Livefit trainer phase 1 recap & review

Just less than a month ago I started Jamie Eason’s Livefit trainer program which is broken down into 3 phases, 4 weeks each. I finished phase 1 last Friday and owe you guys (and myself) a recap. So here goes.

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Phase 1 pros:

  • relatively short workouts
  • no cardio
  • most moves had good at home alternatives
  • started to see tone/definition pretty quickly

Phase 1 cons:

  • no cardio (yep it’s on both lists)
  • too many rest days
  • almost too easy

Now let me elaborate. I thought I was going to miss cardio like crazy. I even said maybe I’d throw in some bodyrock workouts or at least 1 run a week. I lied. I thoroughly enjoyed almost 4 weeks off from running. My body however, reacted a bit different which I’ll get to in the measurements below. However, now that I’m 4 days into phase 2 and cardio is back on the scene, it feels really good to move and sweat again. I know Jamie’s tactic with forgoing the cardio in phase 1 is to focus on building muscle, but for me, the benefit of that hiatus was renewed vigor for my cardio workouts. I didn’t abide by the 3 rest days in the first two weeks, I cut it down to 2. Three is just too much for me. I wasn’t starting from zero, I’d consider myself pretty fit when I started this and since you’re only supposed to be lifting to 65% of your max for the first 2 weeks, my body wasn’t taxed enough to need 3 days off.  I do see change, specifically in my arms and back already but the numbers aren’t necessarily confirming that.

So let’s talk measurements.

For some context, I’m 5’7. This is my highest weight since maintaining my 20lb. or so weight loss 2 years ago. I was a pound or so heavier when starting this program than my “comfortable” weight and now I’m 1.5 pounds heavier than that. It’s not a lot. I’m not worried in the slightest, it’s just interesting. My pants are tighter and yet my body “feels” (and I think looks, even though the measurements aren’t really saying so yet) leaner/tighter/more fit. I won’t lie and say that when I stepped on the scale at the end of the phase I wasn’t hoping for the number to have gone down & might’ve had some momentary frustration with what I saw. But in my head I know that muscle weighs more than fat and I hope to hell I’ve gained some after 4 weeks of consistent lifting!

As for the other measurements, let me just say this…I royally suck at measuring myself. I have no idea if I’m taking the measurements in the same place as the previous times and then there’s the factor of how tight to pull the tape. Do you squeeze the fat around your waist and hips or just loosely hold it? So, I’m taking these with a grain of salt. I can definitely attest to my chest shrinking. For some reason, my boobs are the first place I lose inches…always. Which I’m fine with, I’d love to go down a size in that area for free! I’m surprised by my biceps because that’s the one area I actually see a lot of transformation. Ulysses took those measurements though because it’s impossible to flex and measure oneself at the same time. I can’t trust his consistency either! Apparently my thighs are going in the wrong direction, another oddity. But it definitely explains my pants being tighter. Also, wtf is up with the one leg being almost a whole inch bigger than the other? So weird.

All in all, there’s not huge change going on in those (yet) and that kind of annoyed me. I do believe the lack of cardio had something to do with this. My body just responds well to cardio and the reason I was a couple pounds heavier than my comfortable weight when starting this was because I was running less than “normal” so I’m hoping the inclusion of it in phase 2 jumpstarts things. There’s a great facebook forum for those doing livefit and it’s comforting to hear others with the same frustrations after phase 1 as well as those that have gone through the entire program already saying that the real change happens in phase 3. So I’m holding out hope things will eventually change. I have really high goals in my head for how I want to be able to perform/look/feel at the end of this. I hope I can make it happen.

Lastly, let’s talk about the “diet”.

I said I wasn’t going to follow the diet because I eat clean already and just try to focus on my protein intake. Well, I kind of lied about that as well. I’m definitely not following it to a “T” but I am following it way more than I thought I would. I’m trying to eat 5-6 small meals a day (somewhat successfully) and I’m very cognizant of my protein intake. The one thing I just cannot get behind is the limited fruit. I will eat fruit when I want, it’s healthy for you. I do try to pair it with protein, but I’ll be damned if I only eat berries in the morning (sorry Jamie).

When I sat down and thought about it, yes, I did eat relatively clean before but it was more like an 80/20 rule. Like I said, I have high expectations of this program and the last thing I want is to second guess my end results because of my diet. So, I decided to really clean things up and turn that 80 into 95. 95/5 is not easy. There are times I want dessert and don’t give in how I usually would. Real change takes real effort so I’m sucking it up for now. It’s going to be really interesting how I do in the next few weeks with the Blend retreat, a work conference and a vacation to Napa Valley both on the diet and workout front. Phase 2 might end up getting extended a week or two so I can complete it whole heartedly.

