Jari Love is pretty much an auto-buy for me, even tho I do not do her workouts as often as I used to. I still hoard them all and return to them from time to time (even tho I always have big plans to do them more frequently when I buy them–but I just naturally gravitate toward Cathe workouts). I’m not sure why Jari called this workout Get Ripped Express. Her last DVD, Get Ripped in 6 Minutes, fit the “Express” label better. But whatever. You can approach this workout as an hour long total body strength workout or as two shorter workouts. She also has everything broken down into chapters. So that is how I will review this–by the chapters then at the end, I list which chapters are contained in Workout 1 and which are contained in Workout 2. The hour long workout obviously contains everything.
Like all of Jari’s workouts this is a high rep workout so you will need to be conservative on weights. Jari recommends hand weights 3-8 pounds. I used weights 5-15 pounds. Even when I was being conservative with my dumbbells, at times it was still too heavy and I had to drop to a lighter weight. This is very high rep. Your upper body does get rest periods but your lower body is working non-stop in most of the chapters. In fact, every segment that contains standing exercises (the majority) you are going non-stop, no recovery. The floor exercises (tricep and chest push up chapters) are the only ones you get brief recoveries between exercises. On chest, I thought I was being conservative with 20 pound dumbbells. But I had to drop to 15s in the middle of the chapter and it was still frying my chest and arms. And of course, it is all cumulative. By the time you get to the last half of the workout, your muscles are fried anyway, so you are not able to lift as heavy as you would if the chapter came earlier in the workout. Also, because it is high rep and because the majority of the chapters use compound exercises that workout the upper body and the lower body together, this becomes very metabolic. You are getting some very good cardio in this workout but with no impact (plus a total body strength workout!). A pretty awesome workout.
There is also a bonus feature on this DVD; a 3:35 minute informational segment with an exercise physiologist who talks about how effective Jari’s workouts are. Every single DVD she has put on the market has been metabolically tested first–and you burn a lot of calories both during and after the workout (afterburn or EPOC, Excess Post Oxygen Consumption). And isn’t that what we all want? To build muscle while burning fat? Workouts like Jari’s are the secret. Of course, Jari isn’t the only one–Cathe, Jillian Michaels and many other trainers create many excellent workouts that do the same thing. However, the beauty of Jari’s workouts is the lack of impact in the majority of her workouts. They are all total body strength training workouts and the majority of them have zero impact. So if you are tired of jumping but want the same result–check out Jari Love!
Jari does show modifications for beginners, but I will be honest–these are all basic exercises. The best modification someone can do is use lighter weights and as your fitness level increases, increase your weights. An interesting thing about this workout is Jari behaved as a trainer more than I have ever seen her in any other workout. In her earlier workouts, she does every single exercise and every single rep. As time progressed she would sometimes turn a chapter/segment over to another trainer to lead while she would show the modified version. In Get Ripped in 6 Minutes, she not only turned chapters over to another trainer, but disappeared entirely from the workout. In this workout, she turns the chapter over to another trainer to lead but then stops exercising to walk around the room and give form pointers, encouragement–and frequently–talk over the person leading the exercise, which was kind of irritating. Still an excellent workout, but different from the way she behaves in all of her other workouts that I own.
One final note about this workout. Jari and crew’s form was fine however, what bothered me about this workout was their range of motion–very shallow for lunges and squats. I have a much deeper and full range of motion for all of my lower body moves than anyone in this workout uses. Now, if you are a beginner then sure, copy Jari and crew. But if you need more of a challenge–then you need to go deeper in the squats and lunges. Just like you need to increase your dumbbell weights when workouts start to get too easy for you. You will not achieve that afterburn (EPOC) if you are not challenged during the workout. So, if you can, squat and lunge deeper!
Get Ripped Express is 61 minutes long; 5 minute warm up and 3:30 minute stretch. You need various dumbbells for this workout; in the end I used 5s, 8s, 12s and 15 pound dumbbells. I mentioned above that sometimes I used too heavy of a dumbbell and had to swap it out–well, what I list below is what I was using by the end of the chapter. You use dumbbells during the warm up and I used 8 pounds for that. You also need a step at 8 inches and like all of Jari’s workouts, it appears and disappears with no warning–so you will have to pause your workout to set it up.
