And just like that I’m done with the first 4 weeks of Jamie Eason’s LiveFit Trainer program! I actually got 5 friends to follow it with me (including Matt), so I consider that a major win. 😉
I wasn’t planning to post a lot about this, beyond an intro before I started and a recap after the whole thing. But after working my way through phase 1, I wanted to take some time to talk a little bit about it.
This is the first weight lifting-focused workout program I’ve ever done. I did P90X a few years ago, but that had more cardio and wasn’t as heavily dedicated to bodybuilding.
As mentioned in my January favorites, we invested in some Bowflex adjustable dumbbells, and so far I’m loving them! Since I’m trying navigate my way through the LiveFit Trainer without a gym, my workout routine revolves around finding alternative exercises using dumbbells (as well as a pull-up bar, chair, and exercise ball). FYI: After this is all said and done, I plan to share a list of all the alternative exercises I used, in case anyone else wants to embark on the bodybuilding journey sans gym membership.
Thinking about phase 1 of LiveFit Trainer, these are my major takeaways in regards to the fitness schedule and nutrition plan:
Phase 1 Workout Recap
- I love being in a pre-planned workout program, and for the first time possibly ever, I’m not wanting a workout system to end. I’m actually enjoying every day.
- Lifting heavy has opened up my eyes to a whole new area of fitness—one that I’m really appreciating. Although I don’t end every workout feeling extremely satisfied (like when I incorporate cardio), my routines feel challenging in an exciting new way.
- I’m amazing at straining my neck, which I knew before starting this program. So I’m trying really hard to improve both my form and breathing to focus the tension in my core and muscles targeted in each exercise.
- Doing the workouts without a gym is working fine so far. I’ve been able to find alternative exercises using dumbbells pretty easily (that work the same muscle groups). I know I’m not getting quite as much as I could since I don’t have the exact machines I need, but I’m definitely seeing some upper body progress so far.
- I miss cardio. It feels really wrong not to run, especially since I’m trying to recover from IT band syndrome. But! Cardio resumes this week, even if it’s just 30 minutes three times in a week. So I look forward to starting that, even if I’m not jumping around during workouts, like I’m used to in my usual circuit routines.
Phase 1 Nutrition Recap
- My meals have switched from being carb-based to protein-based, and I have so much peace of mind about my diet as a result. However, I get sick of meat pretty easily. I can only eat so much chicken and ground turkey, especially without cheese to wrap it in a delicious blanket of dairy goodness.
- Learning the serving sizes of many foods has been a wake-up call, especially for items I commonly eat, like beans, quinoa, rice, and potatoes.
- Making one of the protein bar/cake recipes every Sunday makes for the easiest and tastiest mid-morning snack every day. As noted in my food philosophy post, I eat at least two snacks a day, so having pre-made protein-based snacks on hand has made my healthy eating pretty effortless. I highly recommend checking out the recipes! (You can find them on the LiveFit recipes page.)
- It’s odd getting the advice to use ingredients like artificial sweeteners because I usually avoid them. I’ve been mostly ignoring this part and using the real thing instead, just often less of it (e.g., sugar vs. Splenda and lemon juice vs. lemon crystal light).
- I physically am unable to eat 5 egg whites in the morning and a starch serving (per the recommended breakfast). However, I’ve started a routine of mixing 3 egg whites into cream of wheat every morning, which is much easier to do than oatmeal, I’ve found (and I haven’t gotten sick of it at all).
Four weeks of workouts have been logged, and now I’m getting ready for the beginning of Phase 2, which is similar to the first phase in that it focuses on building muscle, but cardio is being added and weights are getting heavier. Since Phase 1 sometimes didn’t feel like enough work (especially the core exercises), I’m excited for a bigger challenge and a return to running!