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Reasons You Should Not Work Out Alone

by Jari Love

No matter how much you’ve made working out a part of your daily routine there are going to be days where it’s 5 a.m. and hitting the ground running is the last thing you want to do. Rest assured, even among the physically fit, you’re not alone. Having a partner to hold you accountable will make it considerably easier to overcome those groggy hurdles. But that’s not all. There’s a reason there’s burgeoning crop of apps designed with the sole purpose of helping you seek out a compatible workout partner. To find out more about the benefits of training with someone else The Cheat Sheet spoke with Ruben Belliard, co-founder of Warrior Fitness Boot Camp. 

  1. It’s more fun 

Exercising with a workout buddy is a social experience — allowing you to kill two proverbial birds with one stone. Instead of dreading going to the gym, working out will become a way of spending quality time with your significant other, a family member, a good friend, or a new career connection. Heard of #Sweatworking? It’s a thing. Studies also show that dates in which individuals join in a common activity versus exchange resumes over wine are more often successful. The extra endorphins and pheromones don’t hurt, either. 

As a whole, your workout buddy will most likely introduce you to new routines or encourage you to try a class you had never tried before, which will not only bring variety to your fitness regimen, but create a new inimitable bond between you. 

  1. It keeps you accountable

No matter how exhausted you are from the ups and downs of everyday life, you’ll show up, because someone is relying on you. Knowing that canceling will not only impact your own wellness, but that of your scheduled partner’s, will ensure you make an added effort to follow through. There will be days that you really do not want to work out. That’s inevitable. Yet, having a partner to motivate you and get you into the gym will keep you going. Make sure to choose someone who has similar fitness goals so that your commitment levels are equal. It’s been proven that having friends who are healthy makes you healthier as well. So keep your friends close, and your active friends closer! 

Prefer group classes? Sign yourself up in advance, commit to a payment plan and force yourself into a situation in which you have little to no room to back out. 

  1. You’ll have support to try new things 

Having a buddy will help provide encouragement to try different things. Attempting a new exercise is tough, but having a sidekick alongside will help nudge you to try the more adventurous, potentially intimidating, but often remarkably effective workouts — like cardio dance classes, jumping exercises, or my specialty, obstacle courses. Like they say: There’s power in numbers, and the added confidence of having a co-conspirator of sorts by your side can provide that much needed kick to try something new. 

  1. You’ll get that extra push 

Your workout buddy will inevitably keep you competitive. Friendly competition, of course — nonetheless, it will add fuel to the fire of your workout regimen. Healthy competition between two buddies can motivate you to achieve a goal you’ve never reached for before, and intensity is the fire that drives progress. It’s been found that choosing a workout partner who is fitter than you are has positive effects on your ability to improve. Whether you’re trying to edge them out, beat their previous time, lap them around the course, or get in just one more rep, competition with a worthy opponent is unquestionably a compelling motivator and a sensation that can’t be replicated while remaining solo. Just make certain that you are not pushing too far outside of your limits and staying safe. Competition can be healthy, until it’s not! 

  1. You’ll be safer 

Having someone watching your movements and correcting mistakes isn’t only necessary for progress, but it’s also important for making sure that you are progressing safely. While pushing yourself to accomplish the next rep, it’s often difficult to keep an eye on your form, but a spotter will ensure that this crucial component does not fall to the wayside. You’ll also be able to safely attempt to push yourself into that extra (and important) rep — and to the point of exhaustion — without worrying that your muscles will give out and that you’ll risk injury. Your buddy will be there for you if something goes wrong and you need assistance. At the risk of being cliché, as in most things, when working out, it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

via cheatsheet.com

 

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.

Mistakes Stopping You From Building Muscle

by Jari Love

Sometimes it seems like you’re doing everything you can to eat right and stick to your training program, but that tape measure around your biceps just doesn’t want to budge. You’ve reached the dreaded plateau. Nearly every athlete goes through this type of training blockade at some point, and it can be seriously frustrating. You obviously don’t want to throw in the towel, but overdoing it could leave you susceptible to injury. If lifting doesn’t seem to be getting you anywhere, you might be making some huge errors that you haven’t considered. Avoid these five mistakes, and you’ll be back on track before you know it. 

