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Gay Times Magazine - - Contents - Harry’s book Get Fit, Get Happy is re­lease on 19 Oc­to­ber, @mcfly­harry

We all know Harry Judd is re­ally fit – just look at this mag­a­zine cover. But as he re­leases his first book, Get Fit, Get Happy, the McFly drum­mer tells us that do­ing reg­u­lar ex­er­cise is about so much more than look­ing shred­ded

and post­ing a #progress selfie.




Shortly af­ter com­plet­ing his Gay Times cover shoot, Harry Judd tells us strip­ping off for the cam­era is no big deal any­more. “I’ve kind of just be­come im­mune to it. I lit­er­ally don’t get shy about it now,” says the McFly drum­mer, Strictly Come Danc­ing win­ner and fit­ness ad­vo­cate. “I did The Full Monty [for an ITV show] a few months ago, so where else is there to go? I can’t get any more naked. And ac­tu­ally, there’s some­thing lib­er­at­ing and quite ex­cit­ing about it. The first time I did a naked shoot, it was with the band, so we had each other to mess around and cringe with. But on my own, it’s not a prob­lem – I’m not go­ing to lie, I’ve al­ways been a bit of a poser. You look at pho­tos of me as a teenager and I’m pulling all these ridicu­lous faces! I ac­tu­ally en­joy do­ing naked shoots.” Of course, it helps that Harry is dis­rob­ing to pro­mote some­thing he’s su­per-pas­sion­ate about: his new book Get Fit, Get Happy. If you fol­low Harry on In­sta­gram (and we’re guess­ing a few of you do), you’ll know that ex­er­cise is a ma­jor part of his daily life. He loves keep­ing fit, but isn’t quite so keen on the way the fit­ness in­dus­try of­ten mar­kets its prod­ucts. “I do feel that within fit­ness there’s too much fo­cus on the re­sult,



and the re­sult be­ing how you look,” he ex­plains. “Whereas the main rea­son I train is be­cause it makes me feel bet­ter. When I started re­ally get­ting into ex­er­cise again, ini­tially it was about, ‘Yeah, I wanna get in shape.’ But I soon dis­cov­ered that ac­tu­ally there are so many other ben­e­fits to fit­ness, and I feel very strongly about those.”

And these ben­e­fits, Harry says, aren’t ex­clu­sively phys­i­cal. “You know, I’ve suf­fered with anx­i­ety in the past, but ex­er­cise has re­ally helped to reg­u­late my stress. It’s helped me cope with anx­i­ety much bet­ter be­cause it’s given me a re­ally good fo­cus in life. At first I ac­tu­ally found it hard to get this mes­sage across in the book, be­cause at no point did I want this to be­come a sob story or a ‘poor me’ kind of thing.

“The fact is, I’ve been re­ally lucky – I have a blessed life and I love be­ing in McFly. But that doesn’t make me im­mune from suf­fer­ing from things that other peo­ple suf­fer from. Be­ing in a band for so many years, there have been times when my life has had no struc­ture and no rou­tine, and so ex­er­cise be­came this one con­stant that I could fo­cus on. It’s some­thing pro­duc­tive, you know? And it helped me sleep bet­ter and eat bet­ter, which in turn helped with my anx­i­ety too. Now, I get frustrated if I don’t ex­er­cise. When I get like that, my wife will be like, ‘Fuck off Harry, get out the house, go the gym.’ So I do!”

But the gym isn’t for every­one, of course. Some of us don’t mind the guys grunt­ing, the con­stant queue for the squat rack, and the os­ten­ta­tious crash of dumb­bells on a linoleum floor. Other peo­ple would rather their spare hour watch­ing Gemma Collins clips on YouTube with a hefty G&T. If you fall into the lat­ter camp, Harry says his book is for you.

“I’ve found that the four main rea­sons peo­ple don’t ex­er­cise is be­cause they don’t have enough time, they don’t have the money to join a gym, they don’t have the mo­ti­va­tion, and they’re maybe a bit in­tim­i­dated. So I had these things in my mind con­stantly when I was com­ing up with the ex­er­cise pro­gramme in the book.

