Since I started the #MHTeamFit #StaffChallenge #HashtagProject, I’ve had a lot of people asking me what I’m doing. The short answer is RIPT. But that’s not a great answer.

RIPT – as explained here – is Researched Innovative Performance Training, and it’s been put together by the fitness experts at the SA Sports Science Institute. And, to give a point of reference, it’s basically all the good things about CrossFit. But that’s not a great answer either. I guess, like The Matrix, no-one can be told what RIPT is. You have to see it for yourself.

So here’s a look at the RIPT class I did this morning. The lineup is written on a white board at the start of every session, but it still needs a bit of explaining…

 

oneClick on the image for a bigger version.
C’mon, man! You know how these things work!

 

WARM-UP
Mod Tyre Burpees:
It’s a normal burpee, but instead of doing the push-up off the floor, you’re doing it off a large construction vehicle tyre.
Plank Get Up’s (Suicides): From the plank position (on your elbows), move up, one arm at a time, into a push-up position (on your hands).
DB Air Punching: Stand and throw a punch, one arm at a time, holding a dumbbell in each hand. I picked two 5kg ’bells. Kinda wish I’d noticed the 3kg numbers lying next to them.
Bodyweight Alt Lunges: Lunge on one leg, then hop into a lunge on the other leg. Makes you look like you’re from the Ministry of Funny Walks. Makes you feel like your legs are going to fall off.

 

DYNAMIC STRETCH
There’s a lot of stretching at RIPT – which is exactly what the doctor (or physio, or chiropractor) ordered. You do loads of lifting and HIIT, and if you’re not adequately limbered up, you’ll hurt yourself. Which would explain why you get so many okes limping out of their local GloboGym, klapping a protein shake and wondering why they’re so sore, after they’ve just gone cold into a weights session.

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 LIFTING PREP : SUPERSET [ 4 x 10 ]
For this, we teamed up into pairs: one on the squats, one on the push-ups, then switching.

Back Squats (2-1-1): Simple enough – but, as always, you’ve got to get your form right: head up, butt backwards. Dip slowly for a two-count, then hold for one, then up in one. Do 10 reps. Then remind yourself that this is still, technically, the warm-up.
Yoga Push-ups: Do a push-up, and then on the up, extend yourself into a Downward Dog position. Then drop back down into a push-up, and repeat until your buddy is done with his 10 squats.

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 MET CON : 5 x 4 [ 30s ]
MET CON? More like DEFCON. If you’ve done CrossFit, you’ll know all about Metabolic Conditioning. It’s a quick circuit of lung-bursting, leg-burning, arm-dropping-offing moves. Again you’re in pairs, and the class rotates through the various bases. You do the full circuit five times, spending 30 seconds at each base.

• Pull Ups: Exactly as you’d expect. I cheated and used a bench, going up easy but then coming down again slowly. I hate pull ups. Thirty seconds of me wishing I was somewhere else (or in the same place with stronger arms and shoulders and drastically lighter body weight).
• Squat Jumps: Jump, then – in one fluid motion – do down into a deep squat, then explode up into the jump. Sounds like fun! And it is! For one rep. Somewhere around 20 seconds you’ll start reconsidering your opinion.
• Double Arm Battle Ropes: It’s the old pretend-your-an-old-school-carriage-driver number. Remember, as always, to use your whole arms. A flick of the wrists looks good, but doesn’t do anything for you (apart from building some seriously strong wrists).
• Wall Sits W Pezzi: You go into a sitting position against a wall, with your back pressed up against a stability ball. Knees at 90 degrees, back straight. Again, this sounds pretty easy… and it is, for the first five seconds. Then, around 10, you feel the legs start to wobble. Then by 25 seconds you’re praying for the 30-second whistle.
• Rower: Get on the rowing machine, and go for 30 seconds. Easy peasy.

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CORE:

• Rocking Front Plank [10]: In a plank position, you keep your body parallel to the ground, and use your shoulders to “slide” forward and backwards.
• Dynamic Side Plank [10/side]: Side plank. That’s the one where you feel like your ribs are going to tear out of your body.
• Russian Twist Pyramid [5-1]: Sit down, take a medicine ball, and move it from one side of your body to the other, pushing the ball down (to the floor) and outwards (when it’s in front of you) as you go. Left, Right, Front, Left, Right, Front… in reps of five, then four, then three, two, one.
• Dead Bugs [10/side]: It’s like a birddog… but you’re on your back. You’ll have to look this one up, because I’m spent.
• Anti Rotational Holds [10s / side]: That’s it. I’m done.

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COOLDOWN
More stretching. Can’t get enough of it, really. And it’s exactly what your body will need after an hour-long session like this.