Category Archives: Fitness
So you’ve set a resolution to be healthier this year! Good for you! Now comes the hard part, but with a little help, it doesn’t have to be that hard.
We’re halfway through January–keep your New Year’s fitness resolutions on track with our roundup of motivational posts, articles, and videos. Check out the links below and let Bloomsbury’s expert fitness authors keep you on track!
Paul Mumford, creator of The Accumulator™ program, offers up some tips on keeping up with your goals of getting fit and staying healthy. You can also head over to his blog for some more info on his 30-day fitness plan to mix up your workouts and get your body in gear this January.
Resolving to eat better in 2016? Dr. Sarah Schenker, co-author of this winter’s The Ageless Body, is a nutritionist with great ideas and tips for eating well. Check out her blog for great healthy recipes like a do-it-yourself breakfast cereal that will give you workout a boost or a decadent but lean steak salad. As you start a healthy eating and exercise plan, check in with Dr. Schenker and her co-author Peta Bee on Twitter for a little extra motivation.
Dive into the blog of nutritionist and former bodybuilding champion Anita Bean for more tips on the proper nutrition for an active lifestyle. Anita answers your diet questions like “Do low fat diets really work?” and “Will eating Paleo boost my athletic performance?”
And if you need more inspiration, US readers can get 40% off selected sport and fitness books through the end of January.
What happened to you at the start of 2015? Did you aim get fit, lose weight and improve your health? How is that going? Are you stepping into 2016 with the same resolutions you started with last year?
Weight, health and fitness are on the top of many people’s New Year’s list but how many actually succeed? Not many, in fact studies show that only 8% achieve any of the goals they set for themselves on New Year’s Day. Many will even decide before Christmas they want to lose weight and tone up once it’s all over but many will never even start. The intention is there, they complain about how much they’re eating (often while eating it) and come January 1st it’s a distant memory. So how do you become one of the minority? If you’re already starting to feel like you can’t be bothered or looking for reasons to say ‘I’m too busy’, here are 5 things you can do so you don’t make the same resolutions next year.
1. SET A GOAL
Pick one thing you would like to achieve and work to achieve it. It’s no good saying you’re going to the gym to ‘get fit’ because how do you know when you’ve done it? You need something to strive for that you can actually measure but isn’t unrealistic. Start with a goal that may only take you a few weeks to achieve. Then, when you’ve got there you’ll feel great about yourself and be ready to set another. By looking at a big picture (like dropping a dress size or more) it seems so far away that you’re more likely to lose enthusiasm and give up. The Accumulator™ book contains a workout and healthy eating plan that takes only 30 days to work through. Then once you’re done there are lots of other options to keep you on track.
2. THINK VARIETY
The human brain is built to crave variety. But why do I see so many people doing the same exercises week after week in the gym? Don’t these people get bored? Well, yes they probably do; and they’re probably not seeing results either. These are 2 more things that can lead to failure. To keep you and your brain interested and to promote your body to change you need variety. The Accumulator™ is different each day but not so different that you find it impossible to do. By adding only one new exercise to the workout each day and one change to your diet you are gradually challenged to try new things and become better at the ones you’ve been doing for longer so you see an improvement each day.
3. GET SOME HELP
Exercising with a friend is a great way to keep you motivated. Having help and support can make a real difference and establish accountability. You will have someone to answer to if you fall off the wagon. The Accumulator™ is built around support. By remaining in contact with everyone else taking part (via our Facebook group) you have a team right there with you every single day.
4. DON’T START AT FULL SPEED
When you were a baby did you get up and run on day 1? No it took many months for your body to develop so you could first crawl then stand before you could even walk. If you’re new or returning to exercise it’s unreasonable to expect to run straight away and many people try to start a diet and exercise plan at 100% by choosing the hardest workouts and making many changes at once. This is a bit like trying to juggle with lots of balls. When you drop one ball (and you will) you’re more likely to give up completely. The Accumulator™ is a 30 day plan that builds with one new exercise and one change to your diet each day so you learn to juggle one ball at a time.
5. START RIGHT NOW
No time like the present right? Why not take the plunge by trying day one of The Accumulator™ fitness plan right now (check out the video below) or read out about the whole 30 day plan in the book.
By Julia Buckley
… But lets keep it real here – exercising is easy when you feel all fired up like you are now. Sooner or later though (usually around February) that January fitness fever will fizzle out. If you want to make sure those resolutions stick, you’re going to have to find it in yourself to keep going, ignore the excuses, and learn to get your workouts done whether you feel motivated in that moment or not.
It’s a tall order, but with the right strategy you can do it. Make a plan now for how you’ll think your way out of those excuses when they inevitably pop into your brain and you’ll be well on the way to making your fitness goals a reality.
