Four months ago I went out to my garage, moved a bunch of boxes, and setup an area to workout in. It was November here in Michigan which means it was starting to get cold. We were in the fifth month of what was supposed to be a two month finished basement project which forced me to workout outside. No big deal. I’m from Michigan and have Under Armour laying around everywhere.
What motivated me to get my butt outside and workout was hearing all the positive reviews coming in for LIIFT4. I needed to start getting my butt into shape and I liked what I was reading along with what I saw on clips from Beachbody. Four days a week for 8 weeks and 40 minute workouts sound good to me. As soon as it was available on Beachbody On Demand I got at it.
You Don’t Need Much
I was kind of surprised to read that all you really need to do LIFFT4 is a set of dumbbells. All set there with my decade’s old Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells. Besides printing out the LIIFT 4 Weight Progression Tracker to keep track of the amounted of weights lifted you don’t need anything else.
After taking a look at the LIIFT4 workout calendar it reminded me more of how P90X and a little bit of how Body Beast were set up. Chest/Triceps followed by Back/Biceps, Shoulders, Legs, repeat.
What separates LIIFT4 from those workouts is its supposed to be lifting and HIIT’ing. Hence the name, LIIFT4. From looking at a few clips it appeared they would do a lift and then drop down and do Burpees or something. So I was getting myself ready for something like that.
I Made It Two Weeks
I’m not going to beat around the bush here and tell you how much I loved LIIFT4. That’s not going to happen. Nor are you going to find any before and after photos. Instead, I’m going to tell you I felt LIIFT4 to be kind of boring.
I’ve done a few of Joel’s workouts live at a Coach Summit or Leadership Event and they were great. But that’s different than following along by yourself at home on a laptop versus the energy of being in a large crowd.
LIIFT4 needed to be more HIIT or more LIFT. Not both. And thats kind of the direction I’ve felt Beachbody has been going with their latest workouts. Their trying to make tough total body workouts and I don’t think its working.
Take the very first workout you do (Chest/Triceps) for instance. You do 15 total lift moves along with some jump squat “catchers” thing, mountain climbers, some soccer kick thing, and ending with some ab moves.
I’m not saying I was able to breeze through the cardio stuff but I was able to make it through that part easier than what I should have been able to do on the first try. And the lifting sequence was straightforward.
As A Comparison
P90X Chest & Back has 12 exercises done twice (24 moves). I don’t care who you are you will feel what you did from P90X Chest & Back the next day. And the next day you do Plyometrics which is basically a HIIT workout. Both workouts challenge the shit out of you.
Not so much with LIIFT4. I never felt challenged. I didn’t mind the leg workouts because leg workouts are a different beast but everything else was Meh.
Sure, I was working out in my garage all geared up in 45 degree weather where I might not have been getting warmed up. But I should have been getting some warmth or a bit of a challenge with this being an advanced program.
You Need A Little More
I was talking to a friend of mine a month ago who completed an entire round of LIIFT4 and liked it. Him and I workout for different reasons. He does it to keep the weight off. I workout to keep in shape.
When talking about LIIFT4 I told him that I’d do the Primal Blueprint workout ( 2 sets of pushups, chin-ups, squats, and planks) after each LIIFT4 workout to make sure I’d “feel the burn”. While defending LIIFT4 (he’s a lawyer) he let it slip that he started using T25 to warmup around week 3. Even he needed a little more. Basically, he made LIIFT4 into an hour long workout. Which is what it needs to be advanced.
While I don’t think I’m in great shape right now I was still making time to workout a couple of days a week prior to starting LIIFT4. And I have a decade of doing P90X, Insanity, The Asylum, and Body Beast under my belt. Maybe that’s why LIIFT4 didn’t feel all that advanced to me.
In the end I don’t think someone who might be just a little out of shape should do LIIFT4. There are better options. That is unless you’re looking for a maintenance program or something to squeeze in with running, biking, swimming, or playing a sport.
If you are out of shape and a little overweight but with a history of working out I do feel that LIIFT4 would be a good place to start. Its not extreme and if your goal is to get back into the swing of things then it would be a good test to see where you’re at.
For me, I don’t see myself coming back to LIIFT4 or even using the workouts in a hybrid program. Blame it on Tony Horton, Shaun T, and Sagi for setting the bar just that much higher over the past decade. Don’t worry about me. I’ll probably start my 100th round of Insanity or something.