“Ask the Expert” is a series is designed to identify well-respected professionals in various fields related to health, fitness and wellness and get their expert opinion on questions relating to their field of expertise. The topic of this edition of “Ask the Expert” is ViPR and Loaded Movement Training. ViPR bridges the gap between movement and strength training and combines full body movement with load. Loaded Movement Training with ViPR effectively challenges and conditions muscle, soft tissue, the central nervous system, and other systems of the body. Science has shown many times over that moving with load improves balance, agility and dynamic strength, resulting in weight management, improved functionality in daily life and enhanced performance in sport.
Jamie Atlas, a fitness industry “veteran”, has established himself as a leader, innovator, and is well-respected by his peers. He not only created a successful small group personal training concept (Bonza Bodies Fitness), he also travels around the world representing groups including TRX, FreeMotionFitness, Hyperwear, PT on the Net, and other leading companies. Introduced to Michel Dalcourt five years ago, Jamie was invited to the first ViPR Master Training and has been representing the company ever since. Helping people become certified in ViPR and getting to others think about exercise (and movement) in fundamentally different ways is his passion and his goal.
What is ViPR?
JA: ViPR is a rubber tube with handholds. Which makes it sound simple, but the real magic is behind the education and philosophy of it’s usage. Much like a pair of nunchuks just look like giant chopsticks until you actually see them or use them the way they’re designed to be used, really.
What is Loaded Movement Training?
JA: You can divide most of our movement into loaded or unloaded. That is, body weight or more than body weight. You can also divide it into ‘traditional’ and ‘movement’ focused. Loaded Traditional creates different reactions that don’t necessarily translate to real world 3-D movements. Otherwise all bodybuilders would also be excellent athletes in a variety of sports. However that’s not really the case. Tradiational movements build bodies that are excellent at their saggital-focused uni-planar proprioceptively absent traditional exercises. Not at the real world 3-d integrated needs that ViPR is designed to be used for.
How is Loaded Movement Training different from resistance training using typical gym equipment?
JA: When you talk about exercises, you’re talking about movements with a purpose. Bench Press, for example is a weighted exercise – you might not call it a ‘movement’ though… unless you make a habit of waking up in the morning with a metal bar strapped across your chest. The ViPR tubes are designed to help accentuate, load and create momentum around certain movement patterns in order to elicit a more full body reaction in accordance to the bodies natural wiring. That is to say, use the extra load to improve the bodies ability to move.
What are the limitations of ViPR and/or Loaded Movement Training (i.e. contraindications, who shouldn’t use ViPR)?
JA: As with any tool, ViPR does certain things better than others but is not necessarily the be all and end all tool. It doesn’t slice or dice and is terrible at playing cards. I would say that ViPR and the loaded movement training principles it promotes are excellent for integrating muscles together, training a body to move in 3 planes of motion and creating a stronger body without necessarily a bulking effect. The group that shouldn’t use it is the ‘1RM’ group. This tool isn’t designed to find your maximal pure strength for a small numbre of repetitions. It’s designed to help create a body that can work better together to create better and more efficient force output, but it’s not a tool that uses a weightbelt as recommended wearing.
Who is Loaded Movement Training best suited for as a training modality (that can produce results)?
JA: Personally, I’ve found this tool to be best for athletic performance, especially in sports that require lateral movement and rotation. The other major benefit is improved fat loss amongst my younger mid-20’s clientele.
With your knowledge of other training modalities in fitness (i.e. BOSU ball, TRX, resistance bands, etc.), why would a personal trainer choose ViPR as their “tool of choice”?
JA: It’s a tool that allows you to literally go anywhere and do anything. You’re not restricted by staying in one place as you would be with something that’s on the ground or anchored. In real life you move from a to b, you rarely stay put in one spot. It also plays a different role in conditioning as it can be used to replicate sporting patterns (the inventor of the ViPR was a former conditioning coach for a professional hockey team – this tool was born of his need to train the skating movement and create players that were ‘3D strong’.
Will using ViPR alone accommodate the five components of fitness (i.e. muscular strength, muscular endurance, cardiovascular endurance, flexibility and body composition)? Please explain.
JA: If you understand the metabolic pathways you’re looking to tap into, the ViPR can be manipulated to fit your needs. it’s not a piece of equipment that says’ I’m this anyd nothing else’. It’s a tool that says ‘where would you like to go today’?
What results can I expect from supplementing my current workout program with ViPR exercises?
JA: Less injuries through improved hip and shoulder mobility, greater interest in workouts and the opportunity to inject some play and reaction drills into your workouts.
In your experience, what are your “Top 5 ViPR Exercises”?
JA: Rather than describe ViPR exercises, I think the best way is through video. Below are videos of some great exercises and additional information.
ViPR Video: ViPR Live Training in Denver, CO
This video shows a good number of them that was shot in my studio (Bonza Bodies Fitness) in Denver. At 0:12 seconds you see Erin in black demonstrating a ViPR Uppercut with Jumping Lunge. If you’ve ever wanted an exercise that was a metabolic challenge while challenging the core and trunk in a rotational setting (necessary for most sports) then this is it!
At 0:45 you see a ViPR Tilt with Hand Reach to Sky. This is more of a mobility drill, but I love it for my deskbound clients as it creates thoracic rotation with integrated hip movement. It’s a necessary pattern for walking with tall posture, but also just feels great!
ViPR Video: ViPR Certification with Jamie Atlas
This video shows two of my favorite ViPR exercises for athletes. If you go to 0:37 you’ll see a ViPR Tilt with Side Shuffle which is great for teaching lateral movement with lowering center of gravity to get the edge of the ViPR to the ground.
At 0:43 of the same video you’ll see that ‘Squat and Paint the Box’ drill. I find athletes (and my clients looking for firmer shoulders) really appreciate the upper body workout this provides. The action of the Paint the Box drill activates multiple shoulder muscles but also stimulates concurrent shoulderblade movement such that the upper body can work in a more integrated way to achieve the exercises.
To access ViPR Exercises visit their website by clicking here.
To access the ViPR Functional Training Workout (JPEG), click here.
Ask the Expert – Questions, Comments or Suggestions?
For more information on ViPR or Bonza Bodies Fitness, visit the Bonza Bodies website (www.bonzabodies.com) to contact Jamie Atlas.
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