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Foolproof Fitness

IT’S OFFICIAL: THE parkas and scarves have been retrieved from the back of the closet and dusted off for another five months of use. Foolproof Fitness fans, if you’ve read my earlier column on moving your outdoor workout indoors, you know the time has come to do so. One of my suggestions to keep up your fitness routine through the winter months is to follow an exercise DVD. If you’re ready to challenge yourself, pick up Get Ripped! Slim & Lean with Jari Love ($19.99,

The title and the background music may be a little cheesy, but don’t be mistaken—this is a fantastic, full-body workout that will kick your ass, in a good way. Love, a certified personal fitness trainer, leads you through 15 exercises that target all of your muscles. It is a fairly fast-paced workout with few breaks and plenty of repetitions, so your heart definitely gets pumping. Still not convinced? Here’s why you should give it a try.

It’s customizable

The DVD has 15 different exercises, or tracks. There’s a squat track, a lunge track, a chest press track, and so on. There’s also a stretching segment and an abs routine. Depending on how much time you have and which muscles you want to work, you can go through the full workout or select a few tracks. This is great when you have a limited amount of time before class or when you have a solid chunk of time on the weekend.

No fancy equipment required

All I use to complete the exercises is a balance ball, a yoga mat, and a set of dumbbells—items you can find at Walmart or even a garage sale. Since the workout is fast-paced and there are a lot of repetitions in each set, you will likely use a lighter weight than you normally do.

For example, if I’m doing tricep extensions at the gym, I use a 15-pound dumbbell. While I’m following the DVD, I use a five-pound dumbbell for the same exercise. If you don’t have dumbbells or you’re just starting out, a good number of the exercises (tricep dips, push-ups, squats) can be done using only your body weight.

It’s suitable for all fitness levels

Throughout the workout, Love suggests modifications for different fitness levels, and the three people following along in the background demonstrate these modifications. Unlike many fitness DVDs, you won’t get bored of this one.

Since it is so challenging, I find myself making modifications as I improve—from a push-up on my knees to a full push-up, for example. I’ve been following this DVD on and off for a couple of years now and still can’t complete all of the exercises at an advanced level. One day, my friends, one day.

—Sarah Horlick