitting.
As someone who is no stranger to wellness retreats, I found Body Camp to be quite different from the rest. The team really goes out of their way to make fitness into something fun. And in addition to 3+ hours of physical activity each day, we also did activities like sunrise karaoke and trivia nights. Not to mention that there’s plenty of downtime to enjoy the pool and chat with fellow fitness junkies.
Without further ado, here’s everything I learned and loved about Body Camp.
The Body Camp at a glance
The Body Camp is among the top health and fitness retreats in Europe. It’s located on the island of Mallorca, just a 30-minute ride from the capital, Palma (and even less from the Palma de Mallorca Airport).
Body Camp’s weekly program runs every Friday through Friday. It features a comprehensive fitness program, which includes circuit training, boxing, TRX, yoga, scenic hikes and bike rides, pool games, and more. There are also many mental health workshops and entertainment activities throughout the week.
Three plant-based meals and two snacks are served every day with ingredients mainly sourced from Spain. And beyond the amazing food, mindfulness and positive self-talk are also on the menu – making Body Camp so much more than just a boot camp.
Each week, you can expect anywhere between 18-25 retreat participants. During my visit, there were 20 of us, mostly from the UK. The Body Camp is quite popular there, thanks to a long list of media and celebrity endorsements (including two stars from the British Drama Series, Peaky Blinders, who were there during my week).
Accommodations at Body Camp range from shared doubles and quads to private luxury suites with terraces. Prices start at $2,100 USD per week and include lodging, fitness program, mindfulness and entertainment activities, and meals.
Here’s what my week looked like at Body Camp.
My experience at Body Camp Mallorca
From the moment I arrived, I knew I’d found the right retreat. The Body Camp Villa is nestled amid rolling hills, exotic trees, and lush gardens in Central Mallorca. Cozy hammocks and sofas are sprawled around the property, offering plenty of opportunities for R&R in between training sessions. It truly feels like paradise on Earth.
But beyond the serene location, it was really the people and program that made this a week to remember.
The Body Camp Team
For me, traveling is all about the people. This is especially true with retreats, where the instructors can make or break the trip. The Body Camp team made this the memorable, life-changing experience that it was.
At Body Camp, the MVP is undoubtedly Head Coach Rick Parcell. He is one of the most motivational, inspiring, and interesting people I’ve ever met. As a former Navy man, he’s as tough as nails but also has a soft and thoughtful side that makes him an extremely effective coach. Great sense of humor as well!
Throughout the week, Rick went out of his way to make sure everyone was having a good time. He went further than any fitness or transformational life coach would go, filling up our water glasses in between sessions to stay hydrated. Not to mention that he pushed each of us to our self-perceived limits (physically and mentally) every day.
Rick also encouraged us to improve our self-talk, limit social media use, and reframe exercise as something to be celebrated rather than dreaded. In particular, I appreciated the way he encouraged us to reframe the words “sore” to “sexy” and “frustrated” to “challenged.” Words matter!
Together with Anthony Richmond — the other badass coach — they made sure everyone was getting the most out of the Body Camp experience. I certainly did, and would go back in a heartbeat.
The culinary team
Another individual with a profound impact on the group was Ben Whale, the Head Chef at Body Camp. Throughout the week, he and his team concocted the most amazing plant-based foods imaginable. I left every meal feeling nourished, energized, and happy – which is a bit unfamiliar to me as a travel blogger who is constantly eating out and on the go.
Before every meal, Ben (and his sous chef Ramon) would share all the ingredients with us – always with a smile and some good old-fashioned English humor. Ben would also lead us through cooking demos and educational sessions where he’d reveal the science behind plant-based eating. I worked out 3-4 hours each day and didn’t have any energy crashes – a testament that eating this way really does work (though I won’t be giving up meat just yet).
In addition to creatively preparing mouthwatering dishes, Ben is also the author of The Body Camp Food Bible. In it, he dispels the myth that vegan food can’t be tasty by sharing the best plant-based recipes imaginable – all free from gluten, wheat, meat, and added sugar. Ben’s passion for healthy cooking/living is truly contagious!
