Sun's out, Tour de France is starting in 3 days, who in the Alps isn't thinking BIKE?!

But while there's a lot to be said for just getting out there and pedalling, if you want to see real improvements in your technique and cycling fitness, it's not only about clocking up ks. Take time to focus your ride skills and you'll improve a whole lot faster. Here's Michelle Dillon talking about Watt Bike and how using their bikes is helping Team Dillon athletes train for triathlons and road cycling races. Just a couple of short sessions a week will change the way you ride! (and nice advice at the end too ...). Book a Watt Bike session at Chamonix Gym and see what we mean!

Watt Bike is also ideal if you've hit a plateau in your training, are coming back from injury, or are limited by time. You'll see result  
What COLOUR!!???? You might think it's got nothing to do with sport, fitness, yoga, massage or running a gym ... except that when you're building any new business, COLOUR and first impressions are all important!!!  I'm in the middle of redesigning fliers for Chamonix Gym and Be Pure Fit, which has got me thinking (again) about logos, colour schemes, what works, what doesn't, what appeals, what doesn't. What do colours convey about what you offer, what emotions do colours evoke? What colour is sport and fitness? What colour is yoga? What colour is wellness? Health? Relaxation? Can they be the same colour, or are they all different? It's a lot harder than it might seem ... Check out this short video!
Totally loving my new Chikara prototype kit so thought I'd add a (slightly scary - sorry!) pic to the blog. Although it really is a sneak preview, since the best features of this women's only technical bike clothing range are a closely guarded secret ... at least until the official launch! If you want to see for yourself why Chikara are going places, pop into Chamonix Gym and check out the prototypes. All I can say is it's the best bit of bike clothing I've ever owned! ... ps massive congratulations to Chamonix's 'Team Chikara' for 4 top 10 places in the Time Megeve Cyclosportif this morning. Well done Liz, Jane, Josie and Emma ;o))))))))))
Billed as 'a simple 15 minute routine that will change your body ... and your life' this flowing series of exercises is based on an ancient Tibetan ritual, and has gained massive popularity across the world. Looking a lot like a variation on a yoga sun salutation, the 5/7 steps (depending on whether you choose the traditional option or the 'willpower' method) have started popping up in exercise classes everywhere! Essentially they're a series of moves that will wake up your whole body, use every muscle group, and progressively develop your flexibility, strength, power, balance and control. You can do the 5 Tibetan steps anywhere, the moves can be adapted for any level of fitness, and you don't need any equipment.

Maybe it's a passing trend. And for sure, there's nothing new here - many of the moves are things you'll have seen in yoga, pilates or core strength classes. But bring it on! You could definitely do a whole lot worse than spending a few minutes each day 'at one' with yourself, moving your body, and connecting. Enough of the cardio slog slog slog, make time for a more balanced approach to fitness!

Here are 2 videos - one is the 7 step 'willpower' method, the other is the simple 5 classic moves. Enjoy practising at home, or come along to Chamonix Gym yoga classes if you'd like to know more!
Power Plates have had a lot of press, a lot of celebrity endorsements, and cost a lot of money! From elite athletes, to weight loss miracles and injury recovery, there's a use for a Power Plate. But how much of it is hype and how much is actually true? Read on to find out what the fuss is all about, what exactly Power Plates do? And hopefully clarify what's really real and what's kind of not! (please note this is my own opinion based on personal experience!)

Basically a Power Plate is a vibrating platform that you perform exercises on. The plate vibrates in several planes - up and down, side to side and forwards and backwards at super fast speeds, while you exercise on it. You do all the same sorts of exercises you might normally do in the gym ...
According to the manufacturers, the benefits are many-fold!

Results - FAST:
The Power Plate vibrations mean that any exercise you do on it is much harder for your body! Working on an unstable platform means that you have to recruit more muscle power, proprioception, balance and control than doing the same thing on the floor. Hence the idea of doing less reps - in a more focused way - for superior results. However, you do actually need to exercise on it. Just standing there won't achieve much apart from a headache!

