Little known fact about me: I have never followed a structured exercise program. Ever. I've always been very happy to wander up to a bench in the big boys' part of the gym, and just bang out a workout that I made up on the fly. I rarely planned ahead except to say "Today I'll do legs". The idea of a pre-planned workout seemed stifling to me.
But when my already-fit buddy, Janetha had such remarkable results with Jamie Eason's free Live Fit Trainer series, I actually contemplated doing it myself. The next hurdle was to find a 2-3 month stint where I would be home most of the time. The perfect opportunity finally presented itself and I'm really glad that I decided to step outside my usual comfort zone and give it a try.
I will summarize the Live Fit Program today and give you more details and my personal take on the program in subsequent posts. I'm actually just starting the second week Phase 3 right now, so this is most definitely a work in progress!
- Live Fit Trainer is totally free and accessible on BodyBuilding.com here. It is easy to negotiate the website and includes some videos from Jamie herself. I found these very helpful. Not to mention she's cute as a button.
- There are also video demonstrations of each and every exercise that the program includes. This is great if you are new to strength training or need familiarizing with some of the more obscure names (Spider crunch?). My personal favorite is the Donkey Calf Raise...behold the magic:
- It's preferential to do the program in a gym setting. The program can be done at home with creative modifications and the Live Fit Trainer Facebook forum includes many people who do this.
- You need a good 3 months in which to complete the program as intended. But if you don't, your results will just be delayed. This happened to Janetha, and her results were still stellar.
- You don't have to be a body-builder to do this program, nor do you have to want to look like one. Nearly everyone should want to put on a bit of muscle as it improves your calorie-burning even at rest, increases everyday functionality and helps to prevent osteoporosis.
- This program is geared for both men and women, young and old. I will readily admit, however that the program is quite intense in the last two phases and I would personally not opt for a 6-day workout week under normal circumstances. However, there is little argument that this regimen does produce results.
- The program gives food guidelines as well. If you have never eaten 'clean,' this might be a good way to familiarize yourself with a 'healthy' if lower-calorie diet. Toward the end, there is some 'carb cycling' recommended. I followed precisely none of the diet guidelines.
- Jamie recommends supplements as well. Which ones? Protein powder, BCAAs, vitamins and flax or fish oil. True, Bodybuilding.com sells supplements, but she does not pimp out their products at all during this program. I used to pooh-pooh supplements. But I actually began using many of them long before my stint with Live Fit and I noticed a positive difference.
- There are 3 phases:
- Phase 1 is an introductory muscle-building phase with NO cardio (you read that right: none). Jamie doesn't want you burning precious calories when they should be diverted to building muscle. Confession: this was tough for me to follow.
- Phase 2 continues to build muscle but moderate cardio is introduced 'for fat burning'. Personally, I found no fat burning here and for my sanity, found it necessary to jump ship and join Phase 3 early.
- Phase 3 is a "cutting" phase where you continue your strength regimen (but lower weights with higher reps) while adding in sprints and plyometrics. This is when you lean out- stripping away the fat to uncover the lovely muscle you've sculpted. I'm currently in my second week of it, and I FINALLY feel like I'm seeing results.
Q: Have you ever done a structured exercise program? What did you like or dislike? Did you like the results?