These are some of the foods that have made the 95/5 approach doable.

1. perfect protein pancakes

2. healthy peanut butter cookie dough dip

3. prepping big batches of veggies at once to have on hand

4. high protein cinnamon cake bars

5. turkey quinoa muffins

6. nightly snack of cottage cheese, frozen grapes, cinnamon & vanilla extract

7. strawberry filled coconut powercakes

8. no bake brownie fudge bites

And here’s why:

1. I can only eat eggs & egg whites so many times for breakfast. 2. I need something that tastes like dessert sometimes. 3. Having to cook vegetables 4-5 times a day is just insane. 4. High protein doesn’t always have to be in shake/smoothie form. 5. When there’s no defrosted protein, made ahead turkey muffins make a great stand in. 6. My nightly chocolate + tea + blogging routine had to be replaced by something. 7. Even though I made them just 2 days ago, I know these are going to be clutch for the rest of the program as a post workout snack. 8. Fudgy brownie guilt-free, high protein, bliss, enough said.

When you look at it like that, clean eating doesn’t look so bad at all. And it’s really not. It’s just those occasional intense dessert cravings. Reading food blogs all day long doesn’t really help with that.

So to summarize phase 1, I’m hopeful. I haven’t seen a ton of change in numbers (or pictures which I came very close to sharing before nixing that idea this time around) but I do actually feel stronger and see small visible change.

8 more weeks!

I know a few of you have left comments that you’re currently doing or have done the program too, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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Comments

  1. 1

    says

    Great recap, and I think it’s great that you took a 4 week break from running. I’ve heard that extended breaks can sometimes bring even more results by the time you’re ready to get back into the game.

    By the way, I bookmarked about 80% of those recipes. The cookie dough dip was first ;)

  2. 2

    says

    Great recap! It seems like everyone and their mother is doing this and while I’d love to try it for something new, I feel like for me it’s something I should save for when I go from the weight loss portion of my “adventure” to fat loss/muscle building. I mean I do 2 ST’s per week and just upped my weights because I was too comfortable but I’ll definitely be watching your recaps to put in my arsenal for later!

    • 3

      Running to the Kitchen says

      exactly, I agree that’s probably a good approach. Although, on the fb forums there are plenty of people with significant weight to lose doing the program. But I think I’d have wanted to get within 10-15lbs of my goal weight if I were still losing before starting this too.

  3. 5

    says

    I loved reading this. I have definitely looked into LiveFit.. but there are some things that kind of scare me away. One being.. no cardio in phase one. I totally know how stupid it sounds to think that not being able to do cardio will wreak havoc on my overall fitness. It has been proven time and time again that it is okay.. but I have a hard time fully convincing myself.
    I also am unsure of my ability to do the diet that is requested. I think that I eat pretty clean and have been concentrating on eating LOTS of protein. Yesterday I ate almost 130 Grams. While I do have a shake in the AM.. the rest is by way of food. I just don’t know if I can switch to Jamie’s meal plan.

    Perhaps over the summer when I have some more time!

    Keep up the great work, Gina!!!

    • 6

      Running to the Kitchen says

      the no cardio thing when you’re so used to it, is seriously hard to wrap your head around but I thoroughly enjoyed it once I gave in :) haha

  4. 7

    says

    I had started this program and got through phase 1 when my gym closed. =[ I know Janetha (Meals and Moves) had great progress with it!
    I really wish I had a gym to go to–I do remember “bulking up” a bit in the first phase and when I did part of the second phase at home and added more muscle pretty fast–but was feeling “fat” and since I couldn’t get to the gym I wasn’t feeling motivated to continue. Keep going! I wish I had!

    • 8

      Running to the Kitchen says

      Janetha is pretty much my inspiration for doing this! I only hope for half the results she got!

  5. 9

    says

    Are the workouts mostly body weight stuff, similar to bodyrock? Or completely different? Sounds like a pretty cool program and glad you’re feeling good about it, even if the numbers aren’t staggering… also one month isn’t enough time to see huge changes so hopefully if you stick it out there will be some in the future!

    • 10

      says

      It’s actually not like bodyrock at all. It’s a lot of dumbbells, barbells and equipment. This is what I was so hesitant about to begin with b/c I don’t belong to a gym and am unwilling to join one for this program. Luckily, I have a corner home gym that lets me do things like leg extensions and lat pulldowns, a standarad barbell and dumbbells from 5-25 lbs, a bench and a decline bench, a stability ball, jump rope, etc. So I’m pretty well equipped from home. That being said, there were still things like calf raises and the hammer strength pull down that I don’t have. Bodybuilding.com (where this program is hosted) has an awesome alternative exercises option section though for each move and 9 times out of 10 I could find something that I could do at home.

