Rip:60 is a progressive workout program that uses a suspension band and a kettlebell. The program is 8 weeks long. It has 8 main workouts and 4 bonus workouts. The program comes with a workout schedule that has you working out 5 days a week with 2 rest days. When you get to the second half of the program you can have 3 rest days if you wish. It is structured so that you do one workout for an entire week, before moving on to the next workout. The workouts get more difficult each week and build upon each other. Jeremy Strom is the trainer for the 8 week program. He is a very upbeat and motivational trainer who did a great job. Though the straps are the basis of the program, you do not use them for every move. The workouts are circuit based and go between strength and cardio so that it is frequently an interval program. Like most workouts, the intensity depends on you. With weight lifting, if you lift heavier, you work harder. In Rip:60 you’re using your body weight for resistance, so you change your position (“optimization” as Jeremy calls it) and you increase or decrease the intensity.
Possible negatives: The strap is mounted in a doorway. If you don’t have a doorway near a TV this could be an issue. You can purchase a mount for the ceiling and connect the strap there, but for me, this was impractical. I think that would be the ideal way to use the strap (mounted to the ceiling) but my workout room is a room that was added onto our house by previous owners and the ceiling would not accommodate my bodyweight hanging from it! Luckily, I have a doorway near enough to the workout-TV to make it work just fine for me. However, using it in doorway limits the way you can do some of the moves. Not drastically—they are all still doable. The straps used on the DVD are hung from the ceiling, so you can see that the DVD exercisers have more freedom of movement in certain moves than doorway users. This was most obvious during one of the bonus workouts: GSP’s Lean Muscle.
The straps themselves are easy to use and adjust. I read a lot of the Amazon reviews about this product and some people had problems adjusting them. I have no input on that because I had zero problem. It worked just like the instructions said it worked. So maybe that was the problem? They didn’t bother to read the instructions?
The program comes with a food plan as all good workout programs do. This one was unimpressive. It gives a general calorie count and macronutrient break down for each day (weeks 1-4 you eat approx 1300 calories; weeks 5-8 you eat approx. 1500-1700 calories—there is an optional snack). Calorie counts and nutritional breakdown are not listed for each individual meal/snack/day. I looked through it but didn’t follow it. Like any workout program, if you want to lose weight/fat, 80% of it happens in the kitchen. You can have the best fitness program around but then eat your way through every calorie burned—and hide all the muscle you create under a layer of fat. So eat clean, eat the appropriate amount of calories, do the workouts and you’ll get results.
OK, on to the workouts:
Week 1 Wake Up Your Body: 50 minutes long; 18 minute warm up, 22 minute training round and 10 minute cool down/stretch. Because the program is progressive, I found the first week pretty easy; however it wasn’t a waste of time. I’ve never used a suspension band before, so it did get me familiar with it. Also, there was an intense little circuit at the end—4 minutes of jumping jacks. Not your basic jumping jacks either. He varies the arm and feet moves throughout. The warm up is long, but very well put together. You literally warm up every muscle and joint in your body. The cool down/stretch is lovely. I especially love it after the more difficult workouts in later weeks. You do the exact same cool down every week, except week 4 which has no cool down/stretch.
Week 2 Hyperburn: 53 minutes long; 14 minute warm up, 29 minute training round and 10 minute cool down/stretch. Week 2 is a more respectable workout. Still not the intensity I am accustomed to, but I liked it. The warm up is shorter and a bit more intense. The pin is removed from the suspension band and “rotation” is introduced. You get on the ground for the first time this week with your feet in the straps. And he doesn’t neglect the jumping jack circuit. It’s still there to kick your butt.
Week 3 Turn and Burn: 55 minutes long; 14 minute warm up, 31 minute training round and 10 minute cool down/stretch. Week 3 really kicks it up a notch. Much more challenging. The first move after the warm up is burpees—for a solid minute! He ends the workout with jump lunges. Once again—you get your jumping jack circuit in there as well!
