Love Notes by Jari Love

Posts in the fitness category

Weight Gain while training for a marathon

by Jari Love

“Weight gain is very common in marathon training, especially in first-time distance runners,” says Carissa Bealert, a registered dietitian nutritionist, certified personal trainer and race announcer. She says, “First-time runners start [marathon training] as a ‘bucket list’ item with the notion that they’ll definitely lose weight due to all the extra activity and miles they’re running.” It’s true, I’ve seen this with a few of my personal training clients over the years. This is a real problem that affects many people starting to train for marathons. It is quite discouraging if you take up training for long distance running to lose weight, and you end up gaining weight. Read on for an explanation…

 And she’s not talking about a few extra pounds due to muscle gain, but adding pounds of fat despite the grueling training regimen. “Training for and completing a marathon is no easy task,” suggests Bealert. She continues, “Training for a marathon and trying to lose weight is like trying to serve two different masters.”

“Most new runners, particularly those who are trying to lose weight, start out with relatively poor eating habits,” says Kim Watkins, running and functional fitness coach and CEO of inShape Fitness. She explains that despite the body’s need for more calories to keep up with the increase in exercise, many first-time marathon trainers reach for “reckless carbohydrate products,” which “curtails the body’s ability to utilize stored fat as its energy source.”

 Watkins mentions that the “reckless carbohydrates” in a runner’s diet can be due to “poor replenishment choices,” including sugary sports drinks — a favorite beverage choice among marathon trainers. “Marathoners often consume sugary sports drinks and other food products that promote the idea of hydration, but add calories in the process,” she adds.

 Bealert adds that weight gain may also just boil down to overestimating and overeating. “We runners, myself included, love to use a long run as an excuse to eat our favorite ‘not-so-healthy’ foods,” she says. Clarifying, she adds, “You may burn 1600 calories on a 16-mile run, but it’s not that cut and dry. Add in a 300-calorie breakfast, 200 calories of fuel during the run, 100 calories of sports drink and 200 calories of banana and protein post run. You’ve just consumed about half of your calorie burn, however when you sit down to your burger, fries and beers, you are overeating and extra calories equal weight gain.”

 Since gaining weight is likely not the result you’re hoping for after months of hard work and training, you need to be aware of what you’re eating. “Make good food choices even though you are burning more calories,” advises Dr. Scott Weiss, a licensed physical therapist, board-certified athletic trainer, registered exercise physiologist and advanced personal trainer.

 He points out, “Just because your hunger levels spike, and your calorie burn is high, it doesn’t mean it’s time to snack on ice cream and cake. Maintaining a sense of discipline with your food intake while training will prevent any unexpected weight gain from calories.”

 Weiss also shared that during rigorous training, your body becomes better at storing carbohydrates for energy so making good food choices is important — even if you’re not actively running. “When you are plateauing in your training, or your training goes down, be very conscious of your food intake, and really only reach for what you need,” he adds.

 What you eat isn’t the only thing you need to be aware of when you’re training for a marathon. Water and a healthy electrolyte balance are a part of the puzzle too. “Drink plenty of water,” advises Brandon Roberts, M.S., certified strength and conditioning specialist and exercise physiologist.

 He continues, “Even up to a gallon [of water] a day is fine. Also, try to consume a 3:1 ratio of sodium to potassium — like Gatorade — before and after your runs,” which may help with any weight gain due to water retention.

 What you eat before and after your race is just as important as what you eat while you train. “The body needs fuel post-run with a balanced meal of protein, fat and carbohydrates within two hours,” recommends Emily Bailey, registered and licensed dietitian, board-certified specialist in sports dietetics and director of nutrition coaching at NutriFormance & Athletic Republic St. Louis.

 She adds, “When someone is unable to eat after a run, later they become starving and when we are that hungry, the rational to make a healthy choice or portion is difficult and we overeat.” That means committing to making healthy food choices needs to be made a large part of training as well as how many miles your shoes take you.

