Love Notes by Jari Love

Posts in the exercise to lose weight category

Strength-Training Myths

by Jari Love

Ask any trainer the biggest mistake a woman can make when it comes to staying fit, and they’ll almost always tell you the same thing: Avoiding the weight room. Thankfully, ladies of a certain age are realizing it’s time to start lifting some serious iron. “It’s taken a long time, but women are finally beginning to embrace the powerful benefits of committed and intelligent strength training,” says Holly Perkins, author of Lift to Get Lean and creator of Women’s Strength Nation, a virtual community dedicated to raising awareness about strength training for women. “Now it’s not about being skinny — women are coming to the gym to get strong and protect their health.”

 

On average, starting in our late 20s, women lose five pounds of muscle every ten years; after menopause, that loss doubles—creating a 3 percent drop in metabolism—per decade. The end result is almost always the same: Weight gain and weakness. But the right weight workout can undo the damage, and quickly.

 

So why has it taken so long for women to discover these benefits? It all boils down to these common misconceptions. Don’t let them hold you back from discovering the anti-aging power regular weight training provides.

 

  1. It’s a guy thing

The idea that only dudes frequent the weight room is long outdated. Over 87,000 women participated in the 2015 CrossFit Games Open and more than a quarter of them were over 40. “When I started studying strength training in the 80s, most of the volunteers were men,” says Wayne Westcott, director of fitness research at Quincy College and the author of Strength Training Past 50. Now, a whopping 70 percent are women. And their average age? 55. “Women get that what’s really at stake here is their health,” says Westcott.

 

  1. It’ll turn you into a hulk

“It’s so important to get the record straight about this fear of ‘bulk,'” says Perkins. “Ninety percent of women are physiologically unable to build muscle to the degree where they would be considered ‘bulky.’ It is simply a function of estrogen and lack of testosterone; You will never build muscle like a man’s, unless you are trying to achieve that result.” Instead, you’ll create firm, feminine curves—especially if you keep the rests between sets super short. “The less you stop between exercises, the more calories you burn, creating that lean, sculpted look,” says Perkins.

 

  1. It burns fewer calories than cardio

“Women spent decades buying into the myth that if they wanted to be smaller, they needed to do endless amounts of cardio,” says Nia Shanks, a strength training specialist based in Tampa, Florida, and host of the podcast “Lift Like a Girl.” But the message is finally getting through that to really boost your resting metabolism (lab-speak for how many calories you burn all day, not just when your body’s in motion) requires picking up the weights to increase your lean mass. “The muscles of a strength trainer burn 50 percent more calories than the muscles of a runner or walker,” says Westcott. That translates to you burning an extra 100 calories per day just by staying alive; over the course of a month, you could lose as much as 1.5 pounds of fat — without dieting.

 

  1. It’s hard to regain muscle once it’s gone

While it’s true that preventing muscle loss before it starts is the best way to stay healthy and strong—and keep your metabolism rocking like it did in your 20s—it’s never too late to undo the damage. When Westcott’s team recruited 1,619 men and women aged 21 to 80 to follow a progressive strength-training program, phenomenal things happened to their bodies. “In just ten weeks, they replaced an average of three of the five pounds of muscle they had lost in the previous ten years,” explains Westcott, who published his findings in the journal The Physician and Sports Medicine in 2009.

 

  1. Light weights are all you need

When you’re just starting out, those 5-pounders can do wonders for your strength and body. But the ultimate goal is not only to increase your lean mass, but to make that muscle stronger, denser, and devoid of harmful fat—which is why regularly increasing the weight you’re lifting is so imperative. “Every time you challenge your body with a heavier weight you’re creating more microtears in the muscle,” says Perkins. “As your body repairs those tiny tears with amino-acids, your lean mass becomes stronger, tighter, and more compact.” So how much should you be lifting? “You’ll be able to tell you’ve got the weight right if your form starts to get “a wee bit sloppy” on the last two reps, says Perkins. “Once 12 reps are a breeze, it’s time to move up.” Increase in increments of 2.5 to 5 pounds for free weights, and about 5 percent (of the total weight) for machines.