  6. 11

    says

    Great recap! I am the same way. I was SO scared for no cardio, but I actually loved it. I still haven’t really run because I don’t trust myself to stay at a moderate heart rate level so I’ve been going the elliptical and walking on an incline. Next week I start phase 3, I’m super excited!! I don’t follow the meal plan 100% to a T, but I do pretty much. I eat 6 times a day and I love this way of eating. I feel like it never makes you over eat because you know you are going to eat again so soon. I’ve definitely gained muscle too, but again, nothing too serious. I think it may be because I’ve been so active before it won’t be as dramatic as everyone else. Oh well! Still excited :D

  7. 12

    says

    Does this program require you to workout with gym equipment or does it allow for simple home options? I like the idea of a program but I’m still not sure if I can commit to one yet. Can’t wait to see how the next phase goes for you.

    • 13

      says

      It’s definitely geared towards a gym but like I said to Katie above, I have a pretty well equipped at home gym and between that and the bodybuilding.com website where the program is hosted, was able to find an at home alternative that worked 9/10 times. If you don’t have barbells, dumbbells and a bench at home though, it would be very hard to complete this without a gym membership. I refuse to join a gym when I have so much stuff at home and there are so many free options out there that don’t require it. I highly recommend bodyrock.tv for at home workouts with no equipment (if you can get past the sex thrown in your face part of their website).

  8. 14

    says

    I like that you made your own fruit eating rule. I think there should be no limitations on fruit. From reading your blog for a few months now, you seem like a pretty disciplined person, I’m sure you’ll find time to squeeze in some running or hiking here and there. :) Also, you can always do push ups and lunges and sit ups and tricep dips in your hotel room.

  9. 15

    says

    Great summury! Iw as intrested int hei program and I’m glad you posted the results. Me personally I like strength training over cardio, but I know cardio burns more fat. Oddly enough the best shape I was in was last year, and I tried to figure out why, what changed between now and then and I realized it was my Wii. I worked out to My Persoanl Trainer program and it’s kind of geeky, but I lost a lot of weight from it in a couple of months. It starts out with 30 minutes cardio, nothing strenious and than 30 minutes strength training, and it worked out perfetc for me. I haven’t done that work out in about a year because my batteries dies on my Wii, lame excuse. I’m going to wait to see how your results are going to be in the next few weeks.

    have fun in Napa Valley. I live about 40 minutes away from there, I don’t go there nearly enough. Have lots of fun!!

  10. 16

    says

    Nice job, Gina! I’ve momentarily gained more at times. Seems to fluctuate between 1-3 lbs for me. My diet stays pretty consistent. Same with my workouts. I was surprised when my weight didnt go down either. I think cuz the program i was on said u would lose weight. But im ok with not because i know i have definitely toned more. Keep up the great work. Love ur eats. 

  11. 17

    says

    Such a detailed and honest post…thank you for this! I almost never read these kind of posts word for word, but I just read yours word for word :)

    The cardio, both as a pro and con, 3 days of rest (I would be climbing the walls after two as well), the 80/20 and now 95/5 changes…wow.

    Measuring is hard and I am thinking you’ve had more progress than the tape measure shows. Sounds like you feel good about how you look despite the numbers given…that’s so important!

  12. 18

    says

    Interesting! Loved the recap. I’d never heard of the program but I’d be really interested in looking into it.

    I agree with you on the cardio…too little would probably make both my lists as well. Sometimes you just need some cardio. The 1.5 pounds of weight gain could be attributed to the fact that you’re gaining muscle. Often when you “feel” and “look” leaner, that’s the case.

    Excited to see what phase 2 brings!

  13. 20

    says

    Great recap. I need to look into this program, I could use a jump start. I hate taking measurements, I never know if they are right. It isn’t so much the number as doing it in the same spot the same tightness each time, so you are comparing apples to apples!
    I tried a version of your turkey quinoa meatballs last week, the whole family liked them!

  14. 21

    says

    Great job!! It’s so easy to get frustrated with measurements and weight no matter how much we remind ourselves that we shouldn’t. PLUS you’re only through the first phase so I imagine you’ll start seeing more results as you continue the journey. Jamie knows her stuff, that’s for sure! You’re smart for modifying it to fit in with your lifestyle because that will make it more sustainable. Love this post, especially the recipe recap!

