A gym tip from the author and illustrator of Sid Smart – the children’s book about health and nutrition.

A cartoon of a woman lifting weights and a man on a treadmill. Lifting weights burns fat. Art by the author and illustrator of Sid Smart - the children's book about health and nutrition.
Weight lifting is good!

Weight lifting can boost your chances of reaching your fat burning goals! Some people believe it may be even better than cardiovascular exercise for reducing that waistline. Weight lifting obviously builds muscle and an increased muscle mass will increase your resting metabolism.  Additionally, the ‘after-burn‘ (an increase in calories burnt post-exercise) is reported to be higher after weight training when compared to cardiovascular exercise.

So, if you are trying to burn fat, why not add more strength training to your regime?*

For my fat burning goals, I have seen the following strength exercise regimes work well:

  • Power-lifting techniques
  • Circuit training
  • Super-sets

*Always seek advice from a fitness professional before embarking on a new exercise regime.

A gym tip from the author and illustrator of Sid Smart – the children’s book about health and nutrition.

I’m sure you’ve all seen this in a gym…  someone lifting too much weight and completely losing technique.  It’s not all about adding more and more weight every week, no matter the impact on your form.  I often have to give myself a check and ease back on the weights so I don’t compromise on technique.  Lifting heavy weights with poor technique can cause injuries and doesn’t reflect your true strength.  You are better off lowering the weights, slowing it down and keeping strict technique.  You will feel the difference.

A cartoon of a man lifting weights with very poor technique. He is straining, turning red and bending backwards. Artwork by the author and illustrator of Sid Smart - the children's book about health and nutrition.
Don’t be this guy

Sid Smart – Eating, the children’s book about health and nutrition is available now from amazon.co.uk and amazon.com.

My new children’s book is coming soon…

The front cover of my new children’s book is ready and I’m just putting the final colours on the images.  I am eager to get this published as soon as possible but I am not rushing through the processes.  I must be thorough and do everything in the correct way.  Here is a teaser of the front cover; more will be revealed shortly…

A puzzle covering the front page of a new children's book, which is about to be released.
The front cover is ready.

Book 1 update…

A young boy sits in the dark next to candle light. He is very bored.
A bored boy.

So it’s been a while since I spoke about my first book and that’s because… not a lot has happened.  It’s out there on publisher’s desks and in the inboxes of various literary agents.  This one is my flagship book, which I ideally want to get published traditionally.  I’ve made various adaptations to it and I have listened to and taken on board some frank, constructive criticism.  It’s getting better and better each time someone in the know gives me feedback on it.  Similarly, each time I submit my book my covering letter, synopsis and personal statement is getting better and better.  Each ‘no’ represents an opportunity to improve (cheesy, I know).

Editing my book

After a full week, I got into work on Friday to see there was a visitor coming in to school to work with the children.  After seeing his name, bells started to ring as I realised he was the children’s author: Richard O’Neill. As soon as an opportunity arose, I introduced myself and asked if I could pick his brains about the world of children’s books.    He was extremely helpful and gave me some excellent advice.  He even asked to see my book and went through it with me during the lunch break.  It was amazing to get feedback from a successful storyteller and I was particularly pleased when he said he liked it.

So, the journey continues as I’ve now had more input, which I will heed as I go back and edit my book once more.  I’m on a long road but it is a very interesting one as I continue on the cycle of sharing my book, getting feedback and then editing it.

An man getting feedback on his first book from a successful author.
Excellent feedback.



Well, it has been an interesting couple of weeks… A few blogs ago I was talking about the importance of networking and there has been some movement on that front. Now people know about my book, word is starting to get around. I’ve been in contact with someone within the world of children’s literature, who has been doing some great work forwarding my book/ideas to the right people. On the back of this, I’ve had some very useful feedback on my book from people with excellent knowledge and experience, which has led to some new publishers interested in me sending them a proposal of my work. I’m not arrogant enough to think my first draft of a children’s book will be perfect so I’m willing to take on board feedback and make changes to my story, design and style, if necessary. Let’s be honest, this is my first attempt and there are people out there with great knowledge and experience in this area.

This is going to be a long road but I’m really happy that there is a buzz developing and people are discussing my work.

A man and a woman talking.
Chat, chat, chat.