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Mountain Madness with Shona and Katie!

Mountain Madness with Shona and Katie!

Thinking of running a marathon? Shona and Katie have just completed ANOTHER one and because marathons are a bit boring, they decided to run one in Chamonix. Chamonix is beautiful but – not flat. Not even slightly. And that makes Shona and Katie heroes in our view! You can read all about their epic challenge here:

Marathon du Mont Blanc

This year I wanted to take on a couple of challenges to raise money for a great charity called Jamie’s Farm. I love spending time in the mountains and trail running so I decided to sign up for a marathon in the French Alps. The Marathon du Mont Blanc is a big deal in the trail running calendar attracting some of the very best mountain runners from around the world (alongside decidedly more average runners like me). The race includes 3,000m (that’s 10,000 feet!) of height gain over 42km and is known for its steep, uneven, rocky descents, lung busting climbs, and narrow paths with vertigo inducing drops that would make a mountain goat tremble. Why I thought I could give it a go I have no idea! 


After a friend and I secured places in the ballot we threw ourselves into six months of training, which involved many long runs in the Surrey Hills, hill sprints and of course countless sessions of BootCamp with the gang at LemonBody. I worked up to about 3-4 sessions a week in the final weeks before the race and found all the exercises with weights particularly helpful to build up strength in my legs and core.  Ideally we would have done more training at altitude, great though Box Hill is, it doesn’t prepare you for the reduced oxygen levels of the Alps!

This was going to be hard enough in average weather conditions but thanks to a pretty obnoxious heatwave across France, race day temperatures were forecast to get up to the late thirties. Arriving in Chamonix a few days before the race, we wandered about town in the scorching heat and began to get very apprehensive about what was to come.

At the Start Line

On the day of the race, we gathered at the start line at 6am together with 2,344 other runners who were shouting along with the countdown clock excitedly in French. Before we knew it we were off, running past huge crowds of supporters in the centre of Chamonix and then making our way through woodland alongside a fast moving river at the base of the valley. It took a while for me to get into a rhythm and control my breathing properly but as soon as we hit the first incline, my legs told my lungs to quit whining as they had far worse to contend with!  We continued on undulating terrain for the next few kilometres, staying on forest paths or crossing wide meadows surrounded by looming mountain tops – all the time in the shade and enjoying the cool of the morning.  When we arrived at the first rest break at 17km, my legs were feeling good but the terrain was about to get much tougher.  We said goodbye to friends who had been supporting us as due to the inaccessibility of the rest of the route we wouldn’t see them until the end, and began the 4km climb to the top of a peak called Aiguillettes de Posettes, knowing we had to gain over 1,000 metres (3000 feet) in height to get there.  

At the base of the mountain there was a noisy group of drummers helping everyone to keep moving as runners snaked up the mountain. There were big crowds of supporters too, pushing everyone on with encouraging shouts of ‘allez, allez, allez’!  The pace was slow and the path narrow, and it was impossible to overtake so we gradually trudged up the wooded path with the drums and cheers getting more distant until there was no noise but the eerie sound of hundreds of people breathing heavily around us. We continued this winding path for some time and as we reached the edge of the woodland to continue up a rocky track to the summit we were hit by the full blaze of the sun, it was still early but already the temperatures were unbelievably hot. The blissful shade and cool air were over!  The remainder of the ascent in the sun was tough and we were very relieved to eventually get to the top. 

Nearing the top of Aiguillettes de Posettes

At the summit we quickly forced down as much food and drink as we could manage and began the long descent into the valley.  Naively, I was looking forward to this bit, a nice long cruise downhill I thought. I hadn’t anticipated on the sun beating down on our heads and the terrain being so dusty, hard and uneven underfoot which made a fast descent pretty hazardous.  Some of the rocky drop-offs in the path were so big I had to get onto my bum to jump down them, it was all a bit of an effort and we weren’t able to gain nearly as much ground as I thought we would at this stage.