  15. 23

    says

    Interesting to hear your take on this so far. I haven’t done Livefit but I have looked into it and it’s not for me at all. I’m doing Jim Stoppani’s Shortcut To Size from Bodybuilding.com. I love it. I’m already seeing results and I’m only in the middle of week 2! It fits my goals and current fitness level better than Livefit which I think I’d be bored with as well…like how you said the workouts seemed kind of easy. There is no cardio built into my program so you can just work it in if/when you need it. It’s a 4 day split and I haven’t been doing much cardio because I am SPENT from these workouts. Hopefully the next phase will be more to your liking :) Good luck!

  16. 25

    says

    Get ready for phase 2 and don’t be surprised if the numbers on the scale go up and if your clothes get a little tighter. Just sayin. I did phase 2 twice because I skimped out on the legs day since my butt is already HUGE and on second round, I did things as prescribed and my butt got smaller. Weird.

    Anyway — stick with it. I love this program. Phase 3 is definitely my favorite. Today I’m posting about my 2 fav workouts of the series.

  17. 26

    Rebecca says

    Great recap & recipes for phase 1! I just started LiveFit after deciding to fully dedicate myself to strength training. I have most eqip @ home & nothing but excuses to hold me back from gaining strength & losing weight. Looking forward to reaping the rewards of renewed vitality to fully enjoy my life as a wife & mom. Thanks for your blog!!

  18. 27

    says

    I had not heard about this plan. it sounds good.. I think I personally would skip to phase two however.. but the workouts are legit!

  19. 28

    says

    I’m currently doing the program too. I’m still in phase one. I’m really liking adding more weights to my workouts, but I’m not really following the program exactly. It’s more like incorporating it into my routine. I do like having my workout buddy with me at the gym when doing these though. The big buff guys looked scary to me at first :D My muscles were definitely feeling it this week! Oh and I cannot take proper measurements either! I always end up messing it up somehow haha. The clean eating meals sound perfectly satisfying! I need to try the fudge bites!

  20. 30

    Sarah says

    Hey Gina! Just wanted to let you know– muscles does NOT weight more than fat, its just more dense. Fat takes up more room on your body but one pound=one pound. Ideally you want muscles on your body because 5 pounds of muscle takes up less room on your body than 5 pounds of fat. But the muscles weighs more than fat myth is untrue, its just smaller. But one pound is the same either way.

    I would say once you begin cardio again you will see that 1.5 pound gain go away, it could also be due to water retention.

    Good recap! I hope live fit phase 2 goes great for you!

  21. 31

    Andee says

    Your meals look great. I am going into my third round of Jamie’s Live Fit trainer. The first time my diet wasn’t great and I did plyo (Cathe Fredrich videos) through the 1st phase. I had good results.

    The second time I followed the diet to a T for the first 2 phases. Had excellent muscle growth and definition. But in phase 3 I pooped out on the diet and lost a lot of my gains.

    So I am heading back into phase 1 starting in a week and a half. My in-laws are visiting so I am taking a break. :) But I am looking for a few new meal ideas. My taste buds can only handle so much of the same thing week after week. Which is how I found your blog. Thanks for sharing.

  22. 32

    brenna says

    Hey I am about to start this program in a few days…. but I have a few concerns. Some of these questions might be a little retarded but here they are….
    How do we figure out how much protein we need for the first two phases?..
    Is there a calorie counter we need to type out info in to see how much we should be eating for weeks 1-6? I know we start calorie counting week 7
    Would it screw everything up if I added whole eggs as a fat source?
    If were already at a low weight like me, wont consuming so little calories toward the end put our body in starvation mode… I weigh 110 and it said to consume 1300 calories I eat 1800 right now and maintain?
    Is the number that comes up n the calorie counter starting at week 7 our net calorie or number we consume even with our workouts?… If that makes scence
    Any information would help a lot! Thanks! :D

    • 33

      Running to the Kitchen says

      Hi Brenna- I didn’t follow Jamie’s nutrition plan when I did this so I really can’t answer these questions. I found it way too scientific and cumbersome to do the food piece of this how she lays it out so I continued with my normal eating habits. Good luck!

  23. 34

    says

    I LOVED reading your review! Awesome job!! I am on week 5 right now and loving the program so far! Thanks for sharing! And your recipes look awesome! Def going to try those fudge brownie bites!

    • 35

      Running to the Kitchen says

      good luck with the program! I actually gave it up somewhere in the middle of phase 2 when a crossfit gym opened a few minutes down the road from me, I’ve been an addict ever since :)

Trackbacks

  1. [...] slightly dreading my workout for the last two days (only because of the length of these phase 2 livefit workouts, not because I don’t like the program) to full out excited when I remembered these were in the [...]

  2. […] So standing in line the other day at CVS to buy Ulysses a birthday card (happy 32 today!), I saw it. It spoke to me. It begged, pleaded and whispered sweet nothings in my ear and I rejected it. Not part of the 95. […]

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