Could you survive boot camp with ex-military man Steve Willis, best known as ‘The Commando’ – the relentlessly stern coach on The Biggest Loser?

Since 2009 Willis has partnered with Binna Burra Mountain Lodge in the Lamington National Park to run Commandofit Training Camps, intensive three-day boot camp style training programs that push attendees to their fitness limits. Willis served with the Australian Special Forces as a counter terrorism team commander before taking up a fitness career and using his military background to form training programs.

“My background is my point of difference; I bring the skills I learnt in the military and apply them to the fitness methods I use. We get a variety of fitness levels; some people want to use it as a stepping stone to fitness and some people come in quite fit and are just looking for an edge or to learn a little more,” he says.

The high intensity workouts include weight training, endurance, CrossFit activities, running and repetitive exercises such as sit-ups, push-ups and squats. Willis tailors the activities to the fitness levels of people in each group, so no one is pushed too far or left behind.

Each day of boot camp includes 12 to 16 hours of exercise, starting at 5.30am and some sessions ending at midnight with breaks in between only for meals. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided with an emphasis on healthy food rather than weight loss and a nutritionist meets with the group for an information session to help them better understand how to have a balanced diet.

Could you do it?

“I recommend the course to people who have some level of fitness; I wouldn’t recommend it to someone who is like a contestant on The Biggest Loser or someone who is obese because they may not get much from it. But for someone who is 15 to 20 kilograms overweight and looking for a jump-off point then this is ideal,” he says.

“It’s not about weight loss, although some people may lose a small amount of weight from the amount of exercise we do. It’s about giving people a good grounding in fitness. I’ve had people go from doing no exercise to running marathons after doing this program.”

You can read Steve’s daily posts on his website.