Our trail running holidays, in partnership with Tracks and Trails, are in this month's Zest Magazine. Fancy joining us? There's one space left on our next holiday from 23 to 30th September. Come and experience Chamonix running at its absolute best.
It's September, which means 'la Rentree' - back to school and back into a fitness routine. Here's what's going on at Chamonix Gym this September. 
If you hadn't already noticed from the Olympics, athletes come in all shapes and sizes.
Their highly trained bodies are perfectly tuned for their sport - whether that be gymnastics, cycling or weight lifting. Genetic pre-disposition plus a sh!t load of specific training has got them to the top of their game.

But what about us mere mortals? For the average person, fitness is not as 1 dimensional as for Olympians, so it's important to train all aspects of your fitness to achieve a BALANCE. 

Check out the following article on the 5 KEY ELEMENTS OF FITNESS.
Try to do a session a week on each (especially the ones you don't like as the chances are that's what your body needs most!)

'I wouldn't mind losing a few pounds' 
'I'd like to get rid of THIS' (roll of tummy) 
'I want to tone up and lose a bit of weight'

All phrases that we hear A LOT at Chamonix Gym. 

1. Your body composition (weight, fat %, metabolism) is not just controlled by exercise, what you eat plays a massive part too.

2. Losing weight / fat is not rocket science: eat less calories than you burn and you'll lose fat and / or  weight. 

So, if it's that simple, why aren't we all our perfect size, weight, fitness level? What lets us down?
Mainly motivation and modern life! So, here are our top tips to help you improve your diet and lose a bit of extra squidge:

1. Weigh yourself regularly:
It's a lot easier to lose 1/2 a kg that you've put on over an indulgent weekend than bury your head in the sand for months - and then suddenly find your jeans don't fit and you've gained 4kg. 

2. Work out what your ideal weight and calorie requirements are:
It might not be 100% accurate, as everyone's metabolism is different, but it'll give you an idea of what you should be aiming for. Try this online tool, which incorporates your activity levels as well as height and weight. If you'd like help, we offer full body composition and postural analysis.

3. Keep a diary of what you're eating, drinking and doing - at least for a few days:  
With an online food diary or iphone app. It might be a faff to start with, but there's no better way to see where you're falling down, than when you see it in black and white. We reckon myfitnesspal is excellent (www.myfitnesspal.com).

4. If you want to lose weight, aim to create a SUSTAINABLE CALORIE DEFICIT:
Of around 500 calories per day (that's one less glass of wine and a 40 minute jog or equivalent per day).
This can either be through exercise or food - or both. 
Any more and you'll likely end up starving and cave in. Any less and you may not see results.

5. Just choose the healthy option:
You know what it is!!!
More: unprocessed. vegetables. fruit. fibre. lean meat & fish. raw, grilled or poached
Less: sugar, processed foods, red meat, carbs, fat
Healthy doesn't mean tasteless - bring on the spices - garlic, chilli, basil - all virtually calorie free, tasty and super good for you.

6. Don't let yourself get hungry or thirsty:
Always keep a glass of water or uncaffeinated hot drink with you. Keep sipping. All day..If you start to feel hungry or find your concentration wavering, have a healthy snack - an apple, carrot sticks, a few nuts, a single biscuit or square of chocolate. Don't let yourself get starving or deny yourself if you really want something sweet - or you'll end up bingeing.
7. Cut booze (mostly!)
If you like a drink, no problem - wine and beer both have good properties in moderation. But alcohol is massively calorific, full of sugar, and liable to make you cave in to the chips and chocolate. So limit your boozing to once or twice a week.

8. Sleep more:
If you're asleep you can't eat.
And if you're tired, you'll eat more to keep yourself going.
Simple as that.
9. Enlist friends:
To eat healthy food and do healthy things with you.
If you're in it together you'll keep each other motivated.

10. Go for 80:20
80% good, 80% of the time.
Eating well is a choice for life, so give yourself a break once in a while and enjoy whatever it is that you LOVVVVVVE

Find out more about our body composition testing, healthy eating plans, personal training, and juice detoxes.
Or email us with any questions

Look forward to hearing from you!

