Happy New Year, everyone!! Anyone else overdo it a bit on the carbs and sugar this holiday? Honestly – no apologies over here. I fully embrace the fact that December means all of the food I use willpower to resist the rest of the year. December was glorious in all of its Christmas cookie – fresh baked bread – cheesy goodness. But, January has come roaring along, and with it, a renewed commitment to my physical health.
As many of you know, I adopted a rigorous workout regiment last January to prepare for my wedding. If I’m being honest, I had no idea what I was doing. I took up a popular workout program and wound up hurting myself. I wound up using it as a foundation for my workouts and mimicking the resistance and cardio schedule it suggested, but it took a lot of reading and trial and error on my part to find something that worked for me.
While this will probably be true for you as well, I’m so excited to help you kick-start your New Year’s fitness goals with the below interview with celebrity fitness trainer, Joey Thurman. Joey has trained the likes of Terence Howard and appeared nationally on shows like GMA, TODAY, and LIVE with Kelly and Ryan.
No idea where to start with your workout plan? Curious as to common fitness misconceptions? Want to know the ONE thing Joey would cut out of your dietary habits? Read below!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your career!
I’ve always been into fitness – I’ve been an athlete my entire life. I’ve played every sport from soccer to baseball to hockey – I went to college to play hockey, actually. Personal training wasn’t really prevalent at that point, but I ran into the physiology professor who started a program and certified me as a trainer. I moved to Chicago and took a job with Crunch fitness in Chicago. I then switched to another gym for four of five years until I started my own training business.
At that point, I began working with a few celebrities and getting picked up by local TV. In 2016, I decided to write a book, and it was picked up by the TODAY show. I worked with two of their viewers for the Summer Slim Down. From there, I was booked on The Harry Connick Jr. show to discuss food and fitness. The producer from Harry Connick developed a show for me called Home, Sweat Home which was picked up by Facebook Watch. From there, I worked with Good Morning America on a “dad bod” 180 workout program. Most recently, I went on Live with Kelly and Ryan.
What is the most common complaint you get when someone comes to you for training?
The most common complaint is “I don’t have time to spend hours in the gym – my day is so busy.” Obviously, they’re unhappy with their weight, but most often, people think they don’t have time for it. In reality, most of the time, people are wasting time in the gym – they’re on their phones, on Instagram, etc. They’re in the gym for an hour and a half or two hours, when really, you can get a great workout in in 25 or 30 minutes. You can be efficient in easily under an hour – my training sessions are under 45 minutes.
What is the biggest mistake you see people making in their current workout routines?
Complacency – not pushing themselves. If you’re doing the same routine over and over again for years (Monday being chest day, Tuesday is arms…and the same movements) and you don’t come out of the gym feeling like you’ve broken a sweat, then you’ve really accomplished nothing. I see people going for a light run and thinking they can treat themselves to a pint of ice cream – I’d rather you not do the light run and NOT eat the ice cream. You have to push yourself.
Be efficient with your movements. If you want to lose weight, you have to resistence train. It doesn’t have to be lifting big heavy weights – your body can serve as your resistence, too. Work out hard, efficiently, and eat clean. You need to have a plan – if you wander aimlessly from machine to machine in the gym, you won’t accomplish much. Treat it like a business plan: you can’t build a business without a plan. Your body is your business.
For those of us who have no idea where to start, can you help us develop a basic workout plan?
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was your body. Going to the gym for a week and expecting to see results is unrealistic. Going as hard as you can for a week straight and expecting to see results will lead to burnout. You also can’t expect your body to be in the same shape as it was in high school or college. Let’s get you started:
Start with a full-body routine 2-3 days a week with resistance training. Pick an exercise for each large muscle group:
- Legs – squats or lunges
- Back – rows or assisted pull-ups (machines are great here)
2-3 sets for each muscle group, with 10 reps per set. Make sure there’s no pain as you go. If you start off doing 8 or 12 or 16 sets at a time, it’s too much stress for your body. Especially if you haven’t worked out in a while, you need to start slowly.
2-3 days a week of cardiovascular exercise.
On the other days, go for a long walk or play with your kids – evening cleaning your house burns calories! Just don’t sit on your couch.
What is your opinion on workout apps?
I have an issue with a lot of these workout apps because people download and go without taking into account proper form or progressions. They’re hard workouts without proper training and it leaves you debilitated for days or hurt because you weren’t smart about your process. The app might not be for you or for your body. If you can’t afford one on one training, there’s online coaching that’s a cheaper option. If you can sign up for a few personal training sessions to jump start your fitness routine, it will help you develop the correct form.
What is the biggest dietary mistake you see people make?
We want to BELONG to something – paleo, gluten-free, etc. I have tried every diet because I want to know how it feels on my body so that I can speak to it. The main thing is don’t try to put yourself in a box or a group: if you’re eating your typical SAD diet – beige, fried – just add greens. Don’t try to adopt a crazy diet immediately and go so far from what you’re used to; you’ll burn out. People go on crash diets and fall off the wagon.
I have my clients write down what they’re eating – even if it’s that they start their mornings with donuts. Take a look at what you’re eating. Are you eating a bunch of sugar? Drinking a lot of calories? Alcohol? It limits fat oxidations. Until alcohol leaves your system, your body will not burn any fat. The combo of alcohol and sugar is the worst combination – it will trigger your body to store more fat. Be aware of these food patterns. Start where you are and slowly remove or add different foods. Avoid added sugars. Try to cut down your alcohol consumption.