After a lot of swearing and near ankle breaks we eventually got to the bottom and arrived at a little village where the locals were cheering and enthusiastically throwing water over our heads from nearby water tanks.  We only had another 10 kilometres to go and I was feeling tired but in fairly good shape.  Then followed undulating trails until we reached the beginning of the final steep ascent to a peak named La Flegere.  This was the hardest 8 kilometres I have ever experienced.  The heat was unbearable (temperatures had reached 37 degrees!) and there were long periods where we were completely exposed to the full intensity of the sun.  I was drinking so much water (by the end I drank nearly 8 litres) but was continually thirsty.  Every time we saw a stream or a waterfall we and other runners were throwing ourselves into the water, filling our caps up and putting them back over our heads.  Exhausted looking racegoers were dropping out all the way up, sitting down to put their heads in their hands and desperately find a corner of shade somewhere.  It was brutal!  Halfway up I completely ran out of water and I knew we had another 45 minutes or so until the final rest stop so I was just going to have to get by without.  After what felt like an eternity we eventually reached the aid station where kindly volunteers gave us cold sponges and poured water on our heads and I was finally able to quench my thirst.

The last 5 uphill kilometres were a daze, consisting of narrow paths winding round a wide valley with very steep drop-offs.  I had little control over my weary legs so it was a miracle I managed to stay on the path as I tripped and stumbled all over the place.  When we began to hear cheering from the finish line from the other side of the valley it was hard to keep emotions in control, we were desperate to finish, every time someone shouted my name or words of kindness I felt teary – which was not helping hydration levels!  Finally we reached the brow of the hill and saw the winding track up to the finish line.  It was great to see our friends and they ran a short way cheering us on until the final 20 metre steep ascent to the end.  I’ve never been more relieved to finish a race.  We wanted to do it in 6 or 7 hours but in the energy zapping conditions, 8.5 was the best we could manage – joint 1,474th out of 2,344 of the world’s best trail runners – we did ok.  It was the toughest race I’ve ever taken part in but the atmosphere was amazing and the scenery stunning.  I’m obviously never going to run again … but then again it would be great to try it when there wasn’t a heatwave so. So maybe next year!

Thank you to LemonBody for sponsoring me and to all those wonderful people who helped me exceed my target funds to give to my chosen charity; Jamie’s Farm.




Captain Felix Deer joined the Army in 1985 and served in a number of Training Officer roles, qualifying as a Unit Fitness Officer in 1986. Since leaving the Army in 1994, Felix has sold property, built houses and flown airliners for a living, but has always maintained his keen interest in Fitness.

Heavy Metal, Osteoporosis and why everyone should read this Blog Article

Heavy Metal, Osteoporosis and why everyone should read this Blog Article

Heavy Metal, Osteoporosis and why you need to read this.

What is Osteoporosis?

As we age, our bones thin and weaken, losing mass and density. This makes fractures and associated complications more likely and more serious. Males and females are at risk, with post menopausal women particularly so for a few years after menopause.

Your age and your genes are responsible for determining the strength of your skeleton, but lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise influence how healthy your bones are too.


Regular exercise is essential. Adults aged 19 to 64 should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity Cardiovascular Exercise, such as circuits, running or BootCamp every week. As your fitness improves, you can up the intensity accordingly.

As well as aerobic exercise, adults should also do muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week by working all the major muscle groups, including the legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, arms and shoulders – all of which we do at every BootCamp. Muscle Strengthening is also known as Resistance Exercise or Resistance Training.

Weight-Bearing Exercises and Resistance Exercises are particularly important for improving bone density and helping to prevent Osteoporosis. 

Weight-Bearing Exercises

Weight-Bearing Exercises are those where your feet and legs support your weight. High impact Weight-Bearing Exercises, such as Running Skipping, Dancing, BootCamp, and Plyometric Training (more info below), are all useful ways to strengthen your muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints. They also strengthen bones too, which is vitally important for both men and women, particularly as we age.

Resistance Exercises

Resistance Exercises use muscle strength when working against a resistance, such as lifting a weight in a bicep curl, for example. Muscles that work hard against a resistance grow stronger and are able to work harder for longer. At the ends of each muscle are tendons that attach the muscle to your bones. Tendons are tough, fibrous tissue and you can think of them as ropes that tie your muscles and bones together.

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Heavy Metal

When you lift something heavy (when doing a bicep curl, for example) your bicep muscles contract and pull on the tendons attached to the bones in your lower arm. The action of tendons pulling on bones acts as a signal to your body to strengthen those bones, which can help to prevent loss of bone mass as we age. BootCamp is full of such exercises and you can be sure that your muscles and bones will be much stronger if you come to BootCamp regularly.