 

  1. You’ll never have time to fit it in

It’s already ridiculously hard to fit in your weekly walks and runs, right? Well, the great news is that it doesn’t take a lot of resistance work to make a major difference. Two full-body strength training workouts a week have been shown to be just as good as three when it comes to increasing strength and muscle mass, says Westcott.

 

  1. You need a gym

While Perkins is on a mission to get more women into the weight room, if it’s not your thing, that’s OK. “Home-based weights workouts are a great place to start, and can help you accomplish a lot,” she says. But if you’re interested in learning to regularly increase the weight you’re lifting, remember that you have just as much right to be in the weight room as the sweaty dude next to you. “Strength training is absolutely critical to your overall health and well being,” says Perkins. “Don’t let intimidation keep you from the powerful benefits that can change your life.”

 

  1. It’s all about muscle

If promise of a stronger, fitter bod isn’t enough to get you to pick up the weights, consider that it’ll also help protect your brain. When sedentary older adults began a program that combined progressive strength training and aerobic exercise, their cognitive function improved significantly more than folks doing aerobic activity alone, according to research by psychologists at the University of Illinois. Other studies have shown that just 10 weeks of progressive strength training can reduce anxiety, fatigue and depression and boost a sense of tranquility and revitalization in older adults.

 

  1. Bodyweight exercises are just as good

So, what about yoga, Pilates, and good ol’ fashioned bodyweight moves? Westcott and other experts agree that these kinds of workouts are a good an introduction to strength training, because you do use your own body weight as resistance. “But you’ll never be able to lift more than your body weight doing these types of programs,” notes Perkins. “I want women to think bigger.”

 

  1. You’ll see results instantly

While strength training is the most effective way to shrink-wrap your body with lean, shapely muscle, like with most good things, it still doesn’t happen overnight. “If you stay consistent with a strength training program, you will see the real and accurate results after 6-8 weeks, and not before,” says Perkins. So make the commitment, and then stick with it. You’ll be glad you did.

 

via prevention.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.

Exercises You Can Do on the Treadmill That Aren’t Running

by Jari Love

Here are some exercises provided by strength and conditioning specialist Mike Donavanik that offer an alternative to just running on the treadmill.  The moves will strengthen your entire body and get your heart rate up to burn crazy calories. Try performing these exercises—which Donavanik demos in the videos below—before, after, or even instead of your regular run. 

  1. Walking Lunges

Doing walking lunges across your gym floor is next to impossible. There’s never enough room, and that girl on her cell phone has zero clue she’s standing right in your way. Performing them on a treadmill removes the obstacles so that you can focus on the move and get the most from every leg-burning lunge.

To do: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and turn the treadmill’s speed up to 3 mph (you can tweak this as necessary). Keeping your hands clasped together at chest level, step forward with your right leg and lower your body until your right knee is bent at least 90 degrees. Then, rise up and bring your back foot forward so that you move forward, alternating legs with each step. To focus on your glutes and hamstrings, set the treadmill to an incline of five percent. 

  1. Side Shuffles

Side shuffles work both your inner and outer thighs, while also toning you calves and doubling as a cardio exercise.

To do: Stand sideways on the treadmill with your knees slightly bent, and bring the speed up to between 3 and 5.5 mph. Perform quick and rapid side shuffles, making sure to land softly on the balls of your feet. Switch sides.

 

  1. Low (Squat) Side Shuffles

This exercise works your hard-to-hit glute medius—basically, your side butt. Nice.

To do: Stand sideways on the treadmill, and get into a quarter-squat position, keeping your chest up and core braced. Bring the speed up to 1 to 2 mph. Staying in the quarter-squat position, step toward the front of the treadmill with your closest leg, and then follow with your opposite leg. Switch sides.

