Pronounced ‘viper’, this new workout regime stands for Vitality, Performance (meaning it’s a sports-specific training) and Reconditioning (focusing on those coming back from injury). It uses a metre-long rubber log, which can be carried, lifted, swung, rolled, flipped and more, enabling users to perform a variety of ‘functional’ training moves.
A key buzzword in the fitness industry, functional training means workouts that mirror everyday objectives. Daily tasks such as putting the shopping away, playing sports and carrying heavy bags are mimicked, so those tasks eventually become easier.
The ‘log’ ranges in weight from 4kg to 20kg and there are 9,000 registered exercises to try with it. Diversity was one of the main aims of ViPR’s French-Canadian inventor, Michol Dalcourt. Inspired by the fact that kids who lived on farms always dominated on the school sports field, he realised that they didn’t sit in a gym, moving one muscle at a time to train, but that their training was functional – they’d throw logs, pick things up and move around. He decided to design a tool to help everyone train this way – something that meant using many planes of movement, weights and speeds.
Why is it better? A single movement with the ViPr integrates many joints (to avoid injury) and muscles (for a more efficient calorie-torching workout). Unlike isolation training – such as a bicep curl, which uses just one joint and muscle in a somewhat unnatural movement – the ViPR workout mimics the way the body logically moves. Try to think of one action you do in your day-to-day life that’s similar to a bicep curl – it’s just not natural.
Tarek Samir, who uses the ViPR in his personal training sessions as well as in his bi-weekly classes at Core Studio, says the tool has impressed him. ‘I’ve been using it for four months, and I’ve seen results in myself as well as in clients. Many have lost weight around their belly as most movements engage the core. A client with a frozen shoulder has been cured thanks to the introduction of diverse movements in the surrounding muscles.’
Tarek Samir, British, 33, ViPR Master Trainer
His fitness motto: ‘There’s no elevator to success – you have to take the stairs.’ Calories burned during one of his classes: ‘1,200 an hour, if you do the exercises properly.’
Tarek’s top fitness tips • ‘Don’t isolate the muscles. Train your body as one muscle.’ • ‘Change your routine. The body is very clever and adapts very quickly, so you need to confuse it to get results.’ • ‘Make exercise one of your priorities. People say they can’t work out because they’re tired or have to go to a brunch, but would you ever use those excuses to not go to work?’
Where to try it Core Studio runs two ViPR classes weekly for Dhs50. For details, see www.coredirection.com.
Time Out’s test drive…
Georgina Wilson Powell tries an hour’s ViPR class. Does she feel the burn? ‘I’m a bit apprehensive about ViPR, having not done any hardcore exercise in months. Yet once the class gets going, it’s actually not that bad. We perform two circuits made up of four exercises (two ViPR, two cardio) in small groups, so it’s quite a social class, and by the end we’re all encouraging each other. Although ViPR is very tiring, the fact that my whole body is moving and none of the exercises are repeated for more than a minute means I don’t end up doubled over in pain, or bored. What’s more, the outdoor class might be hot, but there’s no terrible pumping music and Lycra-clad people shouting at me to “feel the burn”. However, the burn manifests itself in my core and glutes the next day.’