For the last month I've been checking out the online gym of one of my favourite online personal trainers, Julia Buckley. Her workout videos, combined with the support from Julia herself and the forum community, makes me feel like I have her in my very own living room, motivating me, advising me and training me. At £22.78 per month, it's also a lot more affordable than heading out to see a personal trainer in the gym.
The range of programs available over at JuliaBFit is vast, from the very challenging 12 week Forge, to the low intensity 5 day Bootcamp, ideal for beginners. You'll also find programs with really cool, kick-ass super hero type names, like Ignite, Heatseeker, Phoenix, Rebellion, and Extreme Inferno, among others.
There's plenty to be getting on with if you were to join today, and Julia is always working on a new exciting workout to add to the gym so you'll certainly be kept on your toes! You can also follow a particular program or take part in the weekly workouts, which are set each week and pull from the range of programs. This is a great way to get a taste of all of them!
For some programs, you'll need basic equipment, such as hand weights, an aerobic step and a gym ball. All of these can be bought cheaply on Amazon, eBay an even Argos. If you're a beginner, then you can just copy movement if it includes weights. If you want to use weights but don't have any, you can use books or jars etc until you're ready to invest. If you do decided to buy weights, then you can start with 3kg and 5kg dumbbells or go heavier if you want, of course!
Begin with Bootcamp
If you're a beginner, then it's recommend that you try out the 5 days of Bootcamp. It sounds scarier than it is. Don't get me wrong, it will still work your muscles if you're a beginner, but unlike the Bootcamp you've seen at gyms, local parks and on TV, you won't have someone shouting in your face! Instead Julia talks you through all of the moves and works out along with you.
You could do the five day Bootcamp each day from Monday to Friday and then use the weekend to rest.If you still feel like you need easing into regular workouts a little more, then you can repeat the program for a couple of weeks. As Julia points out in her Intro video, it's all about learning at first and the gradually stepping it up each week.
Forum, ACEs and Progress Journals
There's a really great community in the form of forum support, in which Julia pops on each day and is also looked over by her team of 'ACEs' (which stands for: Accountability, Coaching and Encouragement). Each member is assigned an ACE Buddy who will keep an eye on their progress and offer the accountability, coaching and encouragement. This is an optional-extra and if you're the kind who would prefer to be left to do you're own thing, you can do exactly that.
Members are encouraged to start their own thread on the forum under their name and use this as a progress journal. This is a great idea, and thinking back to my own journey back in 2011, I know how powerful this can me. Heck, I took my original MyFitnessPal blogs and turned them into Beyond The Bathroom Scale! Journals are so useful for showing you just how far you've come. Each personal best, every non-scale victory and even the experiences of trying new recipes and workouts, all are really rewarding to read back on.
I didn't take nearly enough advantage of the forums, but I think that's because I'm so used to working out t I didn't feel the need to check in each day with an update on my progress. Whenever I did post however, I was met with responses from Julia, my ACE buddy and other members so quickly, it really is a very welcoming community of like minded women!
The JuliaBFit online gym is home to a wealth of motivational 'kitchen table talks' (KTTs). I absolutely love these pep talks!
For a week last month, I was struggling badly with a spate of migraines. I get the kind that affect my vision for a while and the head pain usually sticks around all day. Obviously, this made working out impossible, so instead I watched Julia's KTTs when my vision cleared, to keep me motivated for when I felt well enough to get back into it - and do make sure that I did get back into it!
Julia gives fantastic talks on conflicting health advice, procrastination, goal-setting, breaking patterns and unwanted habits and staying motivated through winter, to name just a few.
You can join Julia Buckley's online gym by signing up here.