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
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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.

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.

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  1. what I’m most concernd about is the number of calories to start eating duirng phase 1 and 2, did any of you track your calories?

    1. Hey Janelle – I didn’t and to be honest, this was so long ago, I really don’t recall the details of my diet at the time.

  2. How does everyone do the breaks in phase 1? Do you actually go 3 days straight of rest or do you mix it up and do every other day???

  3. 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!

    1. 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 :)

  4. 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

    1. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. Good recap :) I can always benefit from more protein so I will definitely check out these recipes. The no cardio would scare me away too, but it would probably be a nice break!

  8. 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!

  9. 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!

  10. 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!!