Author Archives: Jason Layden

PlyoJam Shakes Up New Years Morning on Good Day LA

Watch as Spectrum’s Nicole Steen and PlyoJam founder Jason Layden lead the Good Day LA team through a fast paced, heart pumping, thousand-calorie-burning workout just in time for New Years Day.

Even veteran anchor Steve Edwards joins in and shakes it off on tv.

Read the full story

Take PlyoJam home for the new year and get committed to a new year and a new you with PlyoJam Dance Burnout the perfect workout for your new body

PlyoJam Dance Burnout is available on DVD and HD Digital Download on a device of your choosing, for your convenience.

Get PlyoJam Dance Burnout


Setting Realistic Goals (and when it’s time to buy a new dress!)

Written by Stacey Beaman, As told by Jason Layden

I hear it all too often. “I need to lose twenty pounds by next month.” The moment I hear this, I can’t help but cringe because I know this person, although well intentioned, is setting himself or herself up for failure. It drives me crazy, and it DOES NOT work. So today I want to tell you to STOP torturing yourself with these crazy and unattainable goals. STOP setting yourself up for failure. Whatever method you would have to use to lose twenty pounds by next month is certainly not going to be a healthy, realistic lifestyle change that you can maintain, and it will likely end up in weight gain. Which will then leave you sitting on the couch binging on powdered donuts while skipping the very event you wanted to lose twenty pounds to attend. I know…I’ve been there….we all have. So how about you wipe that sugar off your chin (I see you!) and let’s talk about setting realistic goals that will leave you feeling accomplished and proud.

WEIGHT LOSS – 1 pound per week

Seriously guys, you need to pace yourself here. You most likely didn’t gain that fifty pounds in two months, and you aren’t going to lose it in two months. Don’t rush it. I mean, Rome wasn’t built in a day, right? If it were, it would’ve looked like Detroit! (Sorry Michigan peeps) A realistic goal is to lose one pound per week. If you have fifty pounds to lose, you may need an entire year to reach your goal. I know that seems like a long time, but don’t let that throw you into a panic. That year is going to go by one way or another, and we all know time flies, so how about you make each day, each week, each month of that year count, and by next swimsuit season you’ll be feeling light, airy and accomplished. And, most importantly, if you lose approximately a pound per week, multiple studies show that you are likely to MAINTAIN that weight loss. This is key. You don’t want to put in the work just to gain it all back. So remember, slow and steady wins the race. Aim for one pound per week.

EXERCISE – Ease in!

How many times have you decided it was time to lose weight so you hopped on the computer and bought the next available Groupon for an eight week daily boot camp. This is probably not a good idea. I can’t stress enough how important it is to take it slow, especially when you haven’t worked out in a while. There are so many options out there to get in shape! I want to try them all. I consider myself to be fit (okay, REALLY fit), but even I can’t just jump into a new exercise program without taking it slow. I recently took a pilates class and I was sore for days! A new program means you are utilizing different muscles, so regardless of your fitness level, you WILL feel it in the morning. Ease yourself into a new workout. Give your body recovery time. Be sure to treat your body with care as you embark on new fitness adventures, because you definitely don’t want to burn yourself out and give up.

CLOTHING – Buy a new dress!

Still hanging on to that ten-year-old dress because you are bound and determined to fit into it again some day? STOP. Get rid of it. It’s most likely out of style, anyway. Nothing feels better than celebrating your weight loss milestones than buying a new size shirt or a dress style that you once felt uncomfortable wearing. Ok, maybe hang on to ONE pair of your “thin” jeans, just to use as a point of reference, but otherwise CLEAR THAT CLOSET! Make way for celebratory shopping sprees!

CELEBRATE – Treat yo self!

Speaking of celebratory shopping sprees, focus on CELEBRATING! Instead of stressing over those fifty pounds that will take forever to lose, focus on smaller, short term goals. Make yourself a celebration chart with rewards! When you reach ten pounds lost, treat yourself to a massage! When you accomplish a twenty pound weight loss, buy a new purse! When you reach thirty pounds, have a girls day at the spa! I know these rewards cost money, but you are WORTH it! Find things that work for your time constraints and budget, and as they say in Parks and Rec, TREAT YO SELF! It is important to keep your eye on the end goal, but it’s also imperative that you celebrate the accomplishments along the way.

Delicious & Healthy Quinoa Tabouleh

I think by now we all know that a fit, healthy body does not solely depend on exercise.  And, while we are always encouraging you to dance, dance, dance, we also want to share some nutritional tips and recipes to help keep your heart healthy and your body shapely.  We’ll try to share a new recipe at least once a month!  One of our favorite things to make and keep in the fridge is Quinoa Tabouleh.  Quinoa is an excellent source of protein, and this dish is loaded with veggies and bursting with flavor.  Make a batch of this on Sunday, and munch on it all week.