 If you’re struggling with meeting your nutritional and caloric demands while training for a marathon, seeking professional guidance is always a smart choice. “Meet with a registered sports dietitian to learn your individual fueling needs for training. Look for those who have the credentials R.D., L.D. and C.S.S.D. or a master’s degree in sports nutrition,” says Bailey.


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.

Benefits of Eating Clean

by Jari Love

What does it mean to eat clean? Here’s an even better question: What really happens to your body when you jump on the clean eating bandwagon?

 Clean eating is a buzzword that you have seen used by celebrities and thrown around in hashtags on Facebook. Simply put, clean eating means: Don’t eat crap. “Crap” may be defined as processed foods, grain-fed meats, dairy, starchy carbohydrates and sugar, depending on which diet you ascribe to.

 Clean eating can be as complicated as you make it. For me, clean eating translates to eating fresh, whole foods (with as many vegetables as possible), making every meal count with high-quality nutrients and, of course, cutting the crap.

 More than a year after drastically changing my diet, I can personally vouch for 10 unexpected clean eating “side effects”:

  1. Better mood

While I still struggle with mood swings at a certain time of the month, my overall outlook and general happiness have improved after cleaning up my diet. As Drew Ramsey, M.D., The Happiness Diet co-author and assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University, explains in Yoga Journal, how you feel is directly affected by what you eat. He says, “Emotions begin in biology, with two nerve cells rubbing together, and those nerve cells are made of nutrients in food.”

  1. Boundless energy

Here’s all the proof you need: Even as a working mother of two toddlers, my energy soared after I quit eating processed foods. Devon D. Herndon, L.P.C.C., L.A.D.A.C., N.B.C.T., C.P.T., of BeMeBetter cites an energy boost as one of the prime outcomes of eating clean, saying, “If you are chronically exhausted or experience a post-lunch midday slump, it could very well be your diet. Diets that are high in refined sugar and carbs cause dramatic spikes in blood sugar. They might provide a temporary surge in energy, but it is followed by a crash.”

  1. Deeper sleep

Eat better, sleep deeper — what more can you ask for? The Balanced Brunette explains, “Vitamins and minerals found in whole foods will allow your body to regulate hormonal function throughout the day and promote deeper sleep at night. Eating healthy foods will also calm your nervous system and trigger a sleep-inducing hormonal response which helps you rest better at night.”

  1. Fewer cravings

From personal experience, I can tell you that clean eating takes a while to get used to, but the longer you do it, the better your body responds. Sugar and carbohydrate cravings may be a struggle at the outset, but months later, you’ll find it hard to muster up a taste for a sweet treat.

  1. Flat stomach

When asked about the good side effects of clean eating on the Bodybuilding forum, user Ayekay put feeling leaner and less bloated at the top of his list. In translation, if you want your pants to fit better, load up your plate with Mother Nature’s foods.

  1. Gorgeous hair

Looking for long, luscious locks that would make a Pantene model jealous? The Lean Clean Eating Machine says that plant-based foods are the secret — specifically, radishes, pumpkin seeds, dulse and carrots.

  1. Higher self-esteem

What are the pros of clean eating? One Redditor keeps it short and sweet: “I feel better about myself, [along with] knowing I’m getting all the goodness of micronutrients.”

  1. Perfect poop

Sorry, but I had to go there. As Wellness Mama points out, bowel movements are a prime indicator of your inner health. Clean eating yields cleaner poop with a digestive tract that is neither moving too fast nor too slow.

  1. Radiant skin

Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and refined sugar is its enemy. The Clean Eating Survival Guide stresses that a no sugar diet is the number one rule for a clear complexion.

  1. Raging libido

According to Cosmo, Gwyneth Paltrow attributed the state of her union to her clean living. Though dear Gwynnie is now consciously uncoupled, research still proves that nutrient-rich foods, like asparagus and watermelon, can help to heat things up in between the sheets.


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.

Steps to Eliminate Belly Fat for Good

by Jari Love

Belly fat is something that a lot of people complain about. Why? There are the obvious reasons, such as the fact that it is unattractive and unhealthy, and then there are the less obvious reasons. For instance, belly fat is some of the toughest fat to eliminate from the body.

