Love Notes by Jari Love

Posts in the practice category

Healthy Tuna Salad

by Jari Love

Yes healthy tuna salad can be made!

This healthy tuna salad recipe takes protein filled tuna and adds fresh ingredients to turn it into a healthy tuna salad. Unlike many tuna salad recipes, this one doesn’t call for dressings or mayonnaise that add undesirable fats. So, have this for healthy tuna salad mix for lunch or dinner, and keep it lean by skipping the bread and eating it straight from a bowl. Servings: 4

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 cans Albacore tuna, packed in water
  • 1/2 cup white bean hummus
  • 1 small apple, finely minced
  • 1 Tbsp yellow onion, finely minced
  • 1 tsp dried dill weed
  • dash of Pepper
  • 1 TBL Dijon mustard

    Mixing Instructions
    1. Drain and flake the tuna in a medium sized bowl.
    2. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
    3. Serve in a bowl, on large lettuce leaves or in half of an avocado, garnish with dried dill weed.

    Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 188 calories, 5g fat, 563mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, and 21g 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 | | fitness success, Jari Love, practice, Recipe, tips, Weekly Blog, Wellness | 0 comments | Read more

    Stay Motivated to Lose Weight

    by Jari Love

    Losing weight is tough. Pounds don’t just fall off without reason. You must have a strict plan in place that includes a well-rounded, low calorie diet and an exercise regimen that helps you to burn calories. Sometimes, you may have trouble staying motivated to lose weight, especially if you don’t see the results in yourself. If you have recently embarked on a plan to lose weight and find yourself lacking motivation, keep these ideas in mind.

    Have Fun with Your Workouts

    It takes hard work to lose weight. However, that does not mean the activities you incorporate into your fitness plan can’t be fun. If you dread going to the gym every day, mix in some other activities you enjoy that will allow you keep moving, burn calories and give you a change of scenery. You can take a hike, walk your dog or go swimming to take your routine outdoors.

    Additionally, by incorporating some level of competition to your workout, you are more likely to stick with it. Play basketball or tennis with friends, or challenge a workout buddy to a race on the treadmill or exercise bike. You can even compete with yourself by recording your workouts.

    Make a New Goal 

    I am not telling you to rethink the whole process. Instead, give yourself a new, intermediary goal that you can obtain somewhat quickly. Reaching a goal is a huge motivating factor, and you should make sure to include a few along the way to your overall goal. A few examples may be going to the gym for five consecutive days, staying under your calorie count all weekend or avoiding the scale altogether for three days. It should be something pretty simple.

    Once you meet your new goal, reward yourself. Treat yourself to a movie, a massage, a new book, or something else that you have wanted to do for a while. Just make sure your reward is in line with your overall goal. Meaning, it probably should not be a trip to the all-you-can-eat dessert bar.

    Seek Words of Wisdom

    When trying to stay motivated to lose weight, one of the simplest ways to do so is to find a quote that means a lot to you. It may be related to weight loss or not, but it should be something that speaks to you and makes you want to be the best you can be. Post it by the mirror, the scale, the refrigerator or your desk at work – anywhere you may need a little motivation. A picture of a loved one may also do the trick.

    Weight Is Just a Number

    Do you go to the bathroom scale every morning and are just not happy with the number that you see? Keep in mind your weight is just a number. It is not the “be-all and end-all” to the way you look to others or the way you should feel about yourself. Sometimes, your body can make a nice transformation in the right direction and you may see little to no change in your weight. In fact, you could actually even gain weight if you are using a strength training program, since muscle weighs more than fat. The most important thing is to feel good about the work you are doing every day, to keep working hard and moving forward, and know that eventually the numbers will fall in line.

    Sometimes we hit a wall in our workout routine or nutrition plan. There are many ways to get over the hump, but what is most important is to find what works for you when you must stay motivated to lose weight.

    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.

    Get Stronger Triceps

    by Jari Love

    5 Exercises for Stronger Triceps

    To get seriously cut arms, you need to devote a fair amount of attention to the biggest muscle in the area, and it’s not what you think. Biceps get a lot of attention because they’re located on the front of our arms, the part we see when we look in the mirror. While keeping them strong is important for everyday activities and overall strength, your triceps actually make up a larger portion of your arm. Neglecting these muscles can lead to imbalance, injury, and even hinder your ability to get stronger as they assist in pushing motions.