Here’s What You Will Need:

1 Cup Quinoa
2 Cups Water (or to punch up the flavor use organic vegetable broth)
1 Bunch Parsley – chopped
3 Green Onions – sliced into thin scallions
3 Medium Tomatoes – small dice
5 Small Persian Cucumbers – sliced length wise and then chopped into 1/4″ half moons (see photo below)
1/2 Medium Red Onion – medium dice
3 Cloves of Garlic – finely minced
Olive Oil (approx. 1/4 cup, but I just toss it on to taste)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Juice of a Medium Lemon (watch those seeds)

**Get creative and add a bit of mint, perhaps some diced watermelon, diced red and yellow bell peppers, or even some feta cheese! However, the recipe above is bursting with flavor as is!**

1. Step one is IMPORTANT!! Dry toast the quinoa in a sauce pan before adding any liquid. Stirring constantly, the quinoa will brown up a bit and smell almost like nutty popcorn! Do this for 4 to 5 minutes.

2. Add your water or vegetable broth to the quinoa and bring to a boil. After it’s boiling, reduce to a simmer. Leave it uncovered and simmering until all liquid is gone. Set aside to cool.

3. In a large bowl toss together your parsley, scallions, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper, and lemon juice. (and anything else you’ve decided to add)

4. Add your room temperature quinoa and mix together! SERVE!!!

This is a beautiful dish, bursting with flavor! And it’s quite lovely, aesthetically speaking!  We hope you enjoy!


Find Out How Dancing Makes Your Bones Happy!

I think we can all agree that dancing is a true source of joy. It is a stress reliever, a soul lifter, a time to let go and lose yourself in rhythm and tempo. Attending a PlyoJam class can almost be a spiritual experience, where we can work out our bodies and minds and be ready to face a new day. Dancing does so many wonderful things for the mind and the spirit, which we could talk about forever! But, today we want to focus on one of the significant physical health benefits that dancing lends our bodies. That benefit is the increase in bone mass, and the prevention and reduction of bone loss.

Did you know that peak bone mass, when bones reach their maximum strength and density, occurs by about age thirty in women? Thirty seems young! We were shocked, too! What this means is prior to age thirty, women should be doing everything possible to achieve a higher peak bone density. After age thirty, women don’t usually see a significant change in their bone density for a while, but it’s extremely important to maintain their peak bone density. And of course, as women reach their fifties, it’s crucial to reduce the chance of bone loss. According to Dorothy Klock, MD, Board Certified Family Physician AND one of our very own PlyoJam students, “After menopause, women begin to experience bone loss, which continues throughout the postmenopausal years and can lead to osteoporosis.” Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to become weak and brittle, often leading to fractures and breaks. And, since we love our PlyoJammers and don’t want to see any broken hips or fractured ankles on the dance floor, we are here to stress the importance of keeping your bones healthy and strong. While there are numerous factors that affect peak bone mass including gender, race, hormonal factors, and nutrition, experts agree that exercising is crucial to bone health. Like muscle, bone is living tissue that responds to exercise by becoming stronger.

Specifically, weight-bearing exercises will help to maintain bone strength and prevent loss. What is a weight-bearing exercise? According to Dr. Klock, “A weight-bearing exercise is one in which you must exercise against gravity, such as walking, hiking, tennis, jogging, and DANCING!” An example of a non weight-bearing exercise would be swimming. While swimming is still an excellent form of cardio exercise, it does not include the weight-bearing benefits that other exercises provide. Along with a nutrient rich diet, particularly rich in nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D, we want you to keep those dancing shoes polished and continue to dance, dance, dance! We want our PlyoJam family to be of healthy mind, heart and body, which most definitely includes healthy, strong bones!  Whether you are working to achieve a higher bone mass, maintain that mass, or working to prevent the loss of bone mass in your postmenopausal years, dancing benefits women of all ages. Just another bonus in the wonderful world of dance! See you on the dance floor!


Gerrard Panahon – CFO

Gerrard Panahon is the Chief Financial Officer at PlyoJam, LLC. He manages all the company’s finances and ensures that the PlyoJam dream ship keeps sailing ahead. Gerrard also serves as a Financial Analyst for a nonprofit. Outside of work, Gerrard stays busy cooking up delicious dishes in the kitchen and volunteering for various organizations in the greater Los Angeles area. He holds an MBA from Loyola Marymount University.

Heidi Llovet – Nutritionist, Personal Trainer

Heidi’s background is in dance, fitness and personal training. She is a graduate of UCLA and the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in NY. As a professional dancer for 12 years Heidi was very active, but developed some poor eating habits. Skipping meals, eating too much sugar and not balancing her diet were daily issues for her. A few years after Heidi transitioned from dance to fitness, she added personal training to her repertoire and began to learn more about healthy eating and nutrition.
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