Body Camp’s Founder
I’d be remiss to cover the best of Body Camp without mentioning the visionary behind it, Kate Whale. As the Founder and Director of the camp, Kate has years of experience curating and managing retreats. She has a remarkable charisma and sense of humor that brings such a great dynamic to the Body Camp family.
If you couldn’t deduct it from the last name, Kate is Ben Whale’s sister. But aside from the siblings, it felt like everyone at Body Camp was treated like family.
During my week at Body Camp, Kate was up at the crack of dawn every day to make sure that everything was in order. And she’d often hang out and chat with us later at night, making sure that everyone was still having a good time (and not out partying in Mallorca :P).
Kate was always there taking photos and videos of us, cheering us on, and ensuring we were getting the most out of the experience. With her passion and enthusiasm for transformational retreats, I have no doubt that Kate will continue to expand Body Camp’s presence far and wide.
The Body Camp program
With a name like Body Camp, it’s no wonder that physical activity is such a key part of the program. But it certainly wasn’t the only part!
Workouts are primarily done in the morning, with some optional activities and downtime in the afternoon. Here’s what a typical day looks like at the Body Camp Mallorca:
Exercises were done in teams, so no matter if you’re doing circuit training or mindset workshops, you always have someone to collaborate with and cheer you on.
During my week at Body Camp, there were 20 participants of varying ages and abilities. Each person had a different reason for being there, ranging from losing weight and building healthy habits to overcoming trauma and addiction.
At the beginning of the week, we were instructed to write down our intentions and share them with the coaches. Here were my goals for the week:
1. Add variety to my exercise regimen
2. Increase my flexibility
3. Learn to love myself better
4. Build better habits around my lifestyle
5. Learn more about healthy plant-based foods to enhance my diet
By the end of the week, I achieved everything I set out to do, and felt so much stronger, healthier, and happier in the process.
The Body Camp program is designed to bring out the best in everybody. They foster a friendly and inclusive environment where everyone is challenged in their own way.
The highlights of my experience at Body Camp Mallorca
1. Daily physical activity
For me, the best part about Body Camp was the physical activity. With 3-4 hours of exercise per day, I always felt challenged. By the end of the week, I didn’t even feel sore. It was amazing to see what my body is truly capable of!
From the nature hikes and bike rides to the circuit training and body weight exercises, I was blown away by the variety of physical activities. Rick and Anthony always kept us on our toes and pushed us beyond our comfort zones. In my personal development journey, one of my goals is to find my edge every day, and the coaches at Body Camp helped me do just that.
Finding your edge at Body Camp
Whenever I was about to give up, I was reminded that everything in life is mental…and pushed on.
As a huge fan of David Goggins, it was an honor to win the David Goggins Challenge and break the Body Camp Beep Test record as well. But above all, I enjoyed competing against myself and seeing so much measurable progress throughout the week.
Some other highlights at Body Camp were the mountain hikes in Sóller and Alaro. The views from the top were stunning, but the conversations during the hike reminded me that the journey matters more than the destination.
Going into this retreat, the daily workouts I was doing at home were getting redundant. As such, I was seeking more variety that I could introduce into my daily routine. Body Camp gave me more than enough new ideas to take home with me.
2. The food at Body Camp is out of this world
The meals at Body Camp were truly second to none. Ben and the culinary team proved that healthy food doesn’t have to taste like cardboard – in fact, a plant-based diet can taste delicious.
Each of the creatively curated dishes were plant-based, containing local and organic ingredients wherever possible. From vegan chocolate pancakes and chia breakfast bowls to raw pad thai and roasted portobello mushroom, every meal was prepared with well-being in mind. And the presentation never disappointed either.
