40 Workouts to Build a Stronger Me
When I heard about LIIFT MORE, the new strength training program from one of my favs, Joel Freeman, I was all in and so excited. When I was offered a spot in the test group...I was freaking pumped!!!
I had just come off a year that made me feel fragile. The stress of the long period of isolation. Not seeing family and friends. Watching my coaches and clients struggle. My own health scare & cervical surgery + antibiotics that were a big hit on my gut. Followed by the big C and long C. And just when I started to feel better...a shoulder injury.
I had been lovingly nursing my body back to health using lots of rest and low impact workouts but I was ready. Ready to feel strong again. Ready to lift weights...heavy weights and feel like the badass I had lost a little during 2021.
May 2: The Journey Begins
I weighed in at 108.7, a little low for me for sure and not where I feel my strongest. My goal was to be closer to 110 by the end of the program. I wasn't unhappy with my body. I just wanted to gain back some of the muscle I lost over the course of the year and challenge myself in a new way.
The first four weeks were everything I anticipated. I was challenged. I had to meet my body where it was at in the beginning. For a few of the shoulder moves I was using 2s and even setting those down by the end of the workout. But I loved it. I loved how strong I felt from week to week. It was actually amazing to see how much progress I could make after just 5 days of workouts. A testament to how well structured the program is.
I was able to go from using 2s, 5s, 8s, and 10s and 12s for upper body (YUP, you need a range of weights for this program) to using 5s, 9s, 10s, 15s and 20s!!!!
For lower body I went from 10s - 25 depending on the move to 12s - 50 by the end of week 4.
The HIIT, burnout and core rotations at the end of each day were the perfect polishers and made me push to that final level where it took everything in me to just NOT STOP. But I don't think a day went by that I didn't modify at some point. And that's what Joel wanted. Work to complete exhaustion.
With 5 days on and 2 days of rest there was plenty of time to recover and be ready to go the next week!
At the end of phase 1, 4 weeks and 20 workouts in I was feeling F'ing AMAZING! I could see the progress, I could feel the progress, my energy was growing, was sleep was the best it had been in almost a year and I was genuinely having fun with the program looking forward to every workout!
AND THEN LIFE BLEW UP!!!!
Just as I was finishing week 4 the flue went through our family AND we made a sudden decision to move out of our current home (lots of reasons, it was a good thing, but it took a lot of stress to get through it) and into a much better home for us. This meant we had 2 weeks to find a new place & pack up our existing house and I got the flu at the tail end of that.
But I was able to finish Phase 1 on time through hit all and thought it would be smooth for Phase 2. We had a two week gap between moving out of our old house and into our new home. Week 1 was spent in Vegas for Jake's basketball tourney and we tacked on some extra days just for fun. I got all of my workouts in at the hotel and was feeling great, until I woke up on departure day with a sinus infection (likely from all the smoke in the hotels).
We dropped the boys back off in Los Angeles, Kade with my Dad for a week because he didn't want to miss anymore work and Jake with his Dad because it was his week to have him. Nic and I grabbed our weights and weight bench and headed to our first Air BNB where I planned to finish week 5 and start week 6. I got in two workouts beachside using the trunk of our car, the weight bench and our traveling weights before the sinus infection got so bad that I had to rest. I was able to get an IV of vitamins, use my 2 rests to recover and by the time we left Oceanside to head to our second Air BNB in Lake Arrowhead I was feeling almost back to good.
I decided to take 1 more rest day before starting week 6, which I felt good about because we get 2 rest days a week so I was just gonna move them around. But that afternoon, I got a phone call no parent wants to get. It's a long story but the short version is my oldest son, Kade was in a life-treating accident at work. He was being taken by ambulance to a local hospital (2 hours from where I was) and would need emergency surgery. You can hear the full story here.
We spent the next 3 full days in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. We never left that room. There were no workouts, I barely ate even though my sister drove to the hospital twice a day to bring me healthy, vegan options. After being released it was another 5 days of sleepless nights caring for Kade around the clock with his medication schedule and anxiety around his injury. When we could finally breathe a little and I had some energy, I picked up where I left off with week 6. I had definitely lost some of my strength and gains. From not moving much for over a week. Lack of sleep, extreme stress and so much fatigue. But I let go of the expectations of where I should be and just started to rebuild.
Kade has recovered amazingly and is in physical therapy now to regain motor control of his fingers and full use of his arm. He still doesn't have all his feeling back but we expect him to make a full recovery.
I finished the last 3 weeks of LIIFT MORE without anymore breaks and despite my setbacks here's what I gained MORE of from this program.
* More evidence that I can do hard things.
* More understanding that exercise isn't about how we look but how we feel and how it helps us show up for our lives!
* More confidence in how to safely lift heavy.
* More longevity. Weight lifting is so important to muscle, bone and core strength, which are all necessary for aging well.
* More muscle...check my gains in my numbers below.
* More motivation to keep sharing the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and these amazing tools and resources that have helped make me a better version of myself. That have helped me become someone who can navigate the challenges and hardships of life without falling apart. That's a gift I want everyone to have access to and that's why I do what I do.
So here are my final results. After 9 weeks total including my full week off to care for Kade and 40 LIIFT MORE workouts...
Most of my measurements didn't change much. But that's to be expected for me. I've been consistent on this journey for nearly 6 years now. That's why I call my photos progress pics instead of transformations. They're a reflection of where I'm at in my journey today & where I'm at is best defined as consistent. Despite all the chaos of the last 8 weeks, I stayed pretty consistent. I got back to my gut friendly nutrition as soon as we got home, I got back to my daily workouts. I took advantage of my rest days. I worked on my sleep and meditated to manage my stress.
