I finally had the opportunity to play with my new TRX Rip Trainer today. I did my usual workout and then put in the basic training DVD that came with it. Below is a brief list of the Rip Trainer pros and cons followed by the DVD pros and cons.
Rip Trainer Pros:
- The bar is heavy, allowing for pretty decent shoulder stabilization work if done properly.
- The medium tension is perfect for me, a fairly fit female.
- Set-up is easy.
- It does an excellent job working the core in anti-rotation (which is where I am weakest).
- It easily allows for multi-planar movement.
- It can be adapted for many people/levels.
- The bar is heavy. If a person lacks good shoulder stabilization, it would be difficult to accomplish many repetitions.
- The medium tension would be too easy for most athletic men. This would require the purchase of more challenging tension, shooting the price over $200.
- It does require a little bit of room. My little condo barely had the space for me to easily work both sides (the personal training studio I work out of, on the other hand, has plenty of floor space for it).
- Unlike the TRX suspension trainer, which I have even used with my 86 year-old client, it is not suitable for all levels. The heavy bar coupled with the challenging nature of multi-planar movements, makes it more accessible for people who have a decent level of fitness.
Rip Trainer Basic Training DVD Pros:
- The physical therapist who explains the basic anatomy of the core does an excellent job. He gives a nice overview without going into too much detail. The average viewer with little anatomical knowledge would get a basic sense of spinal anatomy without getting overwhelmed.
- Efficient workout.
- I felt like the cueing was seriously lacking. In contrast with the TRX Essentials of Strength DVD which has excellent cueing, very few auditory cues were given. The moves are a bit complicated if you have never done them before, and I had to pause a couple of times to get the hand and foot set-up correct. I have a much stronger background in movement than most people, and I think an inexperienced exerciser would struggle with this.
- Grooving proper movement patterns is discussed in the anatomy portion, and then disappears during the workout portion. The workout is squat heavy. In my experience, few people can perform a proper squat. I thought a deeper explanation was necessary, as well as some modifications for people lacking in adequate hip mobility.
Overall, a good product. It will enhance some of my clients' existing programs, and I will certainly use it. However, if you are only going to buy one thing, this isn't it. This is a great product for athletes who move in multi-directional patterns, such as tennis players, golfers, and lacrosse players.
Yours in health and wellness,