 

  1. Walking Plank

And you thought the traditional plank was rough. This variation works the front of your shoulders like no other, while forcing your stabilizers to work harder than ever.

To do: Set the treadmill to 1 to 2 mph, then walk behind the treadmill and get into a plank position, with your hands on the side of the treadmill base. Keeping your body in a straight line from head to heels, place your hands on the treadmill band and walk your hands forward for the duration of the exercise. 

  1. Reverse Mountain Climbers

While a traditional mountain climber will work your entire body, this variation places more emphasis on kicking your legs back, as opposed to driving your knees in. That’s good news if you’re trying to sculpt your backside.

To do: Set the treadmill to 1 to 2 mph, then walk behind the treadmill and get into a plank position, facing away from the machine. Your feet should be on the sides of the treadmill base and your hands on the floor. When you’re ready, bring your feet onto the treadmill, and drive one knee into your chest as the other leg extends back. Switch legs for the duration of the exercise.

 

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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.

Tips That Every Personal Trainer Knows

by Jari Love

They clock in wearing sports bras instead of pencil skirts. Peek in their supply closets and you’ll see kettlebells and battle ropes instead of paper clips and spare pens. And in their world, toner has nothing to do with printers and everything to do with defined upper arms and shapely glutes. Personal trainers have dedicated their professional lives to building better bodies. We called up some of the best in the biz and picked their brains for the slim-down, firm-up tricks of their trade. 

  1. You can’t just do cardio … 

Walking, running, cycling, and other heart-pumping activities have a whole host of benefits—burning calories, boosting your mood, protecting your cardiovascular system. But when it comes to weight loss, you also need to head to the other part of the gym, where the barbells and dumbbells reside, says Michelle Blakely, a trainer at Blakely Fit in Chicago. 

Like cardio, strength training burns calories while you’re doing it, but lifting also comes with benefits that last far longer, Blakely says. The more muscle mass you have, the higher your resting metabolism, which means you’ll burn more fat even when you’re just sitting on the couch. What’s more, strong muscles promote good form during your run, hike, or spin class, protecting you from injury and helping you reap bigger benefits from your sweat sessions, says Allison Hagendorf, a certified health coach with the American Council on Exercise.

 

  1. And heavier weights net you even bigger results. 

Functional body-weight moves like push-ups, squats, and lunges make everyday activities like lifting groceries or climbing stairs easier, Hagendorf says. Reaching for heavier dumbbells—those you can lift for only 8 to 15 reps—can stimulate the type of lean-mass production that truly transforms your body. “For someone who has never done weights, they may find they have a better body in their 40s than they did in their 30s when they start strength training regularly,” says Liz Neporent, a trainer and fitness expert in New York. 

Don’t fret about bulking up—unless you’re spending hours at the gym and pounding down massive quantities of protein, it just won’t happen. In fact, resistance training essentially “shrink-wraps” your body, tightening and firming you in all the right places, says Hagendorf. Your clothes will fit more loosely and you’ll look slimmer, even before the number on the scale budges. 

  1. The best workout won’t deliver without upgrades to your kitchen routine. 

They may not use corporate-speak like “synergy” and “touching base offline,” but trainers have their own sayings. Among the most popular: “You can’t out-train a bad diet,” says Samantha Clayton, a former Olympic sprinter and personal trainer in Malibu, CA. 

Your workout can complement your initial weight loss efforts and help maintain a new, slimmer physique. University of Alabama researchers recently studied women who lost 25 pounds. Those who did strength training and cardio three times per week offset the slowdown in metabolism that typically occurs after you shed pounds, staving off regain, according to the study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 

However, you’ll have to change your eating habits to see significant changes to your body in the first place. “Even if you’re doing everything right in the gym, if you aren’t eating to optimize your training, you’re never going to get the results you want,” Hagendorf says. Start with small changes—one less packet of sugar in your coffee, a side salad with your lunch. Keep that up for 2 weeks, and then pick two more minor adjustments. Eventually, you’ll build a nutritious and sustainable diet, says Liz LeFrois, a personal trainer in New York and a fitness expert on the streaming fitness site Acacia TV.

