I discovered RIPT90 thanks to Amazon recommending products it thinks I might be interested in based on my past purchases, my wishlist, my browsing history, etc. RIPT90 appears relatively new. I have not seen this particular program before but Amazon has recommended others by the same company: X-TrainFit. I have looked at X-TrainFit’s other programs but they have never interested me. They looked cheaply made and too easy. Before I bought RIPT90, I thought it actually looked like a quality program (production value). Though I should have been clued in by the price. (I paid $29.98; it is currently going for $29.96 on Amazon.) After receiving and reviewing it (but before doing it!), I changed my opinion. It is pretty cheaply made. However, just because Beachbody didn’t put it together with a great studio, staff and packaging doesn’t mean the actual workouts are not worthwhile or challenging. It is actually an excellent program. Do not misunderstand–I have my criticism and nitpicks, as you will find in this review, but over all, with some tweaks, this is an awesome value for only $30. There is quality in the workouts–just not in the production.
RIPT90 contains 14 workouts ranging in time from 14-42 minutes. They are very metabolic, very intense and advanced. And they have no stretch or cool down at the end, which I discovered right away when my husband and I were previewing the workouts. This irritates me to no end. But I just used a Cathe workout stretch to finish off any RIPT90 workout I did. However, I was generally doing more than one RIPT90 workout back to back and I only have an hour to workout in the morning; also, I like to keep my doubles workouts to 30 minutes. So I couldn’t do a long stretch and most of Cathe’s are thorough and last 5-7 minutes. But if you are simply doing one RIPT90 workout a day (as the rotation calendar directs you to do) then finish it off with RIPT90’s Stretch DVD. It is an excellent 17 minute total body stretch and since these workouts are so short, that leaves plenty of time for a thorough stretch. Besides–your body needs it after the intensity of these workouts.
RIPT90 was created and led by trainer Jodi Hendrix. It comes with a training guide, a nutrition plan and a workout rotation calendar. The “training guide” is very brief and generic. It breaks the 90 days into three 30 day segments–Conditioning, Strength, Sculpting… but they all use the same workouts. They just mix them up differently. I counted them on the calendar. I did not count Stretch or RIPT Abs in my count. You do all of the workouts 1-2 times the first month, all of the workouts 1-2 times the second month except for Shoulder Pressure and Deadlift Killer which you do 3 times and in month 3 you do all of the workouts 1-2 times except, Shoulder Pressure, Deadlift Killer and Chest Shredder which you do 3 times. I didn’t follow the rotation calendar but maybe I should have. There is a lot of shoulder work in these workouts and not just in Shoulder Pressure. This program is full of thrusters and other compound exercises that work the shoulders and they appear in many of the workouts. By the end of the week (I did the entire program over one week) my shoulders were aching. So maybe the calendar separates workouts so you aren’t burning your shoulders out. Maybe not. I don’t know because I am never going to follow it. However, you can do as I did and create workout cards to track how heavy you lifted or just use my break down below and don’t schedule workouts that hit the shoulders hard close together. I did them in a week for the purpose of giving them all a try. When I use the workouts in the future I will not use them in the same fashion and will mix them up with workouts from other trainers/programs.
The “Training Guide” also tells you what RIPT stands for: Resistance Interval Plyometrics Training. It lists each workout and how many calories it estimates a 30 year old, 5’11”, 200 pound man will burn doing each workout. There is a short description of each workout that really gives you no useful information but does contain typos. The Nutrition Guide is probably the most useful part of the supplemental literature. It has some healthy recipes with nutritional breakdowns and some basic instructions on clean eating. The casing for the DVDs is actually very nice and reminiscent of P90X; in fact, another thing about this series is “reminiscent” of P90X. At the beginning of every workout in P90X, there is a little clip, set in a completely separate/different setting, in which Tony Horton talks about the workout you are about to do. It’s very brief but unique to P90X. Well, RIPT90 does exactly that. Right before each workout there is a short clip of Jodi Hendrix in a completely different setting giving a little summary of the workout you are about to do–frequently attempting to be clever/funny. I like the workouts enough that I shrug it off, but it’s such an obvious Tony Horton/P90X rip-off that it is cringe-worthy. The workouts are set is a small room, nothing fancy or ascetically pleasing. There is a timer that counts down the workout and there is band along the bottom of the screen that tells you what exercise you are doing and what the next exercise will be. There is also a counter that sometimes lists the correct number of reps you are supposed to do and sometimes it doesn’t. Jodi always has two exercisers behind him. One is doing modified version of the exercise and/or is also using a band rather than dumbbells or pull-up bar.
