Love Notes by Jari Love

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Sculpting Exercises for Troubled Areas

by Jari Love

Admit it, we all have 1 or 2 troubled areas that we’d like to focus on. But remember, spot training doesn’t work when it comes to fat loss. You can train do 1000 crunches a day and that doesn’t mean you’ll get a 6-pack. But spot training does make those individual muscles stronger, then your cardio intervals and meal planning with help shed the fat that covers your new muscles. 

But in the next couple of blogs of this series, I’ll give you some exercises for troubled areas that you can do at home or at the gym. I’ll also give you a weekly workout plan. Today, we’ll focus on Sculpting Exercises for troubled areas. For demonstrations of these exercises, check out any of my Get RIPPED videos where we use these exercises for maximum fat burn. Follow the chart below for the frequency, Intensity, Timing and Type of exercises for your fitness level. This is what personal training programs look like. 

Lunge with reverse flye (upper back, hamstrings, quads): Step one leg back, bending the knees, so one knee almost touches the floor. As you step back into a lunge, extend you arms back like wings on a plane. As you flye your arms back, squeeze your shoulder blades like they are squishing a pencil. Return arms to starting position by your hips and stand feet back together. Alternate legs. 

Modification: Seated Reverse Flye: Sit in a chair, bend forward at the hips, keep chest proud and back straight. With straight arms, extend arms out to the side and behind you, squeezing that invisible pencil in between your shoulder blades. 

Crossover squat with pullback (butt, quads, hamstrings, chest, shoulders): Imagine taking a curtsey with hand weight. So do a curtsey, with underhand grip of your weights, pull weights up to your bra line under your armpits. Step out of the curtsey, and relax arms back down to your side. Repeat on other side. 

Modification: Regular Squat with Pullback – Place feet shoulder width apart with toes pointing forward. Squat down, and as you stand out of your squat, pull the arms back up to your bra strap line. 

Single-leg squat with lateral raise (glutes, hamstrings, quads,  medial delts, core): Stand on one foot, with the other foot behind you or in front of you. Squat down on one leg, like you’re sitting on a chair. As you stand up, lift the weights up to shoulder height, keeping the arms as straight as possible. 

Modification: Supported Single Leg Squat – hold onto a chair to do squat. Do Lateral Raise separately keeping arms bent to a 90 degree angle. 

Lateral lunge with L-Raise (glutes, hamstrings, quads, medial/lateral delts): Start with feet together and arms holding weights by your side at 90 degrees. Step your left foot out to the side as far as you can into a lunge. As you lunge, keep your elbows at 90 degrees, raise your left arm to shoulder height in front of you, and your right arm to shoulder height to the right side. 

Modification: Wide Squat with L-Raise keeping arms bent to 90 degree angle. Make sure knees stay behind toes for Wide Squat. 

Push-up (chest, shoulders, back, core): Get into a plank position, with hands directly under the shoulders. Push your heels back and imagine a string pulling the crown of your head in opposite directions. Bend your elbows and lower towards the floor, keeping that strong plank position with no sagging in the hips. Bend till your elbows are at 90 degrees and return up to plank position. Repeat. 

Modification: Floor Pushup on knees, or Standing Pushup Against Wall

 Tricep Kickback with leg extension: Standing, holding weights in hands with elbows at 90 degrees. Lift your left leg back, like a leg lift. As you lift your leg, straighten your elbows, squeezing the triceps. 

Modification: Tricep Kickback on knees without doing leg extension. 

Bicep curl with knee-up (biceps, hips, quads):  Stand up, with arms holding weights at your sides. As you lift your right leg up, bend your elbows and lift your weights as a bicep curl.

 Modification: Do Bicep Curl without the knee raise. To replace the knee raise – lie on floor on your back and to alternating Toe Taps to work the abdominals 

Sculpting Intervals: Advanced / Intermediate / Beginner

Frequency: 3-4x per week / 3x per week / 2x per week

Intensity: Do 3-4 sets/15-20 reps 2-3 sets/15 reps 1 Set/15-20 reps

Time: 60 minutes / 30-60 minutes / 45-60 minutes

Type: High Intensity,3-10lb dumbbells / Body weight or3-10lb dumbbells / Body weight or 3-5lb

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

Heart Rate Training and Working Heart Rate Zones

by Jari Love

 Why is Heart Rate Training Effective?

Your heart is the most important muscle in your body. It is always functioning and maintaining itself. In most people, the heart operates at a fairly low level every day, but as with any muscle, regular exercise over time can increase its capacity to deal with more tasks with less strain.

