Hey friends ❤
How was your weekend?
I spent the weekend relaxing with my boyfriend since I’ve been recovering from being sick and he’s been stressed out from work – so basically lots of long walks on the beach (but actually).
Truth be told, I made up for the fact that he had to work on Saturday (#accountantlife) by venturing over to a dog adoption. I met this little cutie, and I’m not sorry about it.
I could just look at her happy little face all day long. Love.
Anyway, yesterday marked the end of my first two weeks of Jamie Eason’s Live Fit Trainer, so I thought it was time for a recap.
Before we get down to my review of the first two weeks, here’s some info on the program:
- Completely free (!!) 3-month weight-lifting program, divided into 3 phases (I’m in Phase 1)
- Created by Jamie Eason Middleton for Bodybuilding.com
- Follows a traditional bodybuilding approach – build strength then cut
- Relies on the use of a gym, though some workouts can be done at home if you have the equipment
- Includes a recommended meal plan to optimize results
Phase 1: Week 1 & 2
Although I’m a regular exerciser, the first two weeks of the Live Fit Trainer required a total mental shift.
I usually spend 5-6 days in the gym doing a combination of cardio and strength training – though if I’m being honest, it’s heavy on the cardio (#endorphins) with some arm and ab resistance thrown in for good measure. I love cardio for the stress release (and perhaps the trashy TV – such is life).
With Live Fit, this totally changed. I had a workout plan to stick to (aka no more doing whatever I felt like) and Instagram to keep me accountable with nutrition. [Sidenote: follow me @amandaeatspaleo for more adventures!]
For the first 2 weeks, I committed to 4 days/week of strength training. I also tried to follow the meal plan as closely as possible. Since I’m mostly paleo for medical reasons (Celiac’s and Hashimoto’s disease), I made adaptions when necessary.
[Spinach & veggie egg white omelet / crispy kale / carrots]
For the most part, the meal plan is reasonable and straightforward; while it might be somewhat heavy on the protein and low on healthy fats at first, I otherwise stand behind it. Obviously it’s easy to follow a “bro food” mentality (i.e. all the sweet potatoes, chicken, and broccoli), but there’s also room for making it your own.
[Shredded chicken breast / coconut-oil roasted kabocha + cinnamon / butter lettuce salad]
Oh, and did I mention that you’re not supposed to do cardio during Phase 1?! Yeah… Jamie’s not messing around. I’d love to say that I was able to follow this, but I dropped the ball – more about that later.
[My reaction to no cardio – “really?!”]
Here’s what I liked about Week 1 & 2:
- Easy to follow routines – each day had 6-7 exercises listed, with a standard format of 3 x 12 (3 sets of 12 reps). Bodybuilding.com has a huge exercise library that explains how to perform each exercise, tips for success, and even a video for many of the ones included in this plan. Overall, Jamie chose exercises that are easy but effective – they’re foundational moves that will follow you through your weight training lifestyle.
- 4 day split – each week, every day covered a different body part group. This allowed my body to recover (I’m looking at you, push-ups!) and also kept my workouts interesting. I always looked forward to something new the next day!
- Repetition and progress – since workouts from week 1 repeat in week 2, I was able to get more comfortable with the movements and even see progress in some of the exercises. That’s pretty encouraging from just two weeks of working out!
- Seamless workout tracking – Bodybuilding.com has an AMAZING app called BodySpace that includes all of their programs + any exercise you could ever want. I clicked one button to load the day’s workout, pressed “Start”, and off I went. The app tracked my sets, reps, weights, and even timed my rest period. When I was ready to go to move on, it saved all my info and told me what was up next. If I wasn’t familiar with the move, I could watch a video demo. Seriously, there’s so much you can do with this app! I have literally no storage left on my phone but was willing to delete stuff to get this – it’s worth it.
- Not a huge time commitment – only 4 workouts/week made it easy to get back into a consistent strength training plan. Most workouts took between 25 and 35 minutes, depending on gym traffic.
- Feeling like a bada** – lifting weights is awesome. I felt so strong and confident while I was getting after it in the gym. Sure, I was initially intimidated by the “boys club”, but I also got a fist pump for rocking out some damn good reps. Ladies, you’re stronger than you think!
[OG love – my Polar heart rate monitor]
Things I didn’t like / didn’t follow:
- The cardio thing – No cardio?! UGH. I know some people would probably rejoice if they were told not to do cardio, but that just isn’t me. I definitely did more than I should have (sorry, Jamie!), but I’m mostly okay with it. Maybe if I do Live Fit again, I’ll try to go without. But for now – do what you love and all that jazz.
- Meal timing – I’m pretty happy with the meal plan (see above), but sometimes the meal timing just didn’t work for me. I mostly followed the clean-eating mentality and kept my protein high.
- Leg day – Truth be told, I’ve never been good about leg day. I skipped it in Week 1 because I just wasn’t feeling it. In Week 2, I sucked it up and felt pretty good about it. This is absolutely nothing against Jamie or her program – I’m just a weeny about leg day. At least I’m working on it – progress over perfection, my friends.
On that note, I’m off to the gym to start Week 3. Guess what’s up first? Leg day. WHELP. Wish me luck!