TheFitDog hosts a running magazine giveaway

April 10, 2014

TheFitDog has a big head at the moment. And I’m not talking about the generous proportions he was blessed with by mother nature. He’s puffed up with pride, far beyond his wrinkly jowls and square brain-box.


He’s in a magazine again.
nicola joyce running magazine

Eagle-eyed readers may have spotted him (and me, but that’s by the by) in the current issue of Women’s Running magazine. Remember when we went on a caniX training session? This article is the result*


Anyway, Frankie thinks that absolutely everybody should have the opportunity to gaze upon his handsome face and marvel over this athletic physique. So he’s offering one of you a brand new, slobber-free copy of May 2014 Women’s Running magazine.

To be in the mix – do these two things

1) share this blog post on Twitter (with my Twitter name @thefitwriter in your tweet somewhere)
share this blog post on Facebook (with my FB page link in the post)
2) leave a comment on this post to let me know you’ve done one of the above!

Frankie and I will pick a winner on Monday and get the magazine sent out to you ASAP.

Open to readers anywhere in the world ๐Ÿ™‚

*In case you think I’ve gone a bit quiet with the “where you’ll find my byline this month” posts, I don’t do much journalism these days – it’s mostly copywriting. I put a fair bit of client news on my website newspage, when possible.

TheFitDog hosts a running magazine giveaway is a post from the Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.

What would you ask Brad Schoenfeld?

January 24, 2014


Just a quick one from me today as it’s all go here.

bodybuilding journalist writer
I’m donning my journalist’s hat tomorrow (it’s one of those black porkpie ones with a press card tucked into the hat band) and going along to Brad Schoenfeld‘s seminar Maximal Hypertrophy, on behalf of my clients at Muscle & Fitness magazine. (Thankfully, I get to hide behind my notepad this time. I was too embarrassed to write about the time I had to be in the photos for the article, but my dog hijacked the laptop and blogged about it. He’s a better writer than I am to be honest.)

Brad is thought of as one of the leading authorities on body composition training (and he’s also a lifetime drug-free bodybuilder).

I wanted to ask those of you who are Muscle & Fitness readers, or who follow Brad’s work, or who are interested in the topics… what would you ask Brad if you were coming along?

Here’s the agenda:

1. The Mechanisms of Muscle Hypertrophy: What Makes Muscle Grow?

2. Hypertrophy Program Variables: Applying the Mechanisms to Practice

3. Hypertrophy Program Design: Periodising the Ultimate Muscle Building Program

4. Eat to Grow: Nutritional Strategies for Maximising Muscle Development

It’ll be interesting for me to hear your questions… I’ll try to get the answers from Brad, and then perhaps build the article around the most interesting answers!

What would you ask Brad Schoenfeld? is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.

Happy New Year from thefitwriter: 2013 in review

December 31, 2013

What a year it’s been! I’m looking forward to the opportunities and adventures which 2014 will bring. Here’s how 2013 went down in my world (and on the blog)

nicola joyce inbf world champion

I did five bodybuilding competitions and experienced the lows of not placing at all right through to the highs of competing in the USA and winning an overall World title!

comp 1) BNBF Centrals – 6th place physique
comp 2) BNBF Midlands – 2nd place physique
I was then invited to do the (new) Athletic class at BNBF Finals and decided to go for it
comp 3) BNBF Finals – 4th (of 5!) athletic
comp 4) UKDFBA Open – 3rd place bodybuilding
A few days later, I was invited to be the amateur female bodybuilder on Team UK at the INBF Worlds! Getting that phone call was one of the best moments of my year and I think I’ll remember it forever.
comp 5) (aka What the whaaaaat?! :-O ) What an experience… competing at the INBF Worlds as part of “Team UK”. I won the women’s bodybuilding HW class (by default!) and then competed in the over all against the LW winner. I won it, and became the INBF women’s bodybuilding overall winner and World Champion for 2013!

You can read the UKDFBA’s report of the INBF/WNBF Worlds 2013 here – it’s a great read and I encourage you to take a look.

I won a two awards in the end of year awards (Best Journal, and I tied for Toned Glutes, LOL) – thanks, chaps! has generated a handy summary of my blog stats for 2013. Have a look, see if you spot yourself in there! thefitwriter 2013 blog activity.

My most active blog commenters in 2013 were
Tara of Sweat Like A Pig (a fantastic strongwoman blog which tackles some meaty issues about training, women in sport, nutrition and competing – read it!)
Trish (she doesn’t have a blog but give her a cheer anyway, she’s probably making her bodybuilding debut next year)
Helen of Diary of a Newbie Strongwoman (as the name suggests – a strongwoman blog charting Helen’s journey through training and competing)
Rooobarb & Custard of Adventures in a Campervan (a wonderful blog about adventures in Ruby the 1967 split-screen campervan)
Fiona of HiFifi’s Transformation (a blog about a one-time (and future?) figure competitor who’s working out a way to eat and train for life)

Thank you, ladies (and gent)! But really it’s a big thanks to all of you who read, share and comment ๐Ÿ™‚ Apparently people read this blog from 155 countries, mainly the UK, USA and Australia.

