Let’s Get R.I.P.P.E.D.

A couple years ago, my sister asked me to come with her to a workout class our friend was teaching.  Exercising in public has never really been a positive thing for me.  For one thing, I sweat.  A lot.  Like enough to cause concern.  “No, I’m not going to pass out.  I’m fine, I promise.  I have overactive pores!”  Second, I’m clumsy (See exhibit Ninja Down).  Jumping around in unison with a large group of people usually ends badly for me (See exhibit Interpretive Dance).  Third, I don’t look good in a leotard.  Group exercise immediately conjures up the image of Jane Fonda in this little striped number and there’s no way I could pull off this look.


Needless to say, I was skeptic.  And out of shape.  I had just recently grown a human and my body jiggled in all the wrong places.  The last thing I wanted to do was go out and make it jiggle in front of others.  But I had to do something and I’m easily persuaded by peer pressure so eventually, I found myself at a R.I.P.P.E.D. class.  I had no idea what to expect.  Just that I needed weights and a yoga mat.  And lots of water. I eventually discovered I’d also need a towel for sopping up the fruits of my labor.  Oh, how naive I was that first class.  Minutes into the warm-up, I was already winded.  And then came the jumping.  And the squats.  And the push-ups! Oh, all that is holy, the push-ups!   By the ab section at the end, I was on the verge of vomiting.  That class kicked my ass like no other. I lumbered over to the front desk, trying not to dry heave, and promptly bought a thirty-class pass.

My sister, Sarah, our instructor, Amy, and me demonstrating R.I.P.P.E.D. at a 5k race.

My sister, Sarah, our instructor, Amy, and me demonstrating R.I.P.P.E.D. at a 5k race.

Over the next few months, I attended class two or three times a week, sometimes running the three miles to the gym before. I felt myself getting stronger and stronger, until I could actually do real push-ups.  And yet, R.I.P.P.E.D. didn’t get any easier.  I couldn’t understand!  After 6 months, I was stronger than I’d ever been but I still left my workouts completely drenched in sweat and hardly able to walk the next day.  I even got certified to teach R.I.P.P.E.D. but the program continued to challenge my endurance.  Turns out, that’s the way, uh huh, uh huh, they like it.

Getting certified!

Getting certified!

R.I.P.P.E.D. was designed to be plateau proof. It incorporates six elements of fitness: resistance (which is basically arms), intervals (cardio), power (large muscle groups i.e. squats), plyometrics (agility), endurance (kickboxing), and diet.  There’s also an ab section but they didn’t include it in the acronym because RIPPEAD wasn’t as catchy.  These sections can be taught in sequence or out of order for an added challenge.  There are 13 seasons now and the instructors like to mix and match the routines so that the class never gets boring.  And a 50 minute R.I.P.P.E.D. class can burn between 750-1000 calories.  That’s an insane amount of calories!  The best thing about this type of exercise?  I know what’s coming and I know how much further I have to go.  Each section is about 6-9 minutes long and I can push myself as hard as I want to.  Or I can ease up a bit when I’m not feeling so hot. It’s the only workout I’ve experienced that has truly transformed the shape of my body.

And it’s time to get back to it.  My workout needs a reboot and R.I.P.P.E.D. is just the program to do it.  Since running has become my main focus, I haven’t spent much time in the R.I.P.P.E.D. gym but I recently started going back.  Running can only do so much when it comes to definition, especially with regards to upper body.  It’s time to get ripped!

Do you have a “go to” workout regime?  Do you loathe group exercise?  Any classes I should try?  Tell me all about it in the comments!

10 thoughts on “Let’s Get R.I.P.P.E.D.

  1. That is so awesome! I am terribly afraid of group exercise classes that don’t involve a mat and some quiet time. I definitely need to step out of my comfort zone. It sounds like you did and loved it! I enjoy going to classes but mostly stick to yoga (I’m a creature of habit). I would love to try some classes they have in the pool at my gym, spin and maybe some kind of high energy workout like step or body pump.
    I will mostly likely break out my Jane Fonda workout gear if I ever put my big girl pants on and go! :p
    Karen @karenlovestorun

    • I’m so afraid of trying a spin class! I see them in there when I go to the gym and they look miserable, lol. RIPPED is super fun, I get to hoot and holler and shake it to the music, all while getting my butt royally kicked.

  2. I’d live to try RIPPED and, after reading your post I’m going to search it out in my area. Right now, though, I’m really into Body Pump. It’s a group exercise weight training class that lets me feel like a pumped up badass without having to venture into the meathead-filled, Oz-like free weight section of the gym. It’s definitely my go to!

    • I’m pretty sure I’ve done Body Pump a couple of times. I really liked it, the weights didn’t seem too challenging but the intensity is in the speed of the program. I just can’t get my body to move that fast! RIPPED is very similar!

  3. As terrifying as it was as a newbie, yoga was my class of choice (power vinyasa, to be more precise). It provides a great balance to my running routine, and it has transformed my body / muscles like no other form of exercise has. and, it is also never easy!

    • On Saturdays, I do a power/deep stretch yoga class after RIPPED. And I literally drip with sweat. I started bringing my own mat because I was embarrassed at the mess I left behind! And you’re right, it is NEVER easy! Some of those poses make me want to throw up, lol.

    • I am also a fan of the at home workout video. Kathy Smith’s weight training and Neena and Veena’s belly dance tapes are two of my favorites. I was really surprised, though, at how much I enjoyed the social aspect of group exercise. I mean, if I don’t show to class, people text me and want to know why! It’s a level of accountability that I need to keep me in gear. I have no self-motivation, it’s all about extrinsic rewards for me, lol.

  4. I’m so glad you told us about this, Cam. They have RIPPED classes at my local gym. It sounded intimidating but maybe I’ll give it a try.

    I used to teach hop hop aerobics, so I do enjoy group classes. Now I’m more likely to do a yoga class than anything else though.

    • Dude, try it a couple times. The first time was horrible but I always come back to RIPPED to get my ass back on track. And I want you to teach me hip hop aerobics!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *