You guys. I want to bring you on a new journey with me. It’s called the Live Fit Trainer. Well, it’s not new to me, just new to the blog. Let me give you a little background.
Two years ago I became really interested in getting my health on track. I was noticing that I became tired easily, I wasn’t sleeping well, and I was convinced it was because of my lack of exercise and poor diet. I started going to the gym and attempting to eat better, but was getting lost in information.
There’s so much info out there and it was getting so time consuming trying to filter through it and come up with a solid plan on my own. I did see some progress just from taking my own initiative, but I was getting tired of wasting so much energy on what my next steps should be. I wasn’t ready to pay for a trainer, though I know it would fast track my progress. I’m cheap, remember?
So, I began to research workout plans that could help me navigate my way through the gym and help me get on the right track with my nutrition…for free.
(This post contains affiliate links. This means I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.)
That’s when I found Jamie Eason’s Live Fit Trainer on Bodybuilding.com. I learned everything there is to know about the program. I literally studied the videos, read articles from other blogs, and stalked Youtube to find any video I could find about the program. AAnnnndd I. was. hooked.
Within just a few short weeks of following the Live Fit program, my body fat percentage dropped and my muscle mass percentage increased dramatically. I felt the difference in the way my close fit. But more importantly, I felt a hundred times stronger, more energized and more confident.
The first picture was taken at the beginning of my Live Fit journey. Like I said, I had started exercising and eating better before I discovered Live Fit, but I didn’t take any progress photos! I had already lost about 8 lbs in that time, but was not seeing a significant change in muscle mass or much change in my clothing.
I’m not kidding, the WEEK I started following the Live Fit Trainer Program, I saw a huge change in my measurements and my muscle mass. I jumped up about 1% muscle mass each month. that doesn’t sound like a lot, but it is! Here’s a photo of week one and two:
If you’re a ‘cardio bunny’ and you yo-yo weight like crazy, one of the factors in the yo-yoing is your muscle mass. You could be going up and down with your body fat percent, but your muscle percentage barely moves. & the more you work on your muscle, the better you are at keeping the fat off and stabilizing your size. It sounds counter-intuitive, but its true!
This is just week three & I can tell my face was more toned, my skin looked more smooth, and I had already lost some ‘width’ for lack of a better word.
I know they’re small changes, and some can argue that it’s the light and camera tricks, but I promise it’s not. I’m not trying to trick you into working out. lol. I tried taking photos the same time in the same room with the same clothing to reduce the risk of too many variables in my progress photos. All of these photos are the real deal. They were also my pre-blogging days, so you’ll have to excuse the bathroom shots of my towels hanging in the background 🙂
So, in three months I had gained 4% muscle and dropped 2% body fat, and the inches that came off are obvious. The weight I’m not going to talk about so much. My weight has very little to do with my progress and you can see why. There is a 6 lb difference between the first week one picture and last week 11 picture. You can go up 6 lbs in a day with food and water. That’s small fish. But let me show you what I actually lost and gained:
Body Fat Percentage: From 22.2% to 19.8%
Muscle Mass Percent: From 36.3 % to 41.4%
Waist Measurement: From 28.2 inches to 24.5 inches
Hips Measurement: From 40 inches to 36 inches
Thigh Measurement: From 22 inches to 20 inches
Chest Measurement: From 34.5 inches to 32 inches
And those worried about getting too ‘bulky’ in the arms: From 11 inches to 10 inches
And altogether I went from a size 6-8 to a size 0-2
Then two years happened. A LOT has happened in the last two years, and slowly my bad habits crept back in! But I’m ready to take my fitness back. So, I talked a friend into working on the program with me, and we’re into the first week. Yesterday was leg day and I feel like my legs are just a bowl of jello, but I’m really excited about getting this started again! And this time, I’m gonna take you along with me!
Live Fit Trainer Getting Started
The program breaks down into three phases. Today I’m going to focus on Phase One & why I love this program.
Phase One is all about strength training. I hear a ton of complaint from women in that department, (strength training, really? I don’t want to get big and bulky, I’ve never set foot in the weight area, I don’t want to look stupid) but I am not complaining one bit. I hate cardio. I feel like a hamster on a wheel whenever I’m on a cardio machine, and the results do not compare to strength training. Not even close.
She eases you in. The Live Fit program really takes it times letting you get to know the gym, the machines, the proper technique, and your new lifestyle change. The first week starts off really easy, with simple exercises and short workouts. By the end of phase one, you’ll have a grasp at your new eating routine and feel like you know your way around the gym.
It’s all planned for you…for free! What I love about this program is that there are no guesses. She gives plenty of information and even goes the extra mile to give you a full meal plan and exercise routine for every single day. You literally just follow the program and you will be successful.
It’s easy to follow and incorporate. The meal suggestions are very simple, but she does give you a lot of options for recommended recipes. I’ve personally tried her turkey chili, turkey burgers, turkey meatloaf, turkey muffins (they’re more delicious than they sound) and pumpkin protein bars. All recipes were easy to follow, easy to make, and REALLY good!
You don’t need a membership at a fancy gym. Say what you want about Planet Fitness, but I love it there. They are the cleanest facilities I’ve ever used. I’ve spent a ton of money for gym memberships only to find out that the strength training areas are disgusting. For some reason, they are just so caked in dirt that I’m reluctant to sit on a bench for fear of contracting some kind of disease.
