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.

Livefit trainer phase 1 recap
Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Image source

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.

Livefit trainer phase 1 collage

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!

Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

You May Also Like:

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. 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.

  2. I agree! Reading food blogs is torture when you are trying to eat clean. Some of the desserts just look so good!

  3. 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!

  4. Maybe I’ll try the workouts once day when I get to my ideal low weight. The fact that “pants fit tighter” though scares me. One day, one day..

  5. 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!

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

  8. 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!

  9. 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.