Heart rate is an indicator of how hard you are working because it has a direct correlation with oxygen consumption (% VO2 max) when exercising. Monitoring your heart rate during exercise and training within specific heart rate zones will allow you to know more accurately what intensity you are working at, and allow you to exercise much more efficiently (less time!).

We know that as exercise intensity changes (through a combination of adjusting resistance and cadence) there is a linear increase in VO2R and heart rate. This is why monitoring heart rate is such an effective way to determine training intensity.  Heart rate monitors have made the ability for the average person to do this.

Determining Maximum Heart Rate
Heart rate training requires you to know your maximum heart rate (HRmax), which is the maximum number of times the heart can beat in one minute. The physiological testing that is required to obtain a true measure of HRmax is expensive and requires an individual to perform exercise at a maximal effort – not everybody wants to do this.

Fortunately, there’s an alternate way to determine HRmax through maximum heart rate prediction formulas, which are based on regression equations. It’s important to note that there are multiple formulas available to determine your HRmax and few researchers and exercise physiologists can agree on the best one.  Although using a standard formula will results in a degree of error due to genetic and gender differences, it is still a great way to get an approximation of where your heart rate should be for each of the heart rate training zones.

When it comes to group exercise, the most common and widely used Age Predicted HRmax Formula is:  HRmax = 220 – your age

Example:  An individual who is 43 years old would have an age predicted HRmax of 177bpm.  Answer: 220 – 43 = 177bpm

Checking Your Heart Rate as You Train

An excellent way to monitor exercise intensity is to take your pulse periodically by pressing lightly on your radial artery (the thumb side of your wrist, between the tendon and the bone). Use your index and middle fingers to exert pressure just light enough to feel the artery throb as your heart beats. Count the number of times your heart beats over 10 seconds and multiply by 6 to get your heart rate.

For a more accurate measurement, consider getting a heart rate monitor. These days, you will find that heart rate monitors are relatively inexpensive and are easy to use. In addition to its greater precision in measuring your heart rate, it can also act as a motivational tool during your workout sessions.

Heart rate monitors consist of a transmitter that fits around your chest area and a wireless receiver that is worn like a regular wristwatch. Using a heart rate monitor is an effective way to stay within specific heart rate zones during workouts. Instead of relying on guesswork, you will know exactly how you are performing and if you need to slow down or step things up.

 Heart Rate Training Zones

There are five heart rate zones that go from least to most intense. Each target heart zone is expressed as a certain percentage of your maximum heart rate.  Exercising within your target heart rate is a great way to make sure that you are not under-training or overtraining, and serves as one of the best guidelines for achieving personal fitness goals. Heart Rate Zone training will get you on the fast track to fitness success.

Determining Heart Rate Training Zones

In order to take advantage of exercising within heart zones, you will need to determine the heart rates that correspond to the different training intensities. Using the chart below as a guide, calculate your heart rate training zones using your HRmax.

% of Your Max HR


Your HR

50% of your Max Heart Rate  =

HRmax_______ bpm x 0.50 =

60% of your Max Heart Rate  =

HRmax _______ bmp x 0.60 =

70% of your Max Heart Rate  =

HRmax_______ bmp x 0.70 =

80% of your Max Heart Rate  =

HRmax_______ bpm x 0.80 =

90% of your Max Heart Rate  =

HRmax_______ bpm x 0.90 =

Next, you will simply join the percentages together in order to determine your heart rate training zones.  Copy the chart below into a notebook that you can keep with you while you are training.

Zone 1

(50 – 60%)

Zone 2

(60 – 70%)

Zone 3

(70 – 80%)

Zone 4

(80 – 90%)

Zone 5

(90 – 100%)

 Example:  An individual who is 43 years old would have an age predicted HRmax of 177bpm (220 – 43 = 177bpm).  Their charts would look like this:

% of Your Max HR



50% of your Max Heart Rate  =

HRmax 177 bpm x 0.50 =

88.5 bpm

60% of your Max Heart Rate  =

HRmax 177 bpm x 0.60 =

106.2 bpm

70% of your Max Heart Rate  =

HRmax 177 bpm x 0.70 =

123.9 bpm

80% of your Max Heart Rate  =

HRmax 177 bpm x 0.80 =

141.6 bpm

90% of your Max Heart Rate  =

HRmax 177 bpm x 0.90 =

159.3 bpm


Zone 1

(50 – 60%)

Zone 2

(60 – 70%)

Zone 3

(70 – 80%)

Zone 4

(80 – 90%)

Zone 5

(90 – 100%)

88.5 – 106.2 bpm

106.2 – 123.9 bpm

123.9 – 141.6 bpm

141.6 – 159.3 bpm

159.3 – 177 bpm

 Zone 1 – Healthy Heart Zone – Getting Fit!

