Ibiza wellness: Cotton Fitness Club – Balance is key

For the majority, an annual summer holiday is the moment in which they want to hit peak physical performance. In the months running up to the departure date, we watch our calorie intake, we drink less alcohol and we train as much as possible – keen to ensure we’re showing off our very best selves in swimwear. But then once we arrive on sunnier shores, often all that effort goes straight out the window – we binge eat, we drink, we stop training altogether. While it’s essential to relax and release fully into the swing of having a good time, at Cotton Fitness Club, the belief is that a more balanced approach is beneficial.

“You shouldn’t give up training just because you’re on holiday,” says gym manager, Michelle Robertson. “Your body gets used to exercise, so if you completely stop, it will wonder what’s going on.” Admittedly, for many the idea of working out during a sacred period of time off could be viewed as a nightmare, but once anyone sets eyes on Cotton Fitness Club and begins to appreciate its relaxed approach to healthy living – the club’s ethos focuses on balance over restriction – they’re soon won over.

Located at the more sedate end of San Antonio’s sunset strip, Cotton Fitness Club is the antithesis to all gyms you’ve ever visited before. A stunning coastal position gives it sweeping views of the sparkling Med, there’s a pristine pool lined by sun beds that boast unobstructed views of Ibiza’s world famous sunset and there’s a first class restaurant that serves healthy, hearty food and cocktails, because keeping fit isn’t about denying yourself the good things in life. In fact, Cotton Fitness Club is more like a beach club than a gym, and is living proof that being active, disciplined and in prime physical condition doesn’t have to be punishing – at least not in the ways we’ve been conditioned to expect.

“Here, we encourage people to train but then to enjoy some drinks and delicious food while sitting by the pool,” explains Michelle. “If you come in the morning, it sets you up for the day and then you’ve got the rest of your time to really get out and enjoy all Ibiza has to offer.” Anyone is free to drop in for a class, priced at 15€ per session, or you can pay 25€ and stay for the entire day, enjoying everything the club has to offer.

Those with set goals in mind will appreciate Cotton Fitness Club’s regular schedule of classes. Every morning at 8am from Monday to Friday, you can take part in a specialist bootcamp training. An hour of intensive, military style training, it’s about pushing as hard as possible to keep your heart rate high, an impressively effective approach for sculpting all parts of the body. “This class is for people who want to target everything,” says Michelle. “It delivers maximum bang for your buck.” Functional training on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 9.30am has similar outcomes, albeit without the same intensity.

For those keen to stay active but still want to take things a little more easily, sunset yoga classes are held on Mondays and Wednesdays at 7.30pm. Loved by locals and visitors alike, these are magical sessions that allow clients to connect with the island on a spiritual and physical level, all in the presence of nature’s greatest show. A Saturday morning session also begins at 11.15am. A recent addition to the gym’s training agenda is dynamic flexibility and callisthenics classes led by a former gymnast. “A session with Stefania will activate your core like you never imagined,” laughs Michelle.

There’s also a fervent focus on getting outside and training among all the beauty of this stunning Balearic island. Advanced hiking sessions are popular, and this summer, club owner Christian Marstrander will be leading bespoke cliff diving excursions. Leaping from rocks in the local area as high as 16-metres, anyone keen to take part should get in contact for pre-training sessions in which the importance of your dive technique is stressed – it’s how you dive rather than how high you dive from that defines the success of your entry into the water.

Personal training sessions are also available if you’re looking for some one-on-one attention, and to totally immerse yourself in a state of holiday bliss that simultaneously put you in the ideal environment to train, the Cotton Fitness Club retreats running over winter are the perfect solution. Hosted on the island, they include a luxurious wander through the realms of fitness, gastronomy and nature over a fabulous four-day period, with beauty treatments, massage, workshops, and accommodation at a stunning island villa thrown in for good measure.

That’s the thing about Cotton Fitness Club – there’s no pressure to achieve anything other than the goals you’ve set yourself. Once you’ve reached those goals, take a seat and dine on something delicious created by the restaurant’s incredible talented Brazilian chef – an açai bowl, salmon burger or papaya and chipotle chicken salad will hit the spot without making you feel like you’ve undone all your hard work. “We’re all about quality service that’s personalised for our clients but it’s important to stress that the key to successful training is consistency,” Michelle concludes. “Come and find out for yourselves – there’s nothing else quite like it on the island.”