Planet Fitness is crazy inexpensive!
I want to say that most, if not all, of the machines required in this program are available at Planet Fitness. I can’t say one bad thing about this place. And I only pay $20 a month for their black card membership which allows me to bring a friend! But if you don’t have a Planet Fitness in your area, you really don’t need a $90 a month membership. Bare minimum should do just fine.
It’s not just a 12 week program. It’s really not. Don’t think of it as a quick fix, lose weight in 12 weeks type program. Think of it more as a course. Jamie takes these 12 weeks to educate you about your body, strength training, proper weight lifting technique, clean eating, and the ins and out of incorporating this lifestyle into your life. You will be equipped with the knowledge to continue your new lifestyle long after the training is over…if you do it correctly. And if you fall off the horse, like I did, it’s easy to pick it up again. But it’s not like starting over, for me it’s more of a refresher. Like when you read your old college textbooks.
So, since I’m starting on week one again, I’ll give you all the information you need to know in order to get started.
Watch this video and GET PUMPED
What you need to get started.
First, I would suggest going to the program page and perusing the program. Study everything you can. Check out all of her videos, she even has some on youtube! Look at the food list, learn what clean eating is, look at all the phases. read other people’s reviews, do everything you can to learn about what you’re undertaking. It’s really so much easier to put down that cheeseburger and grab a turkey burger when you know why you’re doing it.
Aside from the meal plan that Jamie offers, these are the items that have helped me through the program. (affiliate links)
Food Scale. Jamie will ask you to weigh your food eventually. She doesn’t ask you to worry about it too much the first four weeks, but she does say to eat a certain amount of lean meat and complex carbs. So, this was helpful to make sure I was getting the right amount in my diet. I bought this one and have no problems with it.
My Fitness Pal. I’ve talked about this app before. I love it because you can track your food, measurements, etc. It also allows you to add in your own recipes by ingredient amount, then it will break it down into serving sizes based on your preference. The really neat part about that is it will scan a barcode for a product. Then the nutritional facts automatically upload, allowing for accurate nutritional facts per serving.
A fancy schmancy scale. OK, this is a must for me. When I started I was so frustrated with my weight fluctuations until I bought a scale that shows muscle mass percentage. It’s called a digital body fat scale. These scales are not completely accurate, but I loved using them daily and documenting the trends. I relied on that solely, and not on the weight part of the scale. This is especially important for women because our weight can fluctuate up to ten pounds, just based on where we are in our cycle! I can’t stress how important this scale is!
A tape measure. Not the metal kind, one that will take your body measurements. Like I mentined before, if you’re obsessing over the number on the scale, you miss out on true progress! The last time I did the program, I hadn’t changed my weight very drastically. but because I took weekly measurements, I was able to track my progress. I lost INCHES EVERYWHERE and wouldn’t have noticed as much if I was staring at the scale. This one comes with a body fat caliper. I’m told they give the most accurate data. But, I tend to focus more on muscle than on fat.
Speaking of tracking progress, take pictures! You don’t need anything fancy, but I would say don’t use your phone to track progress. Maybe its just me, but I don’t want those photos showing up when I’m sharing pictures of my dog with my veterinarian. 🙂 I took pictures once a week to track my progress.
Protein Powder. Find one that has around 30 grams of protein for about 150 calories. I can usually find them for buy one get one free at my local grocery store.
Other things that have helped along the way:
Find a friend and hold each other accountable! When I know someone is counting on me, I’m less likely to bail on a workout.
Get a group together and do a clean eating meal swap! I did this the last time and I really think it helped me stay on track. We each picked a clean ‘dinner’ meal recipe, made enough for each of us to have two servings, packaged them in little Tupperware, and swapped. Then, we had a different dinner each night of the week. It really helped to keep me on track because it was much easier to make one recipe and swap than it would be to make 7 different dinners. I think that’s why many people fail their clean eating routine, because they don’t have the time to make a ton of different recipes and they get bored with the food they’re eating.
If you don’t have a food swap group, or even if you do, designate a meal prep day! I make hardboiled eggs for pretty much the whole week in one sitting. We also bake or grill chicken in bulk, and freeze it until we’re ready to use it! I do the same thing with turkey meatballs and burgers. You can cook them ahead of time and put them in the freezer for a quick meal. If you keep this as part of a routine, you’ll have a great variety of food at your fingertips, and you just replenish the items when they start to get low. This will decrease your likelihood of going for the ramen noodles because they’re easy and quick. It takes just as much time to microwave some turkey meatballs and a sweet potato.
Find a Live Fit Trainer Group. There are some on Facebook. It’s fun to chat about ups and downs, share what works, swap recipes, and have people with similar goals available to talk to! If there’s enough interest, I can start one up too. Just leave a comment.
OK, so that’s about all I can think of. I hope that helps! I’ll be back next Friday to talk about my first week, some recipes I tried, and share some tips I pick up along the way. I think I’ll keep this a Friday thing. Fitness Friday, how’s that sound?
Now, go learn everything you can!
Start Here: Live Fit Trainer Phase 1
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