This has been a great week of posts! I really do enjoy blogging, and my brain was just “with it” this week. I have a whole list of things I want to blog about, so hopefully I can take a little bit of time during the weekends to get a few posts ready for the week! I think it’s time to bring back Fitness Fridays!
On Fitness Fridays, we share some of our favorite workouts from the week! I’ve been taking a break from running (still). I tweaked my hamstring during the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving, and it’s been “healed” enough for me to do like 10 miles a week (2 or 3 short runs). Anyways, it’s cold outside, and I’m more than halfway into a 12-week lifting program (more on that in a second). I still love running, and I’ll definitely pick up my mileage once the weather warms up a bit!
So, about this lifting program. I’ve been following Jamie Eason’s 12-week LiveFit Trainer.
I started sometime back in the beginning of December, and I haven’t missed a week of training! I know that Chelsey from Clean Eating Chelsey is getting ready to begin the program, and Janetha from Meals and Moves is nearly finished with 12 weeks of workouts!
Anyways, I’m in week 7 of the program and I’m still loving it! I will admit, some of my motivation is wearing off (sometimes I just don’t want to go to the gym), but it does help that I work at a gym, and there is a fantastic gym on campus that I have access to.
If you don’t’ want detailed information about the LiveFit trainer… scroll down until you see my lovely pseudo page break: *******************************
The LiveFit trainer has three four-week phases. Phase 1 focuses on proper form and building muscle- NO CARDIO! That’s right. If you hate cardio, this is a wonderful program. Cardio does get added in during later phases, but all you have to do during the first couple of weeks is get to the gym and LIFT!
Phase 1 is pretty beginner friendly. You just go to the Phase 1 homepage (click the picture above and it will take you there!) and you click on the day that you’re on, and your workout pops up.
If you click on each of the exercise names, a BodyBuilding.com video will pop up with proper technique pointers for each exercise. There is also a link on each workout that allows you to print off the PDF of exercises, HOWEVER- I did not like using the PDF option because there weren’t pictures. I just copy and pasted each day’s workout into a Word document so that I could have the exercises, reps and a picture to take with me to the gym.
Phase 2 intensifies the lifting, and cardio is also added back in! You can do whatever form of cardio you want- running, elliptical, stair-stepper, etc! I’ve been doing some of the “prescribed” cardio, but I’m not looking to lose weight, I’m trying to build more muscle. Phase 2 has you doing 30 minutes of cardio 4x per week, and I probably only do it two or three times per week (the third time being on a day off from lifting- I’ll take short run with the dog or something).
Phase 3 is all about lifting in supersets (one exercise following another, without rest. Once the exercises in a “set” are completed, you rest before doing those exercises again instead of resting between each set of each exercise). Phase 3 turns the “cardio” into High-intensity Interval training (think SPRINTS!) The goal of phase to is to help you lean out and maintain your muscle that you worked so hard for in the first 8 weeks!
The Meal Plan
One thing I feel like I should mention- the trainer DOES have a recommended meal plan. It basically focuses on high protein, lots of veggies, and whole foods. I’m NOT following the diet for a few reasons: I’m not trying to lose weight, I’m pretty happy with my current diet, and I don’t feel like stressing myself out with trying to have the “perfect” diet that the site recommends (it would take a lot of prep work and planning).
If you read through all of that, bravo! The LiveFit website has every imaginable tool that you could ever need, and there’s a Facebook group too that has great support, recipes and more!
I never really lifted before this program, I may have done “arms and abs” at the gym, but I did the same exercises and never really changed my weights or number of repetitions. I’ve seen a good bit of muscle growth, especially in my arms, back and chest. My legs do feel more toned, and I know that having stronger legs will only benefit my running. I haven’t lost any weight (thank goodness), but I’ve lost a few % points of body fat. Again, not really my goal, but it is cool to know that less body fat with the same weight means that I’ve put on some muscle!
I kind of “cheat” with the workouts. I don’t really want to go to the gym 6 days a week, so I’ll often group a “leg” workout day with a Shoulders or a Chest Workout day and just nix the cardio (in Phase 2) all together. I definitely feel like I have enough strength to do two major muscle groups in one day (*If there are abs on that day, I save those for last because I don’t want to be sacrificing my form because of tired abs).
This program has been a WONDERFUL introduction into heavier lifting, it has taught me SO MANY new exercises, and seeing increased strength and muscle is definitely motivating.
I know this was a NOVEL of a post, but if you have any questions, please ask! I’ll answer the best I can! Thanks for tuning into another Fitness Friday, I promise next week, I’ll just do a rundown of exercises (and maybe I’ll even get some of what Daniel is doing!)