All of the lights

All of the lights

People come to Gymbox because they want something different, so when we decided to put on our first fitness retreat, we knew it had to be something special. We wanted to give our members more than beach yoga and bikini bootcamps – we wanted to push people’s limits, get them out of their comfort zones and blow their minds.

Which is why we took 25 Gymbox members to the top of the world. We headed to the Arctic Circle for a weekend of fitness, wellbeing, and of course, good times as we chased the Northern Lights in the Norwegian wilderness. For three nights, the lucky few retreated to a beautiful arctic hideaway, swapping the city for fjord-side cabins and London’s attempts at snow for the real thing.

You’d expect nothing less than some incredible fitness experiences on a Gymbox retreat, and with snow shoeing, husky safaris and fat biking, this trip didn’t disappoint. Member Umer described the three hour snow shoe hike as “a real test of physical stamina, especially in sub-zero temperatures, and through a blizzard at the same time!” Not your average Saturday.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that your team of huskies would do all the work on a dogsledding trip, but where would be the fun in that? Taking over the reins and steering these gorgeous dogs through the stunning white wilderness was one experience to make you grateful for those early morning HIIT sessions – being able to take part in these once-in-a-lifetime experiences really is the perfect reason to keep fit.

But it wasn’t all about pushing physical limits. Arctic yoga and meditation were the perfect chance to take a step back and truly appreciate the majesty of the surroundings, while relaxing in a glass-fronted sauna, looking out over the fjord and mountains, was the perfect way to defrost after a day in sub-zero temperatures.

To make sure we completed the Holy Trinity of work, rest and play, soundtracks from the resident Gymbox DJs kickstarted the party every night. When you’ve danced all night in a yurt under the Aurelia Borealis - Nature’s greatest lightshow – other parties just don’t seem the same.

As amazing as all this sounds, the members who made the trip were clear that the best thing about it was each other. We know our gyms are made up of fantastic people, and this holiday was no different. As one member put it, “it's all well and good to go on holiday with a few friends, but to go with a group of 25 people who all have something in common, that just makes the experience 10 times better!” The chance to find out about other members and their fitness journeys was a big plus for others; as Jinseok said, “it was a great opportunity to get to know Gymbox more…I feel like I became more of a part of it after the trip.”

We had such a good time on this retreat that it would be rude not to do another one, so keep an eye out for our next adventure. With members describing this as “beyond my expectation...one of the best trips I’ve had so far” and “one of my favourite holidays I've been on…to witness a marvel like the Northern Lights and at the same time pack in so many once in a lifetime experiences, this exceeded all expectations!”, you won’t regret coming on holiday with us.

Prepare for the second instalment in the Gymbox wilderness retreat series with this self-guided, DIY adventure set in the coastal wilderness of Sweden. You'll find your own way by sea kayak through the magnificent maze of the archipelago, and land on your own secret island. Click here for more details.