Love Notes by Jari Love

Posts in the cardio category

5 Plateau-Busting Plyometrics Exercises to Swap for Cardio

by Jari Love

If you’ve been hitting the gym double-time and still aren’t seeing results, you could be hitting a workout plateau. It’s everyones worse nightmare when it comes to weight loss. That scale just isn’t budging. There are ways you can break the plateau, plyometrics on the Get RIPPED workouts. Instead of spending more time sweating, shorten your routine by using plyometric movements that combine cardio and strength to give you a well-rounded workout in less time.

“Practicing plyometrics regularly will increase your speed and power, plus get you shredded,” says Grace Menendez, a trainer at Crunch gyms in NYC. The goal is to exert maximum force in short intervals of time, she adds. In other words, adding these few movements below can totally replace your regular cardio routine.

 Kettlebell Swings

A Stand with feet hip-width apart and place a 12kg kettlebell (for newbies) or 16kg kettlebell (for advanced users) on the floor about 18-inches in front of you. Push hips back and bend knees enough to place hands on the bell handle.

B Tilt the bell back towards you as you hike it through legs, hinging at hips as you inhale.

C Stand-up completely straight as you exhale, squeezing glutes and straightening knees at the top of the swing. Continue the swings for 10 minutes. At the top of each minute, swing the bell 10 times, then rest.

 Plyo Pushups

A Start in a pushup position, fingers spread wide to create a firm foundation, belly-button drawn in towards spine.

B Inhale and lower chest towards the ground like in a standard push-up. As you exhale, push forcefully off the ground as hands lift off. As you land, be sure to land with elbows bent to protect joints. Make it easier by placing knees on the ground, or harder by adding a clap in between push-ups. Work up to 3 sets of 10 reps.

 Box Jumps

A Stand in front of a surface around knee-height. Use a bench, plyo box, or even stairs to practice this move. Start with feet about as wide if in a squat.

B Bend knees, and bring hands behind you at your sides. Jump onto the box, making sure to stand up all the way by straightening knees at the top and extending hips fully.

C Jump or step back to start. Set a timer for 5 sets of 30 seconds with a 30 seconds rest and jump as many times as possible.


A Start lying on back, palms facing down, arms at sides.

B Sit-up as you bend at the waist, keeping legs straight and reaching hands to toes. Set a timer and go for 5 rounds of 30 seconds with a 30 second rest in between each set.

 Body Saws

A Start in a plank position, forearms on the ground. Place a towel under toes.

B Press firmly into the ground with arms and pike hips up using lower abs as you slide back and forth on the towel. Do 3-5 rounds for 30 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.

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.

What’s Better for Weight Loss: Diet or Exercise?

by Jari Love

When you set your sights on weight loss, the formula seems easy: work out more, eat less. But a new study in the International Journal of Epidemiology shows that it might be more about what you eat, putting truth to the idiom “abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym.”

In 2013, researchers from Loyola University began looking into the relative power of diet and exercise as they relate to moving the scale. They thought they’d discover that exercise would prove to be a crucial component for weight loss. Two years later, though, the science shows that the largest driver behind obesity is not how sedentary people are but instead how poor their diet is.

“Physical activity is crucially important for improving overall health and fitness levels, but there is limited evidence to suggest that it can blunt the surge in obesity,” the study authors explained. Why? The more you work out, the more your appetite increases.

Of course, this new Loyola study isn’t the first to come to this conclusion. Research has consistently shown for years now that exercise doesn’t necessarily lead to weight loss. In a meta-analysis published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics last year, for example, researchers found that people only lost noticeable weight if they combined exercise and calorie restriction.

This is the problem with most weight-loss advice, the Loyola researchers said, which often puts statements like “take the stairs instead of the elevator” or “walk 10,000 steps a day” on par with calorie restriction. Study authors Richard S. Cooper, M.D., and Amy Luke, Ph.D., said they’re not trying to drive people away from fitness, but rather expose problems with current health campaigns. Take this new one funded by Coca-Cola—it (falsely!) emphasizes exercise over a healthy diet.