  1. Not eating enough of the right foods

Sticking to carrot sticks might seem like a good way to lose the pudge and pack on muscle, but restricting your diet too much is one of the worst things you can do. Men’s Fitness said muscle growth isn’t possible without a calorie surplus. The article went on to explain that insufficient food intake forces your body into starvation mode, which causes you to shed muscle and store fat. And if you just hit the gym, you need to feed those ailing muscles as soon as you can. According to Men’s Health, eating shortly after exercise helps repair muscles. Skipping that post-workout meal could cause your muscles to break down, so pack a snack or recovery drink. 

Don’t kid yourself into thinking you can eat whatever you want, though. Even the most intense exercise regimen won’t make up for a crappy diet. About Health said eating too many refined carbohydrates and high-fat foods will keep you from achieving your ideal physique. And don’t forget about protein — BuiltLean said every individual is a bit different, but men interested in losing weight should try to eat their desired body weight in grams of protein. If you’re looking to lose weight to get to 190 pounds, that means you’ll want to aim for 190 grams of protein. If you’re trying to gain weight, you’ll want to increase the amount a bit. 

  1. Always sticking to the same routine

Many guys in the gym always head for the same weights, do the same number of sets, in the same order every single time they work out. It might be easier on your mind, but it’s also easier on your muscles. If you want to see improvements, you’ll need to step away from the arm curls occasionally. Muscle & Strength explained the body adapts to stress, so it no longer sees the need to grow once it’s used to a certain level of exertion. Thankfully, it’s pretty easy to work past this plateau once you recognize the problem. Muscle & Fitness recommended changing your order, switching exercises, increasing weight, or doing more repetitions. You don’t need to develop a new routine for every session, but expect to alter your workout every 4 weeks or so. 

Changing your routine will also keep you from getting bored. According to Men’s Fitness, you’ll struggle to make gains if your workouts aren’t interesting anymore. That might mean trying something you’ve never done before, which could seem a little bit intimidating. Instead of shying away from something because you’re afraid you won’t be any good, Outside Online says to embrace the challenge. Incorporating new moves will help prevent muscle imbalances that can lead to injuries. 

  1. Screwing up sets

Even if you’re trying your hardest for every lift, you aren’t going to see results if you’re taking a 10-minute break between each set. Besides, you don’t want to be the obnoxious guy who hogs the same bench for an hour while swiping through photos on Tinder. Muscle & Fitness reported one study found people who rested less than 1 minute between sets actually burned up to 50% more calories than those who rested for 3 minutes. 

The number of sets, as well as repetitions, you complete also has a huge impact on your ability to grow muscle. Bodybuilding.com said you should be aiming for 12 to 20 sets of eight to 15 repetitions for areas where you’re trying to see growth, but you can get by with less for muscle groups where you aren’t looking to build as much. And while your ego might tempt you to pile on the weight, it’s not the best idea. SimplyShredded.com said you’ll see more gains if you stick with something managable, maintain good form, and go for more repetitions. 

  1. Not getting enough rest

Inadequate sleep can lead to all sorts of health problems, like heart disease and diabetes. It could also be the culprit behind your fitness plateau. Men’s Health said getting enough sleep is crucial, because it’s the best way to help your ailing muscles recover from lifting sessions. The article also said that constant exhaustion can make you feel like you’re working out harder than you actually are. If you find yourself tossing and turning at night, make sure you’re doing everything you can to wind down. The Huffington Post suggested reducing the amount of caffeine you consume in the afternoon and shutting off all electronics at least an hour before you turn in. 

Sleep isn’t the only type of rest you should consider, because you can still be overdoing it while getting plenty of shut-eye. If you’re hitting the gym for hours every single day, that’s just too much. MuscleMag said no one should be lifting more than 2 to 3 days in a row without taking a day off. For folks who have hit a serious wall, taking a little break will do a world of good. 

  1. Overdoing cardio

Any good fitness routine involves a combination of cardio and strength training. Figuring out the proper balance is the hard part. Men looking to build muscle can completely derail their efforts if they’re spending too much time on the treadmill. Men’s Fitness revealed going overboard on cardio sessions depletes your cumulative calories, which are necessary for muscle growth. It’s especially problematic if you’re exercising on an empty stomach. The article went on to say this will force your body to burn muscle as fuel. 

So how much is too much? It really depends on the individual. Born Fitness suggested keeping it to three or four sessions, lasting between 30 and 40 minutes. If you prefer high-intensity intervals, stick with two to three sessions. Even with these guidelines, though, you may have to adjust depending on how your body reacts.

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.

