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Decided to get fit and lean in 2015? Awesome!

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



Top Tips for Keeping your Fitness New Years Resolutions in Check

Keep your New Years Resolutions in check with some top tips from Gavin Morey, author of the Twelve Week Fitness and Nutrition Programme for Men and the Twelve Week Fitness and Nutrition Programme for women.


Food basics
Leave the bread and pasta off of your shopping list. You would have heard this before but they are not that good for you and make your body retain water have which will in turn, make you feel and look bloated! Try leaving these out of your diet for one week and see how much weight / cm’s you have lost and how great you feel.



Healthy eating starts with healthy shopping
The key time to avoid shopping is when you’re hungry. Hungry shoppers put more in their trolleys especially naughty foods and sugary foods. Better to shop after a meal. This works to your advantage as you pick up slightly less and you will keep to your plan. Try it, you may be pleasantly surprised.

Sleep is as important as eating and drinking, which is why we spend one third of our lives doing so. It is absolutely vital for maintaining normal levels of cognitive skills like speech and memory.

Eating out
Enjoy the odd meal out as it can help with weight loss. Reward yourself for reaching a goal and enjoy the company, this will reduce the feeling of deprivation. By trusting yourself to choose the right meal and turning down the bread basket reinforces your sense of self control.

When it comes to drinking alcohol the best advice is to drink ones that are most natural with low sugar, no artificial ingredients. Choose spirits over beer, red wine over white or rose wine, ale over beer.


Drink water
Water makes up two thirds of the weight of a human body of which your muscle consists of approximately 75% water. Water is as you know the most important nutrient for the body but how much is enough? It’s recommended between 1.5 to 3 litres a day depending on your size, shape and the amount of exercise you do daily.



Bad day, bad week? Don’t panic!
If you are having a bad day or even an entire week try not to panic! Limit the days as much as possible and DONT GIVE UP! If you can turn it around to eating the right foods you can actually lose more weight than actually put on in the first place.

Training – Keeping things fresh
Like with our food, we need to keep things interesting with our training. Whether you buy a new app, buy new clothing or change your fitness sessions all will encourage you to keep exercising and having fun.


New to fitness
When you begin to work out for the first time or incorporating a new exercise routine it’s expected that your body will feel discomfort. This discomfort could be aching, stiffness or muscle soreness (also known as DOMS) that occurs as your body is being put under a new demand. So as you progressively increase the demand overtime your body will adapt and build it’s self up to become stronger physically (muscles) and physiologically (heart and lungs).

The importance of stretching
Stretching is just as important as exercise as it will lengthen your muscle, reduce the feeling of DOMS, promote circulation, increase performance and strength and aid in body awareness.

97814081963669781408196397Gavin Morey is the author of the Twelve Week Fitness and Nutrition Programme for Men and the Twelve Week Fitness and Nutrition Programme for Women.

Q&A with Gavin Morey author of the Twelve Week Fitness and Nutrition Programmes

Gavin Morey is the author of two new fitness books – the Twelve Week Fitness and Nutrition Programme for Women and the Twelve Week Fitness and Nutrition Programme for Men. He is a highly experienced fitness consultant and muscle therapist to celebrities and major health and well-being companies.

We put a couple of questions to him…

1. Have you always wanted to be a writer?

I have to admit it wasn’t until I was in my early twenties when I had the notion of becoming an author. It was floating around my head for a number of years until I plucked up the courage and decided to put pen to paper and draft out the concept of the books.
My original idea was to write a book that was twelve weeks long because this is the perfect amount of time to see your body change, adapt and develop into what you want. But I didn’t want to just write the book as that has already been done, especially by professionals who may have forgotten what it is like as a novice. That was when I thought I would practise what I preach and put on the weight to show my clients and others exactly what it takes to transform your body.

2. What made you decide to create the Twelve Week Fitness and Nutrition Programme?

I chose to write the twelve week fitness and nutrition programme for two reasons. Firstly from the comments my clients would pass to me regards ‘it’s easy for you to look that way’ or ‘it’s hard for me as I have to train and eat around work and I just don’t have time’. After listening to that for a while I decided I would show them exactly what it takes to change your body. I wanted them and others to see it wasn’t easy, time isn’t a limiting factor for weight loss and it isn’t all down to genes.

