I’ve talked recently about running, Olympic Lifting, Strong Woman Training and my weekly PT sessions. But what I’ve not talked about in any detail for a while is the bulk of the rest of my weekly training. I generally workout 6 days out of 7, that might seem like a lot but the sessions are varied in both length and intensity and my body seems to handle the training load well.
3 or 4 of those sessions each week are with Julia Buckley in her online gym otherwise known as the Extreme Inferno Fitness Club. I’ve been training with Julia now since the start of 2013, well over two years now so I thought I’d talk a bit about what it is that keeps me coming back to Julia’s online fat loss training.
Let’s be honest, at the end of the day we all want to see results. Whether that be improvements in strength, speed or for most people that come to Julia, fat loss you want to know that the training you are doing is getting you somewhere.
Since I’ve been training with Julia I’ve lost a significant amount of body fat. It’s not been a linear journey by far and at times it’s seemed slow but my progress photos speak for themselves. The shot on the left was taken in Jan 2013, the one on the right in March 2015. And it’s not just me. Julia’s website has an entire gallery of her client’s results. If you’re looking to shed fat, Julia’s training works – fact!
2. The flexibility
No gym membership? No problem. Julia’s workouts are all designed to be done at home with minimal equipment. Equally if you want to do them in a gym that’s fine. I often do. Total beginner and want to have a completely prescribed programme to follow? She’s got that covered. Want to be more flexible and fit Julia’s training around other things that you do? Again, no problem. Everything is designed to allow you to take control of your own training in whatever way you want to. All you really need is an internet connection, a set of dumbbells, and gym ball.
I’ve followed three of Julia’s programme’s now. The Fat Burn Revolution, Extreme Inferno and Challenge XXX. Although they are all based on the sound fat loss cornerstones of strength training and high intensity cardio they are each quite different in format and the exact type of sessions that are included. That’s kept things interesting for those of us who have been training with her for a while.
Julia is about to launch a new programme Rebellion in a couple of weeks time and I can’t wait to find out what’s she’s got in store with this one. From what I’ve heard it’s got the potential to be my favourite yet.
4. The ‘tell it like it is’ coaching
Fat loss needn’t be complicated but it’s not always easy and most people need to change their diets as well as follow an exercise programme to see the changes that they want. Julia doesn’t beat around the bush about this and her coaching style is a breath of fresh air. She asks really insightful questions that challenge you to think about why you are and aren’t doing certain things. She encourages us to plan and log both our workouts and food so that if things aren’t going as we want then she can take a look and give us honest feedback. It’s not always easy to hear but it is invariably valuable.
5. The community
Julia’s online gym is delivered via an interactive website where her clients are encouraged to interact both with Julia and each other, to share their experiences good and bad and to support each other. It is a completely judgement free zone and one of the most supportive environments I’ve ever been part of. People from all sorts of backgrounds, united by a common fat loss goal cheering each other on and picking each other up when necessary. New members are welcomed with opened arms and Julia has put together a team of team of fitness ACES, people who have been training with her for a while (including me) to make sure there is always someone around to answer any questions.
My online gym buddies are an amazing bunch and they inspire me on a regular basis. And that online community has also met for real a few times. Sometimes we’ve got together and run around in the mud. Or got together and supported other members of the team while they run around in the mud. They also got together and had drinks while I ran the London Marathon!
6. She’s ‘real’, she’s there and she cares
Julia’s workout are all filmed in her home gym on a video camera. There’s sometimes some editing done but often it’s clear that the video has been shot in one take. While that sometimes leads to some amusing ‘bloopers’ it really does make you feel like you are working out in the room with Julia and I’ll take that over glossy production any day.
That personal feeling extends across the website. While she can’t possibly read every post everyone writes if anyone ever has a question all we have to do is type @Julia and she responds. She’s on the website everyday often posting motivational videos for us and responding to questions. She genuinely cares about people and their progress and will take the time to get into an in depth discussion with someone if that’s what they need at the time. It really does feel like having your own PT at your fingertips. And the fact that she’s been on her own fat loss journey makes her even more relatable.
7. The evolution
When first started training with Julia we interacted via a Facebook page and I kept training notes in an excel spreadsheet which we shared on DropBox. It’s been quite a privilege to have been training with her as her business has developed and evolved, including the launch of her first book and the launch of her members website. Julia never lets things standstill, always seeking feedback from her clients as to what they would find helpful. Listening to that feedback has lead to the recent inclusion of a food planning sections with loads of healthy recipes and suggestions for weekly plans. The recipes I’ve tried have been delicious.
8. The value
You’d be forgiven for thinking that accessing Julia’s site with its training programmes, personal coaching and food plans would be expensive. In fact it costs just £7 per week. £7, that’s less than half the price of most fitness classes in London or the price of one lunch and a coffee. It’s such a low price that even if you were only going to do one workout per week it would still be good value. And there’s no joining fee and no tie in so if you decide you want to leave for any reason then you just stop your payment and that’s that. Total bargain.
So there you have it. Those are the reasons that I continue to train with Julia. That and the fact that as well as my trainer she’s also become a good friend and the only person I allow to make me do burpees.
Oh, and if you do happen to pop over to the site then you might spot me in a couple of the videos!