At the beginning of the week, we got to choose our portion sizes based on our health and fitness goals. They offered 3 different lanes:
– Lane 1 – weight loss
– Lane 2 – maintaining physique
– Lane 3 – building muscle
I chose lane 3 for the whole week, and I never went to bed (or into a workout) hungry. The snacks throughout the week were also fantastic, ranging from protein balls and shakes to fresh fruit bowls and vegan ice cream. Each of the meals and snacks given to us were beautifully presented and tasted even better than they looked!
In addition to food and snacks, Body Camp also has a hydration station with fruit-infused water, tea, and coffee. Caffeine junkies beware: coffee can only be consumed during breakfast (no later), as to not interfere with our circadian rhythm/sleep schedules.
Shortly after the trip, I went to Italy and still missed the food I had at Body Camp. Now that says something right there!
3. The people
What made Body Camp especially memorable was the people.
The other retreat participants were mainly from the UK and Ireland, but we also had a few others from the US, Switzerland, and Spain. Though we all came from different backgrounds, ages, and abilities, everyone showed up and gave it their all. And we had plenty of fascinating conversations and belly laughs in the process.
From fun team activities to late night chats by the pool, there were so many opportunities to bond with fellow travelers. We cheered each other on, laughed together, and cried together.
During each meal, we would also have random assigned seating. This allowed us to talk to someone new each day.
I believe in the Law of Attraction and found that Body Camp really attracted a certain cohort of likeminded people. Though we all come from different places, we share similar values and beliefs around health, wellbeing, and fun. Hopefully, we can all build on that as we continue our busy lives at home.
On the last day we said our goodbyes and it was emotional for everyone. It’s surreal to think that we all showed up to camp as strangers and left as friends. I will forever cherish the moments shared with these amazing people!
Final thoughts on Body Camp Mallorca
Body Camp was so much more than just a fitness retreat. Beyond all the burpees and yoga, it offers many of the modalities you’ll find on a holistic wellness retreat, including mental health, mindset, and confidence-based workshops and activities. Add to that the amazing plant-based foods and energetic instructors, and it’s no wonder Body Camp is among the best holistic health & wellness retreats in the world.
Body Camp is the best holistic retreat on Mallorca, hands down
One thing that really struck me about Body Camp was the high number of repeat customers. There were multiple people who have been to Body Camp 2+ times, which says a lot about the experience.
Each day, we had plenty of fun and challenging activities to look forward to. There were also massages, reiki, reflexology, and other treatments available to ensure that we’d leave camp feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
When compared to the other wellness retreats I’ve been on, The Body Camp emphasized “fun” more than anywhere else. Sure, we did 3-4 hours of physical activity each day, but I was pleasantly surprised by the sheer amount of downtime and social activities as well. From singing karaoke at 7am to acting out movie skits, there was a huge emphasis on having fun and being silly. This is something we don’t do nearly enough as adults, so I’m thankful that Body Camp brought this to my awareness.
Opportunity for enhancement at Body Camp
The only opportunity for improvement I’d suggest for Body Camp is adding cold immersion to its palette of wellness activities. In the fitness space, cold water therapy (i.e. ice baths) is super popular right now. I was a bit surprised that they didn’t offer this during my visit, not only as a tool for athletic recovery, but also for its mental health benefits. Hopefully in the future, Body Camp will allow its guests to cool off in this way from the hot Mallorca sun 🙂
Now, to wrap up my Body Camp review with one of my favorite quotes by Socrates:
“It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.”
After such a fun and transformational retreat at Body Camp Mallorca, I feel stronger, happier, and healthier than ever before. I am grateful for the memories and look forward to continuing implementing all that I’ve learned to enhance my mind and body.
For more highlights from the Body Camp Mallorca retreat, check out my Instagram stories here. Happy Travels! -Jon
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In addition to Body Camp Mallorca, they also feature pop-ups around the world, including one in Morocco during the winter of 2023. Check out their official website for more information. If you have any more questions on this incredible fitness retreat, feel free to shoot me a message on Instagram. Cheers!