Calories Burned Doing Burpees

by Jari Love

We all need to indulge a little and satisfy our cravings, but sometimes when you try to eat a tiny square of dark chocolate, you end up inhaling the entire bar! Now imagine if instead of calorie counts on labels, packages or menus listed the number of burpees it took to work off a serving. Yikes! Out of extreme curiosity, I did the legwork and figured it out for you. Don’t hate me. As downright depressing as it is to see the amounts, it might make you think twice before grabbing another slice of pizza.

 Let’s say that for one minute of basic burpees done correctly (most people do between 10 and 20), it burns an average of 10 calories. Check out the stats below. They’re not meant to make you cringe but are just good to keep in the back of your mind if you’re trying to lose weight.

 – Slice of pepperoni pizza (298 calories): 30 minutes of burpees

– Cheeseburger (423 calories): 42 minutes and 20 seconds of burpees

– Medium-sized McDonald’s french fries (380 calories): 38 minutes of burpees

– Grilled cheese (580 calories): 58 minutes of burpees

– Homemade chocolate chip cookie (89 calories): 9 minutes of burpees

– Red velvet cupcake (496 calories): 50 minutes of burpees

– Half a cup of vanilla ice cream (230 calories): 23 minutes of burpees

– Half a bar of dark chocolate (300 calories): 30 minutes of burpees

– 5-ounce glass of red wine (115 calories): 11 minutes and 30 seconds of burpees

– 12-ounce bottle of beer (150 calories): 15 minutes of burpees

– 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola (143 calories): 14 minutes and 20 seconds of burpees

 via popsugar.com

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.

The Fight for Food

by Jari Love

Toned, flat abs are what you desire but why hasn’t it appeared yet? Foods, eating habits and other issues can lead to your belly to be bloated and not achieving the results you deserve.

First things first, I am not critiquing you on having a health binge! But, that handful (or two…okay, three) of trail mix each day could be a real saboteur. Dried fruit is good, nuts are great, but combined into a tempting treat they pack serious calories. A single cup of typical "gorp" or trail mix can have 500 calories and more than 15 grams of fat. Granola bars, whole grain muffins, smoothies...these can all be part of your weight problems.

Surprise, surprise, you could also not be consuming enough carbohydrates. Glycogen and water are stored in the muscles of the body and when you allow it decrease, the body triggers a stronger sense of hunger in order to get you to restore it. Such as, not have enough carbs during the day and delaying the time you refuel yourself. This can easily allow you to gain weight.

Are you filling yourself up with a fibre frenzy? Trying to improve your diet by adding in all the extra fibre to shed the extra weight? You could be adding too much fibre too fat for your digestive track to catch up. Slowly take in more fibre, drink more water and get plenty of exercise. The waiting period will only take as little as two to three weeks before you can free up room for full fibre.

Forbidden foods for the body can also be the reason for the unexplained bloating. Your body may not be able to tolerate some of the foods consumed. An issue like celiac disease can cause irritation and an inability for the intestines to absorb nutrients, leading to bloating.

These are things that you might just not realize when you are wondering why you aren't getting the results you want. Don’t give up know that when you work hard and become more educated you’ll understand and know how to change that. Especially when it comes to the habits we can work on getting rid of.

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.

Obesity Prevention: Screen and Sedentary Time

by Jari Love

In today’s age electronics and screens surround us. T.V, ipads, computers and smartphones are part of our daily lives. But more and more studies are linking the amount of time we spend with these screens and the associated “sit time” with obesity. In a recent article published by Harvard, researchers found that higher amounts of screen and “sit” time negatively impact both Body Mass Index (BMI) and overall health.

There is strong evidence to suggest that cutting back on T.V time can help with weight control in both children and adults.

