Love Notes by Jari Love

Posts in the Weekly Blog category

Excuses For Not Exercising: Your Top 5

by Jari Love

 

Calling you out on your favorite excuses for not exercising:

  1. You have no time: Do you have time to sit and watch your favorite shows? Take a long hard look at your schedule and find the time. It’s there if you just look for it.
  2. You have no energy: This excuse will be a non-issue once you’ve been exercising regularly for a couple of weeks. Your energy will build as you become more fit and active.
  3. You have no motivation: Do you want to look better? Do you need to fight disease or aches and pains? Find your motivation and run with it.
  4. You’ve failed in the past: I get it; past failures are painful to face. But you haven’t really failed until you give up. Don’t give up on yourself! Go out there a do it.
  5. You don’t know where to begin: No problem. Follow this site and together we will get your workouts back on track.

Slowly put your excuses down and walk away from them.

Embrace your motivation, and get started!

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

Portion Control: Save Calories with One Change

by Jari Love

In a world overrun by crazy restrictive diets, miserable juice plans, and weight loss pills, it’s easy to forget about one simple concept: portion control. But new research shows that making this one change—or paying more attention to how much you eat rather than what you eat (or don’t eat)—is the gold standard if you want to lose weight. In fact, scientists at Cambridge University in the UK have found that cutting back on serving size alone can help Americans eat an average of 527 fewer calories per day, resulting in a weight loss of one pound per week, all from by reducing portion size. 

How does this happen? Researchers crunched the numbers on more than 60 studies on food intake to find that the bigger portion sizes that are now so commonplace in our society have caused us all to eat more, regardless of our gender, hunger levels, how thin or fat we are, or amount of self-reported willpower. In particular, they found that supersized portions can add more than 500 calories to each of our plates every day, which has only helped to make us fatter… and fatter. 

“The message is that, however it happens, reducing the amounts of food that end up in front of us in the first place is key [to weight loss],” says Gareth Hollands, PhD, senior research associate at Cambridge University School of Clinical Medicine and coauthor of the paper. 

But there’s one big problem: The first and only step of portion control—eat less—is notoriously difficult to do. So how do you accomplish the feat? Here are the top meal-reshaping, fat-blasting tips from Lisa Young, PhD, author of The Portion Teller. 

  1. Forget about portions when you eat out, because restaurants are notorious for serving oversize meals. Resolve before you even walk into a restaurant to split an entrée, supplementing with a salad or veggie side dish. Avoid all-you-can-eat deals like the plague, and wait to have your cocktail until after your meal, since alcohol is proven to trigger overeating. 
  1. Downsize your plates and glasses to smaller tableware, which will go a long way in reducing how much food ends up on your plate. 
  1. Most of us, even the healthiest, weight-conscientious of eaters, are serving ourselves WAY too much food, without even realizing it. 
  1. Fill half your plate with low-calorie, fiber-rich fruits and veggies that aren’t dripping in butter or cream sauce (herbs and spices are your friends!), using one-quarter of your plate for a lean protein and the final quarter for sweet potatoes or a whole grain like brown rice. 
  1. Plate your meal in the kitchen and keep serving dishes there so that you’re forced to get up for seconds rather than reach across the table. 

via prevention.com

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

Spicy Butternut Squash Soup – Recipe

by Jari Love

The perfect time of year for soup. This delicious squash soup is full of immune boosting properties and is perfect for those cool days. 

Spicy Butternut Squash Soup

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:

1 small butternut squash, about 5 cups, peeled, cored and cubed into 1 inch pieces

2 tbs coconut oil

1 chopped yellow onion

1 tablespoon coarsely chopped garlic

1 teaspoon ginger

1 green jalapeño

1 small sweet apple such as gala

1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves and stems

1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk

1 cup vegetable broth

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

 Directions: 

  1. Melt oil a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion about 2 minutes. Add ginger, jalapeño, garlic and squash and apple; cook, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes.
  2. Stir in vegetable broth and coconut milk. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer until squash is tender about 20 minutes.
  3. Add cilantro, salt and basil. Puree soup in two batches. When blending hot foods, allow the heat to escape to prevent splattering. Serve hot, with plain yogurt or sour cream, pepper, and pumpkin seeds, if desired.

