Official Website of Sarah E. Rippel, BS, CPT, FMS

Posts tagged “Baton Rouge personal trainer

Baton Rouge Personal Trainer on a Mission!


I’m on a mission!

My name is Sarah Rippel and I am a Baton Rouge personal trainer.

(you already knew that though, right?) 🙂

Are you ready to get a jump start on your new year’s resolutions?

Click here to find out more!

(will send you to my website and most recent blog post!)


-Are You Ready To TRANSFORM?-

Don't just sit there and think about making a change, DO IT!

Happy Monday, y’all!

Over the next couple of months, I plan on bringing you some inspiration from my OWN life.

Looking back upon the years, it’s apparent to me that all of it has been about TRANSFORMATION. I have gotten knocked down quite a few times, as we all have, and time after time I get back up and find that I’m even stronger than I realized. I am not afraid of struggles, and in fact, I welcome most challenges that are placed in my lap. To me, life without much of an impetus to get outside of your comfort zone is, quite frankly, BORING.

So, I’m on yet another journey of transformation.

This is day three.

I made a big decision this weekend that already has greatly impacted my outlook for the coming year. I will be sharing more about this as the weeks progress.

I am VERY excited about the possibilities that lie ahead!

In addition, I am mapping out my training plan for the 2012 triathlon season. I plunked down the cashola for the 2012 Ironman 70.3 New Orleans, and as they say, I will be getting back in the saddle very soon (and in the pool, too).

I have been running for the past couple of weeks and am happy to say that after my five-month layoff, my body feels great and is happy to get movin’!

I am also a newfound lover of healthy crock-pot cooking, so I will be sharing some of my “experiments” with you.

So, to wrap up this little Monday post, I have one question to ask you:

“Are you ready to transform?”

Let’s do this!

Yours in Health,


-The Latest Session of Baton Rouge’s Best Boot Camp is Rockin’!-

We are in the middle of the second week of the current four-week boot camp session!

Goals have been set, the “beginning of the month” fit tests have been completed, and everyone is having a great time!

Rippel Effect Outdoor Fitness is hands-down Baton Rouge’s BEST and MOST FUN fitness experience for women!

This month is gonna smoke all the others! The heat has come down a bit, and we are turnin’ it up! We are burnin’ fat and takin’ names here in Baton Rouge!

We were joined this morning by Amanda from lululemon athletica Baton Rouge. She gutted it out with the rest of the ladies as I put them through their paces! We did three rounds of the workout shown here, and (in typical Sarah fashion), I had over-planned…so we will be saving the stuff at the bottom of the whiteboard for tomorrow! Another lululemon chickadee, Beth, will be joining us soon as well!

If you are unfamiliar with the brand, take a second to check out the Facebook fan page of our local shop! Great-looking, functional, high-quality workout apparel for both men and women.

Check out the updated “Record Board” page by clicking here! You will see the current stats from both groups. I will most likely be combining them all into one big list, and have separate pages for each type of “challenge.” There will be ongoing tests and challenges throughout each session. Nothing is more motivating than busting through your previous numbers!

I am very fortunate to have a “crew” of amazing client-turned-friends who do all sorts of creative stuff! They are always willing to shoot pictures and I will soon be seeking some techie support (for online payment, etc). Anyhow, Nicole Allen is one of the “cool kids” and she showed up last week to shoot a few pictures during the 6pm workout. Everyone seems to moan and groan when the camera is around, so most of the pics she uploaded feature yours truly. Sorry, but I’m not going to include the goof-off one she caught of me in the “finish” position of the Squat-to-Stand mobility drill. I had been joking that my rear is the “best view,” and she caught me! Thanks, Nicole!


-Posture Pick-Me-Ups!-

Hey everyone!

Hope y’all are having a great week and staying COOL! It’s super-hot down here in Baton Rouge! I can’t wait for October to get here!

I wanted to take a few minutes to share a few “posture pick-me-ups” with you!

A great number of my clients and boot campers have jobs where they sit at a desk all day. Add to this the fact that many of us spend a great amount of time driving, watching TV, etc. and you can most definitely agree that this isn’t a good thing. Our posture suffers as a result, but there are ways in which we can counteract the daily “slump!”

When I work with clients, I always include mobility and activation exercises at the beginning of their workouts. I also like to sprinkle a few in as we go, and many exercises are what I call “big bang” exercises – they not only strengthen the body, but improve mobility and overall “harmony” between muscle groups.