But don’t you dare drop your gym membership! Being active has a ton of benefits that go far beyond what the scale says. Increasing your strength and endurance has been shown to help prevent cancer, improve mental health, help diabetes, and help you live longer. Plus, research shows that dieters who exercise are better able to maintain weight loss and are also able to lose fat while keeping valuable muscle. You just need to make sure you’re logging your gym time and your food intake.


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.

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

High-Protein Foods to Add to Your Diet

by Jari Love

High-Protein Foods to Add to Your Diet – Nutrition

Although most of us have adequate protein in our western diet, the trend towards choosing higher protein foods continues. Restaurants are beginning to cater for those who follow the popular Paleo diet, meaning that protein-rich dishes are appearing more frequently on menus as demand continues to rise.


What can you do if you want to increase your protein content?


Start with some basic food swaps:


  1. Change your ordinary yoghurt to Greek yoghurt


Greek yoghurt contains around 10 grams of protein per 100 grams, compared with just 3.8 grams per 100 grams in ordinary yoghurt. Choose plain varieties rather than sugar-laden flavoured versions and sweeten with fresh fruit.


  1. Swap white rice for quinoa or buckwheat


Both quinoa and buckwheat are referred to as complete sources of protein because they each contain all 9 essential amino acids (ones that the human body cannot make). Both also contain around 14 grams of protein per 100 gram serving, which is twice the protein content of rice.


  1. Have eggs for breakfast instead of your usual cereal


One egg contains around 6 grams of high quality protein and is also a complete protein source. Try boiled eggs with buttered toast soldiers in place of a sugary breakfast cereal.


  1. Go for a salad with cottage cheese at lunchtime in place of a sandwich


Cottage cheese has a slightly higher protein content than Greek yoghurt, with around 12 grams per 100 gram serving. It is also a complete source of protein and a versatile food that goes with anything. Choose low sodium and low fat varieties.


  1. Try using ground up nuts and seeds as a higher protein alternative to breadcrumbs


Sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds each have between 18 and 21 grams of protein per 100 gram serving, as do nuts such as almonds and cashews. A ground-up mix of these can be used to coat chicken pieces or fish, as a higher protein replacement for breadcrumbs which average just 13 grams of protein per 100 grams.


  1. Nuts and seeds are a much healthier and higher protein snack than a packet of crisps


With their high protein content, nuts and seeds are much healthier than high in fat (and salt) potato crisps that average only 7 grams of protein per 100 gram portion.


  1. We all love French fries but vegetable chips make a great alternative


French fries or chips are high in fat and contain around 41 grams of carbohydrate per 100 gram serving. With only 10 grams of carbohydrate per 100 grams, vegetable fries are a much healthier alternative. You could try a mix of carrots, sweet potatoes, courgettes and beetroots and, for the healthiest option, roast them in the oven rather than deep frying.


  1. Thirsty? Go for a glass of milk instead of juice or soda


Milk has 3.4 grams of protein per 100 grams compared with just 0.1 grams in 100 grams of apple juice. It has half the amount of sugar too.


  1. Swap mashed potato for vegetable mash, noodles for zucchini or squash “noodles” and rice for cauliflower “rice”


Vegetable noodles provide a healthier, lower carbohydrate alternative to ordinary noodles, with 3.1 grams of carbohydrate in the courgette version versus 25 grams per 100 grams in egg noodles.


As well as making small food swaps there are other ways you can increase your protein intake, such as adding lentils and beans to casseroles. You can also add seeds, such as sunflower and pumpkin, to salads for an extra crunch. The addition of protein powder and dark green veg, such as spinach and kale, to smoothies makes for an effective post workout boost.


As with any food, the principle of everything in moderation applies here. Too much protein can equate to excess calories, which of course will lead to weight gain. Be aware of portion sizes and use lean meat with the fat trimmed off. Spread out your protein intake throughout the day and remember protein takes longer to digest so you don’t need as much of it. In other words it can keep you feeling fuller for longer. As with any diet, variety is key so mix up your proteins too. A range of white meat, red meat, seafood, dairy and vegetable proteins, such as quinoa, tofu and buckwheat, will help ensure that you eat a complete range of essential amino acids.


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 | | cardio, exercise, fitness, Jari Love, Recipe, tips, Weekly Blog, Wellness | 0 comments | Read more

Same Workout Every Day?

by Jari Love

Same Workout Every Day?

