Pure Results Bootcamp Ireland has given outdoor fitness retreats a glam makeover – and the woman behind it all is Kathryn Thomas. A household name in Ireland, Kathryn has been lighting up TV screens for over twenty years, best known for her ten-year stint on No Frontiers and most recently, The Voice and Operation Transformation. Taking her passion for fitness and the outdoors to the next level, Kathryn launched Pure Results Bootcamps to help people get in shape and get away from our indoor-centric modern lives. CompareRetreats.com catches up with Kathryn to chat about fitness trends and the advice she used to overcome challenges.
Tell us a little bit about your life before Pure Results Bootcamp. My career as a TV presenter meant that I have been on the move since I was 19 and ironically, never had an office job until I set up my fitness business, Pure Results Bootcamp. I worked on Ireland’s mainstream travel programme No Frontiers for 10 years. We visited countries all over the world from Papua New Guinea to Panama, Vietnam to Venezuela. We were on the road for 6 months a year hiking, camping, cycling, sailing, exploring. I loved every second of the decade-long adventure. It was an amazing experience.
I’m currently presenting a TV health and wellbeing show called Operation Transformation where we follow five members of the public for eight weeks as they overhaul their lifestyles. It’s very rewarding, and ties in nicely with my work at Pure Results. My love for being in the great outdoors and the benefits it brings, both physically and mentally, is something I am hugely passionate about.
What was your first healthy holiday experience? I did a week-long “Swim Trek” holiday in Greece when I was 19, where we swam from island to island, jumping on and off a lead sailing boat whenever we got too tired. It was amazing. I learnt how to swim overarm properly on that holiday… up until then I could only do breaststroke! But with a little tutelage about breathing properly and without panic, over the course of the week, I built up the stamina in the lungs and legs to swim for two hours at a time.
What inspired you to begin Pure Results? Travelling for 10 years in my 20s, I was lucky enough to visit many different types of retreats all over the world: hiking, yoga, cycling, fitness boot camps. You can book into a camp on your own, knowing that you are going to hang out with like-minded people, have a bit of fun and feel energised after your experience. I love training outside and Ireland has some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world. So I base our camps in stunning locations to ensure people are inspired and invigorated as much by the location as by the fitness and nutrition programme itself. Pure Results is for everybody, men and women, young and old with all levels of fitness. The classes are designed so that you work out to your own ability – your 100% could be entirely different to somebody else’s.
What is your favourite wellness retreat? I spent 10 days learning to surf at the Iguana camp in Costa Rica. I loved it. I was still pretty crap at surfing by the end of it but it was a lot of fun. I am looking forward to trying the Escapada Retreat in Mallorca which focuses on the synergy between Ayurveda and Chinese medicine.
What is one app that has significantly changed your life for the better? Spotify! Music playlists for all aspects of your life; working out, cleaning the house, romantic dinners in, road trips, beautiful hikes. What more could you ask for? I think the power of music and those that make it, is an amazing gift.
You have set and achieved big goals. What process do you swear by? Work hard and play hard. Never give up on your dreams and never underestimate what the human body and mind are capable of.
What wellness items do you never travel without? My runners, my resistance band and my eye mask to ensure a good night sleep.
What motivates you to participate in these fitness challenges? I love pushing myself outside my comfort zone. Whether that is climbing Mt Kilimanjaro, hiking in the Himalayas or a day cycling with my fiancé in a beautiful part of Ireland finishing the day in the pub, over a couple of pints and some great seafood. I love how I feel after a long day of physical exercise. That tired but satisfied feeling always reminds me of my childhood when I’d crawl into bed tired but happy after endless summer days spent outdoors at the beach. I really believe being in the outdoors is so cathartic. Unfortunately, the way most of us live our lives now, we don’t get enough fresh air and we forget how important it is to be in nature on a daily basis.
Who are your role models? People who step out of their comfort zone and take a couple of months out of their life to achieve or complete crazy challenges, that at one point, seemed impossible to them. Rowing across the Atlantic, cycling cross country or scaling the highest mountains on 4 different continents. People who set those sort of goals and complete them or even attempt them, completely inspire me.
If you could have a personal training session with anyone, who would it be? I would love a personal training session with Jillian Michaels. I thought she was the coolest chick when I was growing up.
What’s the best piece of advice someone has given you or that you have read that has helped you overcome a specific obstacle? “Whether you believe you can or you can’t, you’re right” I love this quote. You and you alone set your own limits. Get rid of negative people out of your life and surround yourself with “can do” people who have a positive outlook; people who fill you full of strength, confidence and laughter, We all know and appreciate the people in our lives who build us up and remind us to be the best version of ourselves.
What advice would you give to people looking to achieve their fitness goals within a three month period? First, make sure you are setting goals that are for you and you alone. You will never achieve success if the end results are for somebody else. Second, surround yourself with support and be vocal with those around you about what you are trying to achieve and how important succeeding is for you. And last but not least, ensure you are in the right head space and that this is the right time for you to start. Make your goals your top priority and map out exactly how you are going to achieve them.
What fitness trends do you love, and which do you hate? I love the new boxing trend of recent years and there are some great studios springing up around Dublin. I think as a stress buster there’s no better antidote than gloves and pads, a sparring partner and some great tunes. Our boxercise classes at Pure Results are always the most popular classes. I also love the trend in recent months which sees a real focus on recovery and how important it is to build in different recovery techniques for a successful training plan: foam rolling, meditation, dry needling, massages. I hate anything to do with virtual fitness which is a business that seems to be growing at an alarming rate – unplug when you can, I say!