Our new Heavy Metal Workout is perfect for strengthening and Toning Muscles, and just the job for strengthening Bones too. We’ll be doing at least one a week from now on so come along and try it soon.

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Healthy eating and vitamin D supplements.

Eating a healthy, balanced diet is recommended for everyone. It can help prevent many serious health conditions, including Heart Disease, Diabetes and many forms of Cancer, as well as Osteoporosis.

Calcium is important for maintaining strong bones. Adults need 700mg a day, which you should be able to get from your daily diet.

Calcium-rich foods include:

Leafy Green Vegetables

Dried Fruit



Vitamin D is also important for healthy bones and teeth because it helps your body absorb calcium. All adults should consume 10 micrograms of vitamin D each day.

Good Dietary Sources of Vitamin D are:

Oily Fish – such as Salmon, Sardines, Herring and Mackerel

Red Meat


Egg yolks

Fortified Foods such as most Fat Spreads and some Breakfast Cereals

Dietary supplements


However, it can be difficult to get enough vitamin D from foods alone. So, all adults should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D.


Other lifestyle factors that can help prevent Osteoporosis include:

Stopping Smoking – Smoking is associated with an increased risk of Osteoporosis

Limiting Alcohol Intake – the NHS recommends not drinking more than 14 units of alcohol a week; it’s also important to avoid binge drinking.


Try our New HeavyMetal Workout and strengthen your Bones, Muscles and Mind!

Not been to BootCamp yet? Come along for your Free Trial today!


Captain Felix Deer joined the Army in 1985 and served in a number of Training Officer roles, qualifying as a Unit Fitness Officer in 1986. Since leaving the Army in 1994, Felix has sold property, built houses and flown airliners for a living, but has always maintained his keen interest in Fitness.

A pioneer in mixed ability group fitness workouts, he freely admits to having “mostly hated” P.E at school and is of the firm belief that making workouts fun and catering for all abilities is vital in helping people get fit and stay happy and healthy.

His hobbies include Flying, Hiking, Rock Climbing, Weight Lifting, Trail Running and Conkers. Felix is 53 and lives in Surbiton with his dog, Ning Nong.

What happens to Body Fat when you lose weight?

What happens to Body Fat when you lose weight?

Where does Body Fat go when we lose weight?

We’re surrounded by fad diets and weight loss adverts, yet few of us know how a kilogram of fat actually vanishes off the scales.

Even the 150 doctors, dietitians and personal trainers surveyed in a recent poll shared this gap in their health literacy. Some respondents thought fat turns directly into muscle, which is impossible, and others assumed it leaves the body via the colon.

At LemonBody we know exactly what happens to metabolised body fat – and more importantly, we know how to take advantage of this process to stay lean.

The enlightening facts about fat metabolism

The correct answer is that fat is converted to carbon dioxide and water. Energy is a by product of this process. You exhale the carbon dioxide and the water mixes into your blood circulation until it’s lost as urine or sweat.

If you lose 10kg of fat, precisely 8.4kg comes out through your lungs and the remaining 1.6kg turns into water. In other words, nearly all the weight we lose is exhaled. Which means the harder you breathe, the more fat you’ll burn!

This surprises just about everyone but actually, almost everything we eat comes back out via our lungs. Every carbohydrate you digest and nearly all the fats are converted to carbon dioxide and water. The same goes for alcohol.

Protein shares the same fate, except for the small part that turns into urea and other solids, which you excrete as urine.

The only thing in food that makes it to your colon undigested and intact is dietary fibre. Everything else you swallow is absorbed into your bloodstream and organs and, after that, it’s not going anywhere until you’ve vaporised it.

Kilograms in versus kilograms out

We all learn that “energy in equals energy out” in high school. But energy is a notoriously confusing concept, even among health professionals and scientists who study obesity.

The reason we gain or lose weight is much less mysterious if we keep track of all the kilograms, too, not just those enigmatic kilojoules or calories.

Averagely, we consume 3.5kg of food and drink each day. Of that, 415 grams is solid macronutrients, 23 grams is fibre and the remaining 3kg is water.