    Let’s do a brief anatomy lesson to understand your triceps a little better. Tri, meaning three, accurately describes the backsides of your arms. This muscle group comprises the long, lateral, and medial heads. They each connect to the scapula and humerus, then travel down the backside of the arm where they connect at the ulna on your forearm. Together, they work to enable extension at the elbow.

    Though many guys target their triceps with weights, often heavy ones, this isn’t necessary. Going for a load that’s too heavy can also compromise your form and, ultimately, lead to an ineffective workout. With nothing more than a resistance band, you can get an effective tricep workout with these five moves. Your arms will thank you.

    1. Close-Grip Pushup

    Basic pushups do a decent job of targeting the triceps, though much of the work is also done by the chest and shoulder muscles. One of the benefits of this bodyweight exercise is the ability to change the target muscles by altering your position. To increase the load on your triceps, the close-grip, or diamond pushup, is one of the most effective moves; all you have to do is bring your hands closer together.

    To perform this pushup variation, start in the standard position with your hands directly under your shoulders and your legs fully extended. Before you start moving, bring your hands close to each other and touch your thumbs and index fingers together. From this position, slowly lower yourself until your chest is just a few inches above the ground, making sure to keep your core tight during the move, then press yourself straight back up.

    Even if you can crank out regular pushups at an astounding rate, you’ll likely need to reduce your number of repetitions for this challenging exercise. Men’s Fitness recommends four sets of as many repetitions as possible.

    1. Crab Walk

    Most strength training exercises move in one plane of motion. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it means you have to rely on a lot more exercises in order to reach all the muscles you want to target. Muscle & Fitness likes crab walks because they target your shoulders and triceps while forcing you to build stability. This means all three muscles in your triceps will be engaged as you work to maintain balance.

    Get into position with your chest facing up, hands and feet flat on the floor. Your fingers should be pointed behind you and your knees should be bent. Next, crawl by simultaneously stepping your left leg and right hand forward, then you right leg and left hand forward. Try to keep yourself as stable as possible while you move.

    For more of a challenge, you can also move to the side. Perhaps the best part about this exercise is it requires no equipment, which means you can do it in the privacy of your own home. Let’s be honest, it looks a little strange.

    1. Plank-to-Triceps Extension

    Plank-to-triceps extensions should be your replacement from tricep kickbacks, a move that involves extending your arm backwards with a dumbbell as you lean forward on a bench. In reality, this exercise just isn’t very effective.

    Muscle For Life explains that kickbacks are far too easy and you often don’t feel any burn until you’re nearly finished. Additionally, it’s easy to get away with cheating since you can switch to a swinging motion. With the plank-to-triceps extension, you don’t have an opportunity to shortchange the move.

    Start in a plank position with your weight resting on your forearms, your palms resting on the floor, and your legs extended as usual. Press your palms firmly into the ground and contract your triceps to raise your elbows off the ground until you’re in the pushup position, keeping your core tight the whole time. Men’s Health recommends aiming for 15 to 20 repetitions.

    1. Bodyweight Dips

    Everyone likes to load this exercise with tons of weight — without giving much thought to the correct form. It doesn’t matter that you’re holding 60 extra pounds of weight if you barely bend your elbows. For most guys, performing dips without adding any additional load will be sufficient when they cover a full range of motion.

    For this move, you need two parallel bars that are spaced a few feet apart. The gym is full of equipment for this specific move, but you can find suitable choices in a lot of places, such a local park. Grasp a bar with each hand and begin with your arms fully extended and your feet raised off the ground. Lower yourself down until your elbows reach 90-degree angles, then push yourself up until your arms are fully extended again. Make sure to keep your elbows close to your body as you move up and down rather than allowing them to wing out to the side. ACE Fitness demonstrates the proper form and offers a more detailed outline if you need some guidance.

    Though this move is great for strengthening triceps, it can be hard on shoulders, so you don’t want to dip past the point when your elbows are at 90-degree angles. If you’ve had shoulder injuries in the past, you may want to skip this one.

    1. Band Skull Crushers

    Of all the weighted exercises that target triceps, skull crushers might be the best. Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT, and creator of BuiltLean, even says that it’s his favorite exercise to target the area because it activates all three muscles. Unfortunately, you really shouldn’t perform this move without a spotter. If you swap the heavy barbell for a substantial resistance band, though, it’s much safer to do on your own.