 Enjoy!

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 | | health, Healthy, Jari Love, Recipe, Weekly Blog | 0 comments | Read more

1-MINUTE ACTIVITIES THAT WILL MAKE YOU HEALTHIER

by Jari Love

Young Businessman Doing Pushups At His Workplace

It seems that Americans these days are glued to their desks, their cards, and their couches, rarely getting up to stretch, walk around, or clear their minds from the clutter of life. We are enchanted by all the things happening in our outside lives that often times taking time for yourself is lost.

Even the greatest of workouts isn’t beneficial in the long run if you spend over half of your day sitting. It’s a scary thought to think our bodies are festering diseases due to our inactivity. Unfortunately, this is becoming the norm in America. According to the Huffington Post, sitting is the new smoking.

“Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death,” says Dr. James Levine to Huffington Post, inventor of the treadmill desk and a director at the Arizona State University Mayo Clinic for obesity solutions.

Sitting is slowly killing us, but if you catch the problem early enough, there is no way you can’t turn your fate around. The little things add up; it’s up to us to remember to do think of our health.

Even the CDC has launched campaigns “Five Minutes (Or Less) For Health” that include lists of activities to help us stay safe and healthy throughout our days.

Doing these 1-minute activities for a minute, or more, can help you stay healthy. Here are some ways to stay active from the moment you wake up till you fall asleep.

1. Do squats or lunges while you make breakfast.

2. Bagel in the toaster? Squat until it’s ready. Eggs frying? Squat until you need to flip them. Even squat as you make your coffee or pour your orange juice. This will also help to wake you up and increase that blood flow early in the morning.

3. Park farther away at work.

4. Stand up at work, or take a break every 15 minutes to walk around.

5. Purchase a pedometer and set a daily goal. (Try to reach over 10,000 steps!)

6. Warm-up by walking on the treadmill at the gym.

7. Squeeze a hand grip while you’re on a phone call.

8. Lift your legs up and down under your desk for a minute.

9. Sit up straight all day long.

10. Rotate your wrists for a minute every so often. (Give your hands a keyboard break!)

11. Twist at your desk chair.

12. Sit up straight and stretch to each side for 30 seconds. Do this a few times throughout the day.

13. Do 20 jumping jacks.

14. Make sure no one is in the bathroom at work and quickly do 20 jumping jacks. You’ll feel more energized and squeeze some activity in.

15. Drink a glass of water 8 times throughout the day.

16. Deep breathing.

17. Fidget while you work: Often times fidgeting are lifelong habits that try to be avoided, but studies show that fidgeting can increase our calorie burn 20 to 40%.

18. Pace while you’re on the phone.

19. Clean your home (even if you only have a minute to spare). Vacuuming, sweeping, mowing the lawn, weed whacking, doing laundry, and dishes all increases total calorie burn throughout the day and helps to clear your mind.

20. Exercise while you watch sports late at night. Abs, mountain climbers, burpees, you name it. Your heart is telling you to sink into your couch, but your body is telling you to get in shape.

21. Squat or pace while brushing your teeth.

22. Eat dinner standing up.

23. Do 10 to 20 pushups before bed.

24. Stretch before bed for one minute.

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, Motivation, Weekly Blog, Wellness | 0 comments | Read more

Weight-Lifting Moves to Substitute for Deadlifts

by Jari Love

If your goal is to add lean muscle and mass, everyone will tell you that you need to focus on two main exercises: the squat and the deadlift. Whether you really aim to get into shape, or start building some serious muscle, you’ll want to zero-in on your legs — because developing the muscle groups in your legs will not only help you burn more calories, they will also help you tone and train every other muscle group in the body.

The problem with trying to do squats and deadlifts — deadlifts particularly — is that you need access to the right equipment. To put some serious weight on the floor, and then proceed to pick it up, you need barbells, and a ton of plates. For some people, access to those things can be hard to come by.

Still, for others, physical limitations — past injuries, doctor’s orders, etc. — prevent them from incorporating the traditional deadlift into their routine. That can present an issue for people who are serious about building muscle and getting in shape, because it’s really hard to understate the deadlift’s importance in the world of weight training.