Chapter 1 (4:49) warm up: squats, alternating reverse lunges, bicep curls, overhead shoulder press, lateral raises, back rows, straight leg deadlifts, and ends w/ more squats (I used 8# DBs)
Chapter 2 (4:42) Spiders & Push Ups: spiders are high plank to elbow plank; do 8 spiders and 16 push ups, repeat 3x
Chapter 3 (4:42) Straight Leg Deadlifts + Bicep Curls: it starts w/ 8 deadlifts followed by 4 bicep curls then combine them: one deadlift + one bicep curl done 16 times; repeat entire circuit (I used 15# DBs)
Chapter 4 (4:44) Wide Squats + Concentration Curls: pulsing plie squats + static lunges w/ bicep curls; you start pulsing in plie 16x, then pivot into lunge and do 4 static lunges, pivot back to plie squat and pulse 16x, pivot into lunge on the other side and do 4 static lunges; now you repeat the entire thing but you add the “concentration curls”: hold DBs with palms facing body and curl DB from thigh up to same side shoulder, always keeping palm facing body–you do these fast when pulsing in plie and slow when doing static lunges. You will repeat this entire series–both with and without the bicep curls and each time you repeat it, you do less reps–so descending ladder format. (I used 15# DBs)
Chapter 5 (4:46) Squats + Side Lunges + Tricep Extensions: you only need one DB for this exercise; you start holding the DB in both hands and do 8 squats, 8 side lunges, 8 squats then 8 side lunges to other side. Just like Chapter 4, you will repeat this entire series but add the tricep extension–so holding the DB in both hands, do an overhead tricep extension each time you squat and side lunge. Also like Chapter 4, you repeat this entire series–both with and without tricep extensions and each time you repeat it, you do less reps–so descending ladder format. (I used one 15# DBs)
Chapter 6 (4:41) Squats + Horizontal Row: first do 26 squats at various tempos, then you do a quarter squat/hinge w/ one row then stand–do 4 reps like that, then you do the quarter squat/hinge + 3 back rows then stand–do 4 reps like that and end w/ 4 more singles (squat/hinge/row). Repeat entire circuit. (I used 15# DBs)
Chapter 7 (4:44) Squats + Reverse Lunges + Hammer Curls: squat to side 2x then reverse lunge 6x; repeat on other leg. Repeat this entire thing (still no arms) but this time the side squats turn to step side squats. Repeat the second version (with the step side squats) and add hammer curls. Do 4 sets like this (with hammer curls). Next you do two step side squats + 2 reverse lunges w/ no hammer curls; do this 2x each side w/ no hammer curls then repeat 2x each side w/ the hammer curls. Now it changes to one step squat to side + one reverse lunge; do this version 2x with no hammer curls and 2x with hammer curls. (I used 12# DBs)
Chapter 8 (4:44) Tricep Push Up + Leg Extension w/ Tricep Kickback: do two sets of 8 tricep push ups on knees, then get on all 4s and kick one leg back 8x, then add tricep kickback w/ opposite arm–do 16 reps like this; do this combo 2x on each side of the body. (I used one 8# DB)
Chapter 9 (4:44) Basic Step w/ Shoulder Press: the step appears at 8 inches. 4 steps on step w/ no shoulder press then 8 steps on step w/ an overhead shoulder press; do this combo 3x then change lead leg and do 3 more sets of this combo. (I used 8# DBs)
Chapter 10 (4:37) Side Squats w/ Lateral Raise: you still need your step at 8 inches. Start standing on step at the side/edge; 8 side squats off step then do 8 more, this time w/ bent arm lateral raises; do 8 side squats off step but this time when you stand do a knee raise; do 8 more but this time w/ bent arm lateral raises–do this entire series 2 times, then repeat the entire thing on the other side of the step. (I used 5# DBs)
Chapter 11 (4:44) Chest Press & Chest Fly: you still need your step for this–you will be laying on it. 32 chest presses at various tempos and 32 chest flys at various tempos. (I used 15# DBs)
Chapter 12 (4:43) Ab Crunches: the step has disappeared and everyone is laying on mats. Lay on back w/ knees bent and hands behind head. 8 basic crunches, 8 oblique crunches, 8 basic crunches, 8 oblique crunches other side; repeat this but this time when doing the oblique crunch bring knee toward opposite elbow. You will repeat this entire series several times, reducing the amount of reps each time (descending ladder format).
Chapter 13 (3:36) Cool Down: various stretches.
Workout 1 (33 minutes): Chapters 1-6 + 13
Workout 2 (37:30 minutes) Chapters 1 + 7-13