  • In this zone, you stay at 50% to 60% of your maximum heart rate; this is gentle exertion
  • When working in Zone 1, your Rate of Perceived of Exertion (RPE) on a scale of 1-10 (10 being maximal effort) should be approximately 2-3 out of 10.
  • Fuels burned in Zone 1:  10% carbohydrates, 60-85% fat and 5% protein.
  • This is not a hot calorie-burning pace: you only burn ± 5 calories per minute.
  •  In this zone you’re at 55-65% maximum aerobic capacity (VO² Max, a body’s maximum capacity to carry and use oxygen during exercise).

Five things to know about Zone 1:

  • Even at this comfortable pace, the health payoff is huge: a Zone 1 workout lowers blood pressure, builds muscle mass, reduces body fat, improves our immune system and cholesterol levels, and lowers your heart attack risk.
  • Most of the calories burned in this zone, even though you won’t burn a huge number, are fat calories. That’s a good thing.
  • This is a safe zone, so it’s ideal for inactive people trying to become more active.
  • To get the benefits of working in Zone 1, you must spend at least 10 minutes in the zone every day.
  • You will feel fatigue after a time in Zone 1 because your energy and fluids are being depleted. Drink water!

Zone 2 – Temperate Zone – Staying Fit!

  • In this zone, you work at 60-70% of your maximum heart rate.
  • When working in Zone 2, your RPE on a scale of 1-10 (10 being maximal effort) should be approximately 3-5 out of 10.
  • Fuels burned in Zone 2:  10% carbohydrates, 50-80% fat and 5% protein.
  • You burn ±10 calories in Zone 2 – twice as many as in Zone 1.
  • In Zone 2 you’re at 66-75% VO² Max.

Five things to know about Zone 2:

  • This is the level at which most people exercise every day – a moderate and comfortable zone.
  • You’re still burning mostly fat calories in Zone 2 – more than in Zone 1 – and building muscle mass at the same time.
  • With more muscle mass, you burn more calories even when you’re inactive.
  • The more you train in Zone 2, the more efficient your body gets at using fat for energy, because your fat-burning enzymes are more active overall.
  • When you develop more stamina, you’ll be able to use Zone 2 as a recovery zone or a long, slow endurance zone.

Zone 3 – Aerobic Zone – Getting Fitter!

  • In Zone 3, you’re working at 70-80% of your maximum heart rate.
  • When working in Zone 3, your RPE on a scale of 1-10 (10 being maximal effort) should be approximately 5-7 out of 10.
  • Fuels burned in Zone 3:  60% carbohydrates, 35% fat and 5% protein.
  • Your calorie burn in Zone 3 increases slightly to ±13 per minute.
  • In Zone 3 you are at 76-80% VO² Max.

Five things to know about Zone 3:

  • This zone is the “sweet spot” of training; it’s where you get the most benefits in the least amount of time.
  • You’re in good company here; this is the zone where high-performance athletes will spend most of their time.
  • In Zone 3 the emphasis of calories being burned shifts from fat calories to carbohydrates.
  • Two major benefits of working in Zone 3: here your body builds resistance to fatigue, and you improve your VO² Max.
  • The body can only hold so many carbohydrates needed for energy, so it’s important to make sure you are getting adequate nutrition before long periods of Zone 3 training, or any work in Zones 4 or 5.

Zone 4 – Threshold Zone – Getting Even More Fit!

  • In Zone 4, you’re working at 80-90% of your maximum heart rate.
  • When working in Zone 4, your RPE on a scale of 1-10 (10 being maximal effort) should be approximately 7-9 out of 10.
  • Fuels burned in Zone 4:  80% carbohydrates, 15% fat and 5% protein.
  • The calorie burn increases only slightly again in Zone 4, to ±15 per minute.
  • In Zone 4 you are at 81-90% VO² Max.

Five things to know about Zone 4:

  • Benefits of working in Zone 4 include increased aerobic and anaerobic energy pathways, a higher anaerobic threshold, a better oxygen transport system and higher lactic acid clearance.
  • For most fit athletes, Zone 4 is an anaerobic threshold – the point at which oxygen is consumed more than it’s delivered. Also, your body produces lactic acid faster than it can be metabolized in this zone.
  • Training at or just below the anaerobic threshold allows your body to buffer, recycle and clear waste from lactic acid production. For that reason, endurance athletes work to get their anaerobic threshold as high as possible.
  • Your body transports oxygen better in Zone 4.
  • This is the maximum sustainable heart rate; staying at this threshold for too long may cause your arms and legs to feel rubbery and your breathing to become shallow and erratic.  Make sure you know your limits!

Zone 5 – Red Line Zone – Getting Fittest!

