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Interview with Julia Buckley, Fitness Trainer

Tell us about yourself…
I’m a fitness trainer and writer and I specialise in helping people shed fat and sculpt strong, sexy bodies. My background is in journalism/media. I started my career in radio back in my hometown of Stoke-on-Trent, where I worked at my local BBC station. After a couple of years there I moved to London where I’ve worked in print, TV and online. I wasn’t at all sporty growing up (I talk about how horrible I found school PE lessons in The Fat Burn Revolution), but I discovered that fitness could be fun in my late teens. Gradually, over the years, my passion for exercise grew and I found myself drawn towards writing about it as a journalist. Eventually I was writing about fitness full-time and that’s when I decided to become a trainer.

What is The Fat Burn Revolution?
I was so pleased when Bloomsbury agreed to publish my first book, but I had no idea it would take off as well as it has. The first few chapters explain my approach to fitness and fat loss and the second half of the book outlines a 12-week exercise programme, which can be done at home or in a gym. The programme it very much geared towards getting the body in optimal condition for fat burning and combines weight training with high intensity interval training. Word about the results people have gotten from following the programme has spread like wildfire after the book came out a year ago, largely via social media with people talking about the difference it has made to them and posting photos. The Fat Burn Revolution turned out to be one of the best selling fitness books of 2014 and I’m proud to say that it has changed bodies and lives across the world.

Why online training?
I’ve been blogging and using various forms of social media since 2000 and I just love it. Plus I’ve built up a reasonable following online over the last 15 years. I never actually planned to be an online trainer, but when I became a trainer, so many people asked me for guidance online it was sort of the natural progression really. What I really love about the way my online training system has evolved is the community around my programmes. My clients and readers from all around the world interact regularly on my website and social media channels which means that support, encouragement, inspiration and advice is always available to people following my programmes.

What’s a typical day in the life of Julia Buckley?
It’s not very exciting I’m afraid… Well, it is for me, but probably won’t sound it to other people! I have online fitness clients from across the world, so I start by sitting at my desk in my study and logging on to my website to catch up on what they’ve been posting overnight. My website is sort of like an online fitness club where my members chat with me and each other and where I deliver all my fitness programmes, post workout videos, etc. Reading about how they’ve been getting on with their training and hearing about their progress is always so inspiring for me and the rest of my clients so that sets me up really well for the rest of the day. I go down to my fitness studio space to exercise for up to about an hour mid-morning and after that I usually stay in the studio for a while to work on exercises and draft out plans for future fitness videos. That usually takes me up to lunchtime. In the afternoon, I’ll be answering questions and providing coaching for my clients for a few hours and hopefully I’ll find a bit of time for writing. I’m working on my next book this year, so that’s something I need to make more time for! I usually try to finish by about 7pm, but I tend to stay active across social media pretty much until I go to bed at about 9pm. I know that might seem like a lot of working hours, but I love what I do, so I don’t feel overworked and obviously if I’m going out for the evening or something, my working day will be shorter.

How do you use social media to help your business?
I’ve talked a bit about how I use social media already, it has definitely helped me get a lot of clients. That’s a recent thing really though, I never consciously built up an ‘online following’, I just used it because I enjoyed chatting to people and sharing my life with my online friends. I still get a big kick out of making connections with people I’d never meet in daily life and getting to know a little bit about their experience of the world and it’s incredibly fulfilling when I hear that my work helped someone out there. But it certainly has helped me professionally, as well as being personally fulfilling, and I must admit I was thrilled to be dubbed one of the UK’s most influential trainers and “Queen of the Twitter Fitterati” in the last issue of Glamour magazine. The reviews of my book, the results photos people post and the chat between friends online about the difference my book, videos or online coaching made to them is what has allowed my work to spread across the world and help so many people.

How do you motivate yourself on those days that you just do not want to get up off the sofa?
Ah, this is a question I get asked a lot. The answer is, I get up and do it anyway, whether I want to in that moment or not – because I know I’ll be glad afterwards. I wrote a blog post about this here.

Who are your #fitspo icons?
Oh dear, I’m not sure how to answer this one. I don’t want to sound like I don’t find #fitspo pics inspiring because I do, but I don’t think I could name a #fitspo icon, let alone claim to be a fan of one… But in terms of who inspires me, I used to be very inspired by athletes or women I saw in the media who were in amazing condition. Now, my biggest inspiration comes from my clients. I’m not saying that trying to big up my business, it’s just that these are people I’ve shared a journey with and knowing where they started and how much more their bodies are capable of now, compared to back then would be enough to inspire anyone! Some of them are in absolutely outstanding condition now. Just as an example, I’ve done Tough Mudder events with groups of them for the past two years and it just blows my socks off to see them smashing up that hardcore obstacle course!

What are your top 3 tips for leading a healthy lifestyle?

Let’s keep it simple:

  1. Eat natural
  2. Move around a lot in the day
  3. Sleep a lot at night

What’s next for Julia?

As I mentioned I’m working on my second book right now. I’m so excited to get it done! I don’t want to give too much away just yet, but I will say that this one focuses more on diet. I’ll also be building on the success of my online training, I’ve had a huge influx of new members this January, which means I can invest more time and money in the site and hopefully reach even more people. I think that’ll do for 2015, even though things are really taking off, I’ll still be tweeting and posting on Facebook and responding to as many people who reach out to me on social media as I can.

Where can we find you online?
Here’s my website: www.juliabuckley.co.uk
This is me on Facebook: Facebook.com/juliabuckley.co.uk
On Twitter: @julia_b
On Youtube: Julia Buckley Fitness
And here’s my book on Amazon: http://amzn.to/KvVgiB

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