There are work­outs in the book that are only 10 min­utes long – and they’re fun, which is hope­fully a good mo­ti­va­tion for peo­ple. And there’s no equip­ment in­volved. You can do these work­outs in your gar­den, your bed­room or your stair­case, just us­ing ev­ery­day items.

“This isn’t me say­ing: ‘Go to the gym.

Eat this much pro­tein.’ Be­cause that puts a lot of peo­ple off. I wanted this to be an ac­ces­si­ble fit­ness book that takes the pres­sure out of get­ting fit. Hope­fully peo­ple will do it and find they feel hap­pier and more pos­i­tive and want to keep do­ing it.”

And if they also no­tice a change in the way they look, that’s a bonus, right? “Oh don’t get me wrong – that’s a great mo­ti­va­tor. It’s a great mo­ti­va­tor for me – every­one likes to look good and I like feel­ing con­fi­dent in my skin as much as any­one. But it’s not all about that. Of course today I want to look good on the cover of Gay Times, but I don’t ob­sess over it be­cause that would just make me un­happy.

“I have a blessed life and I love be­ing in McFly. But

that doesn’t make me im­mune from suf­fer­ing.”






“I had a packet of crisps be­fore the shoot and I didn’t think any­thing of it. And some ba­nana bread ac­tu­ally. If my whole ex­is­tence was based on how shred­ded

I can get, I think I’d get a bit de­pressed about life. Be­cause I just think there’s more to life than look­ing good. It’s about bal­ance.”

A few days af­ter the shoot, Harry and wife Izzy wel­come their sec­ond child, a brother for their one-year-old daugh­ter. At 31, he’s a fam­ily man now, and main­tains close ties with McFly, who’re now work­ing on their sixth al­bum – 13 years af­ter they re­leased their first.

“The dif­fer­ence be­tween McFly and most pop bands is we write all our mu­sic, we play all our mu­sic, and we’re in to­tal con­trol of ev­ery­thing from the art­work to our live shows,” Harry says when asked to ex­plain the band’s longevity.

“It’s been a grad­ual process – we were slightly more man­u­fac­tured to be­gin with – but we’ve al­ways had that kind of cre­ative in­tegrity. For other pop bands – and we’ve seen some great pop bands come and go – they reach their peak, maybe dip a bit, and then one of them wants to go solo. Whereas for us, this is an on­go­ing project: we can do what we want when we want, and no one tells us what to do.

“And let’s face it: we’re also still do­ing this be­cause we get on so well. We’ve been through so much to­gether that there’s al­most this mu­tual un­spo­ken un­der­stand­ing there. It’s a special bond to have. It’s more than friend­ship, it’s al­most like fam­ily.”

Be­fore he hops on his bike and cy­cles home from the shoot, we ask if Harry ever feels weird about girls – and guys – ap­pre­ci­at­ing his more re­veal­ing pic­tures. With­out skip­ping a beat, he replies: “Not in the slight­est. Some of my straight friends have asked if it both­ers me and it lit­er­ally doesn’t.

“A guy say­ing to me ‘nice photo’, or a girl say­ing it on Twit­ter, it gives me the same feel­ing of, well, it’s nice to be com­pli­mented. I mean, the guys can be slightly more ex­plicit with their grat­i­tude... if that’s how you want to put it.”

Go on...

“Like, re­ally graphic. I’m ly­ing there at home with my wife, look­ing at Twit­ter and read­ing out all this ex­plicit stuff that guys have sent me. I’m like, ‘Lis­ten to this!’”

And what does she say? “She just laughs and says, ‘Why are you telling me this?’

But I mean, she doesn’t mind. I feel grate­ful to be liked and ac­cepted by your read­ers.

“It’s a weird one be­cause there’s a fine line be­tween me be­ing too aware of that kind of praise. So I try not to tap into it too much. I’m just happy if peo­ple en­joy the pho­tos, how­ever they want to en­joy them...”

Well there we are.

“I’m there with my wife look­ing at Twit­ter and read­ing out all this

ex­plicit stuff...”