    There are a couple ways to set this move up, though the easiest is probably on the floor. Use something pretty heavy to weigh down the middle portion of a resistance band then get yourself into position lying on your back with the band fully extended and your arms pointed straight up at the ceiling. Slowly lower your hands towards your head, keeping your elbows steady, until they’re just a few inches above your forehead. Then, press your arms to extend the band until you’re back in the starting position.

    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.

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

    8 Weight Loss Mistakes

    by Jari Love

    8 Common Weight Loss Mistakes You Should Avoid 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    h/t coachcalorie.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.

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

    Types of Foods to Avoid Late at Night

    by Jari Love

    There’s no need to deny yourself a late-night snack if you’re feeling hungry, but you still have to think smart when it comes to eating late. Eating the wrong foods will disrupt your sleep while also adding a lot of unneeded calories to your day. Instead of just diving into the nearest, tastiest-looking item in your fridge, here are five types of foods to avoid at night and why.

    1. Greasy or fat-filled foods: Greasy, heavy, fatty foods not only make you feel sluggish the next morning, but they also make your stomach work overdrive to digest all that food. Stay away from things like fast food, nuts, ice cream, or super cheesy foods right before bed.
    1. High-carb or sugary foods: A little bit of something sweet before bed may be just what you need to rest happy, but if you gobble a huge slice of chocolate cake, the spike in your blood-sugar levels could cause your energy levels to spike and plummet, disrupting your sleep in the process. Avoid cake, cookies, or other desserts as well as carby snacks like crackers or white bread and munch on an apple instead.
    1. Red meat and other proteins: Like fatty foods, eating red meats late at night will sit in your stomach and make it hard for you to fall asleep while you’re digesting (red meat may affect you the worst, but eating a large portion of chicken or pork would have the same effect as well). You don’t have to avoid protein altogether, just make sure you go for lean and small portions, like deli-sliced turkey breast or a cup of yogurt.
    1. Spicy foods: Spices may be a natural cure-all for a range of ailments, but when you’re craving something to eat late at night, step away from the hot sauce. Spicy, peppery foods may upset your stomach, and the chemicals in spicy food can also stimulate your senses, making it hard to fall asleep.
    1. Big portions: Late-night snacking shouldn’t turn into a late-night meal. Keep the total amount of calories under 200 so you won’t have any problems going and staying asleep. You’ll also feel good knowing that you didn’t undo all your healthy eating habits of the day right before bedtime.

    So what should you eat instead? Small, light portions that will also calm cravings and help you sleep. Try incorporating these sleep-inducing foods or these low-calorie late-night snacks that hit all your sweet or salty cravings. And remember to limit how much alcohol you drink as well, since too many drinks can keep you up at night.

    via popsugar.com

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

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

    Healthy Alternatives to Your Favorite Desserts

    by Jari Love

    Is your sweet tooth sabotaging your healthy diet? Sugar addiction is real, but fortunately there are ways to curb all of your pesky junk food cravings. By substituting a healthier food that you still find delicious, you can get into the habit of turning to a truly guilt-free dessert — and still enjoying every bite. If you are serious about cutting added sugars, it may be hard to get started at first. Your taste buds are used to huge hits of concentrated sweetness, but they will adjust quicker than you might expect. Before you know it, you’ll be craving hearty fruit salads, and the thought of a frosting-heavy cupcake will just turn your stomach.

    Once you trade in the sugary desserts, you won’t miss them nearly as much as you think. In order to get there, you can replace your usual fixes with some naturally-sweet treats. Here are five desserts you can feel good about.

    1. Trade the ice cream sundae for yogurt with fruit and nuts

    A bowl of plain yogurt contains live cultures of beneficial bacteria to help support a healthy digestive system. Topped with fruit, nuts, seeds, and/or oats, you’ll have a well-rounded yogurt sundae that can double as a hearty breakfast. Berries are a great natural sweetener for your yogurt, or you can add a small drizzle of raw local honey. Be careful, as the honey will up the sugar content of your dessert, but at least it provides added health benefits.

    1. Trade cookies for a rice cake with peanut butter

    The crunchy sweetness of a cookie might be tough to resist, but you can get a similar experience from a souped-up rice cake. Just don’t skimp on the quality of your rice cake. Try a salt-free brown rice or wild rice variety with your favorite nut butter. Add sliced bananas to this low-calorie treat for sweetness, and sprinkle a few flax seeds for extra nutritional value. This dessert is sure to satisfy your craving for a crunchy and nutty treat.

