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ViPR programming

My ViPR journey

ViPR in use

Aspiring ViPR national trainer Stephen Tongue shares his ViPR story so far.

My fitness training style is very much influenced by a passion to help people move well, and so the beginnings of the ‘functional training’ trend got me very excited indeed. I remember sitting in a lecture by Michol Dalcourt at FitPro Convention, many years ago, where he first revealed ViPR in the form of a video. The video showed an athletic-looking male performing all types of weird and wonderful exercises, and as soon as I saw the motions that this tool could drive, I wanted to get involved.

A year later I was lucky enough to be invited to a private ViPR training course presented by Michol. The course was specifically to launch ViPR at the health club chain I was working for at the time. That weekend, Michol showed us the true potential of ViPR for all levels of client and the seemingly limitless variables it could produce. I was hooked and ViPR was a hit at gyms up and down the country.

I have always looked up to the ViPR National Trainer (NT) team and have been inspired by their innovation, so when a position was advertised on Twitter for a new team member, I didn't hesitate to apply. I was delighted to be invited to the ‘ViPR Boot Camp Recruitment Day’.

On the day of the boot camp, I arrived at FitPro HQ to be introduced to a room full of 15 fitness trainers of the highest caliber. Each trainer was successful, knowledgeable and innovative; it was an inspiring environment to be in. Throughout the day we were constantly challenged – our presentation skills were tested and analyzed, our bodies were ‘beasted’ by ViPR, and our imaginations were pushed to the point of meltdown. I won't lie, it was a tough, exhausting day.

Several weeks later, after being left on tenterhooks, I received an email informing me that I had been selected for the team. I was absolutely buzzing with excitement. Initially I was invited to FitPro HQ for four days of intensive ViPR NT training.

Day 1: Team meeting

On the first day, the whole team was brought together. The team leader, Adam Daniel, kicked off the event with an inspiring video demonstrating the roles, responsibilities and team ethic of a flock of geese! The co-ordinated effort of a flying flock of geese was more impressive than I ever imagined. More experienced members of the team went on to deliver equally impressive presentations on The Fitness Education System and Running Technique Analysis. In the afternoon, the team got their training kit on and were given a sneak peek at an impressive series of Movement Prep programs produced by American master trainer Nick Luciano. The day was rounded off with a team meal at Canary Wharf.

Day 2: Live ViPR workshop

New members of the ViPR team attended the live component of the ViPR certification, led by Adam in a North London venue. The workshop was attended by some great trainers who had energy and enthusiasm in abundance. Despite having done the course before, I walked away with some fantastic new exercises which the group produced and that I could never have thought of on my own.

Day 3: ViPR certification breakdown

After a day’s rest from the live workshop, my body was barely recovered from the eight-hour workout it had endured. Legs, bum and back muscles were tender to the touch, but no rest for the wicked, there was more work to be done. The third day was a painstaking process of going through the ViPR certification program in intricate detail. The team had the opportunity to pick the brain of team leader Adam and ask every ViPR-related question we could possibly think of. Needless to say, at the end of the day we were exhausted from the overwhelming amount of information and were sent home with further study to prep for the final day.

Day 4: Teach backs

On the final day, the new members of the team had to teach the ViPR certification to each other. This was much more intimidating than I imagined – presenting to a group of knowledgeable trainers who were assessing your performance and giving you direct feedback on its quality. It really brought home the challenge that being a ViPR NT presents and the personal growth I will experience through being part of the ViPR family.

The year ahead

To complete my official sign-off as a ViPR NT, I will have to deliver another three workshops, both as part of a team and as a solo presenter. The workshops will need to be of the highest standard and will no doubt push my presenting skills to the next level. This year I will also get to experience the many other benefits of being in the ViPR team, including lots of great training kit, access to amazing education programs, and private audiences with some of the best fitness presenters in the world. Bring on 2013, I'm ready.