When you start to understand how and why the body places fat around the abdominal area, however, it can help you to begin to get rid of it “for good”.

The body uses the calories or energy (same thing) that you consume in a few ways. The energy that it gets from fat is something it knows how to use up (burn) almost immediately. The energy that comes from carbohydrates might head directly into storage. This ends up as fat around the body and even on the organs of the trunk or midsection.

Considering the source of calories is a useful way to almost immediately reduce the chances for midsection fat storage. Cut your daily caloric intake of carbohydrates to around 40% or less of total calories.

Do BOTH cardio and strengthening. A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that a lot of cardio is the best way to blast belly fat, but the truth is that people with a higher volume of muscle will always burn calories as they exercise and for a much longer period of time afterward. So, when you want to really tap into any stored fat (whether visible or visceral) you will want to work on strengthening as well as cardio.

Go for fiber in the daily diet. Studies have shown that people who begin consuming around ten grams of soluble fiber each day (and without making any other changes in their diets) will become far less likely to develop belly fat. That translates to a large apple, a handful of cooked beans, or a full cup of peas.

Get more sleep and less stress. Though this has very little to do with diet and exercise, if you are not properly rested and living with too much stress, it will trigger the body to store fat. This is the type of fat that usually appears on organs and the midsection.

So, with just a few fairly simple facts, you can begin to make the changes needed to eliminate belly fat, and keep it off forever.

Source: Martin, Laura J., “How to Lose Belly Fat”, WebMD

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

Heart Rate Training and Working Heart Rate Zones

by Jari Love

 Why is Heart Rate Training Effective?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Checking Your Heart Rate as You Train

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

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

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

 Heart Rate Training Zones

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

Determining Heart Rate Training Zones

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

% of Your Max HR


Your HR

50% of your Max Heart Rate  =

HRmax_______ bpm x 0.50 =

60% of your Max Heart Rate  =

HRmax _______ bmp x 0.60 =

70% of your Max Heart Rate  =

HRmax_______ bmp x 0.70 =

80% of your Max Heart Rate  =

HRmax_______ bpm x 0.80 =

90% of your Max Heart Rate  =

HRmax_______ bpm x 0.90 =

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

Zone 1

(50 – 60%)

Zone 2

(60 – 70%)

Zone 3

(70 – 80%)

Zone 4

(80 – 90%)

Zone 5

(90 – 100%)

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

% of Your Max HR



50% of your Max Heart Rate  =

HRmax 177 bpm x 0.50 =

88.5 bpm

60% of your Max Heart Rate  =

HRmax 177 bpm x 0.60 =

106.2 bpm

70% of your Max Heart Rate  =

HRmax 177 bpm x 0.70 =

123.9 bpm

80% of your Max Heart Rate  =

HRmax 177 bpm x 0.80 =

141.6 bpm

90% of your Max Heart Rate  =

HRmax 177 bpm x 0.90 =

159.3 bpm


Zone 1

(50 – 60%)

Zone 2

(60 – 70%)

Zone 3

(70 – 80%)

Zone 4

(80 – 90%)

Zone 5

(90 – 100%)

88.5 – 106.2 bpm

106.2 – 123.9 bpm

123.9 – 141.6 bpm

141.6 – 159.3 bpm

159.3 – 177 bpm

 Zone 1 – Healthy Heart Zone – Getting Fit!

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

Five things to know about Zone 1:

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

Zone 2 – Temperate Zone – Staying Fit!

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

Five things to know about Zone 2:

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

Zone 3 – Aerobic Zone – Getting Fitter!

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

Five things to know about Zone 3:

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

Zone 4 – Threshold Zone – Getting Even More Fit!

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

Five things to know about Zone 4:

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

Zone 5 – Red Line Zone – Getting Fittest!

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

Five things to know about Zone 5:

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

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

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

Booty Sculpting Moves

by Jari Love

Squats have their place in strength training, but there are plenty of other butt exercises out there! Mix up your routine, and try out the following moves that tone and lift your derrière. Who knows? You might say so long to squats (for now) and find a new favorite exercise in the bunch.