Most popular post and product reviews in 2013 were

Tesco Nutri1st Advanced protein products
Monkey Nutrition whey isolate Primal26
Bio Synergy
Bio Synergy and Melanie Sykes supplement range
What I learned from the Phil Learney Fat Loss & Performance seminar
(You can see all my product reviews here)

Big up yo bad selves

I’d like to say a big thank you not only to my blog readers but to my friends and supporters in sport and business. Clients, agencies, PRs, collaborators, designers, editors, interviewees: thank you all. You can find me (wearing a slightly more professional hat) on my website, my linkedin and linkedin company page.

To anyone who has read, shared, liked, commented on or visited this blog in 2013: thank you! If you stick around into 2014 I promise to bring you plenty of interesting content, training info, competing reports, and behind-the-scenes news from a competitive bodybuilder who writes a lot. Hey, 2014 might even be the year in which I actually write more about the business of writing ๐Ÿ˜‰ You never know.

Happy New Year from thefitwriter: 2013 in review is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.

Blog post for the Fitness Writers’ Association

June 19, 2013

Just a quick one to say that I have a guest blog on the news page of the Fitness Writers’ Association today.
I joined the FWA last July when it was launched and am still a proud member of this industry group, which champions the work of fitness writers and runs various networking events to bring us together (and to give us access to key names from across sport, fitness, health and wellness).

My blog post is on the topic of working on location as a freelance magazine journalist.

Here is my original post about the launch night and joining the Fitness Writers’ Association last year.

Thank you to Cheryl (one of the team behind the FWA) for inviting me to guest blog – and for setting up the FWA!

You can like the Fitness Writers’ Association on Facebook, follow the Fitness Writers’ Association on Twitter or check out the website for more info (or to join!)

Blog post for the Fitness Writers’ Association is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.

Nicola Joyce writes for Muscle & Fitness books

December 21, 2012

A nice end to the week (to match the nice beginning!) My work is going to be featured in a book.

muscle and fitness books

With my journalism hat on, I often write for Muscle & Fitness magazine. In fact, if you get the issue which is out at the moment, you’ll see my interview with Bronwyn Taylor – “Britain’s Strongest Schoolgirl”.

So I’m delighted to be able to tell you that my work is going to be featured in one of three books produced by the Muscle & Fitness team: Muscle and Fitness guide to Sports Nutrition.

I’ll actually be in another of the three, but not my words. Remember when I did that photoshoot with Shaun Stafford, to illustrate a strength and conditioning feature I wrote for the magazine? Well, some of the photos from the shoot have been selected for the Muscle and Fitness guide to HIIT!

The three books – “High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)”, “Sports Nutrition”, and “Weight Training Success” are all part of the โ€œMuscle & Fitness Guide to…โ€ series.

nicola joyce muscle and fitness writer

I’d love you to pick up a copy of the books, and there are various ways to do so

The first two will be on sale in print in the UK on 10 January 2013 and the third will follow on, going on sale on 14 March 2013. You’ll be able to get all three printed books at WH Smith and Sainsburys, or via Muscle & Fitness’s website.

The app for the digital editions is available in iTunes and Google Play – just type โ€œMuscle and Fitness Booksโ€ into the search screen and youโ€™ll see the blue M&F Books App logo (or you can go to it via the link on Muscle & Fitness books). The app is free to download. Once youโ€™ve downloaded it, youโ€™ll see six more icons: a free sample of each book and the full version for sale.

You can even get the three books as e-books, readable on any Windows or Apple desktop/laptop computer and iPad. You can get that version here. They’re encrypted, and you’ll need to download Javelin Reader but it’s all very simple and straightforward (I managed it, so it must be!)


Nicola Joyce writes for Muscle & Fitness books is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.

The Games are coming…

July 26, 2012

On my way home from the gym (which is in Windsor) today, I noticed how many little details have sprung up around the London 2012 Olympic Games. Here are some photos from my journey home….

The Games are nearly here!

I wonder what snapshots of “journeys home from the gym” would look like for people actually living in London? (I’m about 20 miles West – near Dorney, where the rowing, canoe and kayak, and paralympic rowing will be held).

Do you live near an Olympic venue? What Olympic-sights can you see from your home, gym or office?

dorney rowing lake london 2012 games

The Games are coming… is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.