You want nutrient dense food. We don’t eat enough greens – add green things to your life! Add spinach and kale – throw it in a blender with water, banana and berries and drink that! Add a couple servings of veggies a day does wonders for your body, skin and health. It will help the nutrient absorbtion of everything you’re eating. If you eat 10 servings of veggies a day, I’d be thrilled – a cup uncooked or a half of a cup cooked. Replace one bad meal a day with something healthy. Avoid packaged food with a laundry list of ingredients – and if a protein bar tastes like candy, it’s probably not as good for you as you think.
What’s one food you wish people would stop eating?
I wish people wouldn’t start their mornings with sugar – whether that’s a large bagel or cinnamon roll or donut. It’s one of the worst things you can do. It creates a neuro-peptide y response in your body: it’s the feeling of being insatiable and craving sweets no matter how full you are. The rest of the day, you’re left fighting an uphill battle to eat clean food. I’d rather you eat a donut at night than start your day that way and be left with a continuous craving for more. The days you start with a donut are probably much harder for you to eat clean.
Can you describe a typical daily diet for you?
I generally don’t eat breakfast – I know some people think it slows down your metabolism, but it’s not true. Some refer to this as intermittent fasting or timed eating. I start training people at 5:30am or 6:30am in the morning. I’ll have black coffee or green tea unsweetened before my workout as my “pre-workout.” I workout an hour later – caffeine helps mobilize fat to use as energy. It gives you energy and mental clarity and helps you burn fat during your workout.
Sometimes my workout is only twenty minutes long. I usually have my first meal immediately after I work out. I’ll sometimes eat a plant-based protein powder with a bunch of kale, spinach, and a banana or berries and blend. A few hours later, I’ll eat another meal which will contain some sort of greens, eggs, or chicken. 75% of my food is something green. I’ll eat a cup or a cup and a half of beans a day. I rarely eat out. Most of my meals are made at home. I only eat in an eight hour window – I start eating at 11AM and stop by 7PM. I tell people to stop eating a few hours before you go to bed – not because it stores fat but because your body will be working to digest the food and unable to rest properly.
Tell me about the program you launched!
I have an app now! Not the ones you go and buy for $5. It’s called 30 Day Comeback Fitness Challenge for New Years. It’s a free, 30-day competition. You have to sign up from today until January 7th. You get a link and you download the app. Then you can do the 30-day body weight program or 30-day gym program. You pick which program you want to do and that’s your entry to win the prize. I walk you through 30 days of body weight or 30 days of gym training. There are videos of me showing you how to do each exercise. You log your weight and your sets and reps. There’s a timer on the app and a body tracker. It’s personal training in your pocket designed by me. You can message me through the app and I’ll respond as soon as I’m able. Within the contest, I’ll be sending you exclusive deals – you’ll get discounted rates to my membership platform. Each workout counts as an entry to the contest. If you stick with all 30 workouts, you get 30 entries. At the end, we’ll do a random drawing to select a winner for a $5,000 prize package.
Any words of motivation for 2019?
Don’t compare yourself to anybody else. Don’t go back and compare yourself to your old self “I used to be in shape…” The day you start is day one. Only look forward from there.
To be entered into the drawing, participants need to workout 5 times in 5 days with the JTF app by logging your workouts with a picture – and uploading here to the group
– From then on out, each workout is a contest entry to win the prize pots
– Join anytime between 1/1 and 1/7
– Contest ends 1/31/19 at 11:59 CST
Entry Opens: January 1 2019 at 12:00AM CST
Entry Closes: January 7 2019 at 11:59PM CST
Ends: January 31 2019 at 11:59PM CST
Don’t Let a Good Holiday Mean a Bad Body!
For every run, walk or workout completed using the Joey Thurman app (walk/run, bike, or gym workout for 20 minutes), challenge participants will get an entry into the contest prize pot!
The three (3) participants that complete the most workouts have the best shot at winning the
– Fitbench – Fitness set valued at $1,995
– A customized 60 day program from Joey Thurman – valued at $1,500
– Full athletic apparel outfit sponsored by SigmaFit – $250
– Case of Shanti Organic Superfood Bars – $100
– 60 minute, 1-on-1 coaching call with Joey with custom plans and support – $250
– Athletic pants and a shirt sponsored by Barbell Apparel – $200
– 3 bottles of FitVine Wine – $60
– Athletic pants sponsored by SigmaFit – $100
– 30 minute, 1-on-1 coaching call with Joey – $125
– Case of Shanti Organic Superfood Bars – $50
– Athletic pants sponsored by Barbell Apparel – $150
– JTF ebook – valued at $20
– Athletic top sponsored by SigmaFit – $80
– A pouch of Shanti Organic Superfood Bars – $25
– 30 minute, 1-on-1 coaching call with Joey – $125
– An athletic shirt sponsored by Barbell Apparel – $50
– JTF ebook (valued at $20)
OTHER DAILY AND WEEKLY GIVEAWAYS
– 15 pouches of Shanti Organic Superfood Bars – $25
– More announced inside the group challenge area
Additional prizes and giveaways will occur inside the member’s group on JTF app platform.
– Joey will conduct weekly check-ins and live streams
– You must log your workouts by taking a picture and uploading to the group
Click here to join!