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Introducing the STRONGER Fitness Program

By JESS BARRON

For busy people who want to lose weight and get lean, LIVESTRONG.COM’s STRONGER is an 8-week eating and exercise program that brings together 30-minute daily workout videos and personalized meal plans containing easy-to-prepare recipes. All of this comes with easy-to-use tools and free apps to track your progress.

As someone who used to work at Beachbody (and lost 20 pounds from doing the LES MILLS COMBAT test group and also got shredded from doing 90 days of P90X), I'm a big believer in the power of video fitness programs. Sure, going to the gym is great, but most days I just want to wake up and do my workout in my own living room without seeing anyone or driving anywhere.

Get a taste of the STRONGER workouts by watching the one-minute trailer:

The idea for STRONGER camp about when we started thinking: "Wouldn't it be great to create an online daily workout program that you can do on your laptop, iPad, tablet, iPhone or Android phone and take with you anywhere?" To make it even more practical, we determined that the workouts should be about 30 minutes long and require no equipment at all. This way, you can do the STRONGER workouts in your living room, bedroom, office, hotel room or anywhere you have a Wi-Fi connection. My goal was to create a fun workout program with a modern look, led by an engaging trainer — in short a workout program that I would actually want to do and follow.

 

To get the printable STRONGER workout calendar and links to all the workouts, click here.

As anyone who's ever done P90X or INSANITY knows, personality is key to making these workouts fun and engaging. When we started casting for STRONGER back in November 2012, we watched auditions from tons of amazing trainers, and we unanimously chose LA-based celebrity trainer Nicky Holender to design and lead the STRONGER workout program.  Not only did Nicky's workout philosophy and style align with our plan for this program — what we also loved about Nicky is his personality. He's funny and engaging, and he's an amazing motivator. He's a former pro soccer player who trains CEOs, moms, and pro athletes as well as celebrities — including Gerard Butler, Robbie Williams, and Mel B. – Nicky understands how busy you are (he's a father of three young kids!), and he won't let you give up. Plus, he's the kind of guy you would just want to workout with and hangout with on a daily basis.

In the video below I ask Nicky why he became a trainer, and he tells about a famous family he started his career training and how he consequently found his true passion:

If you’re anything like me, you probably experience days where you could use a little push to get motivated to do your workout. One of my favorite things about STRONGER is that Nicky emails you a short coaching video every morning to set the tone for the day and get you ready to start your workout.

Another cool feature in STRONGER: when you finish a workout, you simply click on the "I Did This!" button underneath the video window, and it will immediately show you a personalized estimate of how many calories you burned.  The STRONGER workouts go by fast, and they burn tons of calories.

In addition to working out daily, eating right is an incredibly essential component of getting results with weight loss and strength-building.  The millions of LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate Calorie Tracker users have given us plenty of feedback. One of the frequent requests is that we offer daily meal plans. So, creating an online meal plan was a goal for the program. We decided to work with nationally-recognized nutritionist, author, and LIVESTRONG blogger Keri Glassman to develop daily meal plans for omnivores, vegetarians, vegans, and a gluten-free option as well. These are all included in the STRONGER program. The best part: if you decide to eat something different (say a burrito at Chipotle for lunch), it's quick and easy to track because the Stronger meal plan is built on top of the MyPlate platform which already contains over one million popular foods that are in your grocery store and restaurants nationwide.

Each week you’ll get your STRONGER grocery shopping list emailed to you, so it’s easy to shop for the ingredients you need.

Creating Stronger was truly a labor of love for us here at LIVESTRONG.COM. In addition to experts Nicky Holender and Keri Glassman, a whole cast of characters at Demand Media helped to make this product: from our LIVESTRONG SVP and GM Michael Kirby and the other Demand Media execs who helped greenlight this project, to LIVESTRONG VP of Product Rachel Lee and Sr. Product Manager Jeffrey Storey who created the feature set for the online product, to LIVESTRONG Art Director Ed Moore who defined the overall look of the product, to the engineering team Jim Grady, Joe Ramos, Kevin Kawaguchi, Darin Chan, Mauricio Otta, Kevin Luu, Arpita Bhayani, Shweta Nayak, Paul Rohwer, Mohan Rajan S V, and Soumik Chowdhury who spent many of their weekends writing and optimizing the code, to our Sr. Supervising Producer Kelly Plowe who planned and oversaw all the online content production and social media and along with Rachel and me gave input on everything from casting the background talent to planning the cast wardrobe, to producer Jen Roskind, to Susy Sedano who is running the Stronger customer service department AND who (along with Nick Crooks) is one of two LIVESTRONG employees who star in the STRONGER videos, to Cate Norian (our LIVESTRONG photo editor) who shot gorgeous photos of all the recipes, to Ryan Vaugn who supervised video post-production, to video editors Jennifer Reilly and Rob Sibley, to Kozue Uchino who is continually optimizing the marketing and sign-up flows, and to James Hritz who is overseeing business strategy.

If you want to find out more about the STRONGER program, click here.

Join our STRONGER Challenge Facebook Group to get daily tips, encouragement and motivation.

Readers – Are you joining us in the 8-week STRONGER Challenge? What do you think of the STRONGER workouts and the meal plan? Are you having any trouble accessing and using them? Have you ever done a fitness challenge group before? How did it go for you? Have you joined our STRONGER Challenge Group on Facebook? Leave a comment below and let us know.

–Jess

Jess Barron is Editor-in-Chief of LIVESTRONG.COM. Read some of her other health and fitness articles here. A longtime foodie and fan of Farmer's Market food, Jess particularly loves heirloom tomatoes, fresh figs with burrata cheese, and anything with pumpkin or peanut butter in it! Her love for food fuels her desire to exercise daily. In the summer of 2012 Jess lost 20 pounds in a test group for a new fitness program. Some of her favorite workout routines include walking, running, yoga, P90X, INSANITY, and mixed martial arts. Jess's writing can also be found at Poprocks.com. She has appeared on MSNBC's "The Most," ABC News Now, and XM satellite radio and her writing has appeared on Wired.com and Yahoo!

Follow Jess on Twitter @jessdandy. Also, you can add her on Google+ and follow her on Pinterest.

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