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.
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.
3. prepping big batches of veggies at once to have on hand
6. nightly snack of cottage cheese, frozen grapes, cinnamon & vanilla extract
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!