Week 4 Recharge: 60 minutes; 18 minute warm up 42 minute training round. You’ll go back to week 1’s warm up—the longest and easiest of them all. Then you do a long, repetitive yoga routine. I did not like this workout. I suppose it had its purpose. I didn’t feel that I needed a recovery week, but Jeremy stresses throughout the workout how it is preparing you for the next 4 weeks, so I did it as directed. You do a yoga circuit 3 times on each side for a total of 6 times. The circuit starts with a Sun Salutation, which I always enjoy, but then ends with balance moves—which I do not enjoy. There is no cool down.
Week 5 Build it Up: 60 minutes; 17 minute warm up, 33 minute training round and 10 minute cool down/stretch. This is where this program gets serious. This week the program started to finally get into the intensity I am accustomed to and looking for in a workout. You also start using the kettle bell this week. The warm up is long again, but more intense—it included plank jacks and mountain climbers. This same warm up will be used for the next 4 weeks. Don’t worry! In addition to making everything with the suspension band harder, you still get burpees, jumping jacks and jump lunges! You will also be putting one foot into the bands to do one legged squats—so I guess Jeremy did have a reason to make you do lots of balance yoga in week 4.
Week 6 Power and Strength: 65 minutes; 17 minute warm up, 38 minute training round and 10 minute cool down/stretch. In my opinion, this was the hardest workout of the entire 8 weeks and the one that I will come back to again and again. It was incredibly intense. It worked the abs so hard—and mostly in plank position with your feet in the straps. You still get your burpees, jumping jacks and jump lunges, but in addition, he decides to throw burpees into the middle of other cardio moves. Amazing. Intense. The best workout of the 8, I think. I am wiped out by the end and loving the long cool/down stretch.
Week 7 Pedal to the Metal: 52 minutes; 17 minute warm up, 25 minute training round and 10 minute cool down/stretch. This workout is shorter but still intense. This workout seems more interval based. The circuits are shorter and faster—and you do several of them in a row then take a 30 second recovery. Another new aspect is that the jumping jack circuit is gone—a cause for celebration you’d think… Until jacks reappear at the end in a new way. Previous workouts ended with a minute of jump lunges—hard enough. This one has 3-4 minute montage burnout. He takes it all—jump lunges, jumping jacks, speed runners, burpees—and throws them together so that you are about to collapse at the end.
Week 8 The Peak: 52 minutes; 17 minute warm up, 25 minute training round and 10 minute cool down/stretch. The Peak is a good name for this. Still not as hard as week 6 in my opinion, but it comes close. New move? Mountain climbers with your feet in the straps. Plank T push ups with your feet in the straps (so hard!). Holding positions for some very challenging isometric moves. And he ends with a similar burn out montage like week 7.
I found I really liked this 8 week program. I am a program junky. I’ve done a lot of them (P90X, Insanity, TurboFire, Peak Fit Challenge and ChaLean Extreme) and while I liked all of them, they became repetitive after a while. By the end of the programs I am sick of the workouts and ready to move on to something new. With Rip:60, every week is a brand new workout. True, the works are similar, but they are also different enough to keep interest fresh.
The program schedule doesn’t include the 4 bonus workouts and gives no information or suggestions on how they should be incorporated into the program. So I just did them in the same manner as the rest of the program. One a week. Here’s how it turned out:
Jillian Michaels Fat Shred: 23 minutes; 4 minute warm up, 14 minute training round and 5 minute cool down. When I initially received Rip:60, this was the type of workout I expected. Not the length, necessarily (though that is classic Jillian Michaels—short & sweet—and super intense!), but the fact that every single move in this workout uses the band/strap. Though the warm up and cool down are short, you will recognize all of the moves as they are ones that Jeremy uses in his warm ups and cool downs. The training round is pretty intense and fast paced. Again, lots of familiar moves; you do each for a minute then quickly move onto the next one. No time to adjust bands. The first time I did the workout I had the remote control nearby to pause it. After that, I just kept the straps at the lowest level. You use optimization after all, so I just moved farther away, or closer, depending on the move. Though it is a short workout, it is intense and hits every muscle. The lower body moves in particular were painful. She ends with 4 of them—one right after the other, each for a solid minute: mountain climbers, supine flutter kicks, then in plank (swimmers) and finally crunches with hip raises (feet in straps of course). My legs were aching afterward. Do I do this work out alone? No; even though it is a solid workout, 23 minutes is not adequate workout time for me, so I combine it with another 30 minute workout. If you want to stick with Rip:60 you can do the Runners workout (44 minutes) or the yoga workout (29 minutes). I did Jillian Michael’s Ripped in 30 workouts to really brutalize myself. One con to this workout was that there is no timer! In Jeremy’s workouts we get a timer for the majority of the moves so you have an idea when the pain will end. No timer here. I would have really liked that timer during the last 4 moves on the floor!
