*This post is not endorsed by or prepared by Jamie Eason or anyone in her employ. It is based on her 12 Week FREE Training Program on Bodybuilding.com modified for my own dietary considerations.
For some time I’ve been thinking about changing what I do at the gym. It’s always good to do this. The body becomes complacent and compensates for whatever you do. I’ve been taking Les Mills BodyPump classes 3 days a week, Yoga 3 days a week, and 1 day a week of cardio. I also usually do about 30 minutes of cardio before BodyPump. I absolutely love BodyPump and the amazing instructors at my gym. For that reason, I’ve stuck with this routine for much longer than anything else I’ve tried. I’ve been taking BP 3 times a week since last October, so 10 months.
And I have seen amazing results! Especially in my upper body, which has always been my least favorite to train and thus my most neglected. Can I just do leg day every day please? I think the most amazing improvement has been my shoulders. I have definition I’ve never had before. My BodyPump days are not over. I just need a break and to try something else for a bit.
Enter Jamie Eason’s LiveFit 12 Week Trainer– a free program designed by Jamie for BodyBuilding.com. I am a huge fan of Jamie Eason. In case you don’t know who she is- she’s a former fitness competitor and current fitness model and writer. She’s a spokesmodel for BB.com and writes a column for Oxygen. She has graced many magazine pages and covers. And she’s just adorable. I am a fan of her Facebook page and the interaction she gives to her fans is truly dedicated. Check her out, she’s a very inspiring person. And just freaking hot.
I have no illusions that I will ever have a body like that. She is incredibly dedicated and a fitness professional with amazing genetics. But I sure wouldn’t mind taking some workout advice from her! So I have been eagerly awaiting the release of her program since she mentioned it earlier in the year.
I haven’t been able to make a decision about it without seeing it because I have some nutritional beliefs I’m not going to compromise on. Like, I’m not going to drink a bunch of protein shakes, I’m vegetarian, and I’m not going to take a lot of crazy supplements. The program was finally released last week and I’m pretty impressed with how simple it is. It’s quite easy to adjust to a vegetarian diet, surprisingly. And I find the amount of food she suggests you eat to be perfectly reasonable. So, I’m going to do it! With my own modifications.
The exercise portion I will do as written. I love that she’s starting her program off with absolutely NO cardio for 4 weeks to give the body the most push toward building muscle. It starts off with 2 weeks of 4-day a week strength training. I plan to also continue practicing yoga, but leaning toward the gentler restorative practices rather than the vigorous challenging ones.
The supplements, I’ll be kind of half-assed about. The recommended supplements are a Women’s Multi-Vitamin, Branch Chain Amino Acids, Essential Fatty Acids, and Whey Protein which have been bundled by BB.com and are sold here. I’m very skeptical about supplements and prefer whole food sources of nutrition. However, I don’t find this list to be anything extreme. And I’m happy to see there are no fat burners or caffeine based energy supplements recommended.
I already take a women’s multi-vitamin and I will continue to take it. It’s a raw, vegan, whole foods sourced capsule, Vitamin Code by Garden of Eden. I will also add flaxseed to my diet for the Omega-3s. I investigated vegan Omega-3-6-9 supplements and didn’t find one that wasn’t either very expensive or contained fish products. I also did not find a suitable BCAA supplement. I’ll be including protein with more meals, but I’m not planning to make protein bars or protein shakes at this time. If I were going to make a protein shake, I’d probably make something with greek yogurt rather than whey powder. And I am still leaning toward vegan, I prefer not to consume massive amounts of dairy. Instead of making bars & shakes, I will make dishes I can easily eat leftover that contain a reasonable amount of protein.
The diet is honestly pretty similar to what I eat now, with more protein. Of course the list of proteins is 90% meat. Rather than eat massive amounts of tofu, I will simply make an effort to make all my meals and snacks have more protein than they currently do. The biggest adjustment for me will be that I generally do eat 6-7 times a day already, but I typically eat 3 meals and 3 snacks which are usually a piece of fruit and/or nuts. I will include another protein source in my snacks and it will be more like 6 meals.
I plan to include the following vegan recipes to add protein to my snacks without adding too much more dairy:
Tofu Pudding (I will use as little maple syrup as possible)
There are unlimited vegetables included in all the meals. It’s pretty flexible. That works for me! You can see the menu as written here:
One thing I certainly will NOT be eating is eggwhite anything. If I am going to eat an egg, and I’ve reduced my consumption considerably, I would eat the yolk as well. Where the menu calls for eggwhites, I will opt for zero fat greek yogurt, tofu, or lowfat cottage cheese (Nancy’s, mmm) I think I will make some chocolate tofu pudding for one option.
I will update you with more details and recipes once I get going. I’m kind of winging this, so I will have to figure it out as I go. I’m excited! It seems like a great program. And if I can put on a bit more muscle and take off a bit more fat… then that would be cool! I’m taking my measurements & a before photo tomorrow and then I’m taking myself off the scale. I can see how this plan could lead to weight gain in the beginning, but I will trust that it is muscle and just go with it.
I understand that I’m not really following this plan exactly as written, but I think it’s a good template. I reserve the right to change anything at any moment to suit my needs or to decide it isn’t for me at any time. Exercise should be fun and rewarding, I think. So if I tried something new and hated it, I wouldn’t stick with it for long. But I think I’m going to enjoy this change.