We've got 2 new Strength & Conditoning coaches, new Pilates classes, and a bike maintenance course you can't afford to miss! Scroll down for more info and drop us a line with any questions. Look forward to seeing you soon, steph x
If you kind of know you think you maybe should be doing the whole gels, bars, protein shakes thing, but really don't know where to start, read on for a straightforward explanation: WHAT IS SPORTS NUTRITION?!
When you exercise, your body mixes oxygen (from breathing) and sugar - glycogen - stored in your bloodstream, muscles and liver - to create ENERGY. If you're exercising at a moderate aerobic level (jogging or cycling but still able to chat a bit), most people can sustain a steady output of energy for about 1.5 hours before they run out of stored sugar. At the point at which you run out of juice, one of 3 things can happen:

1. You 'BONK' completely - aka hitting the wall. This is where you collapse in a heap ... and hope a paramedic is nearby.
2. You carry on - but instead of using stored sugar, your body metabolises energy directly from your fat stores. Great - who doesn't want to burn fat? - but unless your body is very well trained (think elite endurance athletes) this can (a) feel horrible, and (b) you will be forced to slow down - probably quite a lot - because the chemical process is much slower.
3. You top up with sugars on the go, and keep going at a steady pace without ever letting your sugar stores run out.
SUMMARY: If you are exercising for more than 1.5 hours (and want to maintain a steady pace) you need to add SUGAR
HOW: In the form of energy drinks, gels, bars ... or any other sugary food you like (jelly babies are popular pick me ups, raisins or abricots are much healthier but can be hard to chew/digest). How much you need depends on your size, your effort level and how fit you are - but as a rule of thumb, aim to take on 200-300 calories per hour for anything over 1 hour's exercise.

Ever weighed yourself before and after a run? You'll probably notice you can lose an easy kg in a matter of minutes. Clearly, it's just lost water in SWEAT! Which you need to replace - either during, or after you exercise. Generally speaking, if you're exercising at a steady pace for less than an hour, you can probably manage not to drink on the hoof. But if you're out for longer, you MUST replace lost fluids as you go - to maintain output and avoid dehydration. It's easy to get bogged down in ml per hour per kg body weight per perceived exertion per degrees centigrade. But we're all different and we all sweat at different rates - so the rule of thumb is: LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. . If you're thirsty, drink more. If you're not, drink less. nb. It's possible to over hydrate while exercising - an unlikely but potentially life threatening danger. So, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY.
SUMMARY: If you're exercising at any level you need to replace lost fluids. If it's a short session, you can probably drink afterwards without reducing performance. If you're out for over an hour and/or it's hot, drink more. 
HOW: Water is great! Water with added electrolytes (see below) and/or sugars (see above) is arguably better.  

Some people are super salty sweaters (they're the guys who have white tide marks on their shirts and shorts at the end of a session) and some people are sweet sweaters. Either way, sweat isn't just water. The classic first sign of a salt imbalance is cramp. Beyond that, electrolyte imbalances can send your systems seriously out of whack, with potentially serious consequences. If you're doing a short session, you probably don't need to worry too much - your body is clever at keeping the equilibrium, and you can replace your lost salts and minerals with a balanced diet. But if you're out on a long run, bike or hike, it's a good idea to ward off cramps by making sure you top up on salts and electrolytes as well as fluids. It might sound counter intuitive, but in the right doses, salts and sugars actually help you hydrate better.  
SUMMARY: If you're out for over an hour, it's hot, or you're a sweaty monster, make sure your drinks are electrolyte balanced.
HOW: Energy drinks (powder you add to water) are scientifically researched to provide the best balance of salts, sugars and electrolytes. You can experiment with the concentration according to your preference, conditions, taste etc. Over the counter drinks - lucozade, powerade, are also pretty good. Water with a pinch of salt and a little bit of fruit juice is not a bad cheap version. If you want electrolytes but no added sugars, you can buy dissolvable electrolyte-only tablets such as nuun.