  • In Zone 5, you’re working at 90-100% of your maximum heart rate.
  • When working in Zone 5, your RPE on a scale of 1-10 (10 being maximal effort) should be approximately 9-10 out of 10.
  • Fuels burned in Zone 5: 90% carbohydrates, 5% fat and 5% protein.
  • Calories burn at a rate of ±20 per minute in Zone 5.
  • In Zone 5 you are at 91-100% VO² Max.

Five things to know about Zone 5:

  • Benefits of working in Zone 5 include increased anaerobic energy sources, better speed and improved neuromuscular coordination.
  •  Zone 5 workouts are very difficult but they sharpen muscle efficiency and coordination.
  • If you’re running a race, you would use Zone 5 to break away from the pack early, or to finish a long run with a sprint.
  •  You cannot work in Zone 5 for sustained periods without slowing for a breather; you will fatigue quickly.
  • Too much time spent training in a Zone 5 may increase your risk of injury and becoming over-trained.  When it comes to Zone 5, think quality over quantity!

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

By Collage Video | | Abs, exercise, fitness, Healthy, Jari Love, practice, tips, Weekly Blog, Wellness | 0 comments | Read more

Creative Partner Workouts

by Jari Love

Creative Partner Workouts with Bands and Balls

Creative 8-move partner workouts with bands and balls!

Playing with resistance bands and stability balls at the gym is a little like enjoying an adult-approved recess. And the only thing that makes playground time more fun? Sharing it with a friend.

Grab the Thelma to your Louise, a stability ball and resistance band, and put yourselves through the paces. Your muscles may scream as you do each exercise, but you’ll be laughing so hard you’ll hardly notice.

Perform the series of exercises as a circuit, then repeat two or three more times.

  1. Resistance run

Wrap a resistance band around Thelma’s torso, gripping each end of the band. Step a few feet back, planting your feet slightly wider than hip-distance apart. Sink down into a squat, pressing your hips back and keeping your weight in your heels. Extend your arms fully in front of you and engage your core.

Once you’re in place, tell Thelma to “go!” She runs in place against the resistance of the band — you’re keeping her from running away — for 60 seconds.

Switch roles and repeat.

  1. Stability ball squat

Place a stability ball between you and your buddy, so you’re both leaning your backs into the ball. It can be a little tough to find the right balance, so be sure to talk to one another to make sure you both feel reasonably stable. Step your feet out slightly in front of you, your weight in your heels. On the count of three, both of you bend your knees and press your backs further into the ball to sink down into a squat. Talk to one another to stay in sync! When you’ve gone as low as you can into the squat, reverse the movement: Press into your heels with your back pushing against the ball and return to standing.

Continue for 60 seconds.

  1. Chest press and row

Stand a few feet in front of Thelma, gripping the ends of a resistance band in each hand so the center is looped behind you. Thelma should grab the center of the band with both hands about chest-distance apart — her arms extended forward at shoulder height. Starting with your fists at your shoulders, palms facing down, press against the resistance of the band and extend your arms fully in front of your chest. Return to your starting position.

Once you’re done with your chest press, prepare yourself to provide resistance for your partner. Engage your core and lean slightly forward, keeping your fists steady at your shoulders. Thelma squeezes her shoulder blades together, drawing her elbows back as she pulls the band to her chest.

Continue this chest press and row exercise for 60 seconds before switching roles.

  1. Stability ball lunge

This one takes communication, so be sure to talk with your partner!

Place a stability ball on the ground between you and Thelma — both of you turned with your back to the ball. There should be a couple feet of space between your feet and the ball. Working as a team, each of you should reach your right leg behind you, placing your right foot on top of the ball. Check your balance, centering your weight on the heel of your left foot.

When you’re both reasonably steady, bend both knees, lowering your torso toward the ground while maintaining a strong core. When you’ve gone as far as you can, try to keep your front knee aligned with your front toe, press through your heel and press yourself back to standing.

Continue for 30 seconds before switching legs.

  1. Superman lats and biceps curl

This one’s especially fun, and when you’re in the superman position, it really works the entire back side of your body.

Lie on the ground on your stomach with Thelma kneeling a few feet in front of you — gripping the ends of the band in each hand, her upper arms tight to her sides, her elbows bent and palms facing up. Reach forward, grabbing the center of the band with your palms down about shoulder-width apart. The band should be taut between you.

Tighten your core and lift your hands and feet up off the ground in a “superman” position. Tighten your upper back and shoulders and draw your shoulder blades together with your elbows bending out laterally from your body as you pull the band to your chest. Reverse the movement and extend your arms.

