So it’s official: I’m a gym rat again.
I got through half of my second round of Asylum Part 1 in the beginning of the month and decided that -at least for now- I needed to try something new. So hopefully, with 12 weeks of dedicated weight training & cardio, I’ll discover a new me! Check out my Week 1 review of Jamie Eason’s “LiveFit 12-week trainer”!
So you may be thinking: why the LiveFit Trainer? I’ll give you one reason- muscle. I’m a cardio junkie -as most fit women tend to be- and I decided that I needed to challenge myself with a muscle-focused workout regimen. I also stumbled upon a photo of a woman who had just completed the LiveFit Trainer on the FitChicks Facebook page and was super impressed; she didn’t gain or lose a single pound- but had more muscle, less body fat and looked strong! So since my new focus is on strength, I thought LiveFit could be the workout for me.
How LiveFit Works
You can visit Bodybuilding.com for the full details on LiveFit, but here’s a basic summary. The LiveFit Trainer is broken up into three 1-month phases: Phase 1, Phase 2 & Phase 3.
Phase 1: I’m Going to Pump You Up! (Weeks 1, 2, 3 & 4)
In Phase 1, you work on building muscle by devoting an entire month to weight-lifting without doing cardio. (Yes, you read that right, I am currently not doing any cardio!!). The weight training exercises are 4-5days a week, working 4 distinct muscle groups: (i) Chest/Triceps, (ii) Back/Biceps, (iii) Legs, (iv) Shoulders/Abs. Each of the weight-training workouts generally takes me an hour to complete.
Phase 2: My Cardio’s Back & You’re Gonna Be In Trouble (Weeks 5, 6, 7 & 8)
In Phase 2, you start bringing cardio back into the fold while still building muscle (30minutes of cardio, 45minutes of weight training). I haven’t started Phase 2 yet, but we’ll see how these longer workouts play out! ::nail biting::
Phase 3: Bring On the Pain (and the Bikini!) (Weeks 9, 10, 11 & 12)
In Phase 3, you’re in the home stretch and spend your time doing circuit training with weights, high-intensity cardio and mixing things up to maximize results. And did I mention I’m going to Panama for a bachelorette party just in time for the beach & the tail end of this program? 😉 #motivation
My Week 1 Review
Okay so the first week of the program was tough. First off, I had to go to the gym! THE GYM! I haven’t been a member of a gym in almost a year and have been getting my workouts done at home. (Shaun-T has spoiled me!) So the fact that I had to get up early, get dressed for winter weather, pack a bag with a pen & workout journal and buy a gym membership was kind of asking a lot. But everyone needs to shake things up, right? So off to the gym I went.
One of the biggest challenges of the first week was just learning each of the exercises and maintaining proper form. How do you know if you’re using proper form? I’ll be doing a future post on this, but the short story is to go slowly and make sure you’re feeling the burn where you should be. So if the muscle group for that day was Chest/Triceps, I tried to make sure that those were the muscles being activated by the exercise. So it was pretty helpful that the workouts are broken down by muscle group, especially for my first week.
The other thing that was a challenge in my first week was feeling like a total idiot in the gym! I know how to run, I know how to use the elliptical, I even know how to lift a dumbell or two, but I don’t know how to do a tricep cable pulldown. I spent about 5minutes just trying to get the right apparatus around the carabiner and adjusting the height of the cable! Also not helpful? The old sweaty guy in the gym who was leering at me and wondering what I was doing in the weights-area of the gym. Sorry boo, I didn’t see the “Men Only” sign! :-p
The other challenge with weight training has been goal setting. I’m in completely new territory here & definitely felt it in my first week. I know how to measure my progress doing Insanity (there’s a fitness “before and after” chart!), but it’s hard to know exactly how to measure my progress at this point with weight training. Should it be based on how heavy the weight is? How many reps I can do? I’ve read that lifting heavy weight at low reps will “bulk” you up while lifting lighter weight with more reps will build “lean” muscle. But how light is too light and how heavy is too heavy?
Ultimately I decided that I would start at the heaviest weight I normally exercise with (10lbs) and try to get comfortable lifting up to 20lbs over the course of my journey through this program. That’s a goal I set for myself though, not one that was written anywhere. And something about that, setting my own goals and determining out how I want to sculpt my body- was kind of cool. 😉
So what were the highlights & lowlights this week?
Week 1 Highlights: (1) Getting started & feeling empowered, (2) Learning how to break up weight training workouts into muscle groups, (3) Feeling sore in muscles I hadn’t worked in a long time and (4) Repping for the ‘ladies who lift’ in front of the old sweaty guy.
Week 1 Lowlights: (1) Not being fully confident with the exercises yet, (2) Being intimidated by some of the weight training equipment, (3) Fumbling with the carabiner for over 5minutes, (4) Feeling sore in muscles I hadn’t worked in a long time and (5) Missing cardio.
Do you lift weights? How do you set goals- based on the amount of weight or the number of reps?
Stay tuned for my Week 2 Review!