I’m a big fan of Jari Love though I do not do her workouts as frequently as I used to, they are always good and very effective. Her workouts are usually high rep/endurance level circuit workouts that are frequently metabolic and so are giving you cardio with your strength work. The real benefit of some of these workouts–especially her most recent ones–is that the metabolic factor frequently gets very intense so that these are also doubling as low impact HIIT level workouts. So you are getting strength and HIIT in one workout–serious afterburn. She also has workouts in her “1000” series that actually do alternate metabolic endurance level strength training with cardio intervals–and these workouts can be brutal. But that isn’t what this workout is. This is high rep metabolic strength training and it was tough! The workout is set up in 6 minute segments. Each segment contains two exercise pairings. The pairings are a compound strength move that is alternated with a recovery strength move. Each of these exercises are done for 6 sets and each 6 minute segment contains two of these 6 set pairings. Plus, everything is done in reps of 8–so you will either do 8 or 16 reps of every exercise, every single time you do it. Does that sound confusing? It’s not really. It’s just tough. However, the beauty of this workout is the rep count. I found that, during the toughest segments, knowing that recovery wasn’t far away is what kept me pushing through. Plus there are lots of options. The workout comes with two DVDs. First you can do the entire workout which is 57 minutes long. She also has it split up into two 30 minute workouts, or even shorter–she also has it split up into three 20 minute workouts. And finally, the workout is chaptered by the 6 minute segments, so you can just do one segment or construct your own workout. Due to all of this, this review will be a little more involved.
Disk 1 contains a 2 minute introduction by Jari, the 57 minute workout, a bonus 12:30 minute informational segment called “The Unhealthy Epidemic,” and the chapter menu. Disk 2 contains the two 30 minute workouts and the three 20 minute workouts.
I found this workout very challenging. Jari recommends using 3-8 pound weights and having a step. I used heavier than that. Due to this being high rep, you will not be able to lift super heavy, but do challenge yourself. Remember, after 8-16 reps, you do get a recovery move. However, some of the recovery moves only rest your arms, but still keep working the lower body so your heart rate doesn’t always drop very much–which is why you will burn a lot of calories during some of these segments. According to my Fitbit, 9 minutes of this workout I was in my peak heart rate zone and looking at the graph on my Fitbit app, it was during those toughest segments. You will of course have to go through this workout at least once to get an idea of what weights will work for you. I know I swapped out dumbbells several times during this workout.
Now, like most of Jari’s workouts, there are also some problems, so let me just get them out of the way here. There are no complicated moves and the pace of the individual exercises is very doable, however–there is very little rest time between exercises. Even when you change chapters. This is problematic for several reasons. #1 if you need to change weights, you don’t have much time to read (and understand if you haven’t done the workout before) what the exercise is then grab the appropriate weight for it. #2 since it is filmed in segments, the step “appears”(and disappears)–and it isn’t always facing the same direction–but of course you do not have enough time to set up/change your step and get the weights you need. #3 due to the fact that some of these segments are super intense, you need some recovery–but you don’t get it. The end result from all of these problems? I ended up using the pause button much more than I like, which in the end made a 57 minute workout longer than an hour. I had to pause it once for recovery (after Chapter 4) and 2-3 other times for set up. In the future, in order to make sure this workout comes in at an hour for me, I will probably skip the final 6 minute abdominal segment (Chapter 9).
Other than that, this is an excellent total body metabolic strength workout. If you are looking to lose weight and/or lean out while still building some muscle–this workout and others by Jari Love are exactly what you should be doing. I know a lot of people have a problem with Jari’s personality. She is the opposite of Jillian Michaels. She is very low key, encouraging but in a very polite way–but I like her! I like Jillian, too. They both put together great workouts that do the job and I have no problems with their personalities. But be warned. Some people have commented that they find her dull. And others find her workouts boring due to the high reps. But understand, it is those high reps that create the metabolic factor in her workouts. During the workout Jari shows both harder and easier modifications. And if she doesn’t show them, she tells you how to make this workout harder or easier. Or someone on her crew does. Jari turns over the workout to one of her crew members during chapters 8 and 9–and just disappears until the stretch. And finally, there are some graphics. First, at the beginning of each chapter, words cover the screen telling you the names of the main exercises in that chapter. Also, during each chapter there is a status bar that changes from yellow to blue, basically counting down your time until the chapter is over. So the more blue you see, the closer you are being finished with the chapter.
Here is how this will be broken down. I will break down the full 57 minute workout but I will separate by chapters. Then I will list each of the shorter workouts and list which chapters appear in each of those workouts.
