I recently finished a fitness program called LIIFT4, sold by Beachbody. This was the longest program I’ve ever done, at 8 weeks. While that might not seem like much, a lot of life happens in that amount of time; and at times, it was hard to keep up. But I persevered! I was determined to complete it, and now I’m excited to go in-depth on my experience with this awesome program.
Why I Picked This Program
First off, I’m not a Beachbody coach. I simply teamed up with a coach, joined her health and fitness accountability group, and tried this program at my own pace. This program is mostly lifting free weights, with a little HIIT thrown in. You workout 2 days in a row, have a recovery day, and workout 2 more days in a row, finishing the week with recovery days. That’s only 4 days a week! The workouts range from 30 to 40 minutes long, averaging about 35 minutes. As a mom of two littles, this was a nice amount of time. I used to workout for an hour at a time, but that just isn’t an option anymore with busy life. A program that’s only 4 days a week, for about 35 minutes a workout, was absolutely ideal for me. I did this program entirely on Beachbody on Demand. I paid a fee to get a 12 month subscription. Beachbody on Demand includes SO many programs and gave me many options. Having BOD also means I can exercise anywhere using my laptop or smartphone. It’s tremendously convenient!
The workouts targeted different things, based on the day: Chest/Triceps, Back/Biceps, Shoulders, and Legs. The first 6 weeks are called “Build It”, and the last two weeks are called “Shred It”. The last two weeks were definitely more intense and switched things up a little bit. Every workout included a specific time block to work the abs. While the workouts had different types of training (interval, circuit, 50/50, and HIIT), they all made sure you kept a steady pace when lifting weights. Everyone in the video would do 10 well-paced reps. It wasn’t about lifting the most or the fastest, but focusing on doing your best in that moment and continually moving, even if you had to put down your weights. The program came with a sheet to keep track of your weights used each workout. It was fun to see, over the course of 8 weeks, how the hard work was paying off, as my ability to lift heavier weights grew from 5 and 8 pound dumbbells to 10 and 15 pound dumbbells.
LIIFT4, along with most other Beachbody programs, came with a meal plan and nutrition program focused on portion control. It uses little containers that are pre-measured and color-coded, based on the food group. I opted to not purchase containers and just “eyeball measure” everything myself. I’d used the containers in the past, so I had a good idea on how much of each food group I needed. There are also many resources on Pinterest and Team Beachbody’s website, as far as printables to help keep track of containers and recipes that stay within the meal plan/calorie guidelines. As a stay at home mom, I just felt like using the containers made for more dishes to wash. However, they’re ideal if you’re just starting out or if you work outside the home and have to pack a lunch. Let me make clear, nutrition is my biggest struggle. It’s not that I mind eating healthier, I’m just still working on my willpower to skip out on the not-so-good stuff. Carbs and sugary treats are my biggest weakness. I know I could have had better results had I done better with my nutrition, but it is what it is! I’m proud of how I did and I know it’s not a diet, it’s a healthy lifestyle I’m trying to obtain.
My Opinion of Free Weights
I’d never done much with free weights before, but I loved it! In fact, I’ve always hated the days that required weights in past programs. For as long as I can remember, I was all about cardio or yoga. This time, though, my goals were a little different and I knew I wanted to achieve more muscle tone. While I still had some weight to lose after having baby #2, ultimately, I cared about toning up again and feeling stronger than ever. I was definitely able to crush that goal with LIIFT4! Within a week of doing the program, I could already feel more strength building in my abs and arms. I have to say, there is just something so empowering about lifting weights. Like I said, I’d never had much experience with or desire to do free weights, but after just a couple workouts, I was hooked! My kids also loved working out with me and had their very own 3 pound weights they’d often use. It was so fun to see them get motived, too, and see the impact I was having on them!
My Results: The Numbers
So let’s get down to the results. Before starting the LIIFT4, I weighed 145 pounds. At 5′ 6″ tall and after two babies in 4 years, this meant I had quite a bit of extra “fluff” that I just didn’t want to keep around anymore. After completing LIIFT4, I’m at 140 pounds and down 6.75 inches! I try not to get too caught up on the scale reading, as it can vary so much just in the day-to-day, and I know a number on a scale does not define the person that I am. Honestly, I kept track of that so I could enter into the Beachbody Challenge at the end of the 8 weeks and get a free LIIFT4 t-shirt. Silly as that may seem, it was a fun motivator.
My Results: Non-Scale Victories
I really love focusing on all the non-scale victories, even more than the numbers, and there were quite a few. Exercising regularly boosted my energy and my overall mood. When I could feel myself dragging early afternoon, I’d workout and have the energy to get through the rest of my day. On the mornings I was able to get up early without waking my one-year old (which were few and far between), my workout provided awesome motivation to hit the ground running and accomplish all the things on my to-do list. Sometimes exercising didn’t fit into my day until after the kids were in bed. This meant I often stayed up a little later than normal, but it also meant I had the energy to have time for myself and do things that I enjoyed, like reading or crocheting, without falling asleep on the couch. My clothes have been fitting better. I even had to buy new bras, as I went down a cup size, and exchange the new sneakers I bought because my old size 10 is now too big. While I don’t wear jewelry often, I have noticed a difference in rings and bracelets fitting much looser. One of the biggest changes I noticed, physically, was in my face. It’s slimmed down considerably and I look less bloated. I also gained mental strength. Sticking with a program for 8 weeks instilled in me a new kind of determination even when I wasn’t motivated. I gained a special sense of community and support from the accountability group I was in, which transferred into my everyday life. I gained a new desire to get workouts in, knowing how great I always feel afterwards.
All In All
When all is said and done, I’d totally recommend this program! It’s great for varying fitness levels and even includes modified moves, which I took advantage of often. Eight weeks go by fairly quickly and with only 4 workouts a week and 30-40 minutes a workout, it provides great results, number-wise, and even greater non-scale victory results!