When it comes to working out, most people fall into one of two categories. Some love to mix it up: HIIT one day, running the next, with a few barre classes thrown in for good measure. Others are creatures of habit: Their workouts look the same—indoor cycling, weight lifting, or yoga—day after day, month after month.

Yet any fitness expert will tell you that it’s the former who reap the real boons of exercise. And studies support the fact that workouts that challenge your body in new ways over time are the most beneficial. But some of the most popular forms of exercise: road races, rowing, and cycling call for training that more or less looks the same—so is sticking with the same workout ever a good thing? The answer is complicated, so we dug in to break things down.

If You’re a Cardio Queen…

If you frequent an indoor cycling class three days a week or are training for a half-marathon, you’re definitely reaping the benefits of regular cardio, like improved heart health, improved efficiency in your lower body muscles, and more burned calories, says Kyle Stull, a National Academy of Sports Medicine-certified trainer and performance enhancement specialist.

“Repeating workouts is not an inherently bad idea, especially if you enjoy what you’re doing,” Stull explains. And research shows that enjoyment is one of the main reasons people stick to a workout. Once people find an exercise they love—running, rowing, or swimming—they’ll be hard-pressed to skip a few sessions for the sake of “switching it up.” (Just ask any runner why they never miss a daily jog.) Plus, some repetition is necessary to acquire new skills. “If you have a goal of becoming better at something, then you must repeat it,” Stull adds. After all, no one’s going to attempt a marathon without doing some long runs before (we hope).

The only problem: The human body is a master at adaptation. “Whatever the body is asked to repeat, it will become very efficient at it,” Stull explains. “After a few months, you may continue to feel the psychological benefits, but not necessarily the physiological benefits.” Translation: What was once a great calorie-burning workout may become no better than the average walk, Stull says.

Change it up: To prevent plateauing and continue improving your endurance, mix up your cardio. The simplest way to do this: Follow the F.I.T.T. principle (which stands for frequency, intensity, time, and type), suggests Jacqueline Crockford, an exercise physiologist at the American Council on Exercise. Implement one of the following steps per week.

First, increase the frequency of your workout. For example, if you’ve been cycling three days a week, bump that up to four times a week (make sure you allow for one full day of rest each week too). Then increase the time—or duration—of your session. If you’ve been exercising for 30 minutes, add on five or 10 minutes.

Next, increase the intensity, which can be measured most accurately by heart rate. If you’ve been working at 70 percent of your maximum heart rate (MHR), for example, increase it to 75 percent. A heart rate monitor will come in handy here, but you can also determine your target heart rate with a little bit of math:

  1. Subtract your age from 220 to find your MHR. (If you’re 30 years old, your MHR is 190.)
  2. Multiply that number by 0.7 (70 percent) to determine the lower end of your target zone. Then multiply by 0.85 (85 percent) to determine the upper end of your target zone.
  3. To determine your beats per minute (BPM) during exercise, take your pulse inside your wrist, near your thumb. Use the tips of your first two fingers to press lightly over the blood vessels. Count your pulse for 10 seconds and multiply by six to find your beats per minute (BPM). If your beats match the 70-percent mark, adjust your exercise intensity to reach that upper end of your target zone.

Finally, try switching up your usual cardio of choice with a different type of movement. This helps to strengthen different muscle groups, improve endurance, and eliminate the risk of overuse and eventual injury, Stull says. For example, instead of cycling, try running, swimming, or something that changes the motion completely, like dance cardio, once a week.

If Strength Workouts Are Your Thing…

Strength training devotees are known for following a set routine each time they enter the weight room. Here’s some good news for those creatures of habit: Strength routines need to be repeated for a period of time in order to be effective, Stull says. In fact, if you’re just starting a new routine, there are major benefits in doing the same thing consistently, says Darryn Willoughby, Ph.D., an exercise physiologist and professor at Baylor University. That’s because in the first four to six weeks, the improvements you’ll experience are mainly neurological—your brain is learning how to most efficiently recruit your muscles to complete the moves.

