Video Fitness

Get Ripped to the Core

Jari Love

I'm an intermediate-to-advanced exerciser who recently discovered Jari Love's workouts. Her first workout, Get Ripped, became an immediate favorite, as it's a perfect match for my level. Although I also liked Ripped to the Core, I find the compound moves in this workout (ie, moving the upper body and the lower body at the same time) to be a bit more strenuous, meaning that I find the workout to be more tiring. In addition, some of the individual exercises are quite tough, which gives this workout a slight dread factor for me, at least in the very beginning (see below).

As with all of the Ripped workouts, there is no traditional warm-up; rather, she starts right in with the weight moves. I find that it takes me a bit of trial and error to figure out the right weights to use in Jari's workouts. Here, because the compound moves required more exertion, I found that I needed to go lighter than I did in Get Ripped, never using heavier than 8# dumbbells and often reaching for my 5# and even 3# ones (oddly enough, Jari states that you can actually go HEAVIER for compound moves because you are recruiting more muscles, but I did NOT find this to be the case for me). The great thing about all of the Ripped workouts is that Jari and her three background exercisers vary not only in the equipment they use--eg, Jari generally uses dumbbells here, with one background exerciser always using the barbell and others sometimes using just weight plates--but also in their individual weight loads, which are very helpfully shown on screen at the start of every new exercise.

As with Get Ripped, Jari varies the count of each exercise, using different temps such as 4-4, 3-1, 2-2, etc. But Ripped to the Core also adds compound moves: either you'll do a superset with an upper/lower body combination or you'll move both areas at the same time. Similar to Get Ripped, you will do a high number of repetitions for each body part, and you may need to go lower on your weights as mentioned above. The workout begins with a side squat/reverse lunge combo. Then it is down to the floor for a really tough move, the spider--this is a planking exercise where you go from a full plank, down to your elbows, then back up again, and it is super challenging! Jari makes it all the more difficult by doing push-ups inbetween spider sets (the male background exerciser continues the push-ups even during the stretch breaks--ouch!). I am always VERY glad when this section is over. You stay on the floor for a chest press combined with a pelvic raise (Jari and crew lie on their steps), then it's back to standing for a deadlift/bicep curl combo. Next comes a wide squat with an upright row, although there is a modification shown if you have shoulder issues. Sticking with the tough work for legs/shoulders, you'll do a side squat off the step (can be modified on the floor) adding a delt raise and also a knee lift. Following this, there is a VERY brief narrow squat set with front raises, again adding knee lifts (I believe only 8 total reps here).

The next series is MUCH more challenging than it looks. You start with a simple slow step climb, then add a shoulder press and do LOTS of reps. When I did this with my 5# dumbbells, I was dying by the end, so now I'm sticking with the 3#. Then it's back down to the floor on all fours for tricep kickbacks, adding a leg raise and then the leg in and out to work the core more. Abs work follows, and I really didn't like the how this section starts off. First of all, Jari uses the male background exerciser to display the most advanced modification, even though a message on screen says that most people should NOT attempt this exercise! Although the other two background exercisers show easier versions, the camera never focuses on them, so this segment is very hard to follow. Two exercises are performed, a plank with side leg lift and a superman, and I just sort of do my own thing for both of these. Then Jari moves on to more traditional abs work, which I liked much better, although it was pretty brief: she does a set moving each leg in and out and then a few sets of pulsing crunches. The workout, which comes right in at an hour, ends with a cool-down, first on the floor to stretch the hamstrings/hips and then moving to seated for upper body, finishing with some neck stretches.

Extras on this DVD include exercise demonstrations, interviews, and bloopers. I wasn't crazy about the music--it generally had a pumping, techno-type beat (with occasional vocals) similar to what you would hear in a club--but I found it to be less glaring/more tolerable than in the original Get Ripped. Jari herself comes across as a bit cool and reserved, and although some people might not click with her, I actually liked her no-nonsense style as well as her excellent form pointers and good cueing. She does try to be encouraging, frequently saying "fantastic!" (a change from "awesome!" in the original). I would say that this workout is most suited for high intermediate-to-advanced exercisers. It is probably doable for advanced beginners/low intermediates using VERY light weights, but I definitely would not recommend it for complete beginners, as I think that some of the exercises (such as the spider move) would be way too difficult, even in a modified form. Overall, I like that this workout provides me with a challenge, and I would definitely recommend it for experienced exercisers, especially those who enjoy compound moves.

Instructor comments: For some reason, I thought Jari was going to be a sort of celebrity instructor, but she's not like that at all. As mentioned above, she is quite low-key, which some people might find boring. Personally, I'll take understated rather than over-the-top enthusiasm any day! Her cueing is generally very good, and her constant form pointers are excellent.

Beth C (aka toaster)

June 14, 2007

I’m reviewing this workout after previewing and doing it once.