    1. Trade the Popsicle for a slice of watermelon

    On a hot summer day, your dessert of choice is probably going to be a cold one. Instead of reaching for a sugary Popsicle or fattening ice cream cone, grab a slice of nature’s perfect summer treat. Watermelon will hydrate and cool you while satisfying your sweet tooth. The juicy melon is also great cubed with a little salt, lime, and chili, if you like a sweet and spicy dessert. And if you are feeling adventurous, try grilling your watermelon. For those who prefer warm desserts, grilled, baked, or pan-fried fruits can turn up both the heat and the sweetness.

    1. Trade the slice of pie for a hearty apple crisp

    You might think it’s hard to beat a freshly baked fruit pie, but if you are watching your diet, you won’t believe how satisfying (and how nutritious!) a warm fruit crisp can be. Apples are an excellent and classic choice, but mixing it up with pears, peaches, and/or berries will give your crisp new dimension. This recipe from Pure and Simple is a great place to start if you want to keep it on the healthy side. You can substitute oats for the almond flour if you like. Feel free to try it with less maple syrup and honey, and the sweet juices of your fruit will shine through. For best results, choose fresh fruits that are in season.

    1. Trade the milkshake for a smoothie

    A ripe banana may be the best natural smoothie sweetener around. Juicy mangoes are another tasty addition. Blend these sweet and nutrient-rich fruits with unsweetened almond milk for a fast and low-calorie drinkable dessert. Add a little organic cacao powder if you want your refreshingly light smoothie to rival a chocolate milkshake in terms of taste. Superfood powders like spirulina or maca can up the nutritional value, making your smoothie either a satisfying dessert or a hearty afternoon pick-me-up.

    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.

    5 Moves to Strengthen Your Shoulders

    by Jari Love 

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

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

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

    1. Inchworms 

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

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

    1. Prone Ys

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

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

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

    1. Feet elevated pike pushups

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

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

    1. Neutral-grip sternum chin-ups

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

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

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

    1. Doorway stretch

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

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

    via cheatsheet.com

    More Shoulder Strengthening Workouts HERE

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

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

    Diet Essentials After a Workout

    by Jari Love

    Eating nutritious foods to support a healthy body might be important for everyone, but it’s even more critical for active folks. Running a race, spinning on a stationary bike, and rowing are all great activities to get your heart pumping and offer numerous health benefits. The harder you work, the more energy your body needs. It can be tempting to stock up on sweets and other empty-calorie foods to fill you up, but doing so could jeopardize your workouts and your health.

    With so much conflicting information, though, it can be hard to determine what the “right” foods are. There’s a difference between carbohydrates from sweet potatoes and those from white bread, and it really can make a difference. Fortunately, we’ve put together a guide to some of the most important nutrients to fuel your gym routine and keep you feeling fine.

    1. Complex carbohydrates

    Athletes around the world gathered in a collective eye-roll with the sudden boom of the Atkins Diet, a meal plan based around consuming only low-carbohydrate foods. While some might successfully lose a few pounds with this method, it isn’t an ideal choice for those with high physical demands. Livestrong explains that carbohydrates are the body’s main source of fuel, and that inadequate carb consumption can leave you feeling fatigued and lead to a number of deficiencies.

    Instead of eliminating this group of important nutrients, focus on getting the best quality carbohydrates. That means whole grains and vegetables. Runner’s World explains these types of complex carbohydrates provide fiber and digest more slowly to provide a steady energy supply. That doesn’t mean simple carbs are out, though. The story went on to note foods like white rice and pastas offer up an energy boost that’s ideal immediately before exercise.

    1. Healthy fats

    If there’s one thing we learned from the low-fat diet craze, it’s that eating less fat doesn’t make anyone healthier. WebMD explains that many low-fat or fat-free products rely on fillers like sugar and flour to sub for the missing ingredients, which could bring the number of calories right back up to where they were in the first place. What’s more, fat is essential to good health. Fitness says the nutrient helps to keep your body functioning and aids in absorbing key vitamins. The article stresses the importance of consuming unsaturated fats, while limiting saturated and trans fats.

    And it’s even more important for athletes. Colorado State University states that frequent exercisers should consume at least 15% of their calories from fats, or risk suffering poor performance. So don’t shy away from the avocados and nuts, but maybe cut back on the bacon a little bit.