 

  1. But addition can be better than subtraction. 

Though you do have to watch what you eat, obsessive or near-starvation diets don’t work in the long run. Cutting too many calories breaks down the muscles you’re working so hard to build up, Clayton says. You may shed a few pounds at first by skipping meals or eliminating entire food groups, but the second you return to a regular eating plan, your beaten-down body and slowed metabolism actually trigger excess weight gain.

 

Focus on what to add to your diet instead of what to take away. Piling more high-quality, nutrient-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts onto your plate provides your body with the fuel to tackle your workouts while also improving your overall health, Blakely says. You’ll feel fuller on fewer calories, and over time—about 6 months, to be precise—you’ll actually rewire your brain to crave healthy foods instead of junk, according to a recent study in the journal Nutrition & Diabetes.

 

  1. In the recipe for success, fun is an essential ingredient. 

Trainers have a rep for working you so hard you puke. Not only are such extreme efforts unnecessary for weight loss, they may be counterproductive both physiologically and psychologically. If you actively dread your workouts, it’s all too easy to make excuses to skip them, says Mike Robinson, of MZR Fitness in San Luis Obispo, CA, recognized as 2015 personal trainer of the year by the IDEA Health and Fitness Association. 

Meanwhile, many pastimes that bring you joy—like gardening, hiking, or dancing—count as physical activity, too. Incorporating them into your plan means you’ll actually look forward to exercise, getting you into a regular routine and melting fat with much less effort. “Many people think exercise has to be very difficult and complicated to yield results,” Clayton says. “They are pleasantly surprised to find out that it’s balance and consistency that improves your body.” 

  1. The other 23 hours of the day count, too. 

Regardless of whether you’re sweating with a trainer or on your own, a successful weight loss program requires an all-day approach to movement, Blakely says. You might not think things like fidgeting during a meeting or tapping your toe along with the car radio could truly make a difference. A landmark study in the journal Science found otherwise, calculating that small tweaks in daily activity patterns could help heavy people torch an extra 350 calories per day.

 

The scientific term for this phenomenon is non–exercise activity thermogenesis—in other words, all the calories you burn just going about your day. So while you’re probably sick of hearing about parking farther away from the grocery store and taking the stairs instead of the escalator, trainers know their most successful clients take this type of advice to heart.

 

  1. Getting fit isn’t actually that much harder than staying heavy. 

Yes, you will have to put some work into achieving your weight loss goals. But consider all the energy you currently expend wishing you had a different body and fretting about how you don’t have the time or energy to make a change. Trainers know the true secret to changing your body is shifting your attention away from what you don’t have and toward what you can achieve. “You just have to choose which one you want to put your energy into,” says Robinson. “Firmly commit and put your mind to losing the weight and your body will follow.”

 

  1. Weight loss isn’t your true goal. 

Often, people starting a new exercise program begin because they’re unhappy with what they see in the mirror. But a good trainer will ask you to drill down deeper. “Just keeping asking yourself the question ‘Why?’ ” Blakely advises. Often, the fourth or fifth answer reveals your true motivation. 

Take Blakely’s experience: “As I get to know the client, I’ll find they’re not going on vacations with friends because they know they can’t do the hike or the excursion as comfortably as they want. Or they’re not as spontaneous as they want to be because they know that their building is under construction and it’s overwhelming that now they have to walk a certain length to get somewhere,” she says. 

Clarifying these higher-level goals—even writing them down and sticking them to your mirror or fridge—can give you the motivation to stick to your plan in the face of temptation, Hagendorf says. Plus, you can often detect progress even before you start to see big aesthetic or weight changes. “The feel is the fuel,” Blakely likes to say; if you notice you’re not as fatigued, winded, or frightened of new challenges, you’ll know you’re on the right track regardless of what the scale says.

 

via prevention.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.

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.