  1. Single-Leg Forward Reach

Similar to yoga’s Warrior 3, this exercise fires up your core by challenging your balance. As you move in and out of the pose, you will be working the back of your body too.

– Stand with all your weight in your left foot, abs engaged and chest lifted.

– Reach your torso forward as you lift your right leg behind you. Reach your arms out in front of you for balance as your torso and leg come parallel to the floor.

– Hold this position for a moment, and reach through your right heel to engage the back of the right leg.

– Moving in one piece, lower your right leg toward the floor as you return to standing upright, resting the right foot lightly on the ground. This completes one rep.

– Do 15 reps before switching sides.

  1. Side Lunge to Curtsy

Target your outer tush and your inner thighs with this move.

– Holding a dumbbell in your right hand, side lunge to the left, bringing your right hand to your left foot. Lower your booty as much as possible. Keep your toes pointed forward and your left knee bent to no more than 90 degrees.

– Push off gently with your left foot, and come into a curtsy position with your left leg crossing behind your left as you press your weight overhead. Keep your hips square and your curtsy tight. Both feet should be pointed forward. This completes one rep.

– Repeat by stepping immediately into a side lunge from the curtsy.

– Once you have completed 12 to 15 reps, switch sides. Do three sets total.

  1. Crossover Lunge

Adding arm work to this glute- and inner-thigh-toner makes this a time-saving full-body move.

– Stand with your feet shoulder-distance apart. Grasp a dumbbell or a medicine ball in front of you with arms extended.

– Take a large step diagonally forward with your left foot, planting your foot at the 11 o’clock position. Sink down until your thighs form right angles. As you bend your knees, curl the dumbbell toward your chest.

– Extend your legs, lift your left knee and bring it in toward your chest, and lower your arms. Step back with your left leg, this time lunging behind your torso and stepping back to the 8 o’clock position. As you sink down into the reverse lunge, complete another bicep curl. This completes one rep. Complete your set, and then switch sides.

– A set equals 15 to 20 reps on each leg. Do two sets.

  1. Tipping Row

This rowing variation works the backside beautifully, but it also targets the hamstrings and upper back.

– Stand up straight and hold two dumbbells with palms facing each other.

– Lift up your left foot so you are balancing on your right leg. Find your balance, then sweep your left leg back and extend your arms toward the floor.

– Holding this position, bend your elbows back so that the dumbbells meet the sides of your chest. Keep your shoulders down and elbows straight back.

– Do three sets of 10, then repeat with the other leg.

  1. Single-Leg Deadlift With Kettlebell

The single-leg deadlift not only works your backside, targeting both the hamstring and the glutes but also works the core.

– Hold a kettlebell (between 10 and 20 pounds) in your right hand, and lift your left foot slightly off the ground.

– Keeping your back neutral, lean your entire torso forward while raising your left leg, which should stay in line with your body. The kettlebell will lower toward the ground. Keep your left shoulder blade pulled down your back.

– With your back straight, return upright, coming to your starting position. This completes one rep. Maximize this move by keeping your right foot off the ground as you go through your reps.

– Do 12 reps on each leg, for three sets.

For images of the above exercises and for 8 more glute exercises that aren’t squats, visit!

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

Broccoli Tater Tots

by Jari Love

If you love the texture of tater tots but are trying to cut back on calories and fat, these broccoli tots need to make their way onto your table. This quick and simple recipe comes together in 25 minutes and will curb those fried-potato cravings with a much lighter bite that’s lower in carbs, calories, and fat.
Your taste buds thank you in advance for this broccoli-cheesy treat.
Broccoli-Cheese Tater Tots
2 cups broccoli florets
1 small shallot, minced
2/3 shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
2 eggs
Salt and pepper

  1. Preheat your oven to 400ºF, and line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.
  2. Steam your broccoli florets for 2 minutes, and chop well into small pieces.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the chopped broccoli with the rest of your ingredients. Mix until totally combined.
  4. Scoop a large spoonful of the mixture in your hands, and shape it so it resembles a tater tot. Place on your baking sheet, and repeat until all mixture has been used.
  5. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, and enjoy warm from the oven.


