I recently had the chance to try out two classes at RippedPHL and it definitely made me feel like I was getting ripped! The combination cardio and strength training class will get your heart pumping and leave your muscles sore. Scroll down to find out more about this great workout.
The Studio: The studio is located on Walnut Street between 15th and 16th in the heart of Center City. The best (or worst? 🙂 ) part about this studio iis that you have to walk up several steep flights of stairs to reach it. Climbing all the way up from the street level is basically a second workout – two for the price of one! You check in at the front desk and then stash your stuff in the locker rooms. They have fully stocked bathrooms with showers so you can change and head right to work or happy hour. They have all the props you need and plenty of towels for your use. All you need to bring is your water bottle and your sneakers! The workout room itself has the treads lined up on the right back wall, a platform on the opposite wall for the trainer to demo the strength, and mirrored walls so you can check out your form. The strength benches are in the middle. Each client is assigned a number that corresponds to a specific tread and strength bench so you always know where you should be.
The Format: This studio offers two different formats: (1) alternating sections of cardio intervals on the treadmill and strength training exercises on the mat or (2) all strength training. The cardio portion is a HIIT-style workout on the Woodway treadmills. As for the strength training, each class is titled according to which body part/s it focuses on. You use a combination of a bench, resistance bands, and free weights to target specific muscles. The trainers both demonstrate and verbally cue the different exercises. You do a few moves in combination then repeat them a second time through. This part also incorporates body weight exercises (planks, push ups, etc.) and some cardio (jumping jacks, jumping lunges, in-and-out plank jumps, etc.). Most classes are 60 minutes (15 min tread, 15 strength, 15 tread, 15 strength), though they also offer several 45 minute “express” options throughout the week. During the workout, the lights are dimmed and loud music pumps through the sound system so you can really get in the zone.
The Workout: I tried both the classic cardio/strength combination class and the all strength option. I expected the all strength option to be a little easier, but it was actually even more challenging! Because the strength portions incorporate short bursts of cardio and allow you to use heavy weights if you want, my heart rate stayed up for the whole hour. I was totally exhausted by the end of both 60 minute classes. The cardio portions are classic intervals combing incline hills and sprints on the flat road with periods of active recovery. At any given time, the prescribed incline and speed was displayed on the screen in front of each tread. For each interval there was a suggested combination for speed walking, jogging, and running. You are free to dial it up or down to fit your goals. I was also surprised by the difference the Woodway treads made! They were much more comfortable to jog on. To me, the surface felt less hard, harsh, and slippery than a traditional treadmill band. My knees felt much better than they normally do when running. But the strength portions are when Ripped really shines – the personality and energy of the instructors really comes through (even more so than other similar studios). Their constant demonstration and explanation left me feeling comfortable and in control despite the fast transitions and frequent change of exercises. We hit nearly every body part as we switched between the bands, weights and the ground/bench. The pace is non-stop! We were always moving and repeating exercises. Any time between exercises were spent holding a plank or doing jumping jacks. It was an awesome challenge!
The Pros: These classes provide a great workout. They combine difficult cardio and challenging strength training (the holy grail of fitness in my mind). You could go here every day and hit all your muscle groups and meet your cardio and strength goals all in one place. The instructors are amazing – super motivating, high energy, always cuing the exercises so you feel guided through everything. You do not have to keep track of how many rounds you’ve done or remember exactly what a goblet squat is. They are always demonstrating and cheering you on. As a bonus, they offer lots of convenient class times, including 6 am and 8 pm.
The Cons: The only option for HIIT-style cardio is running on the treadmill. You can always walk or modify, but the treads are inevitable. However, if I have to run, I’ll take a Woodway treadmill every time. It made it as comfortable as possible for this treadmill hater. Plus, you can always choose the all strength option, which incorporates some cardio. One other downside is that the workout room is small and can feel cramped if the class is completely packed. But overall, a great class!
The Pricing: You can try a class for $18 and each single class thereafter is $23. 10 class packs are $195. Monthly unlimited memberships range from $200 to $185 depending on how many months you commit to. These prices are competitive with other studios in the area and certainly not expensive for the value you get. I’d recommend this studio to anyone looking for a well-rounded workout!