If I had a dollar for every email I have received asking me what I think of the LiveFit Trainer, I’d be a rather rich lady! Despite the program being introduced almost a year ago, the hype hasn’t died down so it’s high time I publicly voice my opinion.
In case you’re not familiar with the program, Jamie Eason created a 12 week program in association with Bodybuilding.com which is freely available to view online. The program includes a diet plan complete with meal ideas and a detailed exercise program for the 12 weeks, which are broken down into three four-week stages. The first two periods are designed to build muscle, while the final four weeks are comprised of long (90 minutes+), high intensity workouts performed six days per week designed to strip the fat off your brand new muscles.
In theory, the program is great. It’s rare to find a complete bodybuilding-targeted program online for free, written in so much detail with videos and explanations of all the exercises. Jamie Eason is a role model for many young women, and I’m in favour of anyone promoting weight lifting. There is a rather large support community of people who are doing or have completed the program, and there have been some pretty impressive results.
That being said, there are a number of things I don’t like about it. First of all, the most obvious point is that it is a generic program. Given how specific and individual bodybuilding is, I am a huge advocate of finding a coach who can watch and adapt to how your body responds to certain exercises and meal plans.
More specifically, what I hate about the program is the unrealistic expectations it gives people. It’s natural to look at the program set-up and some of the results and assume that it therefore only takes three months to get the body of your dreams.
I was planning on writing a post about this later (and I still will!) but to look like Jamie Eason or someone similar, it takes a long time. Not three months and most likely not even three years.
One of my clients contacted me in a panic after seeing someone’s results from LiveFit. She saw an ‘after’ picture of a young woman who had very defined delts – but had obviously been lifting weights for years – and was worried that doing a six week basic upper and lower body split routine was going to give her shoulders like that.
Two shoulder exercises per week for six weeks unfortunately doesn’t give you those kinds of results. I have spent one to two hours per week for the past two years trying to purposely pack muscle on to my shoulders, and I am failing with frustration. I have tried every technique under the sun, and followed a very specific diet plan to make it happen. The point is, gaining muscle does not happen by accident and, if you’re a woman, you have to work 10 times harder than a man to increase your muscle mass.
Most people need to spend a few years focusing on gaining muscle, not just eight weeks. This is where I believe fault lies with Jamie for making it seem so easy – while the program may encourage more people to lift weights, it may also scare others away like my client above. And I can promise you, unless you’re starting from an incredibly fit position already, it takes a hell of a lot longer to lean out than four weeks. I would be jumping up and down if I followed this program and gained even a pound of muscle.
I also don’t like how the program is based solely on aesthetic improvements. There are too many exercises performed on resistance machines, and I find constant high rep training tedious. The program is not designed for strength gains, and most of the results come from following an unsustainable workout regime combined with carb cycling – the muscle gains are miniscule.
So, in conclusion, I think the program is great for beginners, or for those who are already lifting weights but want to try more of a bodybuilder split program. However, I think it is critically important to remember what the program is – basic, generic, free and focused on short term results – and keep your goals realistic to avoid being disappointed.
Have you tried the LiveFit Trainer? Do you think my review is fair, or am I totally off?