Beachbody Reviews

Your Mega Guide (and Review) of Liift 4

February 5, 2019

should you set up your home gym in your garage? here's what you need to know

should you buy a peloton? here's how to decide

You'll also love

tell me more

I'm Mickie. Co-founder and CEO of One Strong Southern Girl. Our team is here for you. We want you to remember us because we helped changed your life. 


This is your mega guide to Liift 4–the routines, the calories, the team, the time you’ll need and what kind of results you can expect. (And the big question>>Is Liift 4 for women? YES)

Have you been curious about the Liift 4 program in the Beachbody on Demand library (but not sure if it’s for you)?

I’ve done the entire program and can tell you exactly what you’re going to see–including the workout calendar (and pattern of each routine), the cast of Liift 4, the length of the workouts, how many calories I burned and of course, what kind of results you might get if you do this program.

In general, Liift 4 combines dumbbell weight training with hiit (high intensity interval training) style cardio work and abdominal exercises for a total body workout program but there are a few things that make Liift 4 unique (and awesome).

Here’s a reminder of what the program looks like:

This post may contain Amazon (or other) affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission. You can get more information about that here.

This topic has been featured on the Crunches and Cosmos podcast. You can listen below:

You’ve come to the right place to find out every last detail of Liift 4 so you can decide if it’s right for you before you sign up for Beachbody on Demand just to get your hands on this set of routines.

It’s important to know all the ins and outs of an exercise program before you start the workouts.

That’s how you get the most out of it.  By knowing what’s coming your mind is right where it needs to be for you to enjoy the workouts (and get the results you’re looking for).

If you’ve tried Core De Force then you’ve met Joel Freeman, the instructor of Liift 4.

Joel from Core De Force
Joel Freeman

*But, if you’re like me, you didn’t really get to know Joel in Core De Force because that program was all about Jericho McMatthews.  (I’ll admit it, I’m kinda obsessed with her.)

If you don’t know Joel Freeman yet, that’s ok, you’ll feel like a part of his inner circle by the time you’re done with Liift 4.

Let’s get started…

What is Liift 4?

Here’s how the Beachbody site describes the Liift 4 program:

LIIFT4 combines heavy lifting and intense cardio to transform your body in 4 days a week. And with 32 unique, real-time workouts, you’ll never get bored, because you’ll never do the same one twice.

We’ll come back to that ‘you’ll never get bored, because you’ll never do the same one twice’ thing in a minute…

The program includes 8 weeks of workouts (4 workouts/week). 

**There’s also a nutrition guide for the Liift 4 program.  I did NOT follow it. Therefore, this guide covers every aspect and detail of the workouts but will not discuss the nutrition guide.

The host and the cast of Liift 4

Joel Freeman is the host of Liift 4.  Overall, Joel is a pretty likeable guy.

He (probably) won’t annoy you before the 8 weeks is over.

Here’s what the rest of the Liift 4 team looks like:

the cast of Liift 4
Full Body-Week 8, Workout 4 (the last routine in the program)

You’ll see 4 team members doing the routines in each video–2 men and 2 women in each workout, with the exception of the last workout, Full Body, when the entire crew (all 9 cast members, not counting Joel) are part of the video.

I loved the cast in the workouts but as a woman in her 40s, I’d have loved to see a woman in my age group represented. (*ahem, my calendar is open, Carl Daikeler*, just sayin’)

What are the Liift 4 workouts?  How long are the routines?

You’ll get this workout calendar with Liift 4:

the workout calendar included in Liift 4

You’ll also get a Weight Progression Tracker worksheet with Liift 4:

a worksheet to track the weights used in Liift 4

Based on the name, I thought this worksheet would be for tracking body weight but it’s not, the form is to track the weights you’re using in the routines.  It’s helpful, but don’t get confused with the title.

So, you’ll be doing workouts that focus on chest/triceps, back/biceps, shoulders and legs in weeks 1-6.  Weeks 1-6 are the ‘build’ weeks.

Then in weeks 7 and 8, the ‘shred’ weeks, the muscle groups are paired up differently for the 4 routines.  You’ll see chest/back, legs, shoulders/arms and full body in the last 2 weeks of workouts.

Every routine in Liift 4 has a few things in common:

a 2-minute warm up

10 reps during the weight lifting exercises

a set of ab exercises to close out the routine

Every workout in Liift 4 follows the structure of one of four different patterns. 

