Live to Fail is a workout program by bodybuilder Ben Booker about pushing your muscles to failure.
Take this life and business advice from the late Thomas J. Watson of IBM:
If you want to succeed, double your failure rate.
Failure makes us stronger. Literally. In life and in fitness.
When your muscles start to quiver, burn – they fail – you are triggering the body to change . . . to become stronger. This is how you make muscle grow.
If you are reading this, there is a good chance you want to change.
I’ve been looking forward to this program since I discovered Dailyburn.
I hate complexity. Live to Fail is far from complex.
Ben Booker is a genuine guy with big muscles and a simple philosophy . . . lift a weight until your muscle fails.
I’ve had a chance to workout with Ben Booker for over a month now and am excited to share this program with you .
The Dailyburn Live to Fail Review
What is Dailyburn?
Dailyburn is an online streaming video workout program with multiple workouts to choose from. Yoga and pilates to weight lifting and kettlebells, there is something for everyone.
Dailyburn can be viewed anywhere there is an internet connection. I watch the videos on my laptop computer, but you can use your iPad / iPhone as well as RokuTV, chromecast and numerous other devices.
I have previously reviewed Dailyburn as an on-demand streaming site for workouts if you’re interested in more details.
Related: Dailyburn Review
Who is Live to Fail for?
Dailyburn Live to Fail is for anyone who wants to get strong, build muscle and lose fat mass.
This is a simple program that I suggest is an introduction to weight lifting.
Let me tell you what this program is not.
This is not dead lifts, bench press and squatting 250 pounds. This is not humongous guys on anabolic steroids walking around with weight belts and massive muscles (although there are a couple of big dudes that may make me question this).
The program is simply 2 sets of hand weights and training on how to use them effectively.
If you are a female and want to add strength and lose weight, than Live to Fail may work for you as well. Women do not produce as much testoterone as men and fear of becoming “bulky” with weight lifting should not scare you away.
Now, I love lifting weights more than any other exercise, probably because this is what I grew up with. I trained as a football player and learned to lift weights at an early age. This was just how you got strong to win at football. There are other ways to resistance train such as Yoga, resistance bands and even bodyweight exercises. There is nothing wrong with these forms of exercise.
Weight-lifting has the unfortunate stigma of Fabio figures and men with weight belts who are oiled-up andover-pumped with bulging muscles.
You may have visions of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno pumping iron to become the next Mr. Olympia in the 1970’s.
This is hardly the case for normal people without steroid injections.
Weight lifting is the most effective way to build strength, add muscle and possibly to lose fat. It’s also a great way to stay functional in life and keep yourself out of the nursing home.
You may want to consider this program even if you have never lifted weights before.
I’m comfortable recommending Live to Fail to beginners because Ben Booker keeps it simple and safe. As a beginner you would simply use lighter weights with each set.
Ben Booker also focuses heavily on proper technique, so again, I have no problem recommending this to beginners.
Who is Live to Fail NOT for?
This is probably not a program for a serious weight lifter.
So, if you already lift weights greater than 4 days per week, you can skip Live to Fail.
If your taking steroids . . . you can skip Live to Fail.
However, if you are someone in the weight lifting world you may have heard of Ben Booker as a bodybuilder. In fact, you may want to buy the program just to see what it’s like to train with someone like Ben Booker. That’s up to you.
I would consider myself a beginner to intermediate (a born-again weight lifter). With Live to Fail, I’ve learned a few things. For instance, I found 4 sets (instead of 3) with 30 seconds of rest between sets, highly effective at making my muscles quiver and shake. There are also several small technical shifts in the technique of lifting that have helped me.
So, Live to Fail would be worthwhile for a beginner and intermediate weight lifter. If you’re already ripped to shreds and doing injections then Live to Fail has nothing to add for you.
Live to Fail by Dailyburn Promotional Video
If you’re interested in the style and format of Live to Fail you can get a bit of an idea from the promotional video from Dailyburn.
Check it out for a quick look at the program.
Who’s your trainer for Live to Fail?
He seems to be a genuine guy with a positive and engaging training style. He doesn’t take himself to seriously and appears to be the typical iron-pumping dude with a positive attitude, but not overhyped.
What equipment do you need for Live to Fail?
Simply two sets of dumbells (hand weights), a lighter hand weight as well as a heavier one. You also need a box or bench to step up on or sit.
I have my own hand weights, but do not have a box. However, I do have a weight bench , which works fairly well for this. The height of my bench is higher than the box, which can make some of the workouts even more challenging. Occasionally I’ll risk stepping up onto an old crate we have in the basement. I wouldn’t recommend it, however – too unsteady. I’ll update you when I injure myself.
Ben Booker does have a “weight test” you can complete to figure out what your pounds are for the handweights if you’re unsure where to start.