Eat Real Food for Weight Loss

by Jari Love

Most people think that weight loss comes from giving up the foods that they enjoy and that staying skinny means never enjoying eating out again. While some dietary modifications are necessary for success, you hardly have to stop eating for pleasure. There are a few tips that will let you bend the rules a little more and still succeed, and we’d like to share them with you.

Meat Isn’t the Problem for Weight Loss

While more doctors are advising that you should eat less meat, only a few are saying don’t eat it all. Much of the issue with meat being linked to illness comes from pollution that animals absorb when they live in factory environments, not from the meat itself. Even the famous vegan doctor Michael Greger cited carcinogens from industrial environments, not the meat itself, as the cause of disease.

The solution to this issue is simply to eat more local meats and just moderate your portions. Meats do provide protein and iron in large amounts. Grass-fed beef is far richer in nutrients and is easier to digest.

Sweets Are Not the Problem for Weight Loss, Either

Natural sweeteners are an excellent replacement for processed sugars, just don’t heap them onto your food. Honey is an excellent sweetener that is also known to help loosen sinus congestion. So is maple syrup. Cookies can be made with raw cane sugar and can also be sweetened with natural molasses.

For Weight Loss Whole Grains Are the Best Choice for Breads and Cereals

Did you cringe when you were advised by a diet plan to eat a hamburger without the bun? Then forget you were ever told that. We already know that meat isn’t the problem, you just want to have a better burger.

So go ahead, grill that quarter pounder, and serve it on a good quality, wholegrain bun. Whole grains undergo less processing and retain more nutrients. Buns made from whole grains typically aren’t enriched with chemicals, but read the label to make sure.

Cereals made from whole grains are available in every grocery store. They are nothing new, and nowadays, they are so popular that you can easily find a cereal that is not only healthy but tasty. Wholegrain cereals that include natural berries, raisins and other sweet fruits are fine. The fruits add a bit of flavor and help you absorb the iron.

Whole Foods Make Your Body Work Better

Weight loss isn’t just about cutting calories and carbs. A lot of times, people are a bit overweight just because their bodies are slow to metabolize foods. Processed foods move more slowly through your system and waste byproducts back up. This slows you down and makes you feel lethargic.

Whole foods digest quicker and your body doesn’t have to do as much work to process them. As a result, you can lose weight just by eating better-quality foods and not having to count calories all the time. You do still need to moderate your portions, but the RDA labels on most foods will give you the information you need.

Look At the Food Labels and Plan Accordingly

If your recommended daily allowance of carbohydrates is 300 grams a day, just look at the labels of foods you are eating and see how many carbs you’re consuming. Check the labels for a few days, or maybe a week and take a few notes. Then make your daily plan according to the recommended daily allowance. All that’s left to do is just make sure you eat a fun-enough variety of foods so that you’re still enjoying life.

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.

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.

 V-Ups

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.

Via shape.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.

Habits to Keep You Fit Forever

by Jari Love

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle isn’t easy. It’s not something you figure out once and forget about it. It requires an immense amount of discipline, adaptability, and patience, spread over years and years of everyday life.

 As you get older, maintaining your level of health and fitness gets trickier. There are injuries — or simple wear and tear — to take into account. As your body chemistry changes, you’ll need to adapt your diet to get the vital vitamins and minerals you need. You’ll even need to adjust your schedule to get enough sleep, which becomes hard if kids are in the picture.

 Simply put, maintaining a level of fitness, over the course of a lifetime, is a monumental task. But you can tackle it — with a set of established habits and routines, as well as resolute willpower. 

To help get you there, we’ve compiled a list of six things you can do today to help you get fit, stay fit, and take your fitness seriously. Things will change with time, so be ready to adapt. But these habits will give you a baseline, and hopefully keep you fit forever. 

  1. A solid sleeping schedule 

It’s really hard to understate the importance of sleep. Sleep is when our body recovers — whether it is from exercise, stress, or something else entirely. Getting a solid amount of sleep every night has been linked to higher productivity, increased ability in the gym, and higher levels of mental activity. In short, sleep is important. 

