ViPR, the latest fitness trend, is not a misspelled word for a venomous snake. However, it can provide a killer workout as it strikes several muscle groups.
ViPR is the acronym for Vitality, Performance and Reconditioning, touted as “the Swiss Army knife of exercise gadgets.” It can be lifted, lugged, pitched, spun, walked over and rotated, and it can be stored easily. You can bring it anywhere and use it indoors or outdoors.
This workout apparatus is a meter-long rubber cylinder, open on both ends, with slots at the center for the hands. The weights range from four to 20 kilos. You can do a sequence of upper- and lower-body movements or a full-body workout in 15 minutes, changing the intensity for more challenge.
Because of its versatility, ViPR can stand in for such gym equipment as weights, kettlebells, medicine balls and stability devices. The ViPR movements can substitute for traditional gym exercises such as squats, lunges, lifts, curls and presses. While gym exercises are designed to move the load up and down, ViPR provides more freedom of movement.
Michol Dalcourt, an expert in biomechanics of the science of human movement, designed the ViPR to address several muscle groups simultaneously. It works on the precept the muscular system is interdependent and functions at its optimum when the muscle groups are trained together.
Certified trainer Jonnel Cruz likens ViPR training to dance, both of which employ the whole body. He says the full-body integration, which is the crux of the ViPR workout, is more efficient, and one can see improvements immediately.
ViPR can be used to suit different objectives. For building muscles, cylinders more than 10 kg in weight are utilized to stimulate growth hormones. To burn fat, sequences of multi-plane exercises burn calories faster. For running, there are exercises to strengthen the ankles, feet and core to cope with the impact of landing.
“Another advantage of ViPR is that you can swing the cylinder and maintain body balance and form, unlike with free weights where you’ll tend to favor one side or lose your form when you’re tired.
“For a squat exercise, ViPR is good for a client with weak arms. And, if it hits your body, it’s safer because it’s only rubber,” says Cruz.
Former Mr. Philippines Raque Agaton says the ViPR workout involves weight-bearing movements that focus on the core muscles (abdomen, back and buttocks) unlike traditional dumbbells, barbells and weight-training equipment, which separately exercise specific muscles.
Although pumping iron bulks up the body and increases power, the movements do not necessarily have a connection with what people do in real life. Through such functional training workouts such as the ViPR, he realized that the body is made to evenly distribute its power all throughout.
Because some ViPR movements are constantly encountering resistance, they can mimic real-life activities such as lugging heavy equipment, lifting the luggage into the overhead bin of a plane, or tossing the garbage. Agaton adds that the design of the ViPR helped improve his grip.
ViPR also helps restore muscular imbalance. For instance, adjusting a handgrip to a weaker side will drive more effort from that weaker side of the body, rather than using with the stronger side to compensate for the person’s weakness.
Plastic surgeon Alfred Callanta says patients have been noticing his buff body. “It removes the monotony of training so you don’t get bored. You feel the burn and the muscles look ripped, not bulky. Even my patients find the defined muscle more ideal,” he says.
His trainer, Cruz, has been giving him a diverse program that combines TRX suspension training, ViPR, kettlebells and traditional weights. Callanta observes that the variety keeps his muscles at their peak instead of reaching a plateau. He trimmed down to a size small from a medium.
“I can workout without dieting. I enjoy steak and liempo on weekends. I’m 45 years old and my blood pressure is 110/70. My resting heart rate is 65, but when I train with Jonnel it gets up to a 170.”
The workout has also improved his balance, which is needed for his other sport, mountain biking. “I used to wear a belt to lift heavy weights, but Jonnel emphasized engaging the core muscles. This relieved my low back pain and I’ve developed the upper body strength to control the downhill ride in biking.”
Fitness solutions provider Finix Corp. offers ViPR. Located in 420 F. Legaspi St., Maybunga, Pasig. For details call Finix at 0917-5558133, 9151698 to 99, 6412660.