A few things I noted: I did gain an inch in my chest/back and lost 1/2 an inch in my hips. The scale also went from 108.7 to 111. Considering my measurements didn't change too much I'd say this is a lot of muscle gain, which I can see in my core, my shoulders and my quads. And it's also reflected in the expanded chest/back measurement. Plus, there may be a little inflammation from all of the stress I'm still processing & the lack of sleep.
Overall, I feel really freaking great about my journey with LIIFT MORE. While I couldn't know how that 8 weeks was going to go for me, this program was exactly what I needed to feel strong mentally, physically and emotionally after such a long period of feeling fragile. Fragile definitely wasn't going to help me or Kade get through what happened.
FRAGILE TO FIERCE: 8 weeks, 40 workouts with LIIFT MORE
Now for the most important information for YOU!
Who is this program for?
While I would call it an intermediate to advanced program. If you're new and you're willing to start with light weights and follow the modifier and you have your doctor's approval to start working outthink I'd say you could most likely do it. You can always repeat Phase 1 (the first 4 weeks) before moving on to Phase 2, which definitely levels up.
This program is for anyone who wants to build strength, muscle definition, learn to lift safely, and challenge themself. You could use it to lose weight, gain weight, or just tone up. It honestly just depends on your unique goals. All of that will be determined by how you fuel your body over the course of the 8 weeks and how heavy you choose to lift.
While a lot of people automatically assume a program like this, that challenges you to LIIFT MORE, is a man's program, I call BS. Everyone can benefit from strength training...women especially since we are more prone to bone fragility as we age. Learning how to lift safely, with good form decreases the risk of injury, increases muscle and bone density which naturally decrease as we age, and supports a healthy metabolism.
How can you start your LIIFT MORE journey?
LIIFT MORE is available for VIP early access on July 19. If you just can't wait to get your hands on this program and some heavy weights...that's the soonest you can jump in!
Other customers can purchase the program on August 2 and my next accountability group will begin August 8. That will give us about 5 solid days to choose your nutrition program, make sure you have all the equipment you need, and go over some program basics help you maximize the experience.
If you want to be added to my VIP LIIFT MORE lists, be the first to be notified when these two options go live & have my support on your 8 week journey...simply fill out this form and I'll be in touch with everything you need.
If you know you're going to be jumping into one of these groups and you don't have a bench at home yet, this is the one I would recommend.
How can I support you?
When you join me for LIIFT MORE, you get my support in a private online group in our free BOD app, which you can download to your phone or log into from any computer. As a customer of mine, you will also get access to all of my online wellness groups for the remaining 10 months of the year. Our focus changes monthly so you can take your time build healthy habits that stick while overcoming mental and physical obstacles. As a certified holistic health coach with specializations in gut and hormone health, I share a lot about these topics. In my groups, there will be a daily post from me every morning sharing information & motivations, weekly recipes and meal plans and evening check ins to help keep you on track. We always have a lot of fun and together we get results!
Fill out this form to join us for LIIFT MORE!
My tips for making the most of it?
Embrace the journey without expectations. Approach it with a mindset of...let's see how my body responds to this and what I can learn about myself. Show up. Ask for help and finish what you start. When you go into without an aesthetic goal that you're trying to force your body into you have so much more freedom, fun and joy in the journey and you generally end up with even better results that you imagined. Let go to level up and let your body do it's thing.
2. If you're worried about getting "bulky" remember that muscle is lean. It doesn't create bulk unless it's surrounded by inflammation and excess fat from an unhealthy diet. Your nutrition will play a big role in your overall results and we have 3 nutrition plans for you you to choose from to support you on this journey, if you want and need one.
Gut Protocol - an emphasis on supporting overall gut health, reducing inflammation & bloat and optimizing digestion to absorb more of the good things you're taking into your body.
Macros Method - a simple container system that helps you make sure you're covering all the nutritional groups you need to optimize your health and provides the flexibility to still enjoy desserts and cocktails in moderation.
Visual plating method - for those who are more comfortable with an intuitive style nutrition plan. This program places an emphasis on leading with the foods that support our gut (think veggies most) while also making sure we make room for the other major food groups that our muscles and cells need. Plus, nothing is off the table completely. It's not a diet or restrictive plan...it simply leads with making sure your body gets the nutrients it needs before we fill up on the fun foods.
3. You will need a bench for this program. You really can't do it as it's designed, be safe, and get results without one. And you definitely need it to adjust to 90, 45, and flat at the least. This is the bench I'd recommend.
4. Know that your body is about to go on a journey. Eight weeks is a good amount of time and we all respond and transform at different paces depending on our unique bodies and life circumstances. Don't compare your journey to anyone else's including a past version of you. Who you were, what you were going through, what your body needed...all of that was different a year ago, 5 years ago or 10 years ago. Trust the process. Take it one and one workout at a time and take progress pics and measurements because when you get in your head about how you look, your results or start playing comparison games...it's these numbers and photos that will help you see the true story. And it's usually not the same as the story you're telling yourself.
5. While you can do it alone, why would you? Community makes the journey so much more fun. And there's a next level accountability when you're showing up for someone besides yourself. On the days when you aren't in the mood. Checking into our group will inspire you. On the days when you're beating yourself up. Sharing in our group will lift you up! On the days when you're feeling like you had a breakthrough and you can take on anything. Checking into our group will give you someone to celebrate with! Doing LIIFT MORE is a good idea. Doing it LIIFT MORE with us is a better idea!
Are you joining us?