Meet author Julia Buckley as she talks about her new book The Fat Burn Revolution
The Fat Burn Revolution publishes on the 2nd January 2014.
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.
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
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.
The Fat Burn Revolution publishes on the 2nd January 2014.
Saturday morning was very cold and very wet – the perfect morning to stay indoors and whack the heating up, right? Wrong. I was at Pippingford Park in East Sussex battling the elements and ready to support the hordes of runners taking on the Spartan Beast – an epic 25km obstacle race.
As the climactic event on the Spartan Race calendar, this was going to be tough and it seemed as though Mother Nature herself was intent on making it even tougher for the runners. With a muddy and rain-soaked course greeting runners in the very first elite heat at 10 a.m., the non-stop rain made the trails boggy and the mud pits … boggier!
Having completed one of the shorter events, the 5km Spartan Sprint back in September, I couldn’t wait to see what the organisers had in store for the 15+ miles of challenging terrain. Oh, and did I mention that, if you fail ANY of the 25+ obstacles, there is a 30 burpee punishment?!
This race was hardest yet, but don’t just take my word for it, we have a first-hand account from a Spartan survivor, Darrell Skipper, who crossed the finish line after a gruelling four and a half hours.
Here’s what Darrell had to say about the race:
The Spartan Beast was by far the toughest physical and mental challenge of my life. I’d signed up for the 2013 Spartan Race Season Pass this year and had already completed four of the shorter Spartan Sprints (between 5–8km) and one Spartan Super (12km) over the summer, but this was on a different level.
I ran in the 10 a.m. ‘elite’ heat (I didn’t feel too elite by the end!) and we set off just in time for the first of many torrential downpours of the day. It wasn’t long into the race before we realised that this was going to be a lot different to those nice warm race days of the summer … It was raining pretty much the whole time and this resulted in people getting stuck in the mud and the freezing bogs being at chest height at times.
The obstacles ranged from fire jumps, 8ft wall climbs, rope climbs and barbed wire crawls to carrying heavy sandbags up and down steep and slippery slopes. Some very ambitious person also decided to put a 25ft rope climb at the end of the race, which apparently only about 10 per cent of finishers managed; the other 90 per cent accepting the 30 burpee punishment instead, which, for me, seemed to take a lifetime to finish!
The obstacles were actually a sweet relief, a brief respite from the horrors of the trails and the hills, oh god the hills! A lot of people struggled with the naturally formed mudslides, but luckily I had learned from previous races that the quickest way down is on your backside. As soon as the other runners see you doing this they all follow your lead – it was definitely the quickest way downhill.
I completed the race with my brother and father, who have been my Spartan training buddies for a few years now. We first signed up as motivation to lose weight and we ended up losing over 250lbs between us! After that, it just became an addiction. We love the whole ethos of the Spartan Race, the spirit and camaraderie between fellow Spartans is amazing. Lots of helping hands and lots of crazy, delirious laughter from the sheer insanity of it all.
I’d highly recommend obstacle racing for people who are looking to get in shape or to kick-start their fitness regime. Nothing motivates you better than cold, dead-eyed fear! Despite the aches, pains and countless hours of training, I’m definitely doing the whole season again next year – who’s with me?
If you are interested in joining the Spartans next year, or would like to find out more information about their races, you can subscribe here. Who knows, maybe I will see you at the start line next year…
A huge thank you to Darrell for his guest post and to Epic Action Imagery for allowing us to use their brilliant photos.
In a moment of madness it seems, in the euphoria of having moved near the river, I decided to join up at my local rowing club on the Thames for a beginners’ ‘Learn to Row‘ course. At just around 5ft 4in, I probably don’t have your typical rower’s physique, but having worked on my fitness beforehand, I’m hoping that I won’t show myself up too much.
The cox who will be taking us out on the river on Sunday for our first water-based session gave us a rundown on safety and general info, which included learning about the tidal Thames which has a twice daily rise and fall. The second half of the session was spent on the ergos with an experienced squad member talking us through the terminology of the parts of the stroke, and the body positions that maximize the power of your muscles in moving the boat.
Set the challenge of rowing 1000m against the clock, we rowed with passion – if not great technique . Times were taken and at the end of our month course we’ll be doing it again to see how much we’ve improved over the course through (hopefully) better technique and fitness. I’ll keep you posted as to how I eventually do. In the meantime though, I’m going to be doing a spot of swatting with the help of The Complete Guide to Indoor Rowing (out May 2012). It’s definitely worth a gander if any of you are in the same boat (pardon the pun).
Sunday approaches and apprehension increases, but as long there’s no capsizing or anti-elitist(!) swimmers to avoid, it should be a cracking day.