This program is a metabolic strength series. It’s advanced and its tough. You will burn fat and increase/define muscle (with proper diet of course). My husband did this series before me and he didn’t care for it nearly as much as I did. In spite of my criticisms I loved these workouts. They challenged me. A lot! I will definitely use these workouts again. I didn’t love Jodi; didn’t hate him either. He did a decent job. His count was frequently off. He frequently took breaks to “demonstrate form” but unlike other trainers, it clearly seemed he is taking a break because it was very hard. He doesn’t seem well versed in basic physiological information that any good trainer should know. You almost never see the modified version of an exercise in a timely manner. However, he does frequently encourage you to modify moves, sit out a set, or do less reps to bring the workouts to your level of fitness. Why didn’t my husband like these workouts? He didn’t like Jodi, he thought the workouts were too hard (he doesn’t like the metabolic aspect of it) and he hated all of the squats. My husband does not like to work his lower body and avoids it completely. Well, Jodi manages to bring squats into every workout. Not just in the warm up (there are always squats in the warm ups)–but in the workouts, too, including upper body workouts. Sometimes he just makes you squat, other times he incorporates squats into a compound move that works both the upper and lower body. I love that aspect of it because I love squats–my husband does not! He hates squats. And finally–the warm up and lack of stretch were some other things I didn’t like. You do the exact same warm up in every single workout. 1 or 2 of the workouts vary it slightly, but otherwise it is identical. And its not that great to begin with! So having to do it ad nauseam (as Tony Horton makes you do in P90X2–but at least RIPT90’s warm ups aren’t 15-18 minutes long like P90X2’s are!) gets old if you are following this as a 90 day program. And as mentioned in many places throughout this review, I am highly irritated there are zero cool downs and stretches in these workouts.
Finally, the background music is low key and generic. However each DVD has the option of playing it without the music. On to the individual workouts.
Minute by Minute is 25 minutes long with a 5 minute warm up. For the warm up you will repeat the standard jog in place, downdog to push up, squat circuit twice. Minute by Minute is actually a sort of “fit test” for this program. It was the last workout I did when sampling this series, but if you are using the rotation calendar it will be the first workout you do and the last. You will also do it several other times in the 90 day period, but it is used as a way to see how far you’ve progressed–as well as get a great workout! This workout consists of one circuit made up of 3 different exercises (5 pull ups, 10 push ups and 15 unweighted squats) that you repeat 20 times. You read that right–20 times. The aim is to complete each circuit in less than a minute so you have some recovery time before repeating (Jodi and crew averaged 15-20 seconds recovery time). If you can do 20 circuits at the most advanced level (as in no modifications) then you are super fit. It is impossible for me currently and probably always. If you do the entire workout, w/ no personal breaks, and do every single rep, then that is 100 pull ups, 200 push ups and 300 squats. Currently I cannot even do 1 unassisted pull up, and only 2-3 using an assist. So obviously I was modifying with bands. (**I decided to test myself after I posted this review and I was able to do 10 assisted pull ups. Nowhere near the 100 this workout calls for. Plus, due to the fact I have to get my foot in and out of the assist (which is time consuming), I will stick with bands so I get some recovery time). I also went to my knees on push ups (not immediately but halfway through). However, I did do every rep and every circuit–I just modified. Jodi does encourage you early on to modify however you need to and even sit a circuit out to regroup–but the goal is to eventually do the entire workout w/ no breaks and no modifications. It was still a tough, great little workout–even with modifications!
