Here we go again. This’ll be the third Men’s Health Staff Challenge, following the roaring successes of 2011 and 2013. It’s my third go-around as well, and this time I’m learning from last time’s mistakes.

In 2011 I had a personal trainer at the SA Sport Science Institute. I’d hit their gym a couple times a week, getting bespoke, goal-focussed training from a qualified trainer. At the end of it, I was very happy with the results.

In 2013 I did an at-home programme using some MH branded home-gym equipment that our marketing guys had lying around the office. Over the next few weeks, the wheels fell off the wagon. Either I used the equipment wrong, or I used the wrong equipment, because I ended the challenge with unbearable lower-back pain (which, in a twist that your chiropractor won’t ever tell you about when he checks you in for your first treatment, sent my insurance premiums through the roof) and pretty much zero goals achieved. Oh, and our Marketing Manager asked for the equipment back. Cheapskate.

So in 2015 I’m going to do things properly.

I’ve signed up with the SA Sports Science Institute’s new programme, RIPT. Here’s a montage video of how it works:

Basically, what they’ve done is they’ve taken all the things they like about CrossFit, kept those, and then thrown out the things they don’t like. Under “things they like”, you’ve got diversified training, scalable exercises, small groups, Olympic lifts and HIIT. Under “things they don’t like”, you’ve got the increased risk of injury that naturally comes when you tell somebody to lift heavy things “until failure”.

Quick disclaimer here: I love CrossFit. Of all the exercise methods I’ve tried, it’s the one that’s worked best for me. (I’d go so far as to say it’s the only one that’ll really work for anybody.) I love the WODs, I love the strength/cardio mix, and I love the scalability. (You’ve got to admire a system which lets one person do lifts with a 50kg barbell while the person next to them does the same lift with a piece of PVC piping… and there’s no judgement either way.)

So I’m very keen to give RIPT a try. Classes start next week. I’ll keep y’all posted on how things go.