Secondly I found it really hard looking through health and fitness books / magazines showing amazing results “IN JUST TWO WEEKS” with the most extreme before and after photos. These books / magazines promise you the earth which the training is mainly plyometric style training (not a great long term plan for your body due to a higher risk of injury) and by following a bodybuilding diet (again not realistic plan as even bodybuilder don’t maintain this type of diet for long).

Due to those two reasons I really wanted to clearly show the progress like no other, hiding behind no gimmicks, trick photography / airbrushing or fake results. I chose to document all of my training sessions to the point of the weight I lifted to the recipes and meals I ate everyday. I choose to take WEEKLY photos and health tests along with monthly postural analysis and fitness test so the reader can see the weekly progress I went through and what they should expect for themselves.

I put on lots of weight (a little over two stone of fat), stopped all kinds of training for 5 to 6 months and got extremely spotty and body conscious. To my detriment my glucose levels at one stage were very close to having onset type two diabetes! I was now ready to start the twelve week programme for men and start the book.

However for Alison, she never wanted me to write a book with her in it but liked the idea of a ladies version. I managed to talk Ali into doing the twelve week plan on the condition it would not be book unless she was really happy with the end results! We documented all tests, photos and diary inserts in the off chance at by the end of the twelve weeks Ali would be happy (I knew Ali would be!). Luckily for every lady out there (and myself) Alison was so happy and the ladies book was born.

3. What would you say are the four main benefits of the programme?

The four main benefits are the basis of the books!
1 – Real Results:
Alison and I have actually done the programmes ourselves first to show the great results that are achievable. We wanted the reader to be engrossed into our lives and encouraged by what we have done and what they can do. We included all aspects of the way we lived (personal diaries/stress & energy levels/sleeping patterns), trained (times we worked out, length of sessions, weights/reps/sets we actually done) and ate (the snacks we used, meals & recipes we followed, shopping lists we stuck by), along with all of our health results and measurements and weekly photos. By seeing how and what we have accomplished sets a precedence for the reader to be encouraged, motivated and empowered to get up and have a go for themselves.

2 – Weight loss but more importantly health benefits:
We wanted the weight loss to be controlled, sustainable and achievable. Exercise is important but the diet in my eyes plays an even more important roll (up to 70% of the way we look and feel). It was the nutrition and recipes that took us the most amount of the time to get right. The recipes we chose had to contain a large variety of ingredients, be very healthy and above all tremendously tasty. We set about creating the recipes to help the body from the inside out, by lowering / balancing glucose and cholesterol levels but with the upside of weight lose.

3 – Transforming your body within twelve weeks but changing your lifestyle forever:
Your body can make a dramatic transformation in such short period of time but it takes the full twelve weeks to make an impact on our habits and routines. The nutrition is the hardest part to change, as you have more than likely fallen into your own routine and lifestyle. To break this you will need hard work, be dedicated and to see results to push you through to the goal you set yourself. When you get to the end and you have achieved what you wanted, you will forever have set yourself new routine and lifestyle. It has been 4 years since we finished the twelve week programme and yes we are both still as fit and healthy as ever, even after Alison has had our little baby boy Morgen. We unconsciously make the right choices of the foods we eat, and we still try to stick to three fish meals, two white meat, one red meat and a vegetarian meal a week for our dinners.

4 – Easy to follow fitness sessions and recipes
The ease and functionality of the book is by far a head and shoulders above the rest. All of the training and recipes have been broken down into step by step guides that will take you through each individual fitness session and recipe day by day, week by week for the full twelve weeks. The nutrition programme has been developed for a family of four and allows you to see the weeks overview first, before it leads you onto the weekly detailed shopping list that you can take out to the supermarket to help you save time, energy and stress.

