Former 110-metres hurdles world record holder Colin Jackson is hosting morning fitness classes at the Capaldi Hotel, in the Atlas Mountains Morocco, this June. Travel Begins at 40’s Mark Bibby Jackson talks with him about the enterprise.

It’s a long road from grabbing gold at the World Championships in Stuttgart in 1993 to taking fitness classes in Morocco, but chatting with Colin Jackson you sense that the former 110-metre world record holder has enjoyed just about every step of it. His enthusiasm almost flows out of the phone as he explains his latest enterprise.

colin Jackson
Colin Jackson will be hosting fitness classes in Morocco in June

“It’s going to be lots of fun,” he says of his fitness work outs at the Capaldi Hotel in Morocco’s High Atlas mountains, as part of a week-long retreat. “The idea is to make your holiday more enjoyable.”

This is not a new venture for Jackson, who has held similar classes in St Lucia at the BodyHoliday, but it is the first time he has helped people work out in Morocco.

“I’ve been to Morocco a couple of times before doing some presentations,” he says. “But I always prefer to do it than to talk about it!”

“Nobody is there to be an Olympic champion or to beat a world record”

Working out in Morocco with Colin Jackson

The enterprise is a collaboration with Annerlie Luxe Wellness Retreats, which will also feature martial arts champion Dr. Serigne Dioum.

“I met Annerlie because she knew the stuff I was doing in St Lucia at BodyHoliday,” Jackson explains of their collaboration.

The former Olympic silver medallist will take hour-long morning fitness classes followed by a great Moroccan breakfast.

Re-energise with a breakfast after your work out with Colin Jackson
Re-energise with a breakfast after your work out with Colin Jackson

“I encourage people to get their health in order to start the day off in the right way,” Jackson says. “Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day and Morocco is renowned for its food. You need to refuel and re-energise; there will be plenty of fruit, egg, cereal,” he says.

All Shapes and Sizes

Jackson assures that his classes are tailored to individual requirements and capabilities.

“Everybody is a different level,” he stresses, adding that he can normally gage an individual’s fitness level by how they warm up.

“You see all different shapes and sizes and people of all ages. People come because they want something specific. Maybe they want to feel the love of being in a community that embraces them. Some come to see me.”

The classes are meant to add to the holiday experience, rather than prepare you for the Tokyo Olympics.

“Nobody is there to be an Olympic champion or to beat a world record,” he says. “It’s open to all sorts.”

And at the end of the week, participants will receive instructions on exercises that they can do at home – to continue the good work.

More than a work out in Morocco

Hotel Capaldi is set in the spectacular High Atlas, Morocco
The Capaldi Hotel is set in the spectacular High Atlas, Morocco

In addition to Colin Jackson’s morning work outs, guests can practice tai-chi and kung-fu with martial arts champion Serigne Dioum, as well as partake in sessions on mindfulness.

There are also optional activities, such as quad biking in the desert, and tours to the local souk or guided trips in the spectacular Atlas Mountains.

The Hotel Capaldi has two swimming pools and a private spa for you to relax after your morning work-out as well as a restaurant that serves Moroccan and Berber dishes.

The Olympic Debate

Take it easy after your Colin Jackson work out
Take it easy after your Colin Jackson work out

As for the future, Jackson intends to carry on combining coaching and training with his media work. He will be going to the Tokyo Summer Olympics in the summer, working for the BBC.

“The Olympic Games is always a fantastic experience and Japan is a great place,” he says, adding that he believes the games will go ahead despite speculation whether the Olympics should be cancelled due to the coronavirus COVID-19.

But for now, Jackson has his eyes set on Morocco, and he urges anyone to come along.

“You can have a good time doing exercise,” he says. “You don’t have to be beaten up while exercising.”


Fitness in the High Atlas with Colin Jackson

Departs on 7 June 2020, and costs £1,950 pp, including seven-nights’ half board, and twice daily fitness classes. Flights and transfers are not included. For further information and bookings click here.

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