But fear not, because we have some alternatives for you. True, the exercises featured on the following pages aren’t perfect, and they won’t get you as far as traditional deadlifts will. But they’ll do in a pinch, and will work as viable substitutes when and if you need them. They’ll help you continue to build your lower-body — but it’s still better to do true deadlifts if possible.

With that, here are five suitable deadlift alternatives that you can incorporate into your routine.

  1. Dumbbell deadlift: Likely the simplest and most effective replacement for barbell deadlifts is the dumbbell deadlift. All you’re really going to be doing is swapping the bar for dumbbells. The video above, from The Fit Lab will give you a basic demonstration. It’s a simple, easy exercise, and will work the same muscle groups as a traditional deadlift. The only issue is that the dumbbell deadlift has its obvious limitations — dumbbell sizes, chief among them. Just be sure to keep your form and posture in mind, and dumbbell deadlifts will work when you’re without access to a barbell.
  1. One-armed dumbbell deadlift: A variant of the dumbbell deadlift is the single-arm or one-arm dumbbell deadlift. This, too, is relatively simple, and you can see a quick demonstration in the video above from Jeff Fields. Fields even throws some additional resistance into the mix in the form of a band, which is a great way to add a little bit of weight when you run into the eventual issue of maxing out on dumbbell sizes. Once you have the standard dumbbell deadlift mastered, try going at it with one arm — just make sure to keep your form intact.
  1. Bent-over rows: Bent-over rows, when done correctly, can be used in lieu of a traditional deadlift. You can do them with a barbell, if you have access to one (and if you do, just do regular deadlifts), or with dumbbells, which make them a more viable alternative for most lifters. Ben-over rows, like the other lifts on this list, are also a fairly simple exercise to nail down. Yet, again, it’s all about making sure you have the correct form. The video above demonstrates it very well, so thanks to Testosterone Nation for that.
  1. Kettlebell swing: Kettlebell workouts are soaring in popularity, and with good reason. They’re versatile, fun, and can be used to work out the same muscle groups as most traditional lifts, albeit in a much different sort of fashion. Case in point, the good old kettlebell swing can be used to give your quads and glutes a workout, much in the same way a deadlift session would. Yes, it’s different, but if you’re in a pinch, swinging a kettlebell around will help facilitate the muscle growth you’re looking for. Just make sure you’re going at it with a weighty kettlebell.
  1. Pistol squat: Finally, if you’re without barbells or dumbbells, or any other piece of equipment, you can use your own body weight to fulfill your deadlift quota. One of the best exercises for that is the pistol squat — a variant of the traditional bodyweight squat. And it’s a bit more challenging than it looks — so try it out a few times, and really work on your stance and form to get it right. Even after one or two reps, you’ll really start to feel it.

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

How to Tell When You’re Really Dehydrated

by Jari Love

Did you know that once you hit the point of being thirsty, you’re already dehydrated? Our bodies are between 50 and 75 percent water, so once you’re dehydrated, the amount of water in the body has already dropped below what’s needed for normal body function. Here are signs that it is time to drink up! 

You Feel Tired 

If you feel tired throughout your day, try filling up on water before reaching for a caffeinated beverage and see if that makes a difference. After a full night’s rest it’s common to be slightly dehydrated in the morning; so don’t forget to include drinking a glass of H2O in your morning routine to jump-start your metabolism and your brain! 

A Little Moody 

A recent study found that mild dehydration can affect your mood and interfere with your ability to concentrate. If you’re sitting at your desk and feeling a little low, sipping water could help you snap into focus. 

You’re Having Trouble Going 

Water helps to keeps your digestive system moving and your intestines flexible to avoid chronic constipation. It only makes sense that you’d have difficulty with your bowel movements if you’re not staying hydrated. Keep things moving by drink plenty of fluids throughout your day. 

You Have a Headache 

Mild headaches are a classic sign of dehydration. Drinking eight ounces of water when you feel the pain coming on might just keep the headache at bay. So sip up before reaching for the aspirin. 

You Have Bad Breath 

Dry mouth leads to bad breath. You need salvia to fight stink-inducing bacteria, so drinking water regularly should keep your breath in check. 