From this position, prepare to provide resistance for Thelma’s biceps curl. As you hold your hands steady, Thelma engages her core. While keeping her upper arms “glued” to her sides, she bends her elbows and pulls against the resistance of the band to draw her fists to her shoulders. She then returns to the starting position.

Continue for 60 seconds before switching roles.

  1. Squat and triceps extension

Stand a few feet behind your buddy. She should stand tall, feet hip-distance apart, her arms extended overhead while holding the ends of a resistance band in each hand. The center of the resistance band should hang behind her. Grasp the center of the resistance band, pulling it taut at shoulder height with your arms extended in front of you.

From this position, Thelma bends her elbows behind her, keeping her upper arms close to her ears. Once she’s set, squat down by pressing your hips behind you with your weight in your heels, pulling the resistance with you as you keep your arms steady at shoulder height.

When you return to standing, prepare to provide resistance for your friend. Tighten your core and work to maintain your arms at shoulder height. Thelma then uses her triceps to press up against the resistance band, extending her arms overhead without allowing her elbows to bend out to the sides.

Continue for 60 seconds before switching positions.

  1. Stability ball plank

You’re going to get up close and personal for this one — be sure to communicate throughout the exercise.

Kneel on the ground with a stability ball between your partner and yourself. Lean forward as a unit, placing your forearms against the ball. Press into the ball for support and step your feet behind you so your weight is balanced on the balls of your feet and your forearms. Your body should form a straight line.

Pull your core tight and hold the position for 60 seconds.

  1. Stability ball sit-ups

Sit on the ground with your knees bent and your heels touching the ground with the balls of your feet pressing into Thelma’s. Holding a stability ball in your hands, engage your core and roll back onto the ground, reaching the stability ball behind you before reversing the movement as you use your abs to pull yourself back to sitting. As you come to sitting, toss the stability ball to your partner so she can perform the same sit-up.

Continue alternating sit-ups for 60 seconds.


Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

By Collage Video | | Abs, cardio, exercise, Healthy, Jari Love, tips, Weekly Blog, Wellness | 0 comments | Read more

8 Weight Loss Mistakes

by Jari Love

8 Common Weight Loss Mistakes You Should Avoid 

So, you’re about to embark on a new weight loss journey, or maybe you’re already into one. Before you get ahead of yourself, here are 8 common weight loss mistakes people tend to make that keep them from reaching their goals. Be prepared so that you know how to navigate through these typical problems.

1. Over-Exercising: I know you’re excited. Your motivation has probably never been higher. Why don’t we keep it that way by not burning yourself out in the first couple of weeks. Exercise is great, and you should be doing a combination of strength training and cardiovascular training, but that doesn’t mean that more is always better.

Make small changes to your exercise program just like you do with your diet. You don’t have to go from nothing to everything overnight. Build yourself up to 1, 2, and then 3 days of strength training a week. Do something you enjoy. Two hours every single day of high-intensity exercise for someone who hasn’t built up to that work load is either asking for injury, or will be burnt out in weeks.

2. Cutting Calories Too Low: Of course you need to eat less than you burn if you want to lose weight, but cutting calories too low will not get you to your goal any faster. In fact, it’s likely to slow down your progress.

Prolonged calorie restriction causes a down-regulation of important fat-burning hormones like thyroid, and appetite-controlling hormones like leptin and ghrelin. Lower your calories, but the smaller the deficit the better. Go too low and you’ll be wondering why you’re not losing any weight.

3. Becoming Obsessed With Your Weight and the Scale: Gotta lose weight. Gotta lose weight. Wrong! Gotta lose FAT. How often do you weigh yourself? Is it weekly? Daily? More than once a day? It’s a great feeling when you see that number on the scale go down, but how do you react when it goes up? I’m going to guess that reaction isn’t good.

The scale is not going to tell you everything you need to know about your progress. It’s only going to tell you how heavy you are. It won’t tell you how much muscle you’ve put on, or how much fat you’ve lost.

Obsessing over your weight can lead to frustrations, which can lead to you giving up on your lifestyle change. Do yourself a favor and only weigh yourself when it’s necessary, such as when you’re taking body fat readings.

4. Changing Up Your Routine Too Often: I’ve been guilty of this so many times I’ve lost track. I try out this eating style for a week or so and then I read somewhere else about another eating style that might be better. I start questioning whether I’m doing everything I can to reach my goals. So I end up changing up my routine, and in the process, I never give the original eating style a chance to work.

I know it’s a hard thing to do, but once you decide on a way to eat and exercise, stick with it. If it hasn’t even been a month, there’s no reason to even consider changing anything.

If after a month your body fat measurements haven’t changed, you can start looking into making small changes to your current routine. That doesn’t mean change every single thing. It means change 1 or 2 things and see if that gets the progress moving forward again.

