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.
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.
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!