Since completing the Amazing 12 program at Original Strength Institute in August, I’ve been asked about my experience. How was it? Did I like it? What’s my honest opinion of it? Would I recommend it?
So here’s a little bit about my personal experience with A12 and what I ultimately gained from the program.
When I first heard about the Amazing 12 program, every fiber of my being said, “No, thank you.”
I’m all too familiar with programs that promise to deliver big results quickly. They typically involve a complicated diet and an overall message that if I fail to see the results I’m hoping for, it’s my fault. I had also recently completed therapy that helped me work through some deep-seated food issues, so I wasn’t too keen on the idea of getting involved with a diet of any kind.
Beyond that, my experience with these types of programs has been that you complete the program and then you’re on your own. That typically means that sooner or later, you go back to what you were doing before you started the program, and most or all of the positive results quickly vanish.
Ultimately, I decided to give it a shot after Tristan suggested that I just skip the diet part and come for the training. He promised that I’d get significantly stronger, at which point I cursed him under my breath because getting “significantly stronger” was an offer I couldn’t pass up.
So I started, and admittedly, went into it feeling skeptical and keeping my guard up.
We spent the first few weeks focusing on form, which can feel a bit boring. So someone who’s feeling guarded and skeptical may, hypothetically, feel like she’s going to quit at this point. But this is a necessary part of the process, so she’ll ultimately go with it. To reduce the risk of injury, we needed to be confident that our form was correct before getting into heavier weight.
By Week Six, I was really tired and moody throughout the day. Every day. Knowing this is not how I should be feeling, I talked to Tristan about it, and he suggested that I simply add more protein to my diet without worrying about anything else. Don’t worry about fats and carbs. Just add protein and see what happens. I can’t tell you how much I didn’t want to hear this. I’ve been resistant to adding more protein to my diet for years.
I decided, again, to trust the process and therefore, add more protein to my diet. And of course, I felt and saw a change almost immediately. Muscles started showing up where they’d refused to show before, and I was feeling better.
After a couple of weeks, I was feeling tired again. I realized that I’d prioritized protein so much that I lost focus on much of anything else. Therefore, I wasn’t eating enough of what I needed to give me energy. So I kept the increased amount of protein and made sure to eat some fat, carbs, and vegetables and started to feel much better.
While I never followed the official A12 nutritional plan as it intended, I did ultimately change my diet, and that made all the difference for me. After the changes, I was building muscle where I couldn’t before. My overall mood improved, and I just felt happier and more comfortable in general.
After twelve weeks, I finished the program, as promised, significantly stronger than when I started.
This physical strength resulted in self-confidence that was previously nowhere to be found.
I also gained a healthy relationship with food for the first time in my life. Amazing 12 helped me realize that I’ve spent most of my life hungry and undernourished. I now have steady energy throughout the day, which is a big deal for a napping enthusiast like myself. On top of that, I no longer feel like I have to earn certain foods, nor do I punish myself for food choices I’ve made. I simply feed my body what it needs and I allow myself to enjoy food.
But wait! There’s more.
I have strength. I have confidence. I have a healthy relationship with food. And now, I also have freedom from pain. For more than ten years, I’ve struggled to build muscle in my left leg. That lack of strength resulted in hip, knee, and foot pain. After adding protein to my diet during A12, I finally started to build muscle in my left leg. I’ve continued to strengthen it and my posture has continued to improve to the point that, on most days, I have no more pain. That’s life-changing in itself. To go from experiencing chronic pain when standing and walking to having none is incredible.
So what makes this program different from the ones that I’ve tried before?
A couple of things. One being the coaching and support that I received during the process and after completing the program. In the past, I’d complete a program and then be on my own to figure out where to go from there. But this time, I met with Kat to discuss my long-term nutrition goals and left with an uncomplicated, adaptable plan that has easily become a way of life now. And because the OSI program is designed for strength building, I’ve been able to build on my progress every week, knowing that I can ask for feedback or advice anytime.
By the time I completed Amazing 12, it had come to look more like a starting point rather than an end in itself. I see it as a training program that prepared me to build strength for many years to come.
So… Would I recommend Amazing 12? Yes. At the very least, I recommend giving it serious consideration and not writing it off the way I did at first. If you’re looking to get toned or change your body composition, of course, it can help you with that. But it also has so much more to offer. If you’re interested in building confidence in the gym as well as outside of it, this can help you with that. If you’re looking to increase strength and mobility that can aid you as you get older, Amazing 12 can help you with that, too. If you want to learn how to nourish your body so that you can feel better today and in the future, it can help you with that.
I’m a couple of months away from my 44th birthday, and I can honestly say that I feel stronger, healthier, and happier than ever.