Fitness

The inspirational mum-of-two who’s become one of the oldest models ever on Women’s Fitness magazine

A mum-of-two has just graced the cover of a major fitness magazine as one of their eldest models to date – and you won’t believe her age.

Joey Bull, from Cardigan, has a list of triumphs in health and fitness that has inspired her to spread her passion with other women, especially those over 40.

Joey was initially introduced to fitness at the age of three, through the world of dance. 55

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“I went to a professional ballet school, but my family were mountaineers, so it was a big contrast to my upbringing. I went on to start working in dance then teaching in Norway, Italy, Kenya. I ended up in Nairobi for a bit when I was 16 with a job teaching there too.”

However, a skiing accident that ruptured ligaments in Joey’s leg forced her to take a different path. She was told: “You won’t have an active career again.



Joey is a 4x Great Britain Fitness Champion and was once ranked 8th worldwide

“It was horrendous news,” Joey recalled, “Because my whole life and income were reliant on being active.”

Thankfully, during Joey’s reconstruction, she discovered the gym for physiotherapy and rehabilitation. Back then, however, Joey recalled being one of the only women there.

“From that, I got really into it and started going to competitions. I did quite well in my first nationals, I placed fourth, learned a thing or two and then went back and won.”



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She would go on to win four titles as Great Britain Fitness Champion, before setting her sights on something bigger.

“I was then sent onto the world circuit and I was placing 8th in the world, but I realised I was entering a grubby circuit of drugs and competition.”

Having entered the world of fitness as a clean athlete and making her name through rehabilitation, Joey found it difficult competing against those using supplements.



Joey with her mother who is also keen to keep fit as she ages
Joey with her mother who is also keen to keep fit as she ages

Leaving the fitness competition circuit, Joey was then selected for the Great Britain Eco Challenge, known as the world’s toughest adventure race.

“You carry a rucksack of half your bodyweight, and it’s 10 days doing 500 kilometres, navigating the jungle, swimming from island to island. It was an adventure race mixing all these skills, mountain biking, navigation, swimming, climbing and so on. We all came back with either Weil’s disease, parasites or foot rot.”

The mum-of-two recalled this was the point where she decided she wanted to return to fitness for health and vitality, rather than competition.

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She explained that as she had aged, she had turned her focus to “fly the flag” for middle age groups to inspire women to make the most of their bodies.

“When we get to middle-aged we get to a time that’s not well known for its vim and vibrancy, and it’s often a time where women feel out of sync with themselves. You have a wavering focus at that time of life because you’ve pushed yourself through your 30s and 40s, maybe had chronic stress situations, maybe you’ve had children too, partnerships and possible failed partnerships.

“You end up at an age where your accumulation of life gets very dizzy and busy, and you can feel a bit lost, and it’s not pretty on the soul. There’s not a pretty word for a middle-aged woman going through menopause.”



Joey has now turned her attention to sharing her passion for fitness and wellbeing with other women
Joey has now turned her attention to sharing her passion for fitness and wellbeing with other women

Since discovering this, Joey has turned her focus to making fitness accessible and interesting to women who aren’t targeted normally by the fitness industry.

“I’ve always been passionate about making people feel better, and especially females.

“There has always been a bit of criticism of a woman spending too much time on herself, and what I say is you don’t need to spend that much time, but you do need to be committed to it and yourself.”

Through the use of her online classes, articles, and YouTube videos, Joey has honed her skill to create fitness plans and exercises that are inclusive for everyone.



Joey on the cover of Women's Fitness
Joey on the cover of Women’s Fitness

Her dedication – as well as her long list of achievements – has gained the attention of fitness publisher Women’s Fitness, where she was approached to star on the cover of their “pro-ageing issue” – at the age of 55!

She hopes to continue inspiring women to get into fitness at any age, using her knowledge as a bioregulatory medicine practitioner to inform her plans to allow women to get the most out of their bodies.

You can find loads of information and fitness tips from Joey on YouTube here and her website here.

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