i never really recapped my experience with jamie eason’s livefit trainer, did i?
now is probably a good time to talk about it. or, for you to read about it, i guess. chances are i am hanging at the beach in mexico, loving my rediscovered muscles thanks to the livefit program.
i can honestly say that thanks to this program, i am in the best physical shape of my life. yes, i may look a little leaner and smaller in my post-BFL photos, but i actually feel better, stronger, and happier right now than i did then. and that is saying a lot, because i was on cloud nine after body for life.
i stumbled across jamie eason’s FREE 12 week training program back in august. i finished it on december 31, 2011. you do the math: that’s more than 12 weeks. i know. i took a little longer to complete the program. i got sick. i went on vacation. workouts were missed. but i always refocused and ended up finishing strong. stronger than i expected, actually.
i didn’t follow the nutrition plan, only the workout plan. the nutrition plan is a good one, that’s for sure, but it can be boring if you don’t know how to tweak your options while still adhering to the macros jamie suggests. also, i ate millionaire’s shortbread for breakfast and lunch the day before taking these photos. that wasn’t on the plan…
for the MOST part, i already eat clean, have been for over three years, and i feel confident that the way i eat is good for me. i eat enough to supplement weight training and i don’t a ton of junk. note: i still eat junk.. over the holidays i was a cookie monster and the week leading up to my trip i ate cereal and sweets like it was my job. i know my results would have been better had i been more strict with my nutrition, but i just didn’t have it in me. there, i said it.
if you wanted to dial it in and really get super-cut and lean, then i would recommend following the nutrition plan to a T. it is a good one. but honestly, eating clean 75% of the time was good enough for me. i did mess around with the carb cycling plan a couple times, once in december and once in january. while it was beneficial to fat loss.. it wasn’t beneficial to my mood, so i abandoned it after a week each time. i know i never mentioned that, so in case you were wondering.. yep, i did carb cycling for a week. it was annoying to count carbs. i hated wondering if i had enough carbs left for the day to eat an apple or a piece of bread (or, let’s be honest: a bowl of cereal!) i went back to my regular clean eating habits after one week of carb cycling.
okay, so back to the real thing i want to discuss.. the workouts. the first four weeks (phase 1) consisted of weight training only.. no cardio. this was heavenly for me, because i don’t like cardio one single bit. i focused on lifting weights–medium effort, average number of reps–and build a strong foundation for the phases to come.
the next four weeks, phase two, consisted of weight training at higher weight and lower reps and added in steady-state cardio. this is the phase i got stuck in and had to re-do a few weeks because of other obligations (and my illness) getting in the way of the plan. this is also the phase where i bulked up. i felt like a freaking WHALE. someone (a random reader, i guess, they had never commented before) actually left me a comment saying that i had clearly gained weight and they thought i wasn’t being honest with what i was saying i ate on the blog. as you guys know, i NEVER show everything i eat on the blog, so i replied to the commented explaining that, and also noting that i was in lifting weights and building muscle. even though i knew i wasn’t doing anything wrong, i still was discouraged. and that comment did me no favors. but i pressed on, believing in the program. i knew i was building muscle in this phase and that was the reason for the bulk.. and it would all work itself out in phase 3.. the cutting phase.
and it did. i completed phase 3 in december and leaned out a lot. between the intense circuit training and the multiple sprint sessions, i dropped all of that bulk and was pleasantly surprised with the results. my hard-earned muscles shined through. i was (and am!) 100% sold on the program! i am now telling everyone i know to try it if they want a wonderful workout plan.
how about a couple of lists? this is ONLY about the workouts, since that’s the part i followed.
pros of livefit trainer.
- it’s completely free
- there is a video from jamie at the beginning of each phase that explains what you need to do during that phase and what to expect
- there are videos to show you how to do each move
- there are printable pages that are super convenient
- the workouts are switched up every 2 weeks so you aren’t bored (and you don’t plateau)
cons of livefit trainer.