Hey Joel! You’re cur­rently on tour with your stand-up show. How’s it all go­ing? I’m hav­ing a great time! I’m now on the last leg and the venues are grow­ing. We started off at 200 seaters, and now it’s 1,500, 2,000 seaters! Be­cause it’s slowly built that way, it means ev­ery step of the way I get more amazed by it.

That’s great! Any crazy fan mo­ments? Well, be­cause I dis­played my love for cheese­cake in the jun­gle [Joel was a con­tes­tant on I’m a Celebrity… in 2016], the weird­est thing I get is peo­ple throw­ing cheese­cake at me on­stage. It’s kind of an­noy­ing ac­tu­ally, peo­ple just fling­ing cheese­cake on the stage! You can’t throw food at peo­ple do­ing their jobs! At least I’m not lac­tose in­tol­er­ant – then it’d just be in­sult­ing.

You’re also start­ing a new show with Nish Ku­mar on Com­edy Cen­tral called Joel and Nish vs The World. Could you tell us a lit­tle about it? Ba­si­cally, I go to the fittest tribes in the world and see if I keep up with them for a week. And the an­swer is al­ways, “No, I can’t.” Nish has a kushty job, he fol­lows me around and laughs at me while I try. He gave him­self the name of the “sassy eth­nic side­kick”. But through­out the whole ex­pe­ri­ence he be­came re­ally in­valu­able – I needed him for emo­tional sup­port. I ran this 32-mile ul­tra-marathon in Mex­ico, and I when couldn’t stop cry­ing at mile 28, he just ran the last four or five miles with me. He re­ally helped. I’ve been to Mex­ico, Philip­pines, China, Brazil, Mon­go­lia and Kenya. It was won­der­ful. I ba­si­cally had a gap year, but I got paid for it!

Do you find it hard to keep up your ex­er­cise regime up when you’re on the road? Weirdly, my ex­er­cise regime is bet­ter when I’m on tour. When I’m sat in Lon­don my time al­ways gets filled up with TV shows and stuff, but when I’m on tour I only work in the evening. So, I fill the day with work­ing out, then I gig in the evening. And nowa­days you’ve got Marks and Spencer and Waitrose, so you can just have sal­ads along the way.

Tell us a bit about

CROSSFIT, be­cause we know you’re a bit of a fan! It’s just so good. But I be­lieve every­one should find their own thing. A lot of peo­ple force them­selves to go to the gym, but if you’re forc­ing your­self, don’t do it! Do some­thing else, be­cause there’s so much you can do – you can play lacrosse, you can play squash, you can go swim­ming… can dodge cheese­cake? [Laughs] Yeah, ex­actly! I just stum­bled across CROSSFIT and now it’s my thing. They call it the sport of fit­ness, and it’s so fun to see how far you can walk on your hands, or climb a rope! It’s nice to stay healthy in a fun way.

A lot of peo­ple are in­tim­i­dated by CROSSFIT though, be­cause it has a rep­u­ta­tion of be­ing quite in­tense. Hon­estly, give it a go. It will change ev­ery­thing for you! It’s a real cult, as soon as you’re in­volved, you’re stuck.

It’s a great thing to be ad­dicted to. Some peo­ple choose drugs or sex, I choose to sweat with other men.

So, tell us Joel, do you feel be­ing in great shape can be a hin­drance in the world of com­edy? Yeah, it can some­times. But when I did I’m a Celeb... I hope peo­ple were still find­ing me funny as well as look­ing at me in the shower. Back in the day, you had to be more self-dep­re­cat­ing to be a co­me­dian, but now I think it’s chang­ing. Amer­i­can com­edy in­flu­ences Bri­tish com­edy now, be­cause of YouTube and stuff, and Amer­i­can com­edy is much more out­ward and con­fi­dent. You can have a great co­me­dian like Kevin Hart, who’s spon­sored by Nike and has his top off all the time do­ing work out videos. As long as you’re like­able and funny, that’s the core of it – even if you look like some­one that’s walked fresh out of Love Is­land.

