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

Posts tagged “boot camp

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!)



Want to get in on the Tuesday/Thursday 6PM Boot Camp action?


-A Little on Regressions/Progressions and Intervals-

As I have stated before, being able to regress every exercise you program into your workouts is vital to not only the success of your clients but also your success as a fitness professional. The same holds true for progressions as well. Working with groups makes this an even more important skill, along with being able to do so at any time and for any client. I have never had a single group where everyone could do the same exercises, and it is naïve to expect that to ever be the case. I almost always have someone with a “bad” knee or back, and I have had to work around so many different issues it makes my head spin! That’s just the way things go.

The popularity of “boot camp” programs means that people of all levels of ability are interested. Although I do my best to incorporate exercises that serve to benefit general posture and mobility issues and “wake up” muscles that need to be more active in my clients, the point needs to be made that group training is not and will not ever be as individualized as one-on-one training. There is simply no way to devote as much time to each person in your groups, therefore you must become as proficient as possible at sound programming and “tweaking” exercises on the spot.

I typically offer three “levels” of progression, but am always able to tweak these up or down depending on the individuals in my groups. I make a point of having my groups know that if their form starts to break down on any exercise, slow down. If this doesn’t help, then take a few seconds to catch your breath and try again, and if that doesn’t help, then hold a given position or stop altogether. In the group setting, people generally do not want to be seen stopping before the time is up, so this gives them plenty of options.

In going through the circuits, you will probably notice that I favor a 45/15 work-to-rest interval for “strength” exercises. I have found this to be a favorable interval in that it allows for sufficient work while allowing technique to stay clean. In my opinion, a strategy of high reps done in a state of fatigue is simply not smart. I typically have to get people in my groups to slow down rather than speed up (again, the group environment tends to get folks fired up)! I abhor sloppy reps and do not believe it is beneficial for people to sacrifice form for intensity. Yes, intensity is most definitely important, but if the emphasis is always on “GO GO GO,” then the quality of exercise execution tends to fall by the wayside.

Now, for “intense” exercises such as sprints and rope waves, I feel that 20-30 seconds of all-out work is optimal. These exercises cannot be performed for an extended period of time, so please keep this in mind when planning workouts.

A final note: I do my best to incorporate exercises that provide the most “bang for the buck,” in terms of total-body strength, metabolic impact, and overall benefit to my clients. This does not mean that I seek out exercises that are “hardcore” and/or highly technical. One visit to YouTube will offer you plenty of off-the-wall exercises if that is what you seek. I do like to provide my clients with an ever-changing and non-monotonous workout experience, but I believe strongly in the basics and their variations. I am a former gymnast and it is nothing for me to attempt pretty much any exercise, but I would be insane to expect the same from my clients! Furthermore, why spend the time trying to explain a complicated “single-leg burpee to leg kick to toe touch to tuck jump” when you’re the only one who should even attempt it? Why waste workout time trying to dazzle your clients with “impressive” circus-act exercises when they are just wanting to get their sweat on? Use sound judgment and realize that you can never, ever go wrong with the basics.

You will see that I most definitely like some unique variations, but they aren’t ridiculous. Also, you will see that I throw in the occasional single-joint exercise (gasp)! Remember, your clients are there to get a great workout, and this means you must always keep your eyes and ears open when you are with them.

Keep an eye out for my upcoming book of boot camp workouts!


-RIPPEL EFFECT FITNESS 4-week Boot Camp @ City Park: Next session starts Tues Oct 30!-


Biskit is making Amanda and Jenny run faster!

This month, I brought back my outdoor boot camps at City Park! I have been asked to keep them going until it gets cold, therefore we will continue to meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays!

The next 4-week session will begin on Tuesday October 30. If you are interested in joining us before then, please let me know!

Groups meet at 5:30am and 6:00pm. Special pricing is in effect:

  • Pay this week (thru 10/20) = $150
  • Pay next week (10/21-10/28) = $175
  • Pay on 10/30 = $200

You may pay with cash, check, or via PayPal.

Ready to register? Email me at to snag your spot!

Groups are limited to 10 women each.

-January Recap!-

It’s become quite obvious that when I’m busier, I don’t have time to write blog posts. Yes, I realize that it’s possible despite a lack of time, but my own training and my sleep takes precedence! Sometimes I wonder if many of the guys who update their blogs on a regular basis even train that many people and/or work out themselves. Oh well.


It’s been a whirlwind month!

I am on track with my own training for the 2012 triathlon season. I am happy to say that thanks to Nan Fontenot and Crawfish Aquatics, I am kicking butt in the pool and actually look forward to swimming 2-3 days a week! I joined the Master’s program and it’s been a challenge, but definitely a good one! On both Monday and Wednesday this week, I threw in a 30-mile ride post-swim. That’s the plan for today as well!

