Q and A (PS: Lift Heavy Stuff. It’s Good For You)

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Q: I was wondering if you are familiar with the Jari Love Ripped weight-training dvd’s and what your opinion is of them?

Jari Love

A: To be honest, up until today I’ve never heard of Jari Love or her Ripped dvd series. But my initial thoughts are this- I’m in the business of getting people stronger (whether they’re an athlete or a soccer mom) and I’m very reluctant to recommend any product where someone poses with 3 lb dumbbells in their hands and calls it “weight training.”

I’ll give credit where credit is due however. The Ripped dvd series does a fantastic job at motivating people to get off their lazy butts and move. In the grand scheme of things, that is what’s important. Additionally, the dvd’s advocate the use of compound movements such as squats, deadlifts, rows, various lunges, etc while at the same time discussing the importance of progressive overload in order to advance one’s fitness level.

However, what I can’t get past is the fact that we’re looking at a glorified group exercise video where participants are taken through a cookie-cutter routine, are asked to use partial ranges of motion with super slow tempos, and are told that a progression is increasing their weight from a feather to a pencil. Okay in reality a typical progression would be 5-8 lbs, but what’s the difference? Either way you look at it, they’re recommending submaximal weight for high repetitions. Sigh.

Like I have always stated in the past- what builds muscle, maintains muscle. If you train light, you’ll keep enough muscle to be able to continue to train light. But given this doesn’t take a lot, from a relative and individual standpoint (i.e. it takes more muscle to lift a weight that limits you to 8 reps than it does to lift a weight that limits you to 20) you’ll keep what you need to accomplish these generally ‘easier’ tasks. Look at many of the people who advocate the same principles (train with low weight for high reps)- they look frail and weak, which in my opinion isn’t an attractive look.

For your money, you’re better off buying “The New Rules of Lifting for Women.” There you’ll learn that the key to a lean, hard body is a nice balance between nutrition, energy system work, and low(er) rep, heavy weight training. Limiting yourself to loads of 10,20,40 lbs for high reps is going to reap less than stellar results long term, trust me.

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Plus, get a copy of Tony’s Pick Things Up, a quick-tip guide to everything deadlift-related. See his butt? Yeah. It’s good. You should probably listen to him if you have any hope of getting a butt that good.

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