    1. Protein

    You may have heard bodybuilders talk about the importance of eating enough protein, but it’s not just those seeking to get ripped who need to focus on the nutrient. Researchers have found diets rich in protein can help prevent obesity, osteoporosis, and high blood pressure. Protein is also important for those who frequently exercise, as it ensures you lose the flab and not muscle mass.

    In addition to obvious sources like eggs, meat, and dairy, protein can come from vegan-friendly sources as well. Foods like nuts, quinoa, and legumes provide plenty of the good stuff without relying on meat or animal products. Health offers some great options for vegetarians and vegans.

    Don’t go protein crazy, though. Fitness explains that consuming too many calories, even from these types of healthy foods, can still lead to weight gain. Just because you’re burning calories on the treadmill doesn’t give you an excuse to go on an all-you-can-eat red meat binge.

    1. Electrolytes

    There’s noting worse than competing in a game or race and suffering from a dreaded cramp. The culprit is usually an electrolyte imbalance. Prevention explains this can happen when we don’t have enough of these minerals, but also when we have too many. So what exactly are electrolytes? According to MedlinePlus, electrolytes are minerals in our blood that impact the amount of water in the body as well as muscle function.

    While many have traditionally turned to sports drinks to replenish these minerals after a serious sweat session, NPR reports that many athletes are choosing whole foods over the neon beverages. One thing everyone seems to agree on? The need to get enough of them. Leslie Bonci, a dietary adviser for several baseball teams, told NPR, “Electrolytes are minerals essential in helping the body retain water — and it’s true: We can’t live without them.”

    So do you really need that sports drink? It all depends on your effort. Runner’s World reports most people don’t need the sweetened beverages for their workouts, but those who exert themselves for over an hour could benefit from the electrolytes. Just keep an eye on portion size.

    1. Water

    We’ve all heard that drinking enough water is important, but it becomes even more crucial for those sweating on a regular basis. Many health professionals suggest letting thirst be your guide, but that can be problematic. Dan Trink, director of personal training operations at Peak Performance NYC, told Men’s Fitness that “by the time this warning sign kicks in, you are likely already dehydrated.” He also added that even a 2% loss in body weight due to dehydration can negatively impact performance.

    If you need more reason to guzzle a couple of more glasses, consider what it can do for your waistline. Prevention reported findings from research that indicated drinking water over sugary drinks can slow the rate of weight gain.

    Be aware that it’s possible, though rare, to drink too much of this vital beverage. Scientific American reported overdoing hydration can be fatal. The story explained this condition, hyponatremia, occurs when sodium concentration in the blood drops too low. Again, it’s rare, so just be aware of how much you are actually sweating.

    1. Vitamins and minerals

    Vitamin or mineral deficiencies can lead to health problems for anyone, but it can be catastrophic for athletes. A study in the North American Journal of Sports Physical Therapy discussed how an inadequate supply of iron can negatively impact athletic performance by preventing the efficient transportation of oxygen throughout the body.

    The study concluded the condition can “severely affect an athlete’s ability to perform at an optimal level.” And that’s just iron. Everything ranging from calcium to vitamin C plays an important role. WebMD offers a whole list of different vitamins and minerals, explaining what they do and how to get more of them. Hint: many sources are fruits and veggies.

    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 success, Jari Love, practice, Weekly Blog, Wellness | 0 comments | Read more

    Essential Factors for Muscle Growth

    by Jari Love

    For those aiming to lose weight, the equation is relatively simple: calories in < calories out. Going the other direction — that is, gaining mass and building muscle — presents a comparatively more intricate set of steps. Muscle growth depends on a number of factors, not just how much weight you can throw on a barbell (though that is part of it). Whether you’re trying to build your arms up, or get a Channing Tatum-esque core, fostering proper muscle growth requires specific and deliberate attention to several key factors. While most of these factors seemingly fall under the ‘common sense’ category, their relative importance to overall muscle growth may surprise even the most seasoned lifter. For example, you may be familiar with the 80/20 rule, which can be applied to many aspects of life. The rule dictates that 20% of the effort directed at a given task or goal will have the most impact, while the remaining 80% has less. Well, within the world of fitness, it applies as well — just not in the way you might think. We’ll cover that more in the following pages, along with some of the other surprising (or not surprising) factors that may be hindering your journey to muscle growth. Read on, take stock of your daily routines, and make the appropriate changes, if need be.

    1. Diet

    You know the adage, or at least some form of it. And the 80/20 rule clearly applies here: A lot of the work when getting fit takes place in the kitchen, not in the gym. That means that what you’re putting in your body to use as fuel, is just as if not more important, than what you’re actually doing at the gym.

