TRX Rip Trainer Review

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.
Cons:
  • 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.
Cons:
  • 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,
Jenn