Here’s how to quash a few of the most common resolution-killers:
I don’t feel like it today
We all have days when we don’t feel like exercising, the key is to get it done anyway. Just do 15 minutes, you’ll still get lots of benefits and you know you’ll be glad when that post-workout feeling hits you on the other side.
But if you’re ill or feel like you’ve been overtraining, of course, take rest.
I don’t have time
Really? Have you watched any TV lately? Read any books or magazines? Hung out with friends? … I’m not saying you should always be exercising instead of doing those things, but if you really want to get into shape, maybe it’s worth making getting your workout done a higher priority. A 15 minute workout is infinitely better than no workout at all. Get up 15 minutes earlier in the morning if that’s what it takes, or make it part of your day cycle to work, run around with the kids in the park, hit the gym at lunchtime. You may need to shift things around a little, but there will be a way you can fit 15 minutes into your day to take care of your body.
Why bother at my age? I’m too old!
No, you’re not. It’s always wise to get checked by a doctor before starting exercise and you’ll need to find a way of training that suits the condition of your body, but there will be something you can do to get fitter whatever your starting point.
Don’t go thinking that there’s no point either; yes, you might’ve missed your shot at the Olympics, but you can still get fitter, stronger and healthier and the benefits at any age can be immense
I’m not losing any weight so what’s the point in carrying on?
When people talk about wanting to lose weight, generally what they really mean is that they want to lose fat. It’s a pity fat has become such a dirty word, because this has led to a lot of misunderstanding which has been really unhelpful to a lot people’s health and fitness.
If you’re exercising hard and eating right, you’ll be gaining muscle. Muscle is obviously going to weigh something on your body, in fact, muscle actually weighs more than fat. So you could well be slimmer, firmer and leaner without the scales showing any change. This is one of the reasons I encourage people to take regular photographs for visual comparison and take measurements of their bodies.
I’m not a member of a gym
Well, you could join one, they’re not as scary as they look, I promise, and memberships are more affordable than ever. But you certainly don’t have to be a member of a gym to get fit. In my book The Fat Burn Revolution I’ve provided a 12-week fitness programme which has got thousands of people into great shape in their own homes.
I don’t like exercising on my own
So get a friend to do it with you or join a class. Or if that’s not an option, get online, there are literally thousands of people out there just waiting to support and encourage you. The list of sites and online communities are endless, for starters, come join my Fat Burn Revolution Facebook group. I’m completely biased of course, but if there’s a more friendly, supportive and inspiring online, I don’t know about it! Plus I pop by myself every day and try to answer as many posts as I can.
If you’re not a fan of Facebook, drop me a tweet anytime and I’ll be happy to cheer you on: @Julia_B.
Guest blog post by Julia Buckley, author of The Fat Burn Revolution
By Hollis Lance Liebman
It’s a brand new year. The slate is clean, the cache emptied and the reset button has been pushed. Now that you have your blueprint for success firmly in your hands, in Peak Physique, 2015 is finally going to be your breakthrough year.
It would seem every January is a somewhat reoccurring groundhog existence in your renewal and vows for a healthy lifestyle and physical excellence. In the days prior to January 1st, and of course with the holidays occurring, we often load up on processed foods in excess just before beginning our New Year’s Resolutions and thus our decision to reinvent ourselves for the coming new year.
And like many, what often occurs is failure and early failure at that. We simply set the bar too high and are too extreme in our methodologies and executions of arriving in peak shape. The result is often many attempting to cross the bridge, but few actually making it to the other side. Well, this year is going to be different. 2015 is the year of you!
These 10 tips will kick-start and help to ensure that 2015 will indeed be different. 2015 will be your break-through year in which a change of former habits will now result in desired and long sought after results.
1. EVENT PLANNING – The first step to the new-and-improved 2015 you is to clearly define your destination. Perhaps your goal is to be bikini or board short ready come the summer. Beginning in January will give you plenty of time to bring about a major change in your physique. Starting a journey without defining one’s destination is akin to driving the car to nowhere – you may never get there, when ‘there’ is not defined.
2. AVOID SELF SABOTAGE – The voice that says you can’t is not telling the truth. Living in the era of instant gratification, it’s all too easy to self-medicate with sugar and fat-laden processed foods when feeling down or to skip a workout to feel at best temporarily better. The self-defeating voice can be silenced and you and you alone have the power to do so. You have the power to keep clean and nutritious foods stocked in your kitchen and you and you alone have the power to walk into any gym and give your all and improve your physique.
3. CLEAR THE WEAK LINKS – Be it a non-supportive friend or non-supportive garment, it is imperative to keep a team in your life that shares your goals, beliefs and methodologies. This goes a long way to actually getting your goals accomplished. Hanging with positive people that are also working on bettering themselves creates a safe and friendly, “got your back” atmosphere that is completely supportive. Trim the fat, not just from food, but also from your life.