You NEED protein to repair and build muscle. So if you've been exercising and your muscles are getting a pounding, protein shakes can be a great way to make sure you've topped up on the full range of amino acids. 'Science' says there's a window of opportunity of about 30 minutes after exercising where protein will be used most effectively to repair and rebuild muscles. A protein shake is a very quick, easy to digest way to help your body repair quickly. So if you're not sure that you're getting enough in your diet (most of us aren't) bring on the shakes. Alternatively / additionally you can head straight to the bbq and tuck into a steak and wings ...

There are lots of brands out there, offering similar products, so try a few and see what you like. We are big fans of TORQ - and reckon they make the best of the best in sports nutrition. 100% natural, vegan/vegetarian friendly, and super tasty too.
Get in touch for more info about sports nutrition for YOU.

It's summer season in Chamonix, which means more time out playing in the mountains, and more pressure on our bodies. Being fit and healthy isn't just about beasting yourself. It's also about recovery - and we all need to look after our muscles if we're going to ask more of them.

To celebrate summer in the Alps, we're offering 10% off massages for anyone who's taking part in any of next weekend's races - the Vertical KM, Chamonix 10km, Chamonix Cross or Chamonix Marathon.
Book now for your pre-race and post-race massages.

Never underestimate the healing power of massage and touch – the list of physical, physiological and mental benefits are endless … 

Relax and Unwind
Speed recovery from exercise
Reduce pain caused by
muscle tightness
Improve circulation
Lengthen muscles that are short and
Stimulate muscles that are lazy
Restore energy levels
Alleviate joint stiffness and immobility
Improve flexibility
Flush toxins,
chemicals and water retention
Calm mood and release emotional tension
Improve immunity by stimulating white blood cells
Reduce scar
tissue and stiffness
Relieve headaches
Reduce blood pressure
Promote sleep …
Massages at Chamonix Gym from €45 … Massages at home from €65.
Contact us for more information or to book your Chamonix Massage now!

Sports Massage | Relaxing Massage | Posture & Back Care

Great article about our trail running holidays in today's Guardian - featuring our holidays run in partnership with Tracks and Trails @tracksmontblanc ... lick on the link to view the original article, or scroll down:
Join our new Chamonix Tuesday night road biking sessions and go from zero to Lance quicker than you can clip in and out of your new (scary?) pedals. In case you hadn't noticed, road biking is where it's at for summer 2012, so if you want to join the lycra clad crew, it's time to learn to be a better, safer, smarter rider. Aimed at beginner to intermediate cyclists, you'll learn to bike with confidence, train intelligently, stay safe, understand the etiquette (and skills) for riding in a group, and pick up the essentials of maintenance. Don't miss out! €100 per person
Tuesday nights 1800-1930: 26th June, 3rd, 10th, 17th July 
Email us for more information
Week 1: 26th June - Basic bike handling skills.
Sounds obvious, but when you're balancing on 2cm wide tyres, you need to practice control. Learn balance, stopping & starting, riding the ups, riding down, steering, using your drops, controlling your cadence, eating and drinking on the move, emergency stopping etc.

Week 2: 3rd July - Fitness for biking.
What to do to improve your fitness - going longer, pushing harder, learning how to pace yourself for hills and long days (very important in the Alps!). Eating and drinking on the go - when, how much, what? Stretching and strength training for cycling.

Week 3: 10th July - Bike maintenance.
Get to know your bike - learn the essentials of what to carry and how to use it. Practise the vital skills of tyre changing, bike cleaning, and more. (nb. this session may be swapped with week 2).

Week 4: 17th July - Bringing it together
We'll head out for a longer, faster ride. Understand the etiquette of riding in a peleton. Learn about drafting to your advantage. Work out route planning and timings, get the hand signals down pat, and learn how to stay safe and make friends on the road!

Email us to book your space.

Look forward to riding with you soon!

... in June and July. Check it out.
Scroll down for more info, and email us with any questions.
Look forward to see you soon,

NEW! Road biking course for beginner and intermediate riders
Mont Blanc for Locals: enough looking up  - actually get up there this summer
Another detox (you guys just can't get enough of it!)
And a new class called Yummy Mummies - for girls with big bumps or little babies