ViPR illustration In June 2008, I was 24 years old and enjoying a summer work internship in the beautiful mountains of Estes Park, Colorado. I was fit, I was energetic, I was recently engaged, and I hurt. Random come-and-go pain in my knees and elbows spread into the balls of my feet, which made hiking and cycling more difficult, until one day I couldn’t even get back on my bike to pedal home from work and had to have a friend help me and my bike into his car.

The next five months saw a progression of daily pain that settled into my knees, elbows, neck, fingers and toes. Grasping and turning a doorknob became a two-handed task and I could hardly close my hand into a fist tight enough to grasp my toothbrush. In November 2008, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis.

The next few years were rough but I had always been an athlete and just wanted to get back to enjoying pain-free movement. With a degree in Kinesiology and Health Promotion, I knew that movement and exercise were critical to my health so even throughout my ‘painful years’ I continued to exercise. I lifted weights, I rode my bike, I went dancing; but it was a few years before the pain began to subside, brought about initially by medication. Injections of Hu mira reduced my symptoms remarkably well. Yet, sometimes after lifting weights and putting compressive forces into my joints, I would flair up and doorknobs would give me trouble again. And I didn’t like to think of the consequences of a lifetime of medication.

In 2013, I discovered ViPR. It was fun, it was new, and it was playful, but the science behind ViPR and Loaded Movement Training began to resonate with me. Stretch to shorten, long and strong, tensile strength, flow, rhythm, creating space in joints while strengthening soft tissues, unloading joints instead of compressing … these concepts began to yield powerful results for me.

ViPR not only opened up training possibilities professionally but also gave me a tool that has served to enhance my own health to a level of vitality beyond what I had found in the traditional gym space. I am performing well in my sports of choice (cross-country skiing, cycling, diving, swing dancing, fatherhood), and I have reconditioned my body to become more mobile and flexible. Since adopting ViPR into my training, my flair-ups have gone down and, since October 2016, I have been able to come off all medication.

ViPR isn't just a fun fitness product, it is a tool that enhances life! I am so proud to be a Global Ambassador for this incredible tool. Move well!

Take a look at Kevin in action, performing:

  • High Intensity Steady State (HISS) Metabolic Conditioning circuit
  • 10kg ViPR
  • Perform 10 reps of each exercise and perform 1-3 rounds before resting for 5-10 minutes.
  • Repeat 1-3x

By Kevin Bretting, ViPR Global Ambassador