Train Like A Snake

So you want to tone up, and you drag yourself to the gym every day to achieve your “summer bod.” Well guess what, that bathing-suit-ready appearance requires more than you might think. One thing some might not realize is how to improve movements we do every day to enhance the quality of our lives at the same time.

ViPR, a new fitness system available only at one location in Columbus, focuses on whole-body integration training. You won’t be working the body on just one frontal plane, but instead you’ll attack each major muscle group through everyday movements like bending, lifting and shifting using a weighted tube.

Standing for Vitality, Performance and Reconditioning, ViPR classes involve just one piece of equipment: a rubber tube ranging from eight pounds to 44 pounds, which includes several gripping areas so that your body can safely go through its natural three-dimensional movements, combining the results you get from dumbbells, stability balls and speed ladders.

“We don’t want to put you in such a strict movement. This thing goes with the flow of your own body. But in that reconditioning mode, your range of motion will improve on its own,” says master trainer and former fitness competitor Rokki Bonner, owner of Personal Fitness Navigators in Bexley.

Bonner refers to it as the evolution of free weights, saying that she’s seen people get results quicker using ViPR than some of her other training techniques because it hits everything from conditioning to muscle endurance. The amount of time spent with resistance exercises helps improve muscle strength as well.

It’s intended to be used for high-intensity interval training, HIIT, as the sole workout, but it can also be used for stretching and rehab conditioning, which makes the options pretty limitless. A wide range of sports including MMA, soccer, basketball and golf, just to name a few, have begun incorporating ViPR into training because it allows for the motion of those sports to be mimicked with that added resistance.

When the equipment was first designed, it offered at least 9,000 different workouts, which keeps classes from becoming stale in any way.

Trainers at Personal Fitness Navigators look to everyday activities to draw inspiration for what movements will help people improve their lifestyle, not just help them progress in terms of weights or reps. Rather, the goal is to better perform throughout each day.

Since the ViPR is simply one piece of equipment, Bonner likes to take her classes outside when the weather allows and have people perform exercises like log-carrying while running, which complements that natural strength and functionality this type of workout tries to create.

“I like to switch everything up that I do. The one thing I like to use to my advantage is the overload principle, continuing to shock the body when you train. We will use all the major muscle groups, but there is no one set program design,” Bonner says.

Simply by changing directions or the speed of your movement, you can intensify any standard move, such as a lunge, and increase how hard your body must work to perform that movement by adding extra weight that can be held in a variety of positions.

“It’s a lifestyle, not an appointment. It’s not going into the gym, doing all these strength moves, then walking out. It’s the rest of your life.” •