A glimpse into RIPT

Sep 28 / David Leith
RIPT is a scientifically research-based form of functional training that combines facets from multiple disciplines of performance training including Olympic lifting, powerlifting, free-weight and bodyweight functional training, core stability and mono-structural conditioning. These are specifically selected for their proven benefits in terms of overall functionality, fitness, strength and well-being for the average joe through to enhancing the performance and well-being of elite sports-people.

RIPT was launched in 2015 within the High Performance Centre of SSISA in light of the growing popularity of group-based training, especially surrounding weightlifting and high-intensity interval training. Given the intimidation factor of such training and the associated injury risk from strength, mobility or movement limitations, RIPT sought to cater for individuals of all backgrounds, training experience and movement skills by designing a high-intensity functional training class led by experts in the field and informed by best scientific and strength and conditioning practice.

The RIPT programme is structured or ‘periodised’ as a 12 week training cycle divided into three distinct phases, each with a particular training focus. The ‘Base’ phase is designed to establish foundational movement patterns, introduce members to Olympic Lift derivatives and build tissue ‘health’ and strength before going into the heavy loading phase. The ‘Development’ phase builds on this foundation, with a targeted focus on muscle strength development and more complex lifts that is then translated into maximum power generation during the final ‘Peak’ phase. This progressive structure ensures that members are safely and progressively ‘overloaded’ and challenged with new complex movement patterns, with technical proficiency and tissue health always preceding heavy loading. Each cycle culminates in an assessment week, where members can see their improvement over the training cycle and plot new goals for the next 12 week period.

RIPT follows a three-day training structure to provide adequate recovery between sessions. The core components vary across the three days, with exposure to one of the Olympic Lifts (clean, snatch and jerk) per day of training, to ensure a well-balanced stimulus and continual exposure to each lift for neuromuscular adaptations. A typical class will begin with a specific dynamic warm up, including targeted mobility, muscle activation and light technical work to prepare members for the complex compound movements to follow. The bulk of the class is then predominated by ‘Primary Lifts’, where members perform the heavy, complex lifts at a load that is appropriate for them and at their pace. This is followed by varied high-intensity circuit training, referred to as ‘Metabolic Conditioning’, that targets specific metabolic and physiological adaptations whilst developing well-rounded movement capacity. The final component, aptly named the ‘Finisher’ is a short, spicy all-out sprint to ensure members ‘empty the tank’ before cooling down with appropriate stretches. The Biokineticists leading the RIPT programme keep a close eye on members’ form, ensuring they exhibit sound technique and alignment throughout the class, providing guidance on the target stimuli for each session and encouraging members to give their maximum intent for every lift.

Overall, RIPT is informed by traditional strength and conditioning principles together with the most effective aspects of High-intensity interval training and High intensity functional training. Whilst the former promotes progressive development of strength and power (‘Primary Lifts’), the latter is geared towards improving general physical fitness and health, aerobic capacity, muscle endurance, anaerobic power and speed (‘MetCon’ and ‘Finisher’). RIPT thereby promotes the development of a diverse athletic capacity, maintenance and improvement of all-round functionality, cardiovascular and metabolic health and provides a safe, fun way for members of the general public to benefit from high performance training.