Just Strong: 12 week program

I didn’t have any intention of running another strength program right away, but when I received emails like the following, I couldn’t resist:

Hi Julia-
I just wanted to let you know how much I loved the past 10 weeks of the Push, Press, Pull program!  I have to admit I was a little skeptical, at first, about working out 4-5 days a week, ( I’d been doing 3) and I was also worried if my elbows could take it, as they’ve been bothering me lately. Well after 2 or 3 weeks I adjusted and my elbows have been good!
My proudest accomplishment is that I now can do 4 pullupsI had been trying to get 1 for the last 5 years!  I’ve read every article about how to do a pullup, and even though I could do up to 7 chin ups, I couldn’t get 1 pullup.  It was very frustrating and I was beginning to think it was all in my head!  I can’t tell you how thrilled I am!

I’m also psyched that my bench went from 65-100 lbs!  Also, when we had to do abs, I did hanging leg raises-  in the past I could only do them with bent knees, but I tried them with my legs straight, and I can do them!!


And another:


This (Push, Press, Pull) is the best program I’ve ever done……I’ve improved on absolutely everything. I’ve found power I didn’t know was there and quite frankly I’m not sure what I will do the week after this program is done!! Thank you!


And a note in our Facebook group:

Yay! I did my first unassisted pullup today!  🙂  This course is amazing and Julia you are a genius! I’ve got so much out of it already – thank you!

When I first started the programme I couldn’t even do one decent push up, I’d never benched anything before and I’d never managed a pullup or chin up – even though I’d tried pullups/chins countless times. In the past I’d tried doing reverse pullups for a while, because I’d read somewhere that it helps you with doing a regular pullup – but it never worked for me. (As a background – over the last few years I’ve been working out at home with kettlebells, and doing lots of swings, presses and squats).

On week 1 of the course I tried doing a pushup and it wasn’t happening, so I had to do the pushups on my knees. I managed to do 7 pushups on my knees and that was it. At the time it was tough and that was how I did them for a few weeks.

On week 5 I thought I would have a go at doing real pushups and see if I could just do 1 – I totally surprised myself because managed to do 11 in a row – I was over the moon! The following week I did 20 in a row!! I really used to dislike doing pushups but now I quite enjoy it! I can’t remember which week it was when we had chinups but I tried one of those unassisted and managed it – I just thought wow and felt like a badass!

I can’t believe how strong I’ve become in a few weeks. Oh and I love looking at my arms and shoulders now. Sorry for the long post but I’m so happy with what I’ve achieved. I love this programme and I’m getting so much out of it!


While I will argue about my own program being “the best program” (I don’t believe there is really a “best” program out there), I’ll certainly take the “genius” comment. 🙂  All kidding aside, these folks went from literally not being able to do 1 pull up or even a pushup to killing it by the end.  As the weeks were winding down, they just kept saying, “I wanna get stronger! I want to do another program!”


So, here we go.  I decided to name the program “Just Strong” because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say, “You’re strong for a girl!”  Well, I’d beg to differ…. I think I’m just strong, gender aside.

just strong2


This program, like the other, will be given each week at a time. It is not customized to the individual, but that does allow me to keep it cost effective for you.  We have a private group to post workouts, ask questions and with this Just Strong program, I will do video critiques of your big lifts… in fact, I am almost requiring it!!  Part of getting strong is making sure you are technically sound. We can add many pounds to a lift just by seeing your technique.

The program will begin January 4th.  From now until December 27th, it will be $99.  After that, it goes up to $149. Click the buy now link below, make sure your email is correct and I will email you further details on joining the group.

Change your brain

Life is hard.

I struggle just as much as the next person to put on a happy face sometimes.  I’ve been through one of the most stressful years of my life.  And not even like, oh, work is busy, kids are busy, running around everywhere type of stuff. Like honest to goodness stress… feelings of anxiety that won’t go away, loss of appetite, moments of fear that literally leave me unable to concentrate.

I have a few friends that have supported me and have pulled me out of the ditch. And if we are being really honest, there are times I don’t want to be pulled out. I don’t want to pretend to be happy. I don’t want to “put on a smile” and brush off the emotions. I want answers.  I want things fixed. And I want it now.

But I’ve also noticed that when those negative things are perpetuated or constantly fed to me (from my own head), the deeper I seem to fall. “Woe is me, life is hard, I suck, I’m terrible… blah blah.”  It’s cyclical. It never stops. It keeps going… if we let it.

So what do I do?  I vent.  I write.  I journal. I even cry sometimes. I let myself feel the emotion… and then I pull myself out. I literally say, “I hate that (fill in the blank)…. BUT, I need to keep focusing on (fill in the blank).”  It’s ok to feel anger/sadness/frustration, but it’s when it takes over does it become a problem. If you find yourself giving those excuses every day (“I’m so stressed”, “I’m just not good at this”, “I’m so ______ “) then guess what your life is going to be like?

Zig Zigler and Tony Robbins are onto something. Perhaps you think of Stuart Smalley when you repeat “I am good enough” quotes in the mirror. But… the mind is plastic. It can change.  Synapses, neurons, responses, stimulations… just as we have learned information over our lifetime, those things are well-embedded because we have used it over and over. Changing our attitude, how we see ourselves, and having a positive outlook are learned things. It doesn’t mean that every day will be rainbow butterfly unicorn kittens. But it does mean you can change your brain.



Although this little fella would be nice to have around every day.


In order to change, something does need to hit you across the face. While a bitch slap may be in order, it’s more like being dissatisfied with your current situation. Whether that’s mentally or where you’re at in life.  That is what most people get uncomfortable with. Being able to admit that is difficult.  We feel that when we say “I’m unhappy with where I’m at” that it means we are unhappy with who we are.

Not true.  Wherever you’re at in life (job struggle, divorce, kids, not strong enough, not thin enough, overweight, underweight, broke, break-up, relocating, good day, bad day) does not dictate who you are.  See the difference?  Your situation may be one of those things, but who you are is much more than that.  And that’s where changing your mindset comes in.

And the things that are out of our control are really tough. Those situations are often the hardest because we can’t fix them ourselves.  BUT, we can still work to change our brain. We can still work to separate the situation from who we are as a person.

I can’t tell you how you need to change your brain. Every situation is different, every person’s story and background will vary. External encouragement is always nice. In fact, I’ve had a few people over the past few weeks tell me how happy I look, how much I’ve grown as a person and how much I show my confidence now. If that doesn’t light up your world….

But at the same time, I can’t always rely on extrinsic factors to change my brain. I need to learn how to dig deep and do it myself.  One day when my mind was a bit all over the place, I decided to take a bunch of silly selfies and send them to my BFF.  Normally, I would wait for that person to reach out to me and make ME feel better.  But in actuality, it felt good to be silly… AND I knew my pics would make them smile as well. So perhaps a two-birds-with-one-stone tactic. But regardless, I pulled myself out and smiled.

Are the issues and fears and life situations still there? Of course. They won’t go away overnight. But at least I was better able to face my emotions and change my brain. And now I’m even thinking more clearly as well.

It’s not easy. Changing your brain is difficult, especially when we feel things like fear, hurt, anger and anxiety. But the outcome is worth it. Keep fighting for it.


(A few books that I enjoyed reading were Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, and See you at the Top)