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 | | fitness, holiday, Jari Love, Recipe, 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

Benefits of Exercising in Cold Weather

by Jari Love

Benefits of Exercising in Cold Weather 

Working up the motivation to exercise when the weather grows more and more frigid feels like a herculean effort. You have to put on so many layers of clothing to stay comfortable, it’s often dark, and icy conditions don’t make things any easier. Though a sweat session outside might not be the easy choice, it’s a pretty good one. Tough it out, and you’ll score these six benefits.

  1. You might burn more calories

Though many like to think exercising in chilly temperatures alone will increase your calorie burn, studies don’t support this claim. The problem is your body does a fantastic job of generating heat once you get moving. As long as you’re adequately dressed, you aren’t going to scorch more calories doing the exact same thing.

Before you get too bummed, there is a way you can use the winter elements to your advantage. If you notice a layer of fluffy white stuff on the sidewalk, lace up. Running in the snow is a lot more difficult than running on concrete, sort of like a jogging on a sandy beach. If you switch to snowshoes, you’ll scorch even more calories. In some cases, men can burn more than 1,000 calories after an hour of snowshoeing. Keep in mind, it’s a tough activity. You’ll likely need to ease into it before going nuts.

  1. You’ll ward off the winter blues

Seasonal effective disorder, the fancy term for the depression people experience during the winter, sinks its claws into a pretty huge chunk of the population each year. According to research published in Psychiatry, somewhere around 20% of Americans find themselves suffering from severe to mild depression during the cold months. One of the best ways to combat this blah feeling it to get moving.

Exercising helps our bodies create more of the feel-good hormones called endorphins. While hitting the treadmill or elliptical can certainly give you this boost, some research suggests heading outdoors increases the effect. A 2013 review published in Extreme Physiology & Medicine reported exercising outside better promoted feelings of revitalization and positive engagement. Your workout doesn’t even have to be all that long. The review went on to reveal the first five minutes of outdoor activity are the most beneficial.

  1. Increasing intensity is less difficult

Whether you like to walk, run, or bike, the heat and humidity of summer make it pretty difficult to up your intensity or mileage. Winter, on the other hand, makes it a lot easier to handle since you aren’t subject to the same stresses. And don’t think you can get away with the old excuse that the cold air is bad for your lungs because it just isn’t true.

If you’re after a new personal record on the race course, a chillier temperature could be exactly what you need. A 2007 study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise found marathon runners clocked progressively worse times as temperature increased. If you do choose to race in the cold, just be sure you do an adequate warm-up so you don’t feel tight when the gun goes off.

  1. You’ll boost your immune system

Every winter brings a new round of nasty sick spells, which most people blame on the cold weather. Being in the cold doesn’t give you a cold, though. WebMD explained viruses make you feel crummy, not exposure to chilly temperatures. All the more reason to head out for a workout, because Harvard Medical School lists exercise as one of the best ways to strengthen your immune system. And because staying cooped up inside exposes you to more people who may be harboring this season’s latest cold, getting away from all those folks may actually reduce your chances of catching the same bug.

  1. You won’t zone out

A warm day with clear sidewalks and streets offers plenty of opportunities to zone out while you exercise, which is bad for your overall calorie burn as well as your general safety. When it’s darker, slipperier, and snowier, you have to focus more on what you’re doing. But make sure you’re dressing to be seen. Ensembles composed entirely of black or white material won’t cut it for visibility, so go for brighter colors and reflectors.

  1. You’ll maintain your fitness

Those with gym memberships struggle to use them as much as they intend when the weather’s pleasant, so they’re unlikely to do much better once a trip there means venturing into the cold. Most even admit to working out less during the coldest months of the year. Skipping some exercise from time to time isn’t a big deal, but a short break can easily stretch into a prolonged one.