The programme includes all breakfast, lunch and dinner meals for the entire twelve weeks which has over 100 recipes. The recipes themselves are very easy to follow with simple step by step directions on the ingredients needed, how to prepare and cook each meal, even to the point of reminding the reader how to prepare for the next days meal. The training has been designed for the men to gain muscle, tone up, get fit whilst losing weight whilst the women’s is about toning up, getting fit and losing weight with the added bonus of shredding some cellulite. You will be able to follow the personal sessions of the authors next to your own which has blank sections to jot down your own results. If you then wanted you can compare yours next to the authors to see how well you are getting on!

4. How did you come up with the recipes for the book?

The biggest inspiration for me, like most, is my mother. She encouraged my brothers and I from an early age to start cooking and above all enjoy all the tastes and texture food can bring. We were brought up on homely food but as the years went by and we were older and able to help in the kitchen my mums culinary skills changed some what and she started to follow various diets. My mum would take a very boring and mundane recipe and change it to a delicious meal exploding in taste. This was the foot stones to where I started and I have taken the recipes she has used throughout the years and made the recipes slightly.

5. Do you have any favourite exercises from the 80 in the book?

To be honest if you asked me I have a couple of favourite exercises in the gym. The first would be pull ups as they are so good at hitting all aspects of your back and can define your shape. The second is the Morey Squeeze (upper) as I find this is one of the best exercises to isolate and hit the upper pectoral like no other exercise out there. Finally I like squats as it they one of the hardest exercises but it’s a foundational exercise that can improve your posture, develop your muscle mass when lifting heavy and increase muscular endurance to help with cardio vascular exercises. Alison would say the exercises she liked the most were dumbbell shoulder press as it really helped tone her shoulder and triceps, reverse shrugs as this exercise helped realign her posture and bring back her shoulders and boxing as it was a great way to vent frustration, get fit and have fun doing it!!

6. Are the weekly shopping lists for the recipes affordable?

The weekly shopping lists back in 2012 we’re worked out at a costing of £45 per head for all the meals and snacks for the entire week, this did however include ingredients that would last longer than a week or two such as extra virgin olive oil and soy sauce. 

7. Can the workouts be carried out at home?

The training sessions I carried out we’re actually at home within my own gym in the garage, so yes all the training can be carried out at home. If you wanted to get the same results or better you would need to use roughly the same type of equipment as we used or better.

8. Is there any basic equipment that readers need to follow the programme?

It’s quite hard to say would you get the same results as Ali and I without the correct equipment and the answer would be you probably would have completely different results. The basic equipment was pretty basic for Ali and I to get the results we wanted. For example if you decided to do all body weights instead of using actual free weights then you would certainly get lean and toned but you would not gain the same amount of muscular size and mass. If you were unable to run like Alison and I, you would need to find an alternative that pushes you just as hard (again this would depend on your fitness levels as a fast walk will be hard for one person but easy for another). So yes it is important to get the right equipment for the best results but no it’s not the end of the world as any form of exercise you do with the correct diet will help you lose weight and above all get fitter and healthier.

Read a few sample pages from Gavin’s new books…

12 Week Fitness for Men 12 Week Fitness for Women

Want real results? Experience the difference with the Twelve Week Fitness and Nutrition Programmes

 Real Results – No Gimmicks – No Airbrushing

12 weeks Book 1.indbTwelve Week Fitness and Nutrition Programme for Men

For Women                                                                                           For Men

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

9781408196366       9781408196397


Health & Fitness Catalogue 2014 #sportsbooks

I expect you’ve been wondering when this little beauty was going to come along, and here it is …
The 2014 Health & Fitness Books catalogue.
It’s got our greatest hits, our newest chart-toppers as well as some stalwart classics.

Sit back, browse and enjoy…

Click on me to see inside

Click on me to see inside

Brought to you courtesy of Bloomsbury Sport. You’re welcome.

The Fat Burn Revolution

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.

Man vs. Beast: a Spartan’s tale of obstacle racing

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.

The Spartan Skippers in red setting off at the start line. (Left to right) Darrell, David and Nathan

The Spartan Skippers in red setting off at the start line (left to right) Darrell, David and Nathan

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.