20 One-Leg Dead-Lifts (10 on each leg)
20 Straight Leg Dead-Lifts
20 One-Leg Straight Leg Dead-Lifts (10 each leg)
Finisher: 50 Jumping Lunges
Back Breaker is 42 minutes long with a 6 minute warm up, no cool down/stretch. For the warm up you will repeat the standard jog in place, downdog to push up, squat circuit twice. This is an excellent and tough workout that seriously does the job. My back is aching afterward and I expect some serious DOMS. I have some nitpicks. First, there is a band modifier. This is great, BTW–but we need to see him early on! We don’t even see the band modifier for the first circuit of the pull ups! I cannot do 72 pull ups–not even with an assist. (This is how many pull ups you do btw.) So I used the band option. Having done many other workouts (P90X and others) that use band modifiers I am already well aware of how this is done, but what about the exerciser that isn’t familiar? They have no idea how to modify this exercise until well into the workout! The same thing happens when we move to the second circuit that uses dumbbells–he doesn’t show the modified version with bands right away. This is something that should be demonstrated immediately. In spite of these criticisms, I loved this workout. By the end of this workout you will have done 72 pull ups, 100 bent over rows, 50 renegade rows and 100 sit ups. No too shabby. **Yep, I had DOMS the next day.
Equipment needed for this workout is a pull up bar or bands for the pull ups, and dumbbells or a band.
Circuit 1 (repeat 3x):
8 wide grip Pull-Ups
8 standard grip Pull-Ups
8 close grip Chin-Ups
Circuit 2 (repeat 5x):
10 Bent Over Rows
10 Explosive Bent Over Rows
10 Renegade Rows
Circuit 3 (do once):
10 Reverse Flys (3 sets)
10 Pull-Overs (3 sets)
20 Push-Ups (5 sets)
Shoulder Pressure is 21 minutes with a 4 minute warm up and no cool down/stretch. For the warm up you will repeat the standard jog in place, downdog to push up, squat circuit twice. Because of the length of this workout, I paired it with Back Breaker and totally burned my back and shoulders out. I really enjoyed this short but effective workout. It is not a comprehensive shoulder workout–nevertheless it does a good job. By the end of this workout you will have done 75 overhead presses, 75 upright rows and 100 sit ups. All you need for this workout is dumbbells.
15 Overhead Press
15 Sumo High Pulls (upright rows w/ sumo squat)
Repeat Circuit 5x
Finisher: 25 Lateral Raises
Metabolic Mania is 25 minutes long with a 4:30 minute warm up and no cool down/stretch. For the warm up you will repeat the standard jog in place, downdog to push up, squat circuit twice. This is a tough cardio/HIIT workout that includes a lot of core work. You do 3 circuits; each circuit contains 3 exercises and each circuit is repeated 3 times. You need a set of light weights and one heavy dumbbell or a kettlebell. Jodi’s count is off frequently–usually to your benefit and you do less reps than you’re supposed to be doing, but at least once he has you do more. You need dumbbells for this workout. You can also use a kettlebell for one of the exercises if you own one.
Circuit #1 (repeat 3 times):
10 Slalom Press (skaters while punching light dumbbells)
10 Spiderman Push-ups
20 Tuck Jumps
Circuit #2 (repeat 3 times):
10 Mountain Climbers
Circuit #3 (repeat 3 times):
10 Step Outs (in plank, kick leg underneath you to opposite side, or bring knee to opposite elbow)
10 Dumbbell Swings (kettlebell swing w/ a dumbbell except you bring the dumbbell/kettlebell all the way overhead)
20 Jumping Lunges
Leg Overhaul is 25 minutes long with a 4 minute warm up. This warm up is slightly different from the others. For this one you alternate between jogging in place and downward dog to push up; you cycle through it twice. The reason he doesn’t include the usual squats in the warm up is because the first exercise is 5 sets of unweighted squats. Compared to the other RIPT90 workouts I’ve done so far, I didn’t find this one very challenging. It is a decent lower body workout, but nothing I would ever think to return to. At least on it’s own. I do think pairing it with Dead-Lift Killer would make a more well rounded lower body workout that clocks in at 64 minutes. However, you would also need to tack on some lower body stretching. I have been using Cathe‘s Xtrain Cardio Leg Blast stretch (8 minutes) to finish off RIPT90’s lower body workouts, but she has other lower body stretches that are shorter. And of course you could just use RIPT90’s 17 minute Stretch. All you need for this workout is dumbbells.