Do your best to establish a solid sleep schedule. You’ll ideally need between six and eight hours per night, which can be more difficult as family obligations mount, or if you’re spending more time at work or school. But get in the habit of making sleep a priority. Your body will thank you. 

  1. An easy morning routine 

The morning — or whenever you wake up — may be the most important part of your day. That’s why you need to develop a routine, keep it, and use it as a springboard to set you off for another round of victories. 

A morning routine can be simple — shave, shower, eat a healthy breakfast, make your bed, and you’re off. Maybe mix in some meditation. The point is, develop a healthy routine that works for you, and stick to it. It may be the only constant in your life during stressful times, so let it be a comfortable, therapeutic process. 

  1. Drop the sugar 

Sugar is linked to all kinds of negative outcomes. So, your best bet is to kick your sugar habit now, and never look back. Start drinking your coffee black, your tea without any sweetener, and opt for a piece of fruit instead of having a bowl of ice cream or reaching for a Snickers. 

Sugar is addictive; but if you can crush the habit in your early years, you won’t even crave it after a while. And if you can save yourself years of sugar intake by kicking sugar now, you’ll live a longer, healthier life. 

  1. Concentrate your diet 

Many of us struggle to control our diet, but one easy way to do so is to concentrate the things we eat. That is, centralize your diet around a select group of foods, and only occasionally stray from your plan. By all counts, you’ll want to construct a diet that is vegetable-based — not necessarily vegetarian or vegan, but heavy on the greens — and not so dependent on meats, breads, and fats. 

Pick some foods, such as eggs, fish, and vegetables, and build a diet around them. These will be your dietary staples, although you can obviously add some variety to the mix, and adapt as time goes on. By concentrating your diet, you’ll be healthier and more knowledgeable about the caloric and nutritional content you’re consuming. 

  1. Stress relief 

You’re going to need to find a way to decompress, or blow off some steam. Some guys like to go to the shooting range or play pickup basketball or soccer. A great habit to get into is weight lifting or running to relieve stress. Other fantastic, stress-relieving habit to pick up are meditation and yoga. 

Whatever gives you peace of mind for a brief amount of time, you’ll want to adopt it as a ritual. Everyone needs some solace from time to time, so find a way to let your daily frustrations go. Again, this is something that changes with time, so don’t be afraid to strike out of your comfort zone. 

  1. Learn to love exercise 

Finally, you’ll need to exercise. And learn to love it. You may be a runner, lifter, swimmer, or hiker. Regardless, it’s important to develop a love for physical activity, and to make it a mainstay in your life in some form or another. 

Some people make gym trips a centerpiece of their day — no matter what, they make sure they get their workouts in. For some people, it’s a daily run, a weekend hike, or a camping trip. No matter what it is, you’ll want to get “addicted” to some kind of physical activity. 

In the long-run, you’ll set yourself up for success. Just teach yourself to view exercise and the rest of these habits as simple parts of your day; something you enjoy rather than a chore to be completed. 

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.

4 Natural Ways To Soothe An Angry Gut

by Jari Love

It’s pretty much impossible to dodge the occasional upset stomach, diarrhea, or constipation. Tummy trouble is just a part of life. Fortunately, a cranky belly tends to feel better quickly if you keep hydrated and stick to easy-to-digest foods.

But for people with “functional bowel disorders”—doctor-speak for conditions that cause chronic stomach pain and other digestive problems—a stomachache isn’t just an every-now-and-then thing; it’s a debilitating ailment. The most common bowel disorder is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which affects roughly one in 10 Americans, according to H. Christian Weber, MD, a gastroenterologist at Boston Medical Center. For the millions of people with IBS, letting stomach pain run its course isn’t an option.

Fortunately, there are several drug-free methods proven to calm an angry gut.