My schedule is near max-capacity with one-on-one clients (and a few couples)! I have three ladies who are getting ready for upcoming weddings. Two of them have gotten to experience trap-bar deadlifts this week for the first time…and I do believe they loved ’em! Another one of my rockstars finished her first marathon and PRed for the first half of the race! Yet another is prepping for an awesome 2012 triathlon season, and another is getting back in shape to play soccer. Lots of great goals and high energy in the Rippel Effect world!

Also, I have had most of my clients performing kipping pull-ups, overhead kettlebell swings, and max-hyperextension situps on the glute-ham developer.

Ok, so I’m kidding about that last part.

Yes, I’m totally kidding.

If you think I’m serious, then you don’t know me that well! 😉 I would NEVER have clients perform any of the above exercises. Remember, just because something can be done doesn’t mean you should do it. A lot of inexperienced trainers need to reflect upon that.

To find out more about becoming one of my personal training rockstars, drop me a line at Motivated people only! 🙂

We just wrapped up four weeks of intense ladies boot camp action last night. The group meets T/Th at 6:00PM at BR Fit, and current members have priority. Keeping the group size to roughly 12 ladies so that everyone gets sufficient attention, we aren’t crammed together like sardines, and workouts flow smoothly! There are all ages, fitness levels, and Rippel Effect experience levels (meaning brand-new to training with me as well as ladies who have been training with me for 1-2 years). It’s a super-fun and highly effective way to rock your bod!

Contact me at for more information and to find out if there’s room for you in the current group!

So, in closing, I will leave you with a few thoughts that sum up this past month for me:

My dad’s cancer surgery went well, and we are extremely thankful. He will be having to undergo radiation in a couple of months but he’s gonna be a-ok!

I am racing in honor of my dad as a part of Team Winter. I will be posting about this eventually. Until then, Google “team winter” and find out more about how you can help! I have a donation page set up and will be accepting donations that go towards prostate cancer research.

I am becoming known as a “Crossfit hater.” Obviously labeled as such by people who become very defensive if I even mention the word Crossfit. Oh well. I’ve discovered that its pretty much a waste of my time to try and have a rational conversation about this topic with those who are über-entrenched in it. No amount of discussion about sound exercise practices, risk vs reward, multiplanar/movement-based training, and quality instruction seems to matter when it falls on deaf ears. As they say, ignorance is bliss.

I am seriously hooked on swimming!

Very often, (runners especially) people assume because their hip flexors are tight that this means they don’t need to be strengthened. Wrong. I will be touching on this during my next lecture/workshop/workout demo at Fleet Feet Sports next month!

A fitness program that doesn’t incorporate an initial screening/assessment protocol is flat-out bogus.

The “injuries are gonna happen” mentality is ridiculous. If you are training SMART, you already know this. Unfortunately, lots of people right now are getting injured in popular workout programs and are encouraged to view these injuries as “badges of honor.” Dumb. The last time I checked, a SLAP-tear that was the result of an unsound workout “program” wasn’t a good thing. “But hey, I’m elite!” 😉

Last but not least, I do not waste my time responding to argumentative and/or emotion-driven comments if there is an apparent lack of sense behind them.

Ok, time for some oatmeal!

Have a great weekend!

-It’s That Time Again!-

2012 is almost here!

I will be continuing to offer “boot camp” workouts but will be limiting registration to 10 per group. Workouts are held at BR Fit on Tues and Thurs at 6pm. The next four-week session begins Tues, Jan 3 and it’s just $175. That’s eight workouts with me for a fraction of what you’d pay for one-on-one training! SPACES ARE LIMITED and priority is given to current participants – RSVP now by contacting me at! (5:30am group is a possibility but there must be enough interest for this group to meet.)

Seeking only highly-motivated and positive ladies for group training!

Personal training is also available for men and women – I am accepting a few more clients based on scheduling & if I feel our working relationship will be productive! I don’t have time to train people who don’t want it bad enough! 🙂 Inquire for rates and availability.

If you are wanting to get in shape AND do it the smart way, Rippel Effect Fitness is for you! Over 16 years experience. Scientifically-based exercise programming. Periodized and progressive. Not just a bunch of exercises thrown together. Not “killing” people and calling it a workout. Not the latest fad. Not CrossFit, P90X, Insanity, or any other program that does not support proper exercise prescription! I do not endorse those types of programs, as they go against most everything that I have learned over the course of my career. I do support sound, proven, and intelligent fitness!
I am personally invested in my the success of my clients. This is why I wish to work with those who understand that improved health is not a short-term program. If you are ready to improve your life by moving, looking, and feeling better, please shoot me an email!

Yours in Health,

-Boot Camp Fit Test Results!-

6PM Crew Workin' on the TGU!


I hope everyone has had a positive and productive week! I know I have, and same goes for our boot camp workouts!

We wrapped up yet another results-packed session of Baton Rouge’s best women’s-only boot camp yesterday.

We start again on Monday, Oct. 31 (still room for a few new faces)!