What’s not reported is that we inhale more than 600 grams worth of oxygen too and this figure is equally important for our waistline.

Walking increases your resting metabolic rate by 300%.

If you put 3.5kg of food and water into your body, plus 600 grams of oxygen, then 4.1kg of stuff needs to come back out, or you’ll gain weight. If you’re hoping to shed some weight, more than 4.1kg will have to go. So how do you make this happen?

The 415 grams of carbohydrates, fats, protein (and perhaps alcohol) most of us eat every day will produce exactly 740 grams of carbon dioxide plus 280 grams of water (about one cup) and about 35 grams of urea and other compounds excreted in urine.

An average 75kg person’s resting metabolic rate (the rate at which the body uses energy when the person isn’t moving) produces about 590 grams of carbon dioxide per day. No pill or potion you can buy will increase that figure, despite all that sophisticated and clever marketing.

The good news is that you exhale 200 grams of carbon dioxide while you’re fast asleep every night, so you’ve already breathed out a quarter of your daily target before you even step out of bed.

So, if you want to lose Body Fat, eat less and exercise to breathe harder!

So if fat turns into carbon dioxide, could simply breathing more make you lose weight? Unfortunately not. Huffing and puffing more than you need to is called hyperventilation and will only make you dizzy. The only way you can consciously increase the amount of carbon dioxide your body is producing is by moving your muscles.

But here’s some more good news. Simply standing up and getting on with most routine tasks more than doubles your metabolic rate. Going for a walk will triple the rate at which you burn fat. One of the major reasons for the nation getting fatter over the last 50 years is that so few of us have active jobs. Most of us sit at a desk all day, and that makes the rate at which you burn calories plummet.

So what’s the best way to increase your metabolism and the rate at which you burn calories?

To increase your metabolism, you need to increase the rate at which you burn calories – and the simplest way to do that is through exercise.

But you need to do the right type to get the best results. You could, for example, go jogging every day for 30 minutes or more. The problem with jogging on it’s own is that it will eat into your muscle mass as well as your Body Fat.

Muscles are important for all the obvious reasons but also because having a good level of muscle mass raises your metabolism all by itself. So losing muscle mass lowers metabolism, which is the opposite of what we want. The best way to raise metabolism permanently is to exercise (in a very specific way) more days than not, i.e. four times a week or more.

Your workouts should comprise both Cardiovascular Training and Resistance Training. Cardiovascular Training is simply exercise that raises your heart and breathing rate. Resistance Training is simply exercise that uses your muscles so that they remain strong, and so that you don’t lose muscle mass.

Lots of push ups to keep strong and toned!

If all this sounds complicated, don’t worry. Here at BootCamp we know all about staying toned and losing body fat. All of our BootCamp workouts comprise Cardiovascular Training and plenty of Resistance Training, so they’re just the job to help you raise your metabolism and lose Body Fat whilst keeping your Muscles strong and Toned.

And all you need to do is turn up and join in! See you at a BootCamp soon!

Hill Sprints and why YOU should do them!

Hill Sprints and why YOU should do them!

At LemonBody we LOVE Hill Sprints! Here’s why YOU should give them a go! 

Hill Sprints – The King of Workouts!

If ever there was a Workout designed to do just about everything, it’s Hill Sprints!

For most of us, a good Workout is one that Burns Fat, Tones Muscle and leaves us feeling great.. Hill Sprints target almost every muscle in the body and rev up your metabolism to Burn Fat – and get you super fit too. 

What are Hill Sprints?

I’ll be honest, I don’t really like running – at least not the soul destroying, plod around the block that you see some people doing as you make your way to work in the morning. But Hill Sprints are different. They’re tough and you work close or at your maximum effort but only for about 20 seconds or so before you take a well earned breather. Then you repeat as many times as you wish, adding variety to keep things interesting. And all you need is a hill!

What’s does a typical Hill Sprint Session involve?

First we start with a nice, easy warm up. Warm muscles work better and are less prone to injury so a gentle jog for ten minutes or so is ideal. Next we’ll run up an incline for 10 – 20 seconds and jog slowly back down again (we call this a shuttle) – taking it easy to begin with and progressively getting faster with each uphill run until we are going flat out but still keeping to just 10 – 20 seconds. We rest at the end of each shuttle for 20 – 30 seconds before going again. Then we’ll begin adding in some variety, such as longer sprints, relays with a partner or jogging backwards uphill (try it and you’ll see why we do it!). Finally, it’s a gentle jog to cool down followed by some stretching and we’re done!

