I've been a fan of Beachbody for as long as I can remember. I did the very first round of P90X in my college dorm room, and it was the workout program that helped me lose 20 pounds. Ever since then, I've kept up with all the Beachbody Super Trainers — Tony Horton, Autumn Calabrese, Shaun T., etc. Naturally, it's always been my dream to work out with one of these trainers in person.
I suppose dreams do come true, because I recently had the chance to work out with Joel Freeman, co-creator of Core de Force and general badass. He created a brand-new program for Beachbody called LIIFT4, and it focuses exclusively on weightlifting and HIIT cardio. These are my two favorite ways to move the body, so I couldn't pass up the chance to pick up a pair of dumbbells alongside Joel.
Although LIIFT4 is set to release on October 1 (or July 16 if you have VIP Early Access!), I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek of a shoulder and arms workout. At the Beachbody studio in LA, I set up my mat next to Joel and the other fitness models who will appear in the LIIFT4 videos — and I survived, but barely. Here's what I learned.
Weightlifting Will Burn a Ton of Calories — If You Do It Right
I'm an avid weightlifter as it is, so I wasn't too nervous to do this workout. But within 10 minutes, I realized that I've been slacking off a little bit in my own daily workouts. Joel had us moving from one exercise to the next — lateral raise, bicep curl, tricep kickback — with little rest in between, and my heart rate quickly skyrocketed. This made me think I was waiting too long in between sets when I was at the gym by myself. I was getting my ass kicked!
I wasn't wearing a smart watch, but I have a feeling I burned a ton of calories. My shirt was soaked with sweat, I was out of breath, and my body felt like it had just accomplished something major. And it was all from classic strength training. It was a great reminder that you don't have to run eight miles or do an hour of cardio to get a solid workout.
There Were a Lot of Women Lifting Weights With Me
One thing I love about Beachbody is its workout videos always include a wide variety of both men and women. I looked around the room and realized that there were more women working out with me than men — and this was a pretty traditional weightlifting program! I loved seeing strong women next to me pumping weights and genuinely enjoying it. It inspired me to keep up my strength-training routine, and I'm confident that LIIFT4 will encourage many women to pick up a pair of dumbbells for the first time.
The Most Basic Movements Are the Most Effective
There are so many different kinds of workouts out there today, and many of them are complicated and confusing. But Joel has really brought us back to the basics with LIIFT4. All you need are dumbbells to complete this workout — no bands, pull-up bars, kettlebells, etc. I was shocked at how the simplest of exercises, like a triceps push-up, left me feeling sweaty and out of breath. But when they're done with the right form and the correct pace, the classic strength-training exercises are all you need to see major changes in your body. My shoulders and biceps were sore for two whole days after I wrapped up the workout.
Beachbody Programs Are Carefully Crafted
I had the chance to chat with Joel after the workout was over, and it became clear from the beginning that LIIFT4 and every other Beachbody program is designed by a team of experts who go through many different rounds of ideas and edits. The final product isn't something that's just thrown together out of the blue. It's the culmination of a lot of dedication and care, which explains why Beachbody is so popular. The workouts are beyond effective!