Joining the Fitness Writers’ Association

July 19, 2012

Last night, I was at the launch of the Fitness Writers’ Association, a new industry membership group here in the UK which aims to unify the communications arm of the fitness industry, bringing together those of us who write about it and those of them who supply it, lobby for it, train people in it and otherwise contribute to the products, services, ideas, campaigns and trends which make up the sport and fitness industry.

What a great idea! I don’t quite know why nobody’s thought to put something like this together for us before now (similar things exist for the health industry, for example). Three cheers for the lovely Cheryl at Action PR and Fiona at The Running Bug (and a few other hard-working ladies) for coming up with the idea and driving it forward. The result of their efforts was unveiled last night, at the rather swish Dolphin Club in London.

We were treated to canapes and champagne (of which I had none ๐Ÿ˜ฆ being 7 weeks out from my comp ๐Ÿ™‚ ) before the first of the speakers took to the floor. Fiona and Cheryl introduced the Fitness Writers’ Association, explaining why it had come about, why it’s needed and what it will develop into (events, education, training, contacts, a network of experts us writers can go to for information/ideas/leads/comment, as well as fantastic links with the FIA).

Then we heard from the Dolphin Square Fitness Club, who gave a thought-provoking talk about the legacy the 2012 Games will leave behind… and why it might not have the impact we’d like to think it will. Is the Olympics actually inspiring us to become fitter? Do the Games significantly encourage uptake in sport? What social/cultural shifts do we need to see in Britain to turn us from a nation of spectators (bums on seats) to participators (bums off seats!) The emphasis was on how we, as the writers serving the sport and fitness sector, can help make the legacy of the Games a lasting and positive one.

Then David Stalker, CEO of the Fitness Industry Association, talked about how we absolutely must link this fantastic opportunity – our Olympic Games – with much wider health and fitness goals and programmes in this country. The time is now, he said. We have to get it right. Dave is a passionate speaker and advocate of getting the entire population healthier through activity, exercise and fitness. He and the FIA have strong, respected links with Government, Public Affairs and Policy, huge corporates, the medical industry and the education sector. I have heard him speak in small settings like this many times now and, each time, I feel very honoured: this is a man who has direct links into, and is helping to drive, some of the most important health/wellness/fitness campaigns in Britain and here he is sharing it with us. Thank you David.

Lastly Dr Jess Leitch of Run3D in Oxford talked to us about the latest in high tech gait analysis and how this is helping our Olympic athletes – and those of the future – train, compete and continue on with their sport with as little injury as possible.

Then it was time to chat with the other writers, Editors, freelancers and inhouse people who’d been invited to this inaugural FWA event. I decided I definitely wanted to join – I get asked to join quite a lot of networking things, memberships groups and industry bodies, but the FWA is the only one of its kind and I think it will be very important to our industry.

Thank you to Cheryl and Fiona for organising, to Ruth, Dawn and all the others who helped make the night a success, and to Richard, Mark, David and Jessica for speaking.

You can follow the Fitness Writers’ Association on Facebook and contact if you’d like to ask about joining.

Joining the Fitness Writers’ Association is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.

Byline in The Washington Post (and “Swim: Why We Love The Water” giveaway)

June 27, 2012

I don’t just train. I do a bit of work, too ๐Ÿ˜‰ I work as a freelance writer, doing both editorial work (features in consumer magazines, mostly, but some trade/industry publications, too) and commercial work as a copywriter (content for B2B clients, B2C clients and agencies).

I don’t often blog about work (I probably should do so more often), in fact there are only a handful of work-related posts on this blog:

Where you could have found my byline back in May 2010
How to engage with fitness journalists and bloggers
How I became a freelance writer (and other FAQs)
More bylines
My favourite commissions (at that point!)
A few fitness copywriting examples
– And a few more here.
The importance of quality content for fitness professionals

You can also check out some of my clients on my Pinterest board “my lovely clients” (cos they are all lovely – one of the benefits of being freelance is that you don’t have to work with the non-lovely ones).

On the whole, I am excited by everything I write. Every new commission still gives me a thrill, even after eight years. However, this one’s a bit special and I’d really like to shout about it. Indulge me, please. I promise we’ll be back to photos of my weightlifting belt and reviews of protein powders soon ๐Ÿ˜‰

In March, I was contacted by someone who purported to be a commissioning Editor at The Washington Post. Yeah right, I thought. Ha ha! But… it’s not quite 1st April. So maybe this isn’t an April Fool. Sure enough, it was real. The Washington Post had been looking for a book reviewer for the book “Swim: Why We Love The Water” and had found me. (For those of you who have only known me, or this blog, since I took up bodybuilding, you need to know that I come from a swimming background and have swum the English Channel twice). The Editor had read a few of my articles, blog posts and online features about swimming and decided to approach me.

I was very excited. I mean, come on. The Washington Post?

The review came out and is still online here.

