By Susane Pata 

When it comes to picking the exercise that’s right for your clients, you might naturally be considering their goal, their experience level, and choosing one that addresses muscle imbalances, right?  These are all important considerations, yet what about choosing exercises to match your client’s personality and preference?  With TRX’s RIP Trainer, you can accomplish all the above in a fraction of the time.

Introducing the TRX Rip Trainer

The TRX Rip Trainer is a unique, powerful and solid training tool. Any fitness level can work with it and accomplish any goal, such as improved movement performance, weight loss, increased cardiorespiratory fitness, and/or greater core strength. TRX Rip Training can even help with rehabilitation and injury prevention. In terms of human movement, it is touted as one of the best rotation-training tools on the market.  The TRX Rip Trainer is comprised of four basic parts: a commercial-grade steel bar with rubber handles, an elastic resistance cord, an anchor carabiner, and a safety strap. In order to use it, the carabiner has to be attached to a sturdy anchor point. The safety strap goes around the wrist before grabbing hold of the bar. The bar can then be moved around in all different directions, resulting in stretching and releasing the resistance cord, alternatingly.

The TRX Rip Trainer is asymmetrical* in nature as the resistance cord is attached to only one side of the bar. This helps the user develop rotational control, strength and power by providing a certain level of resistance to just about any motion, at any speed. This is brilliant for functional training, and even more for sport-specific training.  Lacrosse players, for example, can add resistance to their throwing motion to increase their performance.

Determine the Right Fit: Use PTA Global’s Program Design Questionnaire

As always, fitness pros need to make sure selections such as Rip Training are appropriate for their clients. Even though it can be used with just about every fitness level, fit pros need to understand a client’s personal training “style” before using it with them. PTA Global designed a few behavior communication tools that can help identify different styles.  These tools help uncover what truly motivates a client.

The Program Design Questionnaire (PDQ) is a set of questions organized in a way that helps the fit pro learn more about the client and develop a strong and meaningful rapport with them so they can open up and feel more comfortable. It is laid out in four steps, designed to query goal, style, level and motivation.

  • Step one explores the client’s goal. The questions help gather some information about those goals that could help keep them accountable.
  • Step two facilitates the discussion of “style.” Style is defined as the type of training a client prefers based on how they feel while performing the training. As Israel Allen, Director of PTA Global Education points out, “If they are not enjoying the process, you are never going to see sustainable progress, because they are going to get bored or they are going to develop a disdain for working out.” These questions are designed to ascertain the types of exercises they may enjoy.
  • Step three is designed to help determine their fitness level: beginner, intermediate or advanced? The answers to these questions can help the fitness pro “meet them where they need to be met” physically.
  • Step four helps uncover the client’s true motivation for the goals they gave you. When they know the “why” behind the “what”, they are less likely to allow external factors get in the way achieving their goal.

You can use this process with every client and obtain some very valuable information. Step two is important in determining with whom you can use the TRX Rip Trainer. Based on the client’s response, there may be a few ways to go with programming when using this unique modality.

Step Two in the PDQ

Depending on how a client answers the questions in Step Two, they may either be considered a “Traditional,” “Progressive,” or a “Hybrid,” which are terms used to describe the way they like to train. “Traditional” style clients are those that appreciate structure and routine. They enjoy exercises that are common, such as a chest press machine. “Progressive” style clients are those that enjoy adventure, with lots of freedom and variety in programming and exercises, such as a backwards lunge off a box. “Hybrids” are a combination of both Traditional and Progressive styles, such as a single leg lunge with arm movement using a TRX strap.

Progressives and Hybrids may be great candidates to train with the TRX Rip Trainer. Fitness pros need to take into account the fitness level of each client, and program accordingly. Whereas Progressives may enjoy utilizing the TRX Rip Trainer for multiple exercises, it may be wise to use this modality sparingly with Hybrids, at least when commencing a new training program.

That being said, are Traditional's barred from using the TRX Rip Trainer? Not necessarily. Traditional’s may need a more standard type of exercise when using the TRX Rip Trainer. Also, consider using the TRX Rip Trainer even more sparingly with Traditionals than with Hybrids.

As an example of a more “traditional” exercise, Pete Holman, inventor of RIP Trainer, recommends attaching the carabiner to the other end of the TRX Rip Trainer for a symmetrical configuration, and performing movements such as TRX Rip Biceps Curls. The movement involves stepping on the resistance cord and bringing the bar up and down for the curls. In this way, they are performing a very popular and traditional exercise while using a tool that may not feel too “weird” to them because of the way it has been symmetrically configured.

When using the TRX Rip Trainer with anyone, fitness pros need to ensure that the experience is enjoyable as well as effective and safe. Shoring up as much knowledge about the TRX Rip Trainer and understanding the client’s preferred training style are the ways to begin this process.  By using the resources outlined above, both the fitness pro and client can have the most fulfilling and rewarding experience when training.

Learn more about the PDQ Tool (and so many more) that can help in understanding and communicating with clients more effectively by enrolling and partaking in PTA Global’s Certified Personal Trainer education course.

Click here to find out more.

Susane Pata is a Global Master Instructor for TRX, and a Presenter and Author for PTA Global, as well as the Life Fitness, and TriggerPoint brands. She delivers live fitness education to wide audiences in North, Central and South America, Europe and Asia, and has begun writing for a variety of websites and publications. Susane created TRX’s first-ever group fitness program in 2004, and launched their education department and first-ever group training studio in San Francisco. When not traveling, Susane resides in New York City, instructing and advocating strongly for creative—yet smart—group fitness training.