Get Extremely Ripped! 1000, one of Jari Love's newest workout DVDs, isn't for sissies. I could tell this by simply hitting "play" on the remote and catching an eyeful of the chiseled hardbodies gleaming back at me from the screen.
The complete workout alternates strength and cardio moves and takes well over an hour to complete. Don't have the time? Then you can do the first half, the second half, just the cardio, just the strength, or just the short push-ups and abs portion.
In theory, there are three levels of difficulty to follow throughout the workout, but the reality is a little murkier. While Ellie, the Level 1 demonstrator, sticks pretty faithfully to the easiest version of most of the moves (except in the push-ups and abs segment), she sometimes inexplicably uses heavier weights than the folks doing the Levels 2 and 3 versions—not something beginners would want to do. And Kristen, the Level 2 demonstrator, doesn't seem to realize what her job is. As soon as it's time for everyone else to move up to Level 3, she goes right along, leaving the Level 2 exercisers at home to their own devices.
Jari is also not big on giving how-to explanations or tips on proper form. She just jumps right into the moves—sometimes the camera doesn't even show her lower body for the first few reps, making it hard to tell exactly what to do with your feet. (Luckily, the exercises are pretty easy to follow.)
All that being said, this is an excellent workout, both for strength and cardio—challenging, but very doable. The moves are easy to learn but not boring, and the three different levels allow you to customize the routine. You can also use a step (if you have one) during the workout to up the difficulty, but as my aching muscles can attest, you can easily get a butt-kicking workout without it.
Because of the lack of instruction, though, this DVD is not for newbies. You need to have enough experience to know how much weight to use, and how to maintain proper form throughout the moves.
The DVD cover proclaims you'll burn up to 1,000 calories an hour doing the full workout—which, I figured out, is roughly the equivalent of running up stairs without stopping for the same length of time. That seems a little optimistic. But, rest assured, this is one workout that will give you ample burn for your buck.
Product: Jari Love's Get Extremely Ripped! 1000
Pros: It's an excellent, challenging cardio/strength workout with handy options for routine length and level of difficulty.
Cons: The demonstrations of the different difficulty levels are a bit spotty, and there's little instruction on how to do the moves safely. Not for beginners.
Cost: $15 at JariLove.com
Extra tip: While Jari recommends wearing running shoes for this workout, a pair of cross-trainers would be better if you have them, since they'll provide more stability during the numerous lateral (side-to-side) moves.