    You need to focus on lean, protein-rich foods that will nourish your body and help facilitate muscle growth. Some of the dietary staples to consider are chicken breasts, lean beef, and salmon — all of which provide significant doses of protein with fewer calories and less fat than other meats. For veggies, stick to nuts and beans, which also have protein, albeit in lesser quantities.

    1. Sleep

    Rest and sleep is incredibly important to muscle growth, yet most of us would gladly give up an hour or two if it means we get to stay out at the bar later, or pack in some more time with the Xbox. When you sleep, your body is hard at work repairing your muscle tissue, replacing old and damaged cells, and getting to work on the good stuff. You’ll also recharge your brain and attain more mental alertness, and it gets you ready for the next round in the gym.

    For those serious about putting on muscle, 10 hours of sleep is often recommended, but at least seven to nine per night.

    1. Age

    You don’t have much control over how old you are, and unfortunately, it can be a real factor when trying to redefine your body. Your age brings along with it many elements — past injuries, fatigue, family obligations, etc. — all of which can hinder your workouts, both in terms of what you’re physically capable of, and the amount of time you can put in at the gym. What it really means is that the older you are, the more planning you may need to put into your routine, and the more care you have to take to avoid injury.

    1. Variety

    You’re probably familiar with the term ‘muscle memory.’ Muscle memory is basically your body’s way of adapting. That is, if you continuously do the same exercises over and over, working the same muscles and body parts, you’re going to plateau faster — because your body is adapting. That’s why variety is so important. Make sure you get in your basic lifts and exercises, but be sure to mix it up a bit. Do lifts that use different muscles, to keep your body continuously surprised. This will not only help build up peripheral muscles, but take the load off of the muscles you’re typically depending on.                                                                                                            

    1. Goals

    We keep harping on this one: Establish goals, and track your progress! You want to know if you’re lifting more than you were last week, and by how much. That way, you can aim for personal records, which will ultimately lead to bigger and stronger muscles. Keep pushing yourself, aiming to add weight every session, or at least every cycle. If you’re able to beat personal bests from previous weeks, you’ll know you’re getting stronger. So keep track, write down some goals, and lift like a madman.

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

    Do You Make These 5 Fitness Mistakes?

    by Jari Love

    Stroll through any gym and you’ll notice many mistakes. Mistakes that waste time. Mistakes that put people in danger. And mistakes that are just plain crazy.

    Maybe you even make a few of these mistakes yourself.

    By avoiding these common blunders, you’ll put yourself on the fast track to results.

    Check out the following 5 fitness mistakes and the solutions you need to avoid danger and to get fit fast.

    Mistake 1: You use the wrong weight
    The goal is to challenge your muscles, not to simply go through the motions. If you are able to complete 15 repetitions easily, then the weight is too light. On the flip side, if you aren’t able to perform an exercise through its full range of motion, and find yourself cheating on form, then the weight is too heavy.

    The correct weights will feel challenging by your last few repetitions, but won’t force you to sacrifice form.

    Mistake 2: You do the same routine
    You may have noticed that most people do the same exercises each time they visit the gym. Maybe you’ve been doing the same exercise routine as long as you can remember – if it isn’t broken then don’t fix it, right?

    The truth is that exercise routines have expiration dates, and that is the date that they begin to lose their effectiveness. As a rule of thumb never use the same routine for more than 4 weeks.

    Mistake 3: You don’t warm up
    Most people consider warm up time to be wasted time – they’d rather jump right into the heart of the routine. What they don’t realize is that a good warm up will allow you to perform at a higher intensity, which means greater results.

    The point of a warm up is to increase your muscle temperature. This increases blood flow, muscle contraction and reduces muscle resistance. Your warm up should last 5-10 minutes.

    Mistake 4: You use bad form
    Gyms are filled with people performing exercises with bad form. The two biggest reasons are that you aren’t concentrating on the exercise, or you’re trying to lift weight that is too heavy. Lifting with improper form almost always results in injury.

    Take the time to achieve proper form, by doing so you’ll avoid injury and will reap the full benefit from each exercise.

    Mistake 5: You workout alone
    People who exercise alone are less challenged, less accountable and typically see fewer results. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Why rush to the gym if no one is there waiting for you? Why push yourself if no one is watching? Exercising alone is a recipe for disaster.

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

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