5. Overdoing Your Cheat Meals: Cheat meals are a double-edged sword. On the one hand they can keep you sane and possibly even improve your fat loss progress. On the other hand, they can keep you in a never-ending binge/purge cycle where one cheat meal makes it hard to get back onto your healthy eating plan.

Cheat meals should not be binge fests. They should still be controlled. Eat what you want, but remain mindful of portion sizes. A bad day of binge eating can knock out a week’s worth of progress, or worse, can make you revert back to your old unhealthy lifestyle.

6. Having Unrealistic Expectations: Let’s see, you want to lose 50 pounds, so at 2 pounds per week, that would mean you will hit your weight loss goal in 25 weeks. Wrong. I’m not going to go so far as to say it can’t be done, but realistically, it’s not going to happen, and you’re going to get discouraged when you start falling behind that pace. So much so, that when your expectations aren’t met, you end up giving up because it just takes too long.

Set a goal of .5-1% body fat loss every 1-2 weeks, with the lower number being the most realistic. Take a bigger view of your timeline and remember that this is a lifestyle change and not a 2lb/week weight loss plan. The weight will come off, but you have to get out of the day to day weight loss mentality.

7. Obsessing Over Calories and Macronutrient Ratios: How many calories should you eat? How much protein, fat, and carbohydrates are optimal for weight loss? Don’t worry about it! At least don’t worry about it yet. For now, focus on improving the quality of your diet and getting active. Once your diet is 90% whole foods and you’re exercising consistently, you can start playing around with meal timing, carb cycling, or various macronutrient ratios.

In the beginning, it’s quality over quantity. At least that should be your main focus. Cutting calories to an already bad diet will further lower the amount of nutrients you get, and if you add exercise in at the same time, the nutrient deficiencies get even worse. Block out all that noise and focus your attention on one thing only – eating healthier food.

8. Only Focusing on External Appearance: It’s been a month of eating healthy food and being active, but you haven’t lost any weight, so you haven’t made any progress – or so you think. It’s hard to think about all the positive changes you’re making to the inside of your body and to your health because you can’t directly see them. However, all that hard work is changing your body from the inside out.

Even if your weight hasn’t moved in weeks, take solace in the fact that you are a healthier person than you were just weeks ago. It’s only a matter of time before those internal changes start reflecting on the outside. Be patient, smile, and love the new person you are becoming.


Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

By Collage Video | | Abs, Ask Gilad, exercise, Gilad, goals, Healthy, practice, Weekly Blog, Wellness | 0 comments | Read more

5 Moves to Strengthen Your Shoulders

by Jari Love 

Getting to the gym is hard enough as is, and the wait for equipment once you’re there makes it even worse. Fortunately, you can get a great workout without any dumbbells, barbells, or fancy machinery. These Weight-Free Workouts focus on a different muscle groups each time to show you how to build strength, even when you don’t have access to a gym. With these moves, any time can be workout time.

Whether you typically don a suit or a more casual T-shirt, strong shoulders are the key to a broad, great-looking upper body. As wonderful as it feels to look like a model in your favorite clothes, aesthetics become a lot less important when you consider the vital role shoulders play in everyday life. Anything involving pressing, pushing, throwing, and basically any arm movement, relies on the shoulder joint. Its composition makes this joint the most flexible in the body, but all that movement makes it extremely prone to injury.

By addressing both strength and flexibility with these five exercises, you’ll be able to keep your shoulders in great shape. This can benefit everything from your basketball game to your ability to change a lightbulb. And yes, you’ll also look stellar in your clothes.

  1. Inchworms 

Despite the silly name, this exercise is a serious challenge for your back, chest, arms, abs, and shoulders. Though isolated moves to target your shoulders specifically are important, these types of full-body moves will help build your coordination. It won’t do you any good to have strong shoulders if you aren’t able to use them in conjunction with the rest of your body. It’s also a good idea to balance your shoulder workout days with other workouts so you don’t stress the area too much, which could lead to a tear or other injury.

Begin standing with your feet almost touching and your hands at your sides. Bend at the hips, keeping your knees straight but not locked, until you can reach the floor with your hands. Use your hands to walk yourself forward until you are in a plank position with your palms on the floor directly below you shoulders. Perform one pushup, then walk your feet towards your hands while keeping your palms planted. When you get close to your hands, switch to walking with your hands to perform the next sequence. ACE Fitness suggests aiming to cover 10 to 15 yards. As the move becomes easier, perform several pushups in each downward phase to increase the challenge.