The seated position wreaks havoc on our bodies. We tend to slump forward instead of sitting upright with shoulders pulled back. Our pecs and anterior delts become tight, while the opposing muscles of the upper back and neck become lengthened and weak. The weight of the human head itself contributes to this…and I know mine has gotta weigh at least 15 pounds, considering I’m such a genius… J

The spine is designed to do its job effortlessly, but when we impose repetitive movements and poor posture on it, it becomes less than happy. The spinal curves balance each other out, and when one has become irregular, the rest of the spine must adapt.

We fitness professionals in the know routinely focus on our clients’ body position in relation to the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine. I am forever cueing clients with “keep your chin tucked,” “shoulders back and down,” and “keep core braced and glutes tight.” Go ahead and do the opposite of these – you will most definitely feel the strain placed on your frame!

So, what “posture pick-me-up” drills do I love these days? Here are a few…you desk jockeys give ’em a try and don’t forget to let me know what you think! Leave your comments below!

Side-Lying Chest Opener: 

Side-Lying Chest Opener Variation - Starting Position

Side-Lying Chest Opener Variation - End Position (hold for a count of 2 as you exhale)

Kneeling T-Spine Extension & Rotation:

Kneeling T-Spine Extension & Rotation - Starting position - inhale

Kneeling T-Spine Extension & Rotation – End position – exhale & hold for a count of 2

Squat to Stand:

Squat to Stand - Starting position

Squat to Stand - End position (basic) - hold for a count of 2 as you exhale and push knees out

Squat to Stand - End position (advanced) -after assuming basic end position, reach overhead and turn to look at hand. Do this for each side, then return to starting position.

Spiderman Walk:

Spiderman Walk - take a step forward to assume this position!

Spiderman Walk - End position - feels GOOD!

I’s, Y’s, and T’s:

I's - keeping thumbs up, "shrug" shoulders, gliding shoulder blades towards ears, then back down, keeping shoulders pulled back

Y's - End position - hold for 2 and exhale, then lower arms down

T's - keeping shoulders pulled back and down, raise to form a "T," exhale and hold for a count of two, then lower arms towards ground.

-The Experience-

Do they look like they're bored?

Yesterday, I was inspired by a note written by Tyler English (of Tyler English Fitness & Farmington Valley Fitness Boot Camp) on his Facebook page. He titled it “What Type of Experience Are You Leaving Your Clients With?” In a nutshell, his stance was that many fitness professionals get so caught up in the “my training style is better than yours,” and “this one fitness tool outdoes all the rest” ongoing argument baloney that they lose sight of what is truly important – their CLIENTS.

“Give your clients what they want and what they need! Stop worrying about what training methodology works best, why that person is wrong, why you don’t agree with this or that and start focusing more on what’s in front of you!”


Thank you, Tyler! More of us need to speak out about this!

Personally, I have moved away from interacting with many other fitness professionals. I do have my core group of amazing people with whom I love to exchange ideas and “soapbox” with, but I feel there are too many trainers/coaches out there who think they know everything. They spend so much time trying to prove to the masses that they are so smart and know exactly how to do things that they don’t seem human. I mean, they obviously work with clients, but they never seem to bring to light their success stories or client experiences. All they seem to care about is regurgitating scientific principles, training tips, and continually puffing up their own egos.

Do their clients actually ENJOY training with them?

I seriously wonder if they do. I mean, if you are so busy with trying to prove that you are good at what you do, without ever really giving back to those who are the REASON you are able to do what you’re so good at doing…what does that make you?

In my eyes? Lame.

Who wants to work with a trainer who has placed themselves up on a pedestal, making themselves appear to be a training god amongst a sea of incompetent others?

Yes, I do feel there are many out there who flat-out stink as trainers because they don’t have the skills and experience…but they have personality, which is one thing most of these “self-propelled onto a pedestal” standers seriously lack. Yes, I know that personality ain’t gonna cut the mustard alone in this profession. Duh. 🙂

My main point? Like Tyler, I feel there is too much negative energy flowing about because too many fitness pros are caught up in trying to prove they are the best. I feel this detracts from the client experience. I feel they have lost sight of what allows them to flex their expertise in the first place, their clients. I mean, without clients you wouldn’t be able to work as a fitness professional.

Put yourself in your clients’ shoes. Take a few minutes to check out and think about what you are offering them. Are you giving them the total package or are you so worried about coming across as an expert that you’re out of touch with your clients? Are you so focused on over-educating them that they are bored to tears? Are you spending more of each training session talking their ears off and less actually having them MOVE?