According to Berkley Wellness, this period of detraining can lead to aerobic loss in just a few weeks. Muscular strength doesn’t diminish quite as quickly, but it also suffers. One study from 2001 found muscular strength diminishes after four weeks, but both sport-specific and recently acquired strength suffer even sooner. Maintain your routine this winter, and spring workouts will be a lot less of a chore.


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 | | fitness, goals, Healthy, Jari Love, practice, Weekly Blog, Wellness | 0 comments | Read more

Healthy Roasted Chicken

by Jari Love

Make this Healthy Roasted Chicken dinner on the weekend and then enjoy nutritious leftovers throughout your week!
Roasting a whole chicken with veggies is a wonderful meal and is much simpler to prepare than you might think.
Servings: 5
Here’s what you need:
  • 3 bulbs garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 Tablespoons coconut oil, gently melted
  • 1 Tablespoon each minced, fresh rosemary, oregano, tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • zest and juice from one lemon
  • 4 large organic carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 3 organic zucchini, cut into 1 inch half-moons
  • 1 cup pearl onions, ends trimmed
  • 1 cup Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 1 hormone-free, organic chicken
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut flour

Cooking Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cut off the tips of each section of the garlic bulbs. Place the blubs in a small glass pan. Brush the tops with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl combine the melted coconut oil, fresh herbs, minced garlic, lemon zest and lemon juice. Set 1/3 of the mixture aside for the veggies.
  4. In a large bowl combine the carrots, zucchini, pearl onions and Brussels sprouts with 1/3 of the herb mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  5. Rinse your chicken and pat dry. Carefully slide your hand between the skin and the breast and liberally rub some of the herb mixture. Rub the rest of the herb mixture over the top of the chicken. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and tie the legs together with kitchen string. Place the chicken on a large roasting pan, and surround it with the veggies.
  6. Roast the chicken and veggies for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F, pour 1/2 cup of chicken broth over the chicken and veggies, and place the garlic pan in the oven off to the side.
  7. For the next 90 minutes, pour 1/2 cup of broth over the chicken and veggies every 30 minutes as it cooks at 350 degrees F.
  8. To see if the chicken is done, poke the tip of a sharp knife between the leg and body and see that the juices run clear. Transfer the chicken and veggies to a large platter. Add a couple of the roasted garlic bulbs to the chicken platter, reserving one for the gravy.
To make gravy: Pour all of the roasting pan juices into a skillet and bring to a simmer. Remove the garlic cloves from one of the roasted blubs and smash with a fork. Add garlic to skillet. Mix in the tablespoon of coconut flour, and whisk the gravy as it simmers. Cook for 10 minutes, or until desired thickness. Season with salt and pepper.

    Nutritional Analysis: 251 calories, 14g fat, 113mg sodium, 19g carbohydrate, 7g fiber, and 17g protein

    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 | | exercise, fitness, goals, Healthy, Jari Love, practice, Recipe, Weekly Blog, Wellness | 0 comments | Read more

    Stay in Touch


    210 W. Parkway, Suite 7, Pompton Plains, NJ 07444 ● © Collage Video ● Exercise Video Specialists ● Fitness Videos and Workout Videos ● 1-800-819-7111 / 201-464-4921 ●

    From Our Blog

    • Collage welcomes instructors Brook Benten & Aimee Nicotera to the shop!

      Exciting news! We're welcoming two highly qualified instructors that will help you crush your fitness goals, shake up your routine, and offer a new source of motivation!   Brook Benten, B.S. in Exercise and Sport Science from Texas State University. Masters of... read more

    • Two More Happy Yoga DVDs Coming to Collage Video

      Happy Yoga from Sarah Starr is designed to bring you the beauty of Mother Nature as you receive yoga's rejuvenating benefits, including flexibility, toning, clarity and balance. Want to learn more about Sarah? Visit her instructor profile here. These titles... read more

    • What is Callanetics? Is it for me?

      Some people swear by it. Some people have never heard of it. It’s Callanetics. Callanetics became a revolutionary method of exercise and gained international recognition for its speedy body-shaping results. Some of the noise behind Callanetics may have softened over... read more