  1. Prone Ys

Working at a desk all day has a tendency to force most of us into a hunched position. Unfortunately, this bad posture becomes the norm even after we’ve stepped out of the office. In order to open your shoulders back up, you need to take things in the opposite direction. According to Muscle & Fitness, this exercise often doesn’t require any weight to pose a challenge. There isn’t really any limit to the recommended number of repetitions, so you can keep going until you’ve exhausted your muscles. If you’d like a little added resistance, water bottles will do the trick.

Most people do this move on a bench, but a stability ball or even the floor will also work. Lie down and extend your arms above and slightly out to the side so they form a “Y” with your head in between. Squeeze your shoulder blades together, then raise your arms up. Hold the position briefly, then carefully lower your arms back down. You can also perform the move one arm at a time.

If this move is extremely challenging, it’s a good sign you have some weakness or lack of mobility. In this case, try performing a sequence by changing the direction your arms are pointed.

  1. Feet elevated pike pushups

Handstand pushups are great for shoulder strength, if you can manage to stay balanced. That’s sort of a tall order for guys who don’t have a gymnastics background, so feet-elevated pike pushups are a great starter move. Switching to a pike position, meaning your butt is raised towards the ceiling, forces more of the load onto your shoulders and raising your feet increases the intensity even more.

Get into a standard pushup position, but raise your feet onto a bench or a step. Next, form your body into an upside-down “V” by bending your hips and pointing your butt towards the ceiling. The goal is to have your torso and upper body as vertical as possible. From here, carefully lower yourself until your head is just above the ground, then push straight back up. Men’s Fitness suggests four sets of 12 repetitions. Depending on your fitness level, you may need to start with fewer.

  1. Neutral-grip sternum chin-ups

Most people only switch their grip on the bar when they vary their chin-ups or pullups. Choosing a different bar position offers some advantages as well. recommends chin-ups with a neutral grip, where you grasp two bars so your palms face one another, to pose more of a challenge for the core muscles and the rear shoulder.

These muscles, technically called the posterior deltoids, often get a lot less love than the anterior and medial ones. Neglecting this area will could lead to injury and also prevents you from getting as strong as possible as they assist with every type of shoulder movement. Weak posterior deltoids can also lead to a hunched appearance, and nobody wants that.

To perform this move, you need a set of parallel bars positioned relatively close to each other. You can find these at the gym and likely at a park. Grasp the bars with an overhand grip, and pull yourself up. As you reach the top, pull your shoulders together and lean back slightly. Keep pulling until your chest is just about even with the bars, then lower yourself back down.

  1. Doorway stretch

Many guys are all about working on their deltoids, leaving the tiny rotator cuff muscles forgotten. They play an important role in helping you raise and rotate your arms and they’re among the most frequently injured muscles. We’ve already addressed strength, but we’ll finish with a move to improve flexibility. The University of Rochester Medical Center explains that these muscles don’t get a very good supply of blood on their own, which makes it tougher to recover. Since stretching encourages blood flow, it can go a long way toward keeping your rotator cuff healthy.

All you need to get a good stretch for these shoulder muscles is a doorway. With your arms pointed downward, grip the edges of a doorway, then lean forward until you feel a gentle resistance. Hold it briefly, then release. The key is to keep the stretching gentle. The only thing worse than not working on flexibility at all is pushing it too far, so remember to only go as far as you can without discomfort.


More Shoulder Strengthening Workouts HERE

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

By Collage Video | | Abs, exercise, fitness, Healthy, Jari Love, Motivation, practice, tips, Wellness | 0 comments | Read more


by Jari Love

In today’s busy world it all comes down to time. After ensuring you get enough sleep (super important for your health), do a good job at work, and spend time with family and friends, there is not always time for you. When your days and weekends are clogged with functions, heavy workloads, and social obligations, hitting the gym or going for a long run at the end of the day is at the bottom of the list and usually gets skipped. After missing a few weeks of working out, you’ll notice a difference both physically and mentally. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise boosts energy, helps maintain weight, and helps you sleep deeper. Even on the busiest of days, it is not something you should let slide to the bottom of your to-do list.

On those crazy days, weeks, or months, every second of time should be used to it’s maximum capacity. That means that those lazy lunch hours where you would peruse Facebook or hit up your favorite sushi restaurant can be used to squeeze in a 20- to 30-minute, much-needed lunch break workout.

1. Quick cardio: 20 minutes
This easy workout is all about the cardio it takes to get your heart pumping. Tear yourself away from your computer, and lace up your running shoes. Your goal is to run for 20 minutes while covering as much distance as you can. This means a fast pace and as many miles as you can pack into 20 minutes. Try to increase your distance every time you do this workout to get maximum results. You can also do this with rowing if you have time to swing by the gym.
2. Full-body circuit: 20 minutes
Do the following six exercises with minimal rest between moves. When you’ve completed the full circuit, rest for two minutes. Repeat the circuit three to four times, or practice however many circuits you can complete in 20 minutes.