The bad part: This doesn’t translate into increased muscle size (yet). “A good general time frame to expect noticeable progress is 12 to 16 weeks, but it varies by person and intensity of training,” Willoughby adds. That’s why you don’t want to give up a month into a new strength training program just because you’re not seeing “results” in the mirror. If you’re starting a new program, commit to that 12-week time frame. But after that, as your body adapts to the routine, you’ll need to vary your program in order to continue to reap the benefits and keep seeing results, Willoughby says.

Change it up: First, switch your strength moves. “The intensity and volume of training must be repeated to develop strength, but the exercise selection can be varied,” explains Stull. “For example, you can increase lower body strength by squatting, dead lifting, or doing a leg press,” Stull says. “All will require the muscles to work in a very similar way, but will be very different to the nervous system.

Willoughby agrees. Although there are plenty of moves to work the chest muscles—from push-ups to the bench press—that doesn’t mean any move is better than the other. In fact, it’s probably a better strategy to change up the exercises on regular basis so you work the muscles at a slightly different angle, which helps improve muscle adaptation (and growth) over time.

A final way to can change up your strength workout: a type of programming called non-linear periodization, repeating the same exercises but varying the intensity (amount of weight used) and the volume (reps and sets), Stull says. For example, if you’re training on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, you could make Monday a heavy day with less volume, Wednesday a moderate day with moderate weight and volume, and Friday a light day with a higher volume. Studies suggest this is a great way to increase strength has been shown to be more beneficial than performing the exact same routine over and over again.


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 | | cardio, exercise, fitness, Jari Love, tips, Weekly Blog, Wellness | 0 comments | Read more

Weird (But Proven) Benefits of Exercise

by Jari Love

It’s widely known that exercise leads to weight loss, better sleep, stronger bones, reduced chronic pain and cuts the risk of diseases including diabetes and cancer. However, science shows that there are also unexpected, but medically proven, benefits to exercise.

1. Exercise can prevent gallstones

A sedentary lifestyle is associated with an increased risk of gallstones (ouch!). But endurance-type exercise five times per week can prevent 34 percent of cases of symptomatic gallstones.

2. Exercise makes you happier

Numerous studies indicate that exercise can reduce the symptoms of depression. People who exercise also tend to have high self-esteem, improved quality of life and better rates of happiness. Scientists don’t know the exact mechanism, but exercise may trigger the brain to generate serotonin and endorphins that help with mental well-being.

3. Exercise provides pain relief during periods

Painful periods can be debilitating, but exercise can decrease the intensity of the pain — as well as decrease the use of sedating pain medications.

4. Exercise helps you quit smoking

Exercise helps curb withdrawal symptoms and cravings. One study found that even people who smoked for more than 20 years were able to quit smoking through cognitive-behavioral therapy and exercising only 40 minutes three times per week. Another benefit? Former smokers who exercise can minimize post-smoking cessation weight gain.

5. Exercise improves your skin

Exercise coupled with a healthy diet can fight a variety of skin conditions, including psoriasis. It may not necessarily be the increased blood flow which has the positive effect — it could be the impact of weight loss.

6. Exercise can stop urine leakage

A very specific type of exercise — pelvic floor muscle training, known commonly at Kegel exercises — can actually improve or even cure urinary incontinence in women. Yes, I’m still counting it as exercise.

7. Exercise boosts your brain function

Exercise has been associated with improved cognitive function in young adults; and newer research shows it can improve daily activities (like showering, dressing and mobility) in older adults who already have dementia.

So, what is the best type of exercise routine? The one that you stick to on a regular basis.


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 | | cardio, exercise, Healthy, Jari Love, practice, Weekly Blog, Wellness | 0 comments | Read more

Tips for Sticking to Your Health Plan

by Jari Love

Tips for Sticking to Your Health Plan 

When you are just starting a new diet and exchanging old habits for healthy eating patterns sticking to your health plan can be challenging. However, with a few tips you can make those changes last without succumbing to temptation.


  1. Set Realistic Expectations

If you’ve been struggling with healthy eating for a while and decide to change too many things at once you may be setting yourself up for disappointment. For example, if you decide to cut out sugar from your diet, slash your calorie intake in half and drink nothing but kale juice all at once you’ll find yourself back in your old patterns fast. Similarly, if you expect to lose 30 pounds in a week the first time you decide to make a healthy change in your diet you are likely to be disappointed. Instead set realistic goals and expectations for yourself. Start by making one healthy change at a time, make it a habit, and then move on to your next goal. By setting achievable goals for yourself you set yourself up for success and making healthy choices will become easier and easier as you go along.