  1. Early TV habits have long lasting effects. The more TV children watch, the more likely they are to be overweight. This tendency is particularly apparent in children who have T.V’s in their bedrooms. Not only this, but children who watch a lot of television are at a higher risk for obesity well into adulthood and mid-life.
  1. Trials designed to reduce children’s TV use, have found improvements in body mass index (BMI), body fat, and other obesity-related measures.
  1. In The Planet Health trial, for example, students assigned to receive lessons on the benefits of reduced TV time had lower rates of obesity in girls. While another trial found that third- and fourth-graders who received an 18-lesson “TV turnoff” curriculum cut back on TV time and on meals eaten while watching and had a relative decrease in BMI and other measures of body fatness.
  1. There is also evidence that the more television adults watch, the more likely they are to gain weight or become overweight or obese. Related to T.V linked obesity issues is evidence that too much TV watching also increases the risk of weight-related chronic diseases.
  1. The Nurses’ Health Study, as one among many similar studies, followed more than 50,000 middle-age women for six years. A summarized analysis of these studies found that for every two hours two hours spent watching TV, the risk of developing diabetes, developing heart disease, and early death increased by 20, 15, and 13 percent, respectively.
  1. A small pilot study in 36 men and women found that adults who cut their TV viewing time by half, compared to a control group with no limits on TV, burned more calories each day, and had a greater reduction in BMI than the control group.
  1. Screen and TV watching may contribute to obesity and poor health in several ways: by displacing physical activity, promoting poor diets, enabling poor snacking choices and by interfering with sleep.
  1. Many studies show that TV viewing is associated with greater calorie intake or poorer diet quality: food-related TV ads often promote high-calorie, low-nutrient foods and drinks; TV shows and movies frequently feature Branded products which are overwhelmingly for unhealthy foods; TV food ads influence food consumption, shows that feature food ads saw an increase of 45 percent in snack consumption than in shows with non-food advertising
  1. TV food and drink advertising to children ages 2–11 decreased from 2004 to 2008; however, advertising to adolescents (12–17) and adults (18–49) rose substantially in the same period. A recent review of the sugary drink advertising market found that children’s and teens’ exposure to sugary soda ads doubled from 2008 to 2010, with Coca Cola (a CFBAI member) and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group (not a member) leading the way.
  1. There are no overarching nutrition standards for what constitutes a “healthy” food or drink—and the future of such standards is a matter of hot political debate. Proposed standards, released in April 2011, have been met by strong resistance from the food and beverage industry and have been stymied by Congress.
  1. Game playing, sitting at work, driving, and obesity—have not been studied as extensively as TV watching. But there is evidence that these other forms of “sit time” can contribute to obesity
  1. There’s evidence that spending too much time sitting—at work or at home—increases the risk of becoming obese, and may also increase the risk of chronic diseases and early death. It is unclear whether sitting itself is the culprit, or whether sitting is just a marker of another unhealthy aspect of lifestyle. It’s also possible that other types of modern sedentary behaviors promote overeating in different ways: Reading or working on the computer, for example, may increase people’s stress and lead to overeating, while listening to music may distract people from noticing whether they are hungry or full.
  1. Overall, there is little doubt that time spent watching TV is an important risk factor for obesity—and a modifiable risk factor. There’s evidence that excessive marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages on television contributes to the TV–obesity link.
  1. Ways to curb exposure to TV and media: limit children’s screen time to no more than two hours per day–The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends no screen time for children under the age of 2; Make children’s bedrooms TV-free and Internet; advocate for stricter regulations on TV/media food and beverage advertising to children.
  1. Staying active helps with weight control, as does limiting sedentary activities—recreational computer time, driving, and the like. Replace “sit time” with “fit time”—walking or biking for part or all of a workday commute, instead of driving, or playing in the park instead of playing video games. Help creating an environments that supports active lifestyles, and be aware of media and advertising’s influence on your food intake and choices.

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.

Break These Bad Health Habits

by Jari Love

Are you health conscious? Good for you! If you exercise regularly, eat whole foods, keep up to date on the latest health concerns, don’t binge on sugar and have cut out all processed and fast foods, well, then, you are doing better than most people.

 However, you may still have some bad habits that are preventing you from achieving the body and lifestyle you would like. Based on my experiences with clients, I have put together a list of the top 5 bad health habits, even health conscious people make. If you find one or more of these habits apply to you, try to break your bad habit and watch the huge benefits in your life and on your body. 

  1. You’re Dehydrated

Dehydration is when more fluid leaves your body than is taken in. Seems simple right? But, roughly 75% of the population is chronically dehydrated. When was the last time you drank at least 8 glasses of water in a day? 

Dehydration causes a whole host of symptoms including: fatigue, headache, nausea, irritability—and in severe cases death. Hopefully you are never so dehydrated that the last symptom listed here is a problem for you, but I put it down so that you know dehydration has serious consequences on our bodies. Our bodies need water in order to function efficiently and this is true of our weight loss goals as well. Dehydration actually slows down your metabolism—which hinders weight loss. 