Georges St. Pierre (GSP) Lean Muscle: No warm up or cool down. Training period 37 minutes. There is a lot to say about this workout, but let me start with—holy cow! This is the mother of all Rip:60 workouts! Every time I do this one all my muscles are trembling at the end. It is an advanced total body cardio + strength workout. This workout has no warm up or cool down. However both are needed. Jeremy narrates this workout, giving all of the instructions and even he says, more than once, to make sure you do the warm up and cool down. And yet, no warm up and cool down is provided on the disk. I found this irritating. So, you can create your own warm up/cool down, or do what I did. I used Week 3’s warm up since it is one of the shortest (14 minutes) and then just popped it back in after GSP’s workout was finished for the 10 minute cool down/stretch. So that added approx 24 minutes to the workout, rounding it out to a solid hour. The workout has 5 “rounds”—like a boxing (or MMA) match. Each round is approx 5 minutes long and contains 5 moves. Each move is done for 30 seconds and then repeated, bringing you to your 5 minutes. Then you get a 30 second recovery in which GSP gives you a few motivational words. Good news—your timer is back (it was absent in Jillian Michael’s workout). Every move is done with the strap and each round gets progressively harder, so that by the final round you are doing advanced moves like one legged burpees with one foot in the strap. There are a few moves in this workout that would work much better if your strap is secured to the ceiling rather than a doorway. Having a door behind you makes the move awkward and difficult to do properly. But this “con” is present in only a few moves—not all of them. Overall it is an excellent, intense workout that I plan to come back to again and again.
Power Yoga 28 minutes, no warm up or cool down. Jeremy is back, leading this bonus workout. I really liked Power Yoga more than I expected to. I liked it much more than Week 4 Yoga. One thing I enjoyed about this yoga workout was that you use the strap–in week 4 you only used the strap for the warm up (which was not yoga), then did all the yoga sans strap. You start out with 2 sun salutations (all sun salutations are done without the strap), then you do warrior poses using the strap. This is another situation, particularly with warrior 2, where having your straps mounted to the ceiling would make these moves work better. I found with my strap in the doorway, warrior 2 just didn’t work the way it did for the DVD exercisers. You do another sun salutation before doing the warrior poses on the other side. Another sun salutation, then you do the dancer pose using the strap. I really liked this. I have horrible balance but using the strap for the dancer made it doable for me (same with warrior 3, actually)! Another sun salutation and finish with pigeon on each leg. It was a relaxing little yoga workout and for me, it was just the right length.
For Runners 44 minutes; 12 minute warm up, 22 minute training period and 10 minute cool down. This was an interesting and effective workout. Jeremy leads this workout and throughout, explains how each move (including warm up moves) benefit a runner. It has the shortest warm up and though the warm up has a lot of familiar components, it has a lot of new ones, as well. There are only a few new moves in this workout. IMHO, it is kind of a review of most of the Rip:60 moves you learned over the past 8+ weeks, and there is nothing wrong with that. It doesn’t have much of a cardio component like his other workouts do, but again, that’s ok. It is mainly strength focused. It does have some cardio tho–some plyo jumps, some burpees, a few other moves that get the heart rate up. The length of time a move is done is varied–he introduces a 20/60 structure, where you do a move for 60 seconds but vary the intensity every 20 seconds. He also does some moves for 60 seconds and others for 30/60. It was a mix of everything. He ended with the standard cool down that is in most of the other workouts. Overall, it is a solid workout and I liked it. I felt like I got a good workout but it wasn’t the intensity I am accustomed to and prefer. I might use it in the future as a recovery day workout.