I did not do the strength test, but feel comfortable adjusting my weights on the fly. I will actually use more than just two sets of weights. It depends on the exercise. I think with experience you can certainly tailer the program a bit.
How does the Live to Fail program run?
Live to Fail is a weekly cycle that is simple and reminiscent of my high school “glory days” playing football and lifting a lot. I did chest, shoulders and triceps alternating with legs, back and biceps. With Live to Fail you focus even more on specific muscle groups.
Here’s the Live to Fail weekly cycle:
- Day 1 is chest and back.
- Day 2 is arms – biceps and triceps.
- Days 3 is “metabolic conditioning” to get your heart rate up and “burn fat” as they say.
- Day 4 is shoulders and abdominals.
- Day 5 is leg day.
- Day 6 is more metabolic conditioning.
- Day 7 is a day off doing active recovery mobility training or Yoga.
How many workouts are there for Live to Fail?
There are essentially 14 core workouts. There are 2 mobility or Yoga workouts that are taken from other programs. So, in all reality Live to Fail has 14 workouts.
There are 8 strength training workouts and 6 metabolic conditioning workouts that are unique to Live to Fail.
What are the Live to Fail workouts?
Here’s the workouts:
- Chest and Back
- Back and chest
- Armforge 1
- Armforge 2
- Shoulders and Shield 1
- Shoulders and Shield 2
- Pillars of Strength 1
- Pillars of Strength 2
- LB Metcon 7
- LB Metcon 14
- LB Metcon 21
- UB Metcon 7
- UB Metcon 14
- UB Metcon 21
Here are my initial impression of the Live to Fail workouts that I’ve completed.
Most often I wrote these reviews immediately after completing the particular workout.
This is entirely an arm workout. It focuses only on the biceps and triceps.
Loved it. Ben Booker has massive arms and trains you on how to get them.
What’s not to love.
The simplicity of the workout was impressive as my arms melted away with each exercise. I can barely type this as my arms are so weak.
5 moves, 4 sets each, 1 challenge move for 60 seconds
- Alternating bicep curls
- Double hand tricep kickback
- Alternating Hammer curls
- Overhead tricep extension
- Bicep curls
- Dips for 60 seconds off the box for the challenge
Shoulders and Shield 1
Shoulders and shield focus on your shoulders and abs. This is another great workout. I am still impressed with the simplicity of the workouts. Don’t let the simplicity fool you, however, these workouts are effective.
I still hurt from Armforge 1, but now the my shoulders and abs are worked over. These workouts really isolate the muscles.
5 moves, 4 sets per move, 1 challenge move for 60 seconds
- Seated Shoulder Dumbell Press
- Front Shoulder Raises
- Dead man rides
- Seated Arnold Presses
- Mountain Climbers 60 second challenge
Chest and Back
This workout crushed my chest. I have completed this workout multiple times now and each time I’m painfully sore the next day.
It’s super simple, but highly effective.
4 moves, 4 sets per move:
- Push-ups on the box
- Dumbell rows
- Pec fly bridge
- Wide rows
- Smith triplets
LB Metcon 7
LB Metcon 7 stands for “lower body metabolic conditioning 7.”
This workout was tough, but not over-the-top. I felt worked in a good way and not like I was hit-by-a-train-kind-of-wiped-out.
LB Metcon 7 focused on lower body exercises and was short at under 18 minutes. It was on and then done in no time. What I appreciated about the program is that it felt mostly safe. There were no major plyometric moves that would blow-out my knees. I had to do the box jumps on my bench, which is higher than the box and felt a high and unsteady at times, but overall I really liked this workout.
The workout was 3 moves, 30 seconds each move and 30 seconds rest.
- Frog jumps
- Rock-bottom squats
- Mountain climbers
- Box jumps for 60 seconds.
Back and Chest
As of May 27, 2015 , I’m still at it.
Still enjoying the workouts and just finished Back and Chest. This was a fantastic workout, but a little longer. It lasted over 50 minutes. It utilized 4 supersets – a back exercise immediately followed by a chest exercise. You complete 4 sets of this and a challenge exercise at the end.
I can tell you that I am feeling stronger and seem to be getting results. I don’t follow the program to a tee because it’s now nice outside. On metabolic conditioning days I’ve been biking outside. I still complete the 4 days of weight training per week.
I think Dailyburn Live to Fail is my favorite so far of the Dailyburn programs.
Probably, a result of personally wanting more typical weight training, but I like Ben Booker’s style.
I also love the simplicity of the workouts and how effective they are at really making my muscles quiver, shake and fail. The next day I’m totally sore, so it must be doing something.
I plan to continue on with this program for the next couple of months. I’ll update this review as I move along. I’m going to experiment with testing my Muscle Quality and fat percentage with the Skulpt AIM each month to see if I’m making any significant changes.
For me, this program alone is worth the investment in Dailyburn.