Don’t wait until you are thirsty, or your mouth feels dry to drink. If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Begin each day with a large glass of lemon water to kick-start your system and keep drinking throughout the day. Keep a full water bottle with you during the day and constantly rehydrate throughout the day. Get into the habit of drinking a full glass of water before every meal and snack You shouldn’t wait until the feeling of thirst or dry mouth hits you, at that point damage has already been done. Instead, constantly rehydrate throughout your day to avoid dehydration. 

The best way to do this is to incorporate water into your daily schedule. Have a water bottle at your desk and train yourself to sip on it often, and get into the habit of drinking a full glass of water with each meal and snack. If water isn’t really your thing, try adding some lemon, cucumber, ginger mint leaves or orange slices to flavor it. 

  1. You Eat Out Too Often

In today’s hectic world it is easy and convenient to eat out, order take out or pick up something “quick” on the way home. Research suggests that most people eat out one out of every 4 meals and snacks. That’s an average of once a day. 

Even when you order healthy items, or choose places to eat that are health conscious, you are taking in more calories than if you had prepared the same meal at home. Restaurant food is designed to taste good, and the reason it tastes so good is that the food is often loaded with fat, sugar, salt, or some combination of those three. 

Healthy and quick meals are relatively easy to do with a little preparation. On the weekend sit down and plan out your meals for the week. Then go to the grocery store and stock up on everything you’ll need for those meals. You can even prepare make- ahead meals for the week and put them in the freezer, or invest in a slow cooker. Prepare your meals the night before, turn on your slow cooker in the morning and have a healthy and delicious hot dinner waiting for you when you get home. Pack your lunch and snacks each night before bed, then grab it on your way out the door in the morning. When you prepare dinner at home, make enough for at least the next day as well. Your efforts will pay off both in terms of weight loss and in money saved. 

  1. You Don’t Get Enough Sleep

You’ve heard it before, you’ll hear it again—sleep deprivation leads to a whole host of health issues, including weight gain. 

Do you feel tired in the middle of the day or early afternoon, or do you crave something sweet to help pick you up around 11 am? If yes, then you are one of the 56% of adults who, according to polls are not getting enough sleep. By enough sleep I mean at least 7-8 hours of good quality rest! When you fail to meet this need your body goes into sleep debt, which continues to accumulate indefinitely until you catch up. 

A lack of sleep negatively affects your immune system, your nervous system, and interferes with healthy hormone release and cellular repairs. Lack of sleep can affect your memory, concentration and reaction time. It can also have more serious consequences like an increased risk of serious diseases. 

If you have trouble falling asleep once you’re in bed, then try these tips. Sleep in complete darkness, don’t eat before bed, Avoid stimulating foods like caffeine or alcohol (yes, contrary to popular belief alcohol actually disrupts, rather than aids sleep), and also try sleeping in a cooler room temperature—cooler temperatures mimic the body’s natural sleep patterns, so a cooler room temperature may help prepare your body for sleep. 

  1. You’re Stressed Out

I don’t have to tell you that we are living in a fast-paced world and that most of us have stress levels that are through the roof. But what you might not realize is that your stress levels are making you fat. 

All types of stress cause a physiological response in our bodies. An increase in stress will kick-start your adrenal glands to release adrenalin and cortisol. This is a problem because is slows your metabolism, leads to cravings and is linked to greater levels of abdominal fat storage. 

One of the most effective ways to instantly eliminate stress is to sit down and write out a list of all the things that are bothering you. This should include things that you need to get done, issues that weigh on your mind and anything you believe contributes to your stress level. 

Once it’s all down on paper, organize it like a to-do list and start resolving each item. Doing so will get the stress off of your mind and will put your body into the motion of resolving each issue. 

Get some good sleep—sleep helps to regulate your cortisol levels. 

  1. Your Workouts are Always the Same

Did you know that your body can adapt to a workout in as little as 20 sessions? If you are not constantly challenging your body, then plateaus can occur where you don’t see any improvement and may actually see a regression in your weight loss efforts you’re your exercise routine feels comfortable, then chances are you are not getting the results you want. 

You don’t have to increase the amount of time that you spend exercising in order to see quicker, faster results. It’s all about challenging your body. To keep your body guessing try switching up the order of your exercises, the intensity at which you work out, the type of exercise you are performing, or do something totally new. If you regularly use weight machines then start using free weights. If you normally jog on the treadmill then start using the bike.

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.

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