You men­tioned I’m a Celeb... How was that whole ex­pe­ri­ence for you?

I don’t think it changed me as a per­son, but it’s def­i­nitely changed my life. I sur­round my­self with peo­ple that keep me grounded – like my tour man­ager, who I’ve known since I was 11. I went to the GQ Men of the Year Awards and it’s an en­vi­ron­ment I felt re­ally self-con­scious in. I feel more com­fort­able talk­ing down a mi­cro­phone at a com­edy club than I do sat at a ta­ble in a suit and tie. It was mad be­ing in the same room as Pele, Jared Leto, An­thony Joshua and Stor­mzy. I love those guys, they’re in­cred­i­ble. The fact I’m al­lowed in a room like that is hum­bling. And they were some of the most strik­ingly hand­some men I’ve ever met in my life!

What does it mean to you ap­pear­ing in a gay mag­a­zine? Well, I think of it in the same way I would ap­pear­ing in a straight mag­a­zine. I re­ally like Gay Times, I think it’s re­ally im­por­tant that it keeps go­ing, and it keeps rel­e­vant and great! The fact that you’re even con­sid­er­ing me to be in­side the pages of it is a won­der­ful com­pli­ment.

Well, we’re very ex­cited to, ahem, have you. Ob­vi­ously, we wouldn’t change a thing, but if you could change some­thing about your body, what would it be? I bite my fin­gers re­ally bad. I do it when I’m stressed or busy. Hon­estly, I hate to look at them it’s the most unattrac­tive thing. Also CROSSFIT and gymnastics de­stroys my hands, they’re all cal­loused. So def­i­nitely my hands.

And fi­nally, can you tell us a joke be­fore you go? Ab­so­lutely. ‘Chi­nese whis­pers’ was orig­i­nally called ‘chime breeze Christ­mas’, but they changed it due to bad com­mu­ni­ca­tion. There’s plenty more where that came from!

Dumbbell one-arm tri­cep ex­ten­sion. The all im­por­tant tri­cep re­quires se­ri­ous work to get that bulge. Grab a dumbbell and sit on a bench with back sup­port. Bring the dumbbell up to shoul­der height and ex­tend the arm over your head so it’s per­pen­dic­u­lar to the floor and next to your head. Ro­tate the wrist so the palm of your hand is fac­ing for­ward with your pinke to the ceil­ing. This will be your start po­si­tion. Slowly lower the dumbbell be­hind your head as you hold the up­per arm sta­tion­ary, in­hal­ing as you per­form this move­ment and paus­ing when your tri­ceps are fully stretched. Re­turn to the start po­si­tion by flex­ing your tri­ceps as you breath out. Aim for 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps.

Hang­ing weighted leg raise. This is an in­tense ex­er­cise for that shred­ded stom­ach. Grab a dumbbell and bring it to a pull-up bar. Go light to start with – be­tween 2kg to 5kg. Take a shoul­der-width over­hand grip on the bar and al­low your body to hang, legs to­gether, hold­ing a slight bend in your knees and hips. Keep­ing your legs straight, grab the dumbbell with your feet and make sure it’s wedged in be­tween each foot. This is your re­sis­tance. Con­tract your lower abs to lift them in front of you to hip-height. If you’re mov­ing un­der con­trol, you should be able to hold the top po­si­tion for a count. Then, lower back to the start. The higher you bring your legs, the harder the abs have to work. Try for 3 sets at 5-8 reps each.

Pushups with dumb­bells. When I started adding more pushup vari­a­tions into my work­outs I no­ticed a sig­nif­i­cant change in my strength and the size of my pecs. Take two dumb­bells and lay them up­right on the ground. Start in a raised plank po­si­tion with your feet on the floor and one hand on each dumm­bell. Bend your el­bows as you lower your body, hold and slowly raise back to the start po­si­tion. Re­peat 8 to 10 times. I try to do 5 sets with a 60 sec­ond break in be­tween each.


WORDS nick levine IMAGES jon enoch STYLING emily rusby GROOM­ING luke stephens US­ING an­thony lo­gis­tics

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