Thrive: One-Stop Body Shock

Circuits and interval training promise to get you RIPPED for summer.

photos by John Altdorfer


We gonna party all night!

We gonna party all night!

We gonna party all night!

It’s hard to tell what’s throwing me off about this R.I.P.P.E.D. class at You Rock Fitness, but one thing’s for sure: the hip hop/rap soundtrack to which we’re aerobicizing is throwing me back to Pittsburgh’s club scene circa 1998.

Regardless, 15 minutes in and I’m dogging it. Our enthusiastic instructor, Tadd Moreland, doesn’t hesitate to call me out.

“Oh, convenient!” he smiles, voice booming through his headset microphone. “Taking notes during the burpees!”

Touted as a “One-Stop Body Shock,” R.I.P.P.E.D. is an acronym that combines resistance, interval, power, plyometrics, endurance and diet for a “Plateau-Proof Fitness Formula” that claims to burn between 750-1,000 calories in 50 minutes.


The body shock comes from stimulating different muscle groups every six to nine minutes during each class and changing up the overall routine every three months. It’s said to stave off boredom and prevent your muscles from becoming too accustomed to a routine. Before beginning, Moreland provides me with a thorough breakdown of each circuit.  

“Resistance hits the arms and shoulders. Interval ramps up the heart and brings it back down; it’s cardio-oriented. For Power, we target the large muscle groups: legs, chest, back. Plyometrics consists of explosive movements, and Endurance is the largest section, using kickboxing to build physical and mental endurance.”

Diet, well, we gloss over that one. I assume it doesn’t involve a 12-pack from Dunkin’ Donuts, which, in a sick twist of fate, is located next door. 

My convenient note-taking ends up carrying me through more of this class than I intended for a few reasons, one of which involves a finicky sciatic nerve and lower back that both revolt when I’m down… back… out… in… out… in… up… one more time-ing and most definitely when I’m knee up to the side… knee up to the side… now fast! Two, three, four, five, six, seven-ing.


“Keep going!” Moreland encourages as the music blares. “Boom!”

Don’t try to test me, homie!

Get outta my way!

Get outta my way!

Scribbling away, I finally realize exactly what’s bothering me: it feels as though the ghosts of routines past — Denise Austin, Shaun T and Billy Blanks — are begging for a reunion.

Nice to see them alive and kicking, but I’ve moved on.

Verdict: If you enjoy choreographed routines that aim to combine popular elements from a wide variety of well-known workouts, this is for you.  

You Rock Fitness  •  11171 Perry Highway, Wexford; 412/477-7393,
Drop-ins are $8/class; monthly fees vary. No memberships or contracts.

Eat This Month

Apple-Cider Vinegar
More than just a flavoring agent, apple-cider vinegar is fermented apple juice that is believed to offer multiple health benefits. These include aiding in weight loss, soothing an upset stomach or sore throat and supporting immune function, says Christina Tarantola, a pharmacist, certified health coach and co-owner of The Diet Doc Pittsburgh North. “Dilute 1 to 2 tablespoons in a big glass of water, and sip it once or two times a day before meals. It also makes a great salad dressing,” she says.

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