- a lot of equipment is required, so if you don’t have a gym membership it may be tricky (but it can be done)
- there is a ton of cardio in phases 2 and 3, more than i am used to (yes this is a con for ME)
- some of the workouts took over 90 minutes, which got to be a little ridiculous
as you can see, the cons are not really that bad. i definitely don’t think any of those cons would stop people from doing the trainer.. they can all be worked around. plus, even though i hate cardio, i firmly believe it is the reason my legs lost nearly two inches of circumference.. each.
there is a supplementation outline that jamie suggests with livefit. she recommends you use a multivitamin, BCAAs, EFAs, and protein powder. i already used all these supplements, so it was nothing new to me. i did try out the specific brands she suggests and ended up finding my new favorite protein powder!
love this stuff. it’s all natural, has great stats, and is very affordable.
while the supplementation suggestions are great, i don’t think that you have to take all these things to have results. the multivitamin is a non-negotiable for me, but that’s because i have always taken one. but let’s face it: supplements can be very expensive. it’s definitely possible to get everything you need through the food you eat. however, sometimes it can be tricky to get enough protein and healthy fats, so that is why she suggests using protein powder and taking EFA capsules.. but yeah, you could get these through food. the BCAAs (branched chain amino acids) benefit muscle repair and help with soreness. however, i prefer to get my BCAAs in through a powder mixed in water, not in a capsule. i use fitmixer amino, which i buy at costco. i recently found out that it’s a local brand, so that makes me happy. they also don’t use capital letters on their label, so that’s another reason they make me smile.
so those are my thoughts on the supplementation shpill. it can be skipped, but it’s best to just find what works for you.. both financially and physically.
after completing livefit on december 31, i still had 4 weeks between my finish date and my trip to mexico. i wasn’t sure what to do with my workouts, so i just decided to repeat some of the weeks.
for the first two weeks in january, i did weeks 7 and 8 (from phase 2) in order to focus on building more muscle. i actually saw progress during these two short weeks and was able to increase my weights quite a bit. it was a great feeling!
for the final two weeks in january, i did week 10 and week 12. this was when i did a week of carb cycling (while i was doing the week 10 workouts.) during the week 12 workouts, i just focused on eating clean and made sure to get my workouts in even though i was going crazy trying to get everything ready to go out of town. sometimes going out of town requires more work at the office than if i actually stayed home!
anyway, after my four weeks of pulling various workouts from the livefit program, i was ready for mexico.
well, aside from not having a tan.. but hopefully i will come back with one!
now that i am done with livefit, i do want to try something new. i am not quite sure what i will do.. but i know i need to find a program to follow. i am better at sticking with my workouts when i have a plan to follow, that’s why i had great success with body for life and insanity. i like structure and i like crossing things off the workout schedule.
bodybuilding.com has quite a few workout programs on their website, and i am thinking i will just pick a new one every four weeks. i think that one of the biggest reasons i had success was due to the fact that i was constantly changing my workouts. i went from no cardio to steady state cardio to high intensity cardio and back to steady state cardio. i went from lifting moderate weight to lifting heavy weight (low reps) to lifting light weight (high reps.) my body didn’t know what hit it! and it responded properly. we crave variety, not only with our meals, but also with our moves.
keeping it fresh is my only plan moving forward. i will just have to peruse my options before picking a specific workout plan. whatever it is, i am sure you will hear about it!
i am sure the reason i loved this program so much is that i LOVE to strength train and that is what it focused on. also, the organization and variety made it so easy for me to follow.
i think that the most important thing to remember when following a plan is to FOLLOW THE PLAN. often times, people will take a workout plan and tweak it so much to cater to their own needs, wants, and preferences that it becomes a completely different plan. then they wonder why they didn’t get the results that people who did follow the plan got.
people ask me about body for life all the time. it’s not a hard plan to follow, but it is important to follow the plan. i get emails asking me what they can do to have the results i had.. and i just tell them to follow the program. to a T. don’t tweak it and trust that it will work. i don’t think that it matters WHAT plan you pick. but i do think it matters that you follow it. workout plans that are designed by professionals work for a reason. they have been tried and tested and have proven to work. going in and changing it up is obviously going to change the outcome. sure, your tweaks may prove to still result in a great transformation, but if that doesn’t happen.. don’t get pissed off at the program for not working.
okay, rant over. haha, wow, guess i felt pretty passionate about that one!
i have noticed that a lot of people have hopped on the livefit bandwagon lately and i love seeing that and reading about their journey and progress. it’s inspiring to see so many people become passionate about srtength training! i hope everyone trying out livefit trainer sticks with it. if you slip and fall, don’t give up.. just pick up where you left off and keep going. slow and steady wins the race, right? what matters is that you finish the race. you will be happy you did. i know i am!
xo. janetha g.