1. 20 bodyweight squats: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and place your hands behind your head. Flex your knees, and sit back with your hips. Sit down as far as you are able, and reverse the motion until you are standing again.
2. 20 incline push-ups: Put your feet on a chair or couch, and perform 20 full push-ups to complete this set.
3. 20 hip thrusts: Begin seated on the ground with a bench directly behind you. Roll the bar so that it is directly above your hips, and lean back against the bench so that your shoulder blades are near the top of it. Push your feet into the ground, and lift up your hips, pushing up the bar. Test out weight on this exercise to find a doable weight for you.
4. 20 walking lunges: Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart with your hands on your hips. Step forward with one leg and bend that knee, dropping your hips. Lower until your rear knee nearly touches the ground, and then bring that back leg forward to standing. Perform this on the other leg. Do 10 reps on each leg for a total of 20.
5. 20 standard push-ups: Go into plank position with your hands on the ground directly under your shoulders. Lower your body, keeping your back flat until your chest grazes the floor. Push back up to plank.
6. 25 crunches: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, hip-width part. Place your hands behind your head so your thumbs are behind your ears. Lift up your chest and upper body as your feet remain planted on the ground.

3. Arm and shoulder workout: 20 minutes
Grab a pair of 5- to 10-pound dumbbells, and get ready for this gut-busting workout from Men’s Health that elevates your heart rate and builds major muscle. For each exercise, you’ll work for 20 seconds and rest for 10. Then repeat that exercise for a total of four minutes. You’ll have one minute of rest before moving on to the second exercise.

1. Split stance see-saw: With the weights in both hands, bring one leg three feet in front of you. Lift the weight in one hand with the other hand down, and then switch, performing this see-saw motion for 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds before repeating the exercise with the opposite leg in front. Do this for four minutes straight before resting for one minute.
2. Split stance see-saw overhead press: Get into a deep squat, and lift both hands — with weights — over head. Bring one hand down by your shoulder, and then push back up and bring the opposite hand down. Perform this for 20 seconds, rest for 10, and then repeat the exercise with the opposite leg in front. Do this for four minutes straight before resting for one minute.
3. Dumbbell discus: Hold one dumbbell in one hand, and perform the classic discus motion bringing the weight from behind you, around, and up toward the ceiling. Ensure your feet are wide apart. Do this for 20 seconds, rest for 10, and then switch sides. Do this for four minutes straight before resting for one minute.
4. Dumbbell shoulder jack and shuffle press: Stand with your feet two-feet apart with your weights in both hands. Squat down to a comfortable position (you don’t need to go too low), and then lift your hands straight out to the side. Bend at the elbows to bring the weights on either side of your chest, and then shoot them out straight in front of you. Bend at the elbows to bring the weights to either side of your chest, and then shoot your arms out straight on either side of the body. Perform this for 20 seconds, and rest for 10. Do this for four minutes straight.

4. Full bodyweight blast: Less than 30 minutes
This 28-minute workout from Gym Jones uses your body weight only, giving you the freedom to knock this out in a gym, empty conference room, or even your office if it comes down to that. Perform the first exercise for 30 seconds, and then rest for 30 seconds. That’s one set. Do four sets of the first exercise, and then rest for two minutes before moving on to the second exercise. Repeat the procedure until you’ve done all five exercises.

1. Frog hop: Place your hands behind your head. Bend your knees slightly, and hop forward. Immediately hop again after your feet touch the ground.
2. Split jump: Stand in a staggered stance with your feet two- to three-feet apart and your right foot in front of your left. Bend your legs, and lower your body into a lunge. Now jump with enough force to propel both feet off the floor. While you’re in the air, scissor-kick your legs so you land with your left leg forward. Repeat, alternating your forward leg.
3. Burpee: Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Lower your body into a squat until your palms rest on the floor about shoulder-width apart. Kick your legs backward to a push-up position. Perform a push-up, and then quickly reverse the movement and perform a jump as you stand up.
4. Push-up: Get into push-up position. Keep your body perfectly straight as you bend your arms and lower yourself so your chest touches the ground. Push yourself back up.
5. Hell squat: These are just like regular bodyweight squats, but you’ll spend the 30-second rest periods holding the bottom position of the squat. Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Push your hips back as of you’re about to sit in a chair, and lower your body until your hips are in line with your knees. Stand back up.

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

By Collage Video | | Abs, exercise, fitness, Jari Love, tips, Weekly Blog, Wellness | 0 comments | Read more

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