General workout breakdown: This weights routine of just a hair over 60 min. focuses on high reps and low weights to build endurance; it also features a number of multi-joint / multi-limb moves. The exercises include reverse lunge & side squat, spider & push-ups, chest press w/ hips raised, bent leg deadlift and bicep curl, wide squat and upright row, stiff leg deadlift with lat row, squat w/ lat raise + narrow squat w/ ant raise, step ups w/ overhead press, tricep kickback w/ core work, abs, and stretches for the total body. I believe later editions (I have one of the first issues) have more of a total body warm-up before diving right into weights.
Between each exercise runs a brief clip of a man demonstrating the exercise with a mention of the muscles worked. At the beginning of each exercise appears each exerciser’s weight load, the maximum calories burned, and the average calories burned; Jari usually continues talking about the exercises’ benefits while these show. This leads to a bit of a pause between exercises, a pause for which I was grateful as I selected my equipment, got a drink of water, caught my breath, or wiped the sweat off of my face!

Level: I’d recommend this to experienced intermediate / advanced exercisers and up. Mid- to high intermediates could use the appropriate weights (or not) and rest where needed; more advanced exercises could increase the weights, add balance challenges with equipment like a Bosu, etc., to make this workout appropriately challenging.

Class: 2 women and 1 man join Jari, who instructs live. Often, at least two of the participants show variations, modifications, or substitutions for equipment, level, or area of concern.

Music: standard mostly instrumental exercise fare with a driving beat. I recognized a number of songs from other videos.

Set: somewhat dark interior set with living room furniture off to one side and motivational words (e.g. “results”) on one wall and pictures of muscled body parts on another.

Production: clear picture and sound. The camera angles are usually helpful rather than distracting.

Equipment: Jari presents options for those using barbells with plates or dumbbells. A few exercises use a full-sized step with 2 risers. You may want to have an exercise mat handy, too.

Space Requirements: You should be able to do lunges in each direction and lie down with arms and legs extended plus have room to set aside equipment for some of the exercises.

DVD Notes: The main menu features the choices of Introduction, Full Workout, Exercises (i.e. chapters of each exercise), Bonus Features (Interview with Cory, Preview Slim & Lean, More Ripped Workouts, Bloopers), and Credits.

Comments: I was surprised that I enjoyed RTTC more than Slim & Lean (S&L), as I didn’t think I’d like the multi-joint (or, in common VF parlance, “compound”) moves. The progression from one exercise to another and the variation in tempos are what kept this workout from being Snoresville for me. I’ve moved away from super high reps with super low weights, however, but if I were into that type of training I would probably use this video regularly. (I’m one of those who finds that the original Ripped remains my favorite Jari.)

Instructor comments: I like Jari: she’s relatively low key (I’d rather have someone a little more stilted than someone with too much caffeine in her system), and she believes in what she’s doing. At times she veers into motivational speaker territory (e.g. beginning segments with statements like “You are unlimited in your potential.”), which isn’t my cup of tea, and she seems too focused on burning calories and especially carbs for my liking. But I applaud her for pushing weight training and putting out inexpensive DVDs of quality workouts.
Anyway, Jari does include some form instruction and tips, and she mirror cues.


February 25, 2008

This was my first experience with Jari Love's workouts. For the most part I liked it.
RTTC is a 60 minute strength routine that works multiple muscle groups with combination exercises. For example, Jari has you do a side squat with a lateral raise. The net effect of this is that your heart rate will be raised more than with a standard strength routine.
Jari kept explaining that this workout is high rep/light weight, but I did not feel that I needed to go particularly light for it. By comparison, for Gilad's Cuts and Curves I do go lighter than I usually do with most strength workouts. I usually stuck with the weight Jari was using, but for some exercises I went higher.
Following a warm up that has you use light weights (similar to Cathe's Power Hour warm up), Jari goes through 11 circuits that are about 5 minutes each. Well, actually they are 1 minute of instruction, 4 minutes of actual exercises. Jari begins with the largest muscle groups and works her way down to the triceps. Abs finish off the routine.
What I liked: The workout was pretty thorough, it goes by relatively quickly, and not a lot of equipment was required --participants are shown using dumbbells, barbells, or weight plates. (A step bench is also useful.) Jari also has someone performing modifications or a substitute move. This is helpful.
The music is decent. I've heard it all before, but it provided a good beat for strength training.
What I didn't like: All the talk about calories and/or carbohydrates burned. Whatever. As if it can be easily quantified.
Jari's frequent assertions like "Ladies, you're not going to be building bulk." Again, whatever.
The background wall with words such as "persist" and "intensity" written on it was really corny.
And finally, Could they not have the instruction as its own chapter? It is a little annoying to have to FF through each little tutorial.
Still, I see myself using this one with some frequency. It's a decent strength routine and not too boring.

Instructor comments:



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