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.

Strength-Training Myths

by Jari Love

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

 

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

 

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

 

  1. It’s a guy thing

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

 

  1. It’ll turn you into a hulk

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

 

  1. It burns fewer calories than cardio

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

 

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

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

 

  1. Light weights are all you need

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

 

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

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

 

  1. You need a gym

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

 

  1. It’s all about muscle

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

 

  1. Bodyweight exercises are just as good

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

 

  1. You’ll see results instantly

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

 

via prevention.com

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

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

by Jari Love

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

  1. Walking Lunges

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

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

  1. Side Shuffles

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

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

 

  1. Low (Squat) Side Shuffles

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

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

 

  1. Walking Plank

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

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

  1. Reverse Mountain Climbers

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

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

 

See more…

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

Tips That Every Personal Trainer Knows

by Jari Love

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

  1. You can’t just do cardio … 

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

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

 

  1. And heavier weights net you even bigger results. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

  1. But addition can be better than subtraction. 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

  1. Weight loss isn’t your true goal. 

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

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

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

 

via prevention.com

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

Coffee Lovers Rejoice!

by Jari Love

Ask the Diet Doctor: The Workout Benefits of Coffee

Q: Is it best to drink coffee before or after a morning workout?

A: I recommend drinking your java before a.m. exercise so you can take advantage of the shot of caffeine to optimize your workout.

Caffeine has powerful nootropic effects, meaning it manipulates neurotransmitters to alter how the brain functions. While we all think of caffeine as a stimulant, it doesn’t directly stimulate as much as it prevents or blocks the action of neurotransmitters that promote sedation and relaxation.

Your pre-workout caffeine-packed cup of coffee isn’t just going to give you the mental edge, though—it will also help you burn more fat. The exact mechanism in which caffeine works to enhance fat-burning has yet to be conclusively nailed down (as it probably works via several different mechanisms), but it primarily seems to work by increasing the breakdown and release of fat.

Now let’s get to the nitty-gritty.

What kind of coffee should I drink?

An easy way to adjust how much caffeine you consume is to change the type of coffee that you are drinking. Dark roasted coffee has less caffeine, and light roasted coffee has more. After a short night of sleep, you might want to opt for the New England or Half City roast (light roast), but most days you’ll do fine with the French roast (dark roast).

How much caffeine is enough? How much is too much?

While research shows that caffeine is extremely safe to use—you’d need to drink 130 cans of Red Bull to get a fatal dose of caffeine—caffeine tolerance is very individualized. Just because I’ve seen studies safely use upwards of 600 milligrams (mg) of caffeine to test its effects on pain perception doesn’t mean that you could pop two NoDoz with your venti Pike’s Place before you work out. Too much caffeine prior to exercise may actually decrease performance, as it can make you feel nauseous and lightheaded. I’ve personally tested multiple different dosages of caffeine before workouts and found that 300mg is the most my body can tolerate before I start to feel nauseous.

So how much coffee should I drink?

When it comes to stimulants like caffeine, less is always better, and know your body. Those new to caffeine should start with around 100mg (a shot of Starbucks espresso has 75mg).

If you’re drinking coffee for the fat-burning effects of caffeine, studies show this seems to start around 200mg. Sticking with Starbucks coffee as our delivery mechanism for caffeine, this would equal a grande Americano (225mg caffeine) or slightly less than a tall regular brewed coffee (260mg caffeine).

One downside to caffeine is that your body adapts to it overtime. Any serious coffee drinker or energy drink fiend will tell you that it progressively takes more and more caffeine for them to reap the benefits of alertness compared to what they used to need to get the same effect.

And a final piece to consider with caffeine levels in coffee is that it can be very variable. In a test of six different samples of Starbucks Breakfast Blend, the caffeine levels ranged from 259 to 564mg. This is a huge range.

But doesn’t caffeine dehydrate you?

No; this is a very common myth about caffeine. While caffeine is a diuretic (e.g. it causes increases in urination), studies looking at caffeine use in high-temperature exercise situations show that it does not lead to dehydration or subsequent decreases in performance.

By Dr. Mike Roussell

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

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