30 seconds of Unweighted Squats (5 sets/15-20 seconds of rest between each set)
10 Static Lunges (3 sets)
10 Squats (3 sets)
Calf Raises – 20 seconds of work/10 seconds of rest (7 sets)
10 Goblet Squats (3 sets)
10 Jumping Lunges (6 sets)
Death by Thruster is 25 minutes long and it is brutal. Brutal! This workout is a monster! But the end of it you will have done 225 thrusters! This workout is metabolic muscle building, fat frying at its finest and it is tough. I started with 15 pound dumbbells and quickly dropped to 12s then 10s by the end. I was pushing hard to finish by the end of every circuit (those lunge thrusters start out seeming so doable and by the end–OMG). You are getting strength, cardio and HIIT with this workout. You are working lower and upper body as well as your core. What is a thruster? It is a front loaded squat with an overhead push press. This workout has it all, but it is just criminal that Jodi provides no cool down and stretch because damn–do you ever need it by the time you are done. Luckily, Cathe can provide me with that and I popped in Flex Train and went straight to the stretch.
I got ahead of myself in my gushing all over this workout. The warm up is 5 minutes and no cool down/stretch. For the warm up you will repeat the standard jog in place, downdog to push up, squat circuit twice. This workout is made up of one circuit of 4 different styles of thrusters that you repeat 3 times. Choose your weights well. The challenge (for me at least) will be to get through this entire workout one day using only 15 pound dumbbells. I am no where near that level yet. Finally, Jodi’s count was off half of the time.
Exercises (repeat 3 times):
15 Burpee Thrusters
15 Sumo Thrusters
15 Lunge Thrusters (15 each leg that is)
15 Biceps Curls to Overhead Press (3 sets)
15 Hammer Curls (3 sets)
5 Jumping Jacks to 5 Tricep Push-ups (8 rounds no rest)
5 Biceps Curls with heavy weights (10 sets)
15 Triceps Dips (3 sets)
5 Chin-Ups (10 sets)
50 Sit-ups (3 sets)
Dirty Dozen is 22:30 minutes long with a 4 minute warm up and no cool down/stretch. For the warm up you will repeat the standard jog in place, downdog to push up, squat circuit twice. After doing Death by Thruster yesterday I approached this workout with some dread. However, this workout wasn’t nearly as punishing! It’s a great little workout. It consists of 12 exercises and you do 12 reps of each exercise–then repeat. I was so nervous I went too light on my dumbbells the first round! But I heavied up on them the second time through. I think this workout would be excellent as an add-on to another workout or even just repeat it–or do it 3 times. Seriously! Skip the warm up the second (and third) time through and it is 41 minutes if you do it twice and 59:30 if you do it 3 times. By itself, I don’t think it’s enough of a workout, but definitely awesome if added on to another workout or done at least twice. For this workout you need a set of dumbbells, a pull up bar (or bands) and if you have a kettlebell you can use that, too, for one of the exercises (or just use a dumbbell).
Exercises (do 2 times):
12 Tuck Jumps
12 Fly Traps (core move; lay on back and jackknife straight arms and legs till they touch)
12 Push Press (he actually just does overhead presses the majority of the time)
12 Side Knees alternating each side
12 Dumbbell Swings (kettlebell move except he brings the dumbbell all the way overhead)
12 Squats (unweighted)
Total Body Tamer is 32 minutes long with a 2:30 minute warm up. The warm up in this workout is a little different than the others. You go through the standard jog in place, downdog to push up, squat circuit one time then end with jogging in place before moving on to the workout. This is another tough metabolic strength workout. I feel like your shoulders get the most work, but maybe it just seemed that way because mine are still smarting from Death by Thruster. Equipment needed for this workout is dumbbells or bands and a pull up bar or bands. You can also use a kettlebell for one of the exercises if you own one. As usual, Jodi’s count is off. Also, we are supposed to do 10 sets of weighted burpees but you only actually do 9 sets. I don’t think anyone is complaining!