Here I'm informing the group that we WILL be laughing a lot in the upcoming hour!

We have a gazillion conflicting viewpoints in this industry and always will. I don’t care if you do CrossFit, are a kettlebell purist, don’t believe in endurance exercise, think that old school lifting is the only way to go, or are an over-zealous functional training junkie. ALL OF IT IS GOOD! There is no one right way of doing things! By restricting your viewpoint and throwing out the others, you are doing a disservice to your clients.

I have always said that I am proud to not refer to myself as an “expert.” Yes, there are some who would call me an expert because I am good at what I do, but I do not like the label. I feel it is just plain cheesy and pompous. Also, when you look into what many of the “experts” preach, they are dead-set on their way of doing things. They are quick to dismiss the ideas of others and God forbid you question their methods. Do ya really think I want to be lumped into a group of people like that? No thanks.

Give your clients the best training experience of their lives, day after day. This doesn’t just mean providing top-notch training that delivers results…this also means making it FUN and memorable. Most people have way too much stress in their daily lives. The last thing they need is to be placed in a training environment that is restrictive. As adults, we have a ton of responsibilities and need to let our hair down on a daily basis! It’s healthy! Play brings us back to our younger years…back when we didn’t view movement as “exercise” and as something to dread. We need to be allowed to be grown-up kids now and then!


-Boot Camp Workout of the Week!-

Yesterday was a lot of fun!

Okay, so as I’ve said before, my definition of “fun” may not be the typical one!

Here’s what my RIPPEL EFFECT INDOOR FITNESS boot camp groups did yesterday!

Dynamic Warm-Up: 5 min

  1. High Knee Walk
  2. Frankenstein
  3. Walking Quad Stretch
  4. Overhead Walking Lunge
  5. Side Lunge Shift & Skip
  6. Walking Spiderman with Rotation & Arm Reach
Mobility & Activation Circuit: 5 min
  1. Quadruped T-Spine Rotation – 20s per side
  2. Quadruped Hip Circles – 20s per side
  3. Marching Bridges – 1 min
  4. Bent-Over Single-Arm “L” in “waiter’s bow” position – 20s per side (which I picked up from Nick Tumminello via recent video included in my membership…awesome resource, by the way!)
50/10 10-Station Circuit Powered by Workout Muse: 10 min per round; 2 1/2 rounds
  1. “Hinge”: Kettlebell: Sumo / 2A Swing / 1A Swing (switch at halfway)
  2. Side Plank Variation: Static / Up Down / Rotation / Abduction (these variations were used for any side plank station; switch sides at halfway)
  3. “Push”: Medicine Ball: High Plank Transfer / High Plank on Ball / Transfer Pushup / MB Burpee / Pushup on Ball
  4. Plank Variation: Static / Up Down / Swivel / Abduction
  5. “Squat”: Slider: BW Split Squat / Slider Reverse Lunge / add DBs / Slider Reverse Lunge to OH Press
  6. Side Plank Variation
  7. “Pull”: Suspended Row: Wide Feet / Close Feet / 1-Leg (we used the USA by and the Jungle Gym by Lifeline; another option is the very-popular TRX)
  8. Plank Variation
  9. “Cardio”: Ropes: Alt Wave Wide Feet / Close Feet / Staggered Stance / Stepback
  10. Side Plank Variation

This workout kicked booty! I always take time to plan out my workouts in advance, and this one was no exception! I wanted to include some sort of “active rest” stations in between the “equipment-based” stations, and sticking with planks and side planks seemed like a good idea! I have already heard “my abs are so sore today” from several people! Nothing beats good ol’ basics! Give it a shot and let me know what you think by leaving your comments!

I wanna take a second and risk sounding like an infomercial. I LOVE WORKOUT MUSE! I am really in love with the new iWorkout Muse PRO app for the iPhone. It’s become like gold to me! I still use my trusty Gymboss timer, but iWorkout Muse PRO has really made things run smoother for my boot camp workouts. Overall I feel like it’s an awesomely-powerful tool for boot camp fitness pros! It allows me to take the focus off of worrying what time it is, and stay “in the mix,” keeping my boot campers pumped-up and moving! One of them has even given a name to the “crank it!” voice – “Sven Karlsson!” LOL!

Yes, we ALWAYS have a blast at boot camp!

By the way, the next women’s-only boot camp session begins MONDAY JAN 31! Register now by sending me an email at We are indoors for this next session, so no worries about freezin’ your fanny!