Why are Hill Sprints such good exercise?

Working close to your maximum effort for short bursts is incredibly good for developing the capacity of your heart and lungs (your cardiovascular system) and your general fitness. In fact, it’s probably the best way to get fitter for most people. It’s also amazing at building power and strength in your legs and lower body, including your core. That means your legs, butt and core get toned really quickly if you do Hill Sprints regularly. Hill Sprints also burn loads of Calories in a short period of time, so they’re perfect if you want to drop a few pounds!

What does LemonBody do to make them more effective?

We add in some exercises specifically designed to generate (even more!) Lactic Acid in your Leg and Butt Muscles. Lactic acid is a sure sign your Muscles are getting stronger and more Toned. Lactic acid also promotes Growth Hormone production in the body, which helps to strengthen and Tone muscle – but also to BURN FAT! Which is nice, isn’t it? Seriously, if you want to really make a difference, get yourself to a Hill Sprints asap – check out the EVENTS Page to find the next one!

Can anyone do them? 

Yes, they’re great for pretty much everyone! If you’re new to exercise you might want to start by walking briskly uphill rather than trying to sprint until you get a bit fitter. Other than that, they’re ideal for almost everyone – and the best thing is that they’re actually a lot of fun. They’re hard work, but unlike plodding around the block, they’re not boring! So come along to our next Hill Sprints Session and see for yourself. Most are completely Free and open to everyone, including non-Members!

Ok, I’m interested!

Then take a look at our EVENTS Page to find out when the next Hill Sprints Session is taking place!

To see a recent (very tame!) Hill Sprints Video, click here! 




Captain Felix Deer joined the Army in 1985 and served in a number of Training Officer roles, qualifying as a Unit Fitness Officer in 1986. Since leaving the Army in 1994, Felix has sold property, built houses and flown airliners for a living, but has always maintained his keen interest in Fitness.

Floss or Damage your Health

Floss or Damage your Health

The state of your teeth affects your overall health!

Gum disease is linked to lots of health problems in other parts of the body. Therefore, brushing your teeth can prevent gum disease and improve your overall health.

Did you know that gum disease isn’t just bad news for your teeth, it’s also linked to serious health problems in other parts of your body?

Gum disease may increase your risk of all kinds of other health complications, including stroke, diabetes and heart disease. Gum disease has even been linked with problems in pregnancy and dementia.

Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter, explains: “The link between oral health and overall body health is well documented and backed by robust scientific evidence. Despite this, only 1 in 6 people realises that people with gum disease may have an increased risk of stroke or diabetes. And only 1 in 3 is aware of the heart disease link.”

Gum disease dangers

Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that support the teeth. It’s mainly caused by bacteria from plaque build-up. In some people who are susceptible to gum disease, the body over-reacts to the bacteria around the gums and causes too much inflammation. In others, the inflammation doesn’t clear up properly. The result of the intense gum inflammation is that it also affects the bloodstream, and is believed to slowly damage blood vessels in the heart and brain over a long period of time.

What’s the damage?

Gum disease has been linked to a variety of other health problems, including:

  • heart disease and heart attacks
  • diabetes and its control
  • stroke
  • rheumatoid arthritis

Preventing problems

The good news is that brushing your teeth properly and looking after your gums can prevent and treat gum disease, improve your overall health and help to reduce your risk of health problems, such as heart disease.

Follow a routine of brushing your teeth for a full 2 minutes twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, plus cleaning between your teeth with floss or interdental brushes.

Visit your dentist and dental hygienist regularly for cleaning and check-ups. It’s especially important to look after your teeth and gums if you’re pregnant. NHS dental care is free for pregnant women and during the 12 months after you’ve given birth.




Captain Felix Deer joined the Army in 1985 and served in a number of Training Officer roles, qualifying as a Unit Fitness Officer in 1986. Since leaving the Army in 1994, Felix has sold property, built houses and flown airliners for a living, but has always maintained his keen interest in Fitness.

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