Would you like to win a copy of Lynn Sherr’s book, “Swim: Why We Love The Water”? Because you can. I have a spare copy here (not the review copy with my bits of paper stuck all over it).

To win, please:
1) “Like” “Swim: Why We Love The Water” Facebook page
2) Tweet a link to this blog post, including my Twitter name (@thefitwriter) and Lynn’s (@LynnSherr) and include the hashtag #SWIM in your Tweet
3) Come and leave a comment on this blog post to let me know you’ve done those two things… and then tell me your most memorable swimming experience. I’d love to hear about it, no matter where or when it was. Pool, sea, lake or lido… tell me ๐Ÿ™‚

Byline in The Washington Post (and “Swim: Why We Love The Water” giveaway) is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.

Random musings, 48 hours out

October 21, 2011

Less than 48 hours til the NPA Final. In fact, in 48 hours, I predict I’ll be all done and sitting in the audience cheering on the rest of the competitors. Whilst eating —insert current craving here— (today: corned beef sandwiches. Yes, really.)

As I mentioned earlier in the week, Friday of peak week is usually my favourite day. Of peak week. Perhaps of prep as a whole? Why? It’s restful, relaxing, time to reflect.

I don’t train. Carbs are back in my world. I usually take the day off work and, after walking the dog and prepping vast amounts of sweet potatoes and fish for the following 48 hours (I don’t fancy firing up the oven every time I need a serving of potato…), I just chill.

I wander into town. I buy the things I’ve been drooling over for months, knowing I’ll be eating them in 48 hours. I sit in a squishy chair in a coffee shop and read, or journal, or watch the world go by.

Today’s musings, on (almost) the eve of my fourth and final comp of the year, and (almost) the end of my 2011 competitive season. In no particular order.

What have I done?!
Whatever the result on Sunday, I have already achieved far more than I set out to and far more than I expected to. More, too, than I thought I was capable of in my first year of competing. I thought I’d only do one comp. Then I realised there were two associations, so I thought I’d do two. Never in a million years did I think I’d reach one let alone two Finals. As it turns out, all these months later, being a British Finalist twice over in my first year is what I’ve achieved.

Progress… step by step, rep by rep
Every competition I do means I’ve taken myself to a new level. Even if I come dead last on Sunday, it’s not dead last to me. It’s further than I was before. Any placing in a Final is a step onwards, because it’s a reflection of more hard work, more training, more dieting, more prep.

A year-long experiment (ongoing!)
This entire year has been an experiment. A guessing-game much of the time. A collection of research, ideas, plans and fine-tunings. It’s been absolutely fascinating and I’ve learned so much, about nutrition and training, about my body and my mind, about the limits I can take myself to and how much I can achieve. The competitions – those brief moments on stage – are really a very small part of it all. The most exciting part, for sure, and the part involving the sparkliest bikini! But just the tip of the iceberg. Most of it is stuff only I really know, and most of it is stuff I can’t even articulate or reflect upon yet.

“That’ll do, Pig”
I am proud. Not prideful, but extremely proud of myself. There, I’ve said it. I don’t often (if ever!) give myself credit or simply say “well done. You did great.” But I did. We’re not even there yet, but I hereby pat myself on the back and say “well done, you did great.” Don’t misunderstand me, my prep has been far from perfect. But I’m proud of how far I’ve come, what I’ve learned and how I’ve applied it.

Marbles? Check!
I’m proud, too, of the fact that I’ve gone through almost a year of prep without letting it send me insane. Those of you out there who have competed, you know how hard it is. The rest of you have some idea. It’s very easy to let prep – particularly the diet side of things – mess with your mind. I promised myself very early on I would not let this happen. Life’s too short, health is too precious. The moment it stopped becoming fun, I’d stop (believe me I came very close, on more than one occasion!)

So, for that reason, I’m proud of the fact that I’ve slipped up on my diet, given into cravings and eaten well outside my plan on some days. I’ve always been honest with myself and with my coach. I’ve never been ashamed, guilty, or dashed out to do extra cardio. I’m proud that I think I know myself and my body well enough to know when to say “shut up and eat the broccoli” and when to say “you’re right. Let’s have a bowl of that.” I’d rather get on stage 90% in shape physically and 100% in shape mentally, than 100% “shredded” if that means shredding my mind as well as my body. After all, time on stage is very short. Time at home, at work and being happy in my own self represents a far bigger portion of my life. In short, I’m proud of the fact that I’ve got through a long and tough prep, being strict enough to get great results without sending myself mad. I’m happy. That’s the main thing, and the thing which will still matter on Monday, trophy or no trophy.

I’m sure there was more I had to say, but that’s probably enough. To end on a lighter note, I must now go and scrub myself all over and get busy with a disposable razor. Tanning starts soon! ๐Ÿ™‚

Random musings, 48 hours out is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.

%d bloggers like this: