Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Fitness: Jamie Eason's LiveFit Review

In April of 2012 I was working with a wonderful personal trainer who suggested I look into Jamie Eason’s LiveFit trainer. At this point in time, I had never completed an entire exercise program and while I was not overweight, I was definitely not in shape. I don’t know what sparked the tremendous amount of motivation and discipline that led me to completing this trainer (while I was working full-time and finishing my Bachelor’s full-time) but I haven’t found it again. Anyway, since then, I have worked with a few different trainers and a few different programs. I have a lot of opinions to share! I can’t share everything in one post but I want to begin with sharing my experience completing Jamie Eason’s LiveFit trainer.

Let me start by mentioning that I unfortunately didn’t take before and after photos. I will make do with the pictures I was able to find from this timeframe but they aren’t great for comparison.

 (This was technically two weeks before I started LiveFit.)
Jamie Eason’s LiveFit trainer is broken up into three phases each lasting one month. You work different muscle groups on each day of the week, working out 4-6 days each week. Phase 1 introduces clean eating and weight lifting, Phase 2 introduces cardio, and Phase 3 introduces circuits and carb cycling.

FREE. You do not need to pay for anything but a gym membership! All the workouts and meal plans are accessible on BodyBuilding.com.

Equipment Needed
You do need a gym membership for this program unless you have an in-home gym that is equipped with a wide variety of weights and machines. This program gets you acquainted with a ton of different movements and types of equipment. If a certain type of equipment is occupied or unavailable, there are alternatives sometimes listed in the plan but I also used BodyBuilding.com’s database to find alternatives.

I think this program is great for beginners. It starts off nice and easy with just four days in the gym for the first two weeks then, bumps you up to five and eventually six. If you click on each of the exercises, you can watch a short video tutorial on how the movement is executed. The meal plan is also very simple and easy to follow up until the carb cycling portion of Phase 3. The carb cycling meal plan needs a little extra attention so that you follow it correctly.

There is a little bit of room for customization in this program. Jamie lays it out with leg days twice a week (once you get into Phase 2) but you can swap that extra leg day for a different workout if you have another area of your body you’d like to focus on.

Depending on your level of fitness, how active you are on a regular basis, and whether or not you are planning to make a career of bodybuilding, six days a week might be too much on the regular. Also, once cardio is introduced, the workouts become long depending on how busy the gym is when you get there and how efficiently you can get through the workouts. I ended up doing the weight training portion in the morning and then returning to the gym after work to complete the cardio portion.

Level of Enjoyment
The variety of movements introduced by this trainer keep things interesting. It probably would have been more enjoyable if I had taken progress photos while I was completing it because I saw visible changes at the end of each phase.

Tips and What I learned
I learned so much doing this program. When I was done, I felt like a pro in the gym. I was no longer intimidated by the machines and weights because I knew my way around just about everything.

DISCIPLINE: What I loved about this program was the fact that it did require so much discipline. Results don’t come easy. They come with a lot of sacrifice and mental discipline. Not only did I have an awesome body to be proud of at the end, I had proved to myself that I was capable of being disciplined and self-motivated.

FOLLOW THE MEAL PLAN: I didn’t really follow the meal plan until Phase 3. This is when I saw the most results. If I were to do this trainer over again, I would follow the meal plan from the beginning!

DON’T SKIP WORKOUTS: I skipped a few of the shoulder workouts in Phase 2 when I was really short on time thinking that shoulder day was not very important. It may not seem like a big deal but I think I did miss out on some shoulder gains.

RECORD YOUR WORKOUTS: I didn’t record my workouts anywhere. I think putting them in BodySpace or just in a notebook so you can see how your numbers progress is always a great idea to help you stay focused not just on your physique but also on your performance!

DO THE CARDIO. Jamie calls it your “blow torch.” She’s right. Don’t skip it and do it with full effort. Do the maximum required, not the minimum and you will see results faster.

   (Sorry for the crappy selfie! I need some selfie practice. This was taken the week I completed LiveFit.)

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