Fire your muscles up:
Power Plate can be used for a quick way to warm up and fire up your core muscles (or others!) before a work out. Warm up quicker, easily target particular muscle groups, and protect yourself from injury.
Core strength:
Perform the same core exercises you might do on the floor, a Bosu, or a swiss ball and the extra vibrations will make your core muscles work that much harder. Get stronger, quicker! It's hard to say for sure, but doing a side plank on it definitely feels harder work than normal and my obliques are definitely looking more toned ... more so that if I'd just been doing it on the floor? Who knows!

Improved flexibility:
This is where the Power Plate comes into its own. My own experience is that stretching on it is amazing!  Based on the same technique often used by physios/sports therapists/masseurs to help your muscles stretch and increase range of movement, but 100s of times faster. The vibrations mean your muscles are forced to contract and relax at high speeds, leading to increased flexibility as the muscle is encouraged to stretch further than it might on a static surface. That's not to say a Power Plate replaces seeing the physio - but I'm definitely feeling longer and leaner from stretching on it.

Bone mineral density:
The Power Plate was originally developed for Russian astronauts to help prevent loss of bone mineral density and muscle mass while in space. Studies do seem to show it works ... and since we all lose bone density (particularly women) with age, it's a benefit worth noting!
Look good:
All that wobbling increases blood flow, helps stimulate lymphatic drainage and reduces the build up of toxins ... leading to glowing skin, reduced cellulite and less bloating. In theory! ...

Lose Weight:
Claiming Power Plate as a miracle weight loss tool is a bit misleading. Unless you're using it for hardcore cardio, it's not a big calorie burner! However, used for strength exercises, it is likely to help increase muscle tone and muscle mass, which means you'll increase your metabolic rate and as muscle is denser than fat, you'll become leaner and smaller over time ... 

Improved cardio fitness:
When we have such an amazing playground to do work up a sweat in, I personally wouldn't use it for a cardio workout, but I have heard people say that it's good ...

I'll put myself out of a job endorsing this one, but have to say it does work a treat for massaging my calves after a long run.

To find out more or book a session to see how Power Plate can work for YOU, get in touch:  

22 wheels, 130km, 3 cols, 30 litres of water, 1 minibus, and 50% sunshine, 50% storms. It could have gone one way or the other, but cycling from Chamonix to Bourg St Maurice turned out to be one of my best days on a road bike, ever! Joining a group of local Chamonix riders on the first day of their Chamonix to Nice bike trip, we left Cham at 830 in pretty miserable conditions. Wrapped up to the max, I umm-ed an ahh-ed over whether it was actually a good idea, since although I've been training, it's been mostly running, and not a lot of long endurance. In the end, decided to go for it, if for no other reason than to burn off my pizza from the night before. As it turned out, by the time we got to Megeve, the rain had dried up, the clouds had eased and the sun was trying to come out. What a totally, totally fab day ... it was long, but fortunately the legs held up, and the smiles lasted all day (along with the perfect riding temperatures and stunning views). And surprisingly, as we cruised the 20km descent into Bourg St Maurice from the Cormet de Roseland, I ended the day feeling better than I think I ever have after that many hours on a bike. Very happy to have been a part of day 1, and delighted not to be as out of cycling shape as I feared. Roger - thanks for organising and good luck with the rest of the trip everyone - was an absolute pleasure to join you for the start!
At the top of the Cormet de Roseland - only a 20km descent left to go!! 11 riders, 11 different coloured jackets ... the teletubbies on wheels.
Me - celebrating having made it to the Lac de Roseland. And sunshine. Finally! Thanks Jane for chatting all the way up ... makes it go so much quicker.
Looking down at the Lac de Roseland. Not what anyone wants weather wise, but could seriously do with some rain - never seen it that low.
Bairdy - representing Scotland. And in need of an Irn-Bru after that climb! Funnily enough the boys had already started to get competitive ...
... meanwhile the girls had got to the top first, with enough time to fit in a spot of pilates (seriously) and chat about clothes!
It's our favourite time of year in Chamonix. Which means longer runs, bike rides, and plenty of warm sunshine and daylight to play outside in. What do you eat/drink on the GO?! If you don't already, choosing wisely what to eat and drink during and after exercise will make a MASSIVE difference to how you feel, perform and recover afterwards. We're proud to be working alongside Torq, Solgar & Vital Greens!