Despite the cold and the rain, spirits were still high

Despite the cold and the rain, spirits were still high in the water crossing

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 fire jump

The fire jump was a great source of warmth for the spectators!

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.

The mudslides

Tackling those mudslides

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…

Happy training!

A huge thank you to Darrell for his guest post and to Epic Action Imagery for allowing us to use their brilliant photos.

Real athletes row. Others just play games.

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.

Top 10 Tips for Running

           Guest post contributed by Bloomsbury author Graeme Hilditch

Early spring sunshine is famous for kick-starting our cold winter souls back into life after months of shivering in sub-zero temperatures.

Although a range of outdoor activities are either resumed or started, it is running which is notorious for capturing the nation’s interest in the spring, and with so many mass participation 5k and 10k events taking place in the next few months, March and April are by far the best months to get started with a running regime.

So the question is, how do you get started?

There's no better time than spring to put a spring back in your step

There's no better time than spring to put a spring back in your step

If running has always been something you’ve wanted to try but you’ve never had the know-how or courage to give it a go, Bloomsbury’s 5K and 10K: From Start to Finish may be just the ticket.

Just the ticket for starting out.

To give you a taster, here are ten tops tips to get you started:

  1. Enjoyment is key – When starting out or starting up again after a few months ‘sabbatical’, always set out for a run with one intention and one intention only – enjoyment. If you enjoy yourself, you’re far more likely to want to do it again soon.
  1. Walk the walk – Combining light jogging and walking is a great way to get started. Just 2 minutes of jogging followed by 3 minutes of walking is perfect for the beginner.
  1. Buddy up – Jogging with a friend who is also new to jogging is a great way to stay motivated, and to have a good gossip and a laugh with during a training session.
  1. Nice and easy – Starting out jogging is never easy, so try not to jog too fast and stick to a nice moderate pace which you feel is comfortable – gentle enough to be able to hold a conversation.
  1. Hydrate – Although the temperature is not quite Mediterranean yet, always make sure you are well hydrated before any run.
  1. Running shoes – It is really important that when you start running you wear a pair of running shoes which suit your specific running gait. All good running shops will offer this service free of charge so whether you are recommended a pair of Brooks or Nikes, it’s a good idea to get analysed. See here for more information on gait analysis.
  1. Slip, slop slap – It can warm up nicely in the spring, and with a gentle breeze, it can often be hard to tell if the sun is burning your skin. So it’s a good idea on warm and sunny days to slap on a hat and slop on some factor 15.
  1. Variety is the spice of life – Try to vary your running route a little to keep the scenery fresh and interesting. As you get fitter, try including a few gentle hills too, which will really tax those leg muscles and make them a lot stronger.
  1. Sign up for an event – To keep you motivated, why not sign up for an event straight away. This will help to give you a goal, keep you focused and give you a purpose to keep jogging regularly.
  1. Join a running forum – There are plenty of forums on the internet where you can meet other like-minded people who are also new to running. Forums are great for questions, and they can help to give you peace of mind that whatever anxiety you have about running, you are certainly not alone.

Graeme Hilditch is a top personal trainer with over a decade of experience under his belt. He is the author of 5K and 10K.

Runner’s Knee, Tennis Elbow, Skier’s Thumb?

When it comes to sport and exercise, “No pain, no gain” may be a catchy phrase, but pain can often be the first warning sign of an injury so it’s important to listen to your body.

  To be on the right track in regards to managing treatment whether it be for ankle sprains, shin splints, groin pain, slipped discs or torn hamstrings, it’s worth checking out The Complete Guide to Sports Injuries by Christopher M. Norris.



The book is packed full of helpful photographs and diagrams to aid both understanding and technique in treating sports injuries, with practical guidance on massage, taping, hot and cold. Norris also gives great advice on structuring rehabilitation through exercise therapy to help with recovery through the healing process.

If you’re a sports coach, fitness instructor, student, physiotherapist or sports massage therapist, then this is the ideal introduction to understanding and treating sports injuries.



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