You’ll want to remember the patterns so you’ll know what to expect for that workout.

Liift 50/50 Routines

In the 50/50 routines, your routine is divided in half with weight lifting first, followed by a cardio segment (hiit).

The weight lifting pattern:

2 exercises (a superset)

3 blocks of work

3 times each

The hiit section is 3 exercises 3 times through.

The hiit pattern uses intervals of 60, 45 and 30 seconds.

You’ll finish every 50/50 routine with a set of ab exercises.

Circuit Routines

In the circuit routines there are 2 blocks of weight lifting exercises.

There are 4 exercises in each set (a quad set) that you repeat 3 times.

After the 2 blocks of work you’ll have a burnout set with a new set of exercises.

The big difference with the circuit style routines is that there’s no hiit segment in these workouts.

You’ll finish the circuit workouts with an ab section.

Liift Intervals Routines

In the Liift Intervals routines you’ll have cardio sprinkled in between the weight training.

All of the interval routines are done on the day you work shoulders (in weeks 1-6).

The pattern is 2 supersets of shoulder exercises back to back with a 30 second hiit move between sets.

All of the shoulder workouts finish with an ab segment.

HiiT Workouts

The HiiT workout pattern is only used on the days you work legs (but not every time you work legs).

In the HiiT routines you’ll do 4 exercises back to back with very short rests between.

You’ll repeat that pattern for 3 rounds.

The moves are done for 60, 45, 30 and 15 second intervals.  As the moves become harder the intervals become shorter.

After 3 rounds there’s a burnout section with all 4 moves repeated for 30 seconds.

You’ll finish all of the HiiT workouts with an ab segment.

This calendar with the highlights shows you how the workout patterns are used in the 8 weeks.

the pattern of workouts used in Liift 4

How long are the Liift 4 workouts?

The longest workout you’ll do in the 8 weeks is 40 minutes.

The shortest workout is 27 minutes.

Which Liift 4 routine was my favorite?

My favorites workouts were the Full Body routines during the last 2 weeks.

You don’t need any equipment to do those workouts and the routines are challenging and fun.

As a side note, it’d be difficult to pick which workout was the hardest, but the hardest move in the entire program (for me) is the triple bear.

a girl doing triple bear in Liift 4
the triple bear

How many calories will you burn doing the Liift 4 workouts?

This answer will be unique to every person but I always track my calorie burn.

You can use my numbers for reference.

Most people will burn the least amount of calories doing the circuit routines because those are the workouts that don’t have a cardio section.

There are 11 workouts using the 50/50 pattern.  I burned an average of 265 calories doing those routines.

There are 10 workouts in the Circuit pattern.  I burned an average of 188 calories doing those.

You’ll find 6 routines that follow the Liift Intervals pattern in the 8 weeks.  I burned an average of 208 calories doing those workouts.

And there are 5 HiiT workouts.  I burned an average of 224 calories over those 5 routines.

What equipment will you need to do the Liift 4 Routines?

Dumbbells are required to do the Liift 4 workouts.

I used 5, 8, 10, 12, 15, 20, 25 and one 30 lb. dumbbell over the 8 weeks.

I only used the 30 for goblet squats (and I wished I had something heavier).

Most men will need a range of dumbbells that are heavier.

You’ll also need a mat to do the routines if you workout on a hard surface.

Who will love Liift 4?  Is Liift 4 a good program for women?

If you love to exercise with dumbbells then you’ll love Liift 4.

If you’re looking for a program that combines cardio and strength training into one workout in a really fun and effective way then you’ll like Liift 4.

If you’re looking for an exercise program that incorporates medium-length workouts with weight training and cardio that doesn’t require you to exercise more than 4 days a week then this program is for you!

And YES, Liift 4 is perfect for women!

Who might NOT like Liift 4?

If you’re not a fan of traditional weight lifting workouts (what I call gym-style training) then you might not love Liift 4.

If you’re looking for mostly cardio-focused workouts then you might not love Liift 4.

Don’t have dumbbells (and don’t want to buy any)? Then you won’t like this program.

How is Liift 4 different than Body Beast?

Body Beast doesn’t have an ab section in every workout like Liift 4 does.

And Body Beast has one cardio workout but you won’t find cardio blended into the other routines in Body Beast.

I love Body Beast.