15 Weighted Thrusters (3 sets)
5 Pull-ups (10 sets)
5 Push-ups (10 sets)
10 Clean and Jerk (deadlift, hammer curl and overhead press) (5 sets)
5 Weighted Burpees (w/ overhead press) (9 sets)
10 Sit-ups + 10 Dumbbell Swings (5 rounds)
Ups and Downs is 18 minutes long with a 5 minute warm up. For the warm up you will repeat the standard jog in place, downdog to push up, squat circuit twice. This is a tough and quick cardio workout of the HIIT variety. I did it immediately after finishing Total Body Tamer, so I was already tired! Its a great metabolic workout on its own or it finishes off another workout nicely. All you need for this workout is a dumbbell or bands.
30 Dumbbell Snatch (single arm but alternate arms; you start with the dumbbell on the ground in front of you and you squat to place it on the ground before switching hands)
30 Mountain Climbers
20 Dumbbell Snatch
20 Mountain Climbers
10 Dumbbell Snatch
10 Mountain Climbers
Chest Shredder is 37 minutes long with a 5 minute warm up. For the warm up you will repeat the standard jog in place, downdog to push up, squat circuit twice. Another tough strength workout. I was dreading this workout because the chest is my least favorite muscle group to work. My favorite muscle groups to work are back and lower body. I hate chest work. Even tho this was a tough workout, it wasn’t the hardest chest workout I’ve ever done. Cathe still holds the title for that with several workouts (Ripped with HIIT & Gym Style come to mind…) but this was still a very good workout that burned my chest (and other muscle groups) very well. Lots of core work, too. Equipment needed for this workout is just several sets of dumbbells. I also used my weight bench for chest flys and presses but Jodi and crew just did theirs on the floor.
15 Wide Arm Push-ups
15 Standard Push-ups
15 Close Hand Push-ups
10 T-bar Push-ups (5 each side)
15 Chest Fly
15 Chest Press
Repeat this circuit 3 times
Finisher: Forearm Planks, hold for 30 seconds, 5 times
RIPT Abs is 14 minutes long. No warm up but there is a 1 minute stretch at the end. This is a great little core workout. Not the toughest I’ve done, but it does a good job and I like how it alternates between plank and supine core work. It also uses a ladder progression; you do a circuit of exercises that you repeat 3 times. You start out doing 40 reps of most of the exercises, then the next time through you drop to 30 reps and the final time through you drop to 20 reps. You always hold the forearm plank for 60 seconds on each circuit.
Hold Forearm Plank for 60 seconds
Twist Crunches (Russian Twist)
Plank Knee to Elbow (Spider Plank)
Repeat Circuit 3 times; 40 reps first time, 30 reps second time and 20 reps 3rd time
Stretch is 17 minutes. This is a very nice total body stretch and one you should tack on to the end of every single workout if you are only doing one workout a day. Seriously. These are short workouts with zero stretching at the end. This will thoroughly stretch you out! I hate that these workouts have no cool downs or stretches at the end and both are so important. If you are limited on time and/or are doing more than one RIPT90 back to back (like I did), you can do like I did and just use a shorter stretch from another workout. I am spoiled because Cathe chapters her workouts so well that it is easy to go into any one of hers and go straight to the stretch. I know that isn’t possible with the majority of the workout DVDs out there (they aren’t chaptered) so at the very least become familiar with the common stretches and stretch yourself out after the workouts.
At the beginning and during this workout Jodi recommends doing this segment before or after your workout or on your rest day. NO! His ignorance is appalling. You do not hold cold/unworked muscles in static stretches. You warm them up first. It is after the workout that you do static stretching. And if you are going to stretch on your off/rest day–at least do something to warm up a little. A few minutes of jumping jacks and jogging in place.
Since this is a stretching workout I am not going to break it down in detail, but here are the basic stretches and the order they appear: neck stretches, overhead/side stretches, hamstring/calf stretch (bend at the waist/touch toes/floor), downdog, cat and cow, thread the needle, quad stretch (while laying on stomach), tricep and shoulder stretches, shin stretch (sit with legs straight in front of you and toes pointed; reach for toes), spinal twist, play dead (lay on back and stretch arms overhead and legs straight/toes pointed).