The fit test this month included a series of 1-minute drills as well as a “get it done however you can” circuit.

The 1-minute drills were: Push-ups, Single-Leg Touchdowns (good reps), Burpees, Getup Situps, and Squat, Curl, & Press.

The circuit was: 100 Jumping Jacks, 80 DB Toe Reach Crunches, 60 Bent-Over Rows, 40 Burpees, and 20 Pushups.

Check out the results!

(note, not everyone was able to show up for the final test of the session!)

10/6/2011 = Week 1 Tests = numbers in italics

10/27/2011 = Week 4 Tests = numbers in bold

  1. Alyssa A. – Pushups = Elevated 11/28; SL Touchdown = 22/29; Burpees = 21/27; Getup Situps = 21/28; DB SCP = 20/24; Circuit = 8:30/6:50
  2. Nicole A. – Pushups = 6/; SL Touchdown = 13/; Burpees = 25/; Getup Situps = 23/; DB SCP = 25/; Circuit = 8:52/
  3. Nikki B. – Pushups = Elevated 30/31; SL Touchdown = 43/52; Burpees = 19/18; Getup Situps = 26/30; DB SCP = 22/24; Circuit = 8:46/8:23
  4. Melissa B. – Pushups = Elevated 20/; SL Touchdown = 15/; Burpees = 14/; Getup Situps = 19/; DB SCP = 20/; Circuit = 9:23/
  5. Kate C. – Pushups = Elevated 30/; SL Touchdown = 10/; Burpees = 21/; Getup Situps = 19/; DB SCP = 18/; Circuit = 8:47/
  6. Zachira C. – Pushups = Elevated 18/30; SL Touchdown = 5/8; Burpees = 14/20; Getup Situps = 16/17; DB SCP = 17/20; Circuit = 9:47/7:39
  7. Lauren F. – Pushups = Elevated 18/26; SL Touchdown = 36/44; Burpees = 20/18; Getup Situps = 21/25; DB SCP = 21/22; Circuit = 9:55/9:01
  8. Cathy G. – (kept card) Circuit = 8:37
  9. Dana G. – Pushups = 43/40; SL Touchdown = 40/47; Burpees = 22/22; Getup Situps = 24/23; DB SCP = 20/22; Circuit = 7:41/6:56
  10. Marci G. – Pushups = 18/; SL Touchdown = 17/; Burpees = 22/; Getup Situps = 16/; DB SCP = 28/; Circuit = 8:58/
  11. Ash K. – Pushups = Elevated 20/; SL Touchdown = 9/; Burpees = 17/; Getup Situps = 18/; DB SCP = 18/; Circuit = 9:03/
  12. Whitney K. – Pushups = Elevated x/17; SL Touchdown = x/39; Burpees = x/20; Getup Situps = x/25; DB SCP = x/27; Circuit = x/8:30
  13. Katie L. – Pushups = Elevated 17/; SL Touchdown = 39/; Burpees = 21/; Getup Situps = 23/; DB SCP = 18/; Circuit = 9:18/
  14. Mandie M. – Pushups = Elevated x/30; SL Touchdown = x/36; Burpees = x/19; Getup Situps = x/18; DB SCP = x/19; Circuit = 
  15. Janis P. – Pushups = 34/32; SL Touchdown = 41/42; Burpees = 24/21; Getup Situps = 24/26; DB SCP = 20/18; Circuit = 7:18/6:31
  16. Quintina R. – Pushups = 32/35; SL Touchdown = 40/46; Burpees = 20/21; Getup Situps = 25/26; DB SCP = 20/18; Circuit = 7:41/6:42
  17. Megan R. – Pushups = Elevated x/36; SL Touchdown = x/35; Burpees = x/21; Getup Situps = x/23; DB SCP = x/23; Circuit = x/7:50
  18. Erryca R. – Pushups = 46/; SL Touchdown = 60/; Burpees = 30/; Getup Situps = 31/; DB SCP = 28/; Circuit = 5:40/
  19. Michelle S. – Pushups = Elevated 16/27; SL Touchdown = 25/40; Burpees = 18/19; Getup Situps = 14/24; DB SCP = 14/26; Circuit = 8:58/7:13
  20. Jenny T. – Pushups = Elevated 11/; SL Touchdown = 16/; Burpees = 12/; Getup Situps = 12/; DB SCP = 15/; Circuit = 9:52/
  21. Shannon T. – Pushups = x/14; SL Touchdown = x/32; Burpees = x/22; Getup Situps = x/21; DB SCP = x/15; Circuit = x/8:19
  22. Katie W. – Pushups = Elevated 20/22; SL Touchdown = 26/27; Burpees = 16/21; Getup Situps = 9/17; DB SCP = 19/23; Circuit = 11:20/8:16
  23. Jamie W. – Pushups = x/23; SL Touchdown = x/36; Burpees = x/17; Getup Situps = x/19; DB SCP = x/17; Circuit = x/8:30