4. THE MIRROR IS YOUR ONLY COMPETITION – Besting the image in the mirror is your foremost goal. Not starving or attempting to achieve by any means necessary the images that the media deems desirable. Since you only have control over yourself, it’s best to keep your focus there. 2015 is about adopting new positive lifestyle changes and making them work for you – over the long-term.
5. DON’T SHOOT FOR THE STARS – Many 2014 resolutions fell short of reaching the mark because they were too severe, too extreme and too unrealistic in terms of maintaining them with regularity for any length of time. While you should be looking to become your best, realize that it takes steps and time and a consistent, measured approach to achieve. Saying you will work out every day for hours and eat perfectly and not drink is simply too unrealistic. Better to say, I will have a few wonderful workouts per week, do my cardio and eat mostly clean with a splurge here and there. You’ll be pleasantly surprised over the long-term how much more you will accomplish this way.
6. PACK AHEAD – You know the saying “failing to plan ahead is planning to fail.” Though most of us tend to live fast lifestyles today, leaving the house to go to work without packing foods to support your healthy lifestyle is almost sure to derail you. Taking the time each evening before work the next day to grill some chicken, steam some veggies and prepare some yams/sweet potato really doesn’t take too much time and will empower you in this ‘all or nothing’ society we tend to exist in. By bringing meals with you, you are also less likely to eat poorly and skip gym sessions since you will be properly fueled for performance.
7. WORKOUT PARTNER – For many, a workout partner ups the ante and makes it a commitment. Someone else is depending on you to get a common goal accomplished, as a team. If you find someone who shares your common need of improvement, latch on to that person, and make it a double. A workout partner can even create a friendly sense of competition.
8. PHOTOS/CHECK-IN – For me it has always been about showing a clear-cut progression, and nothing says progress more than visual proof. Taking photos of yourself at the start of your transformation, although perhaps highly personal and sensitive, is an amazing tool to show improvement and sustain motivation well into the New Year. Today, take photos of yourself from the front, side and rear and then put them away. I guarantee you that 12 weeks later following the Peak Physique Challenge you will see non-refutable change that will make you beyond proud. Additionally, perhaps try on a garment that is tight or too constrictive at the start of your 12-week program. I also guarantee that it will fit better, sometimes far better after the completion of your 12-week program.
9. CHANGE – The same thing day in and day out can thwart goals and challenges. That is why, armed with change, you’re suiting up not for a sprint, but for a marathon – for the long-term. Be it a different outfit to the gym, a different routine, a different spice on your meal, make it desired and interesting. For some, seeing the almost weekly changes in the mirror or improvement in exercise performance is more than enough change to keep you motivated and progressing.
10. A PROMISE – To yourself that this year, 2015 will indeed be different. You will achieve more than you have before. You will best the image in the mirror. You will adopt a lifestyle, not a fad. It has helped some to make them accountable by posting on social media one’s goals. Saying you need and will make a change in writing is a lot more powerful than wanting and trying to make said change. Your word, in the end, it’s all we have. Make your words turn into actions that count and make a difference.
2015 is about becoming the change you have always wanted to be. Now that you have Peak Physique firmly in your corner, you are not alone. You have a plan and most importantly, you have yourself. The creation of Peak Physique was my own challenge and call-to-action to get myself into top shape (it had been a while), and then to help lead others on this amazing journey to self-transformation.
We want to see your transformations. Post on social media #peakphysiquechallenge to show your progress and inspire others. Remember, transformations do come true, it just depends on how much you want them. Make it so.
Hollis Lance Liebman is the author of Peak Physique. Buy your copy today.
Our new 2014-2015 Sports Books Catalogue is now available. Browse the catalogue and discover the many different sports books that we publish here at Bloomsbury, from our exceptional training guides to our award winning great reads.
Real Results – No Gimmicks – No Airbrushing
Read a few sample pages from these fantastic books, based on a real-life challenge, these are the only fitness & nutrition books to show real results with no airbrushing and no gimmicks.
Covering fitness, health and nutrition, each book contains over 60 different workouts with 80 different exercises to choose from, explaining their purpose and technique. With the basics of training, warm-ups, cool-downs and stretching explained, the books also contain information on what fitness tests are used and the training routines followed, and a training diary for the reader to keep track of their programme and progress.
Order your copy today
Meet Michael Hutchinson and Discover the Obsession, Science and Luck Behind the World’s Fastest Cyclists
Discover the Obsession, Science and Luck Behind the World’s Fastest Cyclists
Michael Hutchinson is obsessed with speed. He will be here at the Bloomsbury Institute on 6th May to tell us about his new book, Faster, and explain why cyclists do what they do, what the riders, their coaches and the boffins get up to behind the scenes, and why the idea of going faster is such an appealing, universal instinct for all of us.
‘Fantastic. An intelligent and personal insight in to the world of elite cycling’ Sir Dave Brailsford