Learn more about the cardio workout in Body Beast.

What I didn’t like about Liift 4

Joel Freeman doesn’t do the workouts!

I always find it irritating when the instructor walks around during a workout.  I’d much rather see him do all the reps with the team.

And remember that quote from Beachbody that I mentioned at the start of this post… ‘you’ll never get bored, because you’ll never do the same one twice’.

Yes, technically the workouts are different because you lift different weights and mix up the order of stuff but ultimately, you’ll be regurgitating the same workouts.  So, there were days I was a little bored.

But hey, there’re only so many ways to do bicep curls so I get it.  But personally, I felt like I was doing the same few routines over and over.  It’s not a deal-breaker, though.

And of course, you might feel completely different.

What I love about Liift 4

I love that there’s an ab workout in every single routine! The ab workouts won’t be the hardest you’ve ever done but it’s still a great way to finish a workout.

I love the blend of cardio and weight training. With the exception of the circuit workouts, there’s a focus on cardio in every routine.

If you keep track of your calories when you exercise then you’ll be glad there’s a cardio section.  Plus, it’s just a really efficient way to workout—combining weights and cardio. It’s a nice little metabolic boost for your day.

Did I get results with Liift 4?

Before I answer that I have to disclose the fact that I exercise 5-7 days a week and regularly lift weights.

However, the Liift 4 program is its own series of workouts and because it’s different than what my body normally does, I did notice results. I gained strength and muscle definition over the 8 weeks.

Here’s what you should do next…where you can buy Liift 4

You can’t get these workouts without a membership to Beachbody on Demand.

✔If you’re excited about getting your hands on Liift 4 I recommend you head over to Beachbody on Demand and sign up!

And you’ll also be getting access to all the other amazing programs by Beachbody, so even if you don’t love Liift 4 you can easily jump into any of the other incredible workouts in your Beachbody library.

Other articles just for you…

8 important things you should know about Insanity Max:30

9-Week Control Freak (my review)

A review of Fit Split with Cathe Friedrich

80-Day Obsession

Transform 20 (what you need to know about this amazing step workout program)

The Work (a total body BOD program)

Home exercise vs. the gym–which one is better? Let’s break it down.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Elliot says:

    (66 year old male in good shape; still active former “athlete,” defined as someone who played all sports in HS, and even one in college, but plays golf and the stuff people do post-college now) This is an excellent and accurate review of LIIFT4. I don’t agree with everything, but it is infinitely fair. I love that I DON’T get bored with it. I have gone through the program twice (and stumbled through it once before). I am on the eighth week for the second time. Much better than the DVDs I had been using, because this gives me 40 unique combinations of workouts, instead of eight, or so, they give on a DVD. No points taken off for using several types of curls, for instance. Joel was engaging, and I appreciate that he demonstrates how to get the most out of the exercise, instead of grunting and sweating, himself. We need that. This is the best of the recorded programs I have participated in. I’m disappointed that it is over, and I am looking for the extension of something just like this when I finish this final week.

  2. Sean says:

    Great write-up. I must say that while your audience is probably 99% women, you should mention that this workout is challenging for men as well. There aren’t too many workouts that men and women could do together, but this is definitely one of them.
    Also, you mentioned that you typically workout 5-7 days/week. Did you stay with only 4 days/week while on this program, or did you fill in other workouts on your days off?

    • Hi Sean!
      I’m so glad you pointed this out and I agree with you completely–Liift 4 is a great program that men and women could go through together. At the rate Beachbody cranks out new programs maybe they’ll come up with a few programs with that goal in mind in the future.
      Answer to your second question–> I filled in the other days of the week with different routines (not Liift 4).
      Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment!

  3. jackie says:

    Hi there! just found your blog and I am loving it. I was wondering if you have any Cathe or KCM rotations that you have put together that you can share.

    • Hi Jackie! That’s a great question! I haven’t put together any rotations like that. It’s a great idea, though! Thanks for your kind words and for reading! Best, Mickie

search the database!

Excuse me...Do you have any articles on...

get it now

Don't waste another minute trying to piece together all the right workouts and equipment for the 'perfect' plan. Download a blueprint with all the steps in one place.

Your home exercise roadmap.

free guide

Take me to the quiz

Get matched with the on-demand library that aligns with your workout style, equipment and goals by answering a few questions!

Have you taken our

Workout Personality Quiz?