1. Ditch these foods.
Whole wheat, honey, beans, and even garlic can cause trouble—or not. The tricky thing about bowel disorders is that everyone’s gut is different, so what irritates one person’s gastrointestinal tract may be harmless for someone else’s. That said, something called “the low FODMAP diet” should work for just about anyone, Weber says. FODMAP is short for “fermentable oligo-di-monosaccharides and polyols” (say that three times fast), and it targets natural sugars that pull water into the intestines and make digestion difficult.

There’s a long list of foods forbidden for people on a low FODMAP diet, including watermelon, lentils, and chickpeas. But passing on hummus is a no-brainer compared to suffering through chronic stomachaches or diarrhea. Also, you may only have to give up your favorites for a few weeks, says Stephanie Moleski, MD, a gastroenterologist at Thomas Jefferson University. After a 2- to 6-week “elimination phase,” during which you ditch every FODMAP food possible, you can reintroduce items one at a time until you’ve identified your triggers.

2. Get off the couch.
Exercise is a potent remedy for everything from depression to Alzheimer’s disease. A workout can also quell the discomfort associated with digestive disorders, research suggests. “Endorphins are painkillers,” Weber says. And exercising releases them while upping the amount of oxygen circulating in your body, which makes you feel better—albeit temporarily. Weber says exercise doesn’t really address the underlying causes of your angry gut. Still, if you’re looking for natural relief, a little sweat is a great way to sidestep ibuprofen. Research isn’t clear about whether aerobic exercise is better than strength training, so Weber suggests you try both and stick with whatever type makes you feel best.

3. Assess your stress.
A big interview, public speaking, or other stressful activities can launch stomach cramps, feelings of nausea, and gas. Some experts attribute this to something called the brain-gut axis. Basically, your brain and your gut talk to each other. When one’s upset, the other may feel junky, too. (Some research suggests those with bowel disorders like IBS also tend to feel depressed or anxious.)

As a result of this brain-gut connection, stress can be a big trigger for people with chronic stomach problems, Moleski explains. “When you’re having a lot of stress, it’s going to wreak havoc in the intestines,” she says.

There are several quick ways to slash stress. Finding a method that works for you may make your gut happier in the long run. In one study, people with bowel disorders spent 15 to 20 minutes a day fighting stress with yoga, meditation, or prayer. After 9 weeks, they reported less pain, lower anxiety, and better quality of life.

4. Grab some peppermint.
Although he doesn’t usually recommend supplements, Weber says anyone looking for a natural way to ease stomach pain could try peppermint oil, which studies show can calm symptoms of IBS. But Weber cautions against picking up peppermint supplements at your nearest health store. They’re only lightly regulated by the FDA, and are often loaded with unnecessary additives that could do more harm than good. He advises talking with your doctor before trying a supplement.

via prevention.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.

Quick Tabata Workout

by Jari Love

Tabata workouts are short and intense bursts of exercise that are designed to burn maximum fat and calories. The idea behind Tabata is that you work as hard as you possibly can for 20 seconds, then take 10 seconds to rest, and then repeat that for a total of 8 times. This is the first HIIT workout ever created, by a guy in Japan.

You can use any exercise in a tabata workout, but the main thing is to chose an exercise that will work all your muscle groups and elevate your heart rate.

Start any workout with a little warm-up to get your blood flowing before doing any intense exercise. Then set a timer, either on your watch or phone and get to work. It is a total of 4 minutes, so there’s no room for excuses in not getting a workout done on this busy Monday.

Here’s your workout! Let me know how it goes. I have instructions below on how to do a burpee.

Browse Tabata Workouts

To do a burpee, start standing straight up with your core engaged like you’re being punched in the stomach. Then bend your knees and reach your hands down to the floor. Hop your feet back, keeping your core strong, not letting your back sag, into a plank. Do a pushup (if you can). Finally hop the feet back to your hands and stand up. If you’re advanced, you can add a tuck jump when you stand up.

Burpees work your quads, glutes, core, shoulders, and chest. Best workout ever!

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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