Get Ripped in 6 Minutes is 57 minutes long; 5 minute warm up and 3 minute stretch. For the warm up you need light dumbbells. Jari used 5 pound dumbbells and I used 5 and 8 pound dumbbells. You will also need a variety of dumbbells for the workout. I used anywhere from 5-15 pound dumbbells and I will note below what I used and if I think I should try to increase my weight in the future. You also need a step at 8 inches and a fitness mat. I am not listing the time for any of the chapters except 1 and 10 because they are all 6 minutes.
Chapter 1 is the 5 minute warm up.
- Wide squats (plie squats) w/ upright rows (8 reps) + pulse squats (still in plie), pulsing 3x, 4 reps; 6 sets (15# DBs)
- Pulse squats (in static squat, feet close together, pulse 15x) + alternating knee raise/low kicks, 8 reps; 6 sets (15# DBs)
- Isometric pulsing rows (squat and pull DBs back close to body in a back row and pulse 15x in that position) + 8 squats; 6 sets (15# DBs)
- Double arm front raise w/ alternating knee raise, 8 reps + alternating knee raises, 8 reps (no arms); 6 sets (8# DBs)
Chapter 4: (step appears here! And it is facing vertically–so you can straddle it if you wanted to and still face the tv; you will be on the step for all of the exercises in this chapter; btw–this is the segment where I had to pause the DVD after it was finished to catch my breath before moving on to the next exercise! With the right weights, it is very intense)
- Curtsy lunge (starting on top of step, squat off side of step, tap foot on step, then curtsy lunge off other side of step w/ same leg) 4 reps + 8 squats on top of step; 3 sets then change to other leg for 3 sets (15# DBs)
- Back elevator row w/ alternating side squat (squat to side off step and when you have both feet on top of the step again, do a double arm back row; alternate sides for the squat) 16 reps + alternating side squats off step, 8 reps; 6 sets (12# DBs)
Chapter 5: (step is still present and facing vertically)
- Tricep kickbacks w/ L steps (step squat off step and do a tricep kickback, then rear lunge off back of step w/ same leg while doing a tricep kickback), 8 reps + alternating rear lunges off step, 8 reps; 3 sets then change to other leg for 3 sets (7# DBs)
- Hammer curls w/ L step (same as #1–just swap hammer curls for the tricep kickbacks) + alternating side squats off step, 8 reps; 3 sets then change to other leg for 3 sets (12# DBs)
Chapter 6: (step is still present and still facing vertically)
- Shoulder press w/ side squats (squat off side of step and when you are standing, do an overhead press–keep squatting on same side of step, you do not alternate sides), 8 reps + 8 close squats on top of step (no stepping off); 3 sets then change to other leg for 3 sets (8# DBs)
- Horizontal rows (wide rows), 6 reps + straight leg deadlifts, 4 reps; 6 sets (12# DBs–I’ll try 15# DBs in the future)
Chapter 7: (the step has changed position! It is now horizontal so you can lay on it and still see the tv–you will be laying on the step for this whole chapter)
- Chest press, 8 reps + raise hips with DBs held at top of chest press move and hold in this position for count of 8 (or 16 if you count faster); 6 sets (15# DBs–I’ll try 17.5# DBs in the future)
- Tricep skull crushers, 8 reps + alternating knee raises while holding DBs at top of move (raise one leg, raise the other leg, lower first leg, lower second leg; repeat starting with other leg); 6 sets (8# DBs)
Chapter 8: (step disappears! Now there is a mat! You will be holding planks to the count of 8 or 16–depending on how fast you count)
- 8 push ups + elbow plank hold to count of 8; 6 sets
- Side elbow plank hold to count of 8 + elbow plank hold to count of 8 (alternate sides so you do 3 sets of elbow planks on each side); 6 sets
Chapter 9: (still on mat)
- Bicycle maneuver, 16 reps + hip bridge hold to count of 16; 6 sets
- Reverse ab curls, 4 reps to count of 4 + alternating toe taps, 8 reps; 6 sets
Chapter 10 is the 3 minute stretch
30 Minute Workout #1 is actually 32 minutes long. It contains Chapters 1 through 5 + 10.
30 Minute Workout #2 is actually 33 minutes long. It contains Chapters 1 and 6 through 10.
20 Minute Workout #1 is actually 26 minutes long. It contains Chapters 1 through 4 + 10.
20 Minute Workout #2 is actually 26:30 minutes long. It contains Chapters 1 and 5 through 7 + 10
20 Minute Workout #3 is actually 26:30 minutes long. It contains Chapters 1 and 7 through 10.