  1. Don’t Starve Yourself

Healthy choices means knowing that you still need to eat—just make healthy choices. If you cut your calories too drastically or completely cut out an entire food group like carbs overnight your body will feel deprived and you are more likely to backslide. Avoid eating more than your body needs to fuel itself during the day and stick with healthy options.


  1. Stay Committed and Don’t Make Exceptions

You can always find a reason to make poor eating choices: I need something fast, it’s the weekend, everyone else is having dessert etc. If you are going to stick to your plan you can’t make exceptions. Focus on your goals, and make healthy options easy for yourself. Always come home from work starving? Pre-prep cut veggies and fruit so you have something healthy on hand to grab when you get home to satisfy you until dinner. Find yourself making poor choices on the weekend? Don’t buy food you don’t want to eat—if it’s not in the house then chances are you’ll think twice about indulging yourself. Everyone else having dessert? Opt for fresh fruit—which brings us to the next point . . .


  1. Avoid Cynics

Sometimes not everybody supports, or understands, your new health plan. Avoid those who compromise your health choices and surround yourself with people who will encourage you in your goals. Once your health plan starts to pay off and everyone sees how great you look and feel chances are they will hop on your band wagon. Who knows you may even inspire someone else to make healthier choices in their life.


  1. Avoid Triggers

Pay attention to your body and your emotions and understand which circumstances trigger your desire to make poor health choices. Does your best friend always bake cookies when you visit? Invite her round to your place instead, or meet somewhere neutral. Do you crave sweets when you are tired or have had a bad day? Have a green tea, water with lemon, a piece of fruit or play with your dog, go for some light exercise to pick yourself up instead. Being self-aware of your triggers will help you recognize why you crave unhealthy foods and help you make better choices.


  1. Stay Focused

The first few days of your health plan will probably be easy. However, after a few days it can be more difficult to remember why you made the decision to change your lifestyle. Help yourself stay focused on your decisions and goals. Write yourself notes and motivational sayings, stick pictures of where you want to end up or of apples and broccoli next to your fridge or pantry. Give yourself concrete reminders of why you are doing this and soon making healthy choices will become habit.


  1. Get Over Mistakes

The goal is to eat healthfully and make good lifestyle choices every day. However, know that if you eat a brownie one day it’s not the end of your health plan. Forgive yourself and move on. Don’t give up because you made a mistake Get back to your routine and keep making healthy choices. Each time you decide to make a healthy choice the next one is easier. Start making the healthy choices you deserve.

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 | | cardio, exercise, fitness, goals, Jari Love, Motivation, Weekly Blog, Wellness | 0 comments | Read more

Tweaks to Better Work Your Glutes

by Jari Love

Buns of steel, right this way...

Your butt is the biggest and most important muscle you have, but your glutes can get a case of the lazies, forgetting to “activate” or “turn on” sufficiently during everyday tasks or workouts, says certified strength and conditioning specialist Bret Contreras, coauthor of Strong Curves: A Woman’s Guide to Building a Better Butt and Body. There’s a textbook term for this phenomenon—gluteal amnesia—and it could be dragging you (and your fitness goals) down. After all, your rear assists in every type of motion: running, jumping, lifting, you name it.

Making a few simple adjustments to your strength-training routine can score you a better backside burn, ASAP.

Focus, Focus
During a hip extension (lifting and lengthening your leg), consciously squeezing your glutes can increase their activation by about an extra 12 percent, suggests research in the Journal of Athletic Training.

Drop It Low
Deep squats—where your hips dip below your knees—can almost double your glutes’ contribution as you return to a standing position, according to a study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

Lean In
“If you tilt your torso forward to a 30- to 45-degree angle during a lunge, you’ll feel a hotter burn in your glutes,” says Contreras. The angle throws more stress onto your booty.

Get a Leg Up
Compared with double-leg exercises (like deadlifts), single-limb versions (like one-leg squats) can activate your gluteus medius and gluteus maximus by an extra 33 percent and 21 percent, respectively, according to a study in Physical Therapy in Sport.


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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