I have finally finished phase 3 today and with that the complete Jamie Eason Live Fit Trainer.
Phase 3 lasts 4 weeks and it is a split training, meaning each workout targets one muscle group. The workouts are structured as circuit training so all exercises must be completed in one set and repeated 2-3 times with a 3-5 minute break between the circuits. Circuit training is difficult in a crowded gym because you have to hop to different machines and weights all the time.
Week 1 and 2 consist of 6 workouts each week:
- Quads & Calves;
- Back, Arms, Abs;
- Chest, Shoulders, Abs;
- Hamstrings, Glutes & Calves;
- Back, Biceps, Abs;
- Shoulders, Triceps, Calves.
The circuits took me about 45- 60 minutes and 30 minutes HIIT cardio with alternating 30-30 seconds is added at the end of each weight training session, except on leg day.
The workouts usually take about 1.5 hours to complete, including the cardio and each workout includes active rests (jump rope, mountain climbers,…) and super sets. The intensity is super high and also the calorie burn is much higher than during the first two phases.
There is a lot of jumping so the workouts have to be adjusted in case of injuries or problems with the knees. I had to actually skip the rope jumps in the end because my knees just couldn’t handle it very well.
Weeks 9 and 10 have definitely not been my favorites.
Week 3 and 4 consist also of 6 workouts each week:
- Back, Abs;
- Chest, Calves;
- Arms, Abs;
The circuit training took me usually about 25-30 minutes and 30-40 minutes cardio is added after each workouts, except on leg day, and can be anything from steady-state to HIIT.
I have enjoyed these last two weeks more than the first two of phase 3. The workouts and the exercises were short but quite intense and a lot of fun. I really enjoyed not having any active rests during these two weeks.
I have made a few adjustments to the program during phase 3:
- I couldn’t combine a lower-body workout with an upper-body workout like I did in phase 1 and 2 because the workouts took too long and each workout is so intense that I struggled to finish circuit training and the cardio afterwards. I went through the workouts one by one in my own time, I did about 3-4 workouts per week and took some days/weeks off when I was on vacation in Switzerland and Turkey so phase 3 lasted longer than the 4 weeks in the plan.
- I did all the cardio sessions as planned after weight training but instead of 30 minutes HIIT in weeks 9 and 10 I did only 15 minutes with additionally a couple of minutes jogging as warm-up and cool down because I was already too tired from the active rests to be able to do more. I think 30 minutes of HIIT is too much anyhow, it is usually recommended to do 12 -15 minutes at most.
- I did not carb-cycle, it might be that it helps with fat loss but it’s also very hard on the body and I don’t need the mood swings from the low carb days. I followed the IIFYM nutrition plan instead, targeting fat loss with the suggested 15% intensity and macros set to 45C-30P-25F. I eat 3 times per day, and not as suggested every 2-3 hours. It doesn’t matter how often I eat and when I eat. I also eat carbs at night and it makes no difference.
Even though phase 3 is very important because it is the long awaited time when we shed all that fat to see the muscles which we have built in the previous phases, it was my least favorite of all three phases. I found the active rests AND cardio very challenging and the circuits had me run around all over the gym.
The weight training is very intense filled with many active rests (I hate jump rope so much!!!) and super sets in the first 2 weeks and I barely had any power and energy left for the HIIT cardio in the end.
If done as planned with 6 workouts days and active rests and cardio, I think that phase 3 can lead to overtraining, burn-out and even injury, especially for beginners who are not used to this high intensity. It takes up a lot of time and even with the adjustments I barely had time for anything else and I had to stop running, yoga and other activities. Working out should be fun and not feel like a chore and going to the gym shouldn’t be a task we dread to do, which I sometimes felt like during phase 3.
I believe that this program is overall very challenging because the 12 weeks are packed with 4-5-6 weekly long workouts (phase 3 being the most difficult) and barely some recovery time, like for example the P90X has a recovery week planned after every 4 weeks which includes just some light stretching and yoga.
My transformation after Live Fit is not as impressive as some people who became super lean in just 12 weeks and I am fine with that. It’s important for me to have fun with my workouts. I feel more fit now, I improved my running performance and endurance.
I built some nice muscles in phase 1 but unfortunately I lost them all after phase 2 and 3. I am not afraid of leg days anymore. I used to worry that my legs would get too big but I trained them twice a week during LiveFit and they are slowly getting nice and toned.
If and when I repeat Live Fit, I would make the following adjustments:
- I did some cardio in phase 1 and HIIT in phase 2 and 3. The plan calls for no cardio in phase 1, steady-state in phase 2 and HIIT in phase 3. I would stick to the plan next time because doing cardio in each phase was too much and I was dreading the treadmill so much in the end. Enjoy the no cardio in phase 1, you will wish for it later on!
- I would include a recovery week after each phase where I will do stretching, yoga or swimming. Getting fit is not a sprint, it is a marathon! Slow and steady wins the race! I would rather have the program take longer with long-term results than overtraining in 12 weeks and falling back into bad habits and ruining everything afterwards.
- I will follow the nutrition of the program and eat to grow. I did IIFYM and I didn’t eat enough to build muscles and after phase 3 I have lost most of the muscles that I built during phase 1 and 2. Because ai didn’t increase my calories during phase 1 and 2, I couldn’t cut the calories enough in phase 3 to lose fat.