Perfect Rip Deck Review
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It’s called the “competency trap.” The term comes from management science and describes a flaw in our behavioral tendencies.
The competency trap happens when we continue to do things we’re good at and that have produced satisfactory outcomes in the past – even when we know we should modify our routines for better results in the future. It’s just nice to feel like you’re good at something, right?
I’m especially guilty of the competency trap at the gym. There’s something comforting about the grip of an Olympic barbell during a bench press-based chest workout. Even though variety in pectoral training produces better strength gains, it’s difficult to give up that comfort.
Plus, it’s hard to get motivated by alternative chest routines. The standard pushup, though a great exercise, feels like a cop out relative to a heavy bench circuit. A pushup routine rarely gives the impression that significant muscle gains are being made. And fancy machines usually provide little more than cheap facsimiles of the standard press.
So I was intrigued by the Perfect Rip Deck, a device that promises extreme chest training without weights. Could the Rip Deck break me free of my competency trap on chest days? Could it offer muscle-building variety for better muscle and strength gains?
The short answer is “yes.” The muscle soreness I’m experiencing as I type this attests to the Rip Deck’s muscle-ripping credentials.
It should be stated at the outset that, when used to its full extent, the Perfect Rip Deck is not for beginners or the faint of heart. It’s a gateway to a serious workout, and the best results will come to those with a solid, preexisting strength foundation.
The Perfect Rip Deck Device
The Perfect Rip Deck is constructed of two metal tracks on which swiveling and sliding platforms are mounted. The two tracks can be connected together with locking pins or taken apart, depending on exercise application. The movement of the mounted platforms can be adjusted easily: they can be fixed in position, sliding can be limited to a small range of the tracks, or sliding can be enabled to cover the full range of the tracks.
The device is lightweight but sturdy. It feels very solid when in use. And it is thoughtfully engineered. Quality is top notch.
The originator of the Perfect Rip Deck is a former Navy SEAL. The design and construction seem to reflect the thoroughness and efficiency that would be expected of a veteran of the SEALs. Although the device is superficially reminiscent of the exercise equipment we’re all leery of – the “as seen on TV” machines that sparkle on camera but fail us at home – the Perfect Rip Deck inspires confidence when in use.
Only a small amount of assembly is required out of the box, but the thing is (literally) a snap to put together. No instructions are provided or needed for assembly and adjustment.
The swiveling and sliding platforms, which can be mated with handles, enable two planes of motion during exercises. Dual-plane motion is an important part of the Perfect Rip Deck’s ability to provide superior training. The device requires excellent muscle command to control both planes of motion. It also recruits muscle fibers that may not be called upon in traditional weight or pushup training.
The Perfect Rip Deck Exercises
For the creative mind, there’s an almost limitless set of possibilities for exercises with the Perfect Rip Deck. Several exercises are highlighted on the device’s box and promotional materials, and these range from modified pushups to “mountain climbers.”
Regarding those exercises that are highlighted, I would have liked more instruction in the packaging or user’s manual. Although I’m an experienced weightlifter and trainer, my first go at using the Perfect Rip Deck involved a bit of trial and error. The device is intuitive to use, and I may have been over-thinking things, but some added in-box instruction would be beneficial. Online downloads and videos are available for workouts based on the Perfect Rip Deck, but I tend to be all-analog in the gym, so I didn’t find these as useful as a box insert.
In addition to its intended exercises, I made use of the Perfect Rip Deck for “off-label” exercises that targeted chest, triceps, shoulders, and abdominals. The device performed ably in all contexts, including my off-label uses.
The bread and butter of the Perfect Rip Deck are modifications to the standard pushup. The swiveling and sliding action adds a dimension of difficulty to the movement.
As the sparse instructions provided with the device indicate, the maximum benefits from the Perfect Rip Deck (and strength training generally) come from quality of movement over quantity of reps. It demands a slow and controlled movement at the risk of injury if one is not careful. The device really does impose discipline over the pushup motion.
The device also performs well as a base for the “mountain climber,” which emphasizes the stabilizers of one’s core. This exercise demonstrates the Perfect Rip Deck’s versatility.
I also used the Rip Deck for triceps exercises like the close-grip press. The included red rubberized stoppers keep the handle platforms in close-grip position for the exercise.
Those handles can be removed and used separately as, for instance, traditional pushup handholds.
I also found the handles to be excellent for handstand pushups targeting the deltoids. The use of the handles, rather than just pressing my palms into the floor, enabled greater range of motion.
Among the most difficult exercises enabled by the Perfect Rip Deck is the flye. The entire body is engaged with either the handheld flye or forearm flye.
Following a workout with the Perfect Rip Deck, I feel confident that my next-day soreness stemmed from these exercises. These movements are for advanced users and should be worked up to. I found them to be quite challenging.
Who the Perfect Rip Deck Is For
The Rip Deck has a place in the routine of virtually anyone engaged in strength training. The device can be set such that training for chest and other upper body strength is incrementally more difficult. This allows beginners to build a good base on which to try more advanced routines. Additional usage guidelines and instructions would have been helpful, however. Those very new to strength conditioning could be frustrated without them.
For seasoned weight trainers, the Perfect Rip Deck offers challenging variations on familiar movements. It can definitely help break the competency trap of weightlifting.
The Perfect Rip Deck is well engineered and well built with no discernible design flaws or workmanship shortcomings. It is a quality machine that offers excellent value as a part of one’s home gym. Were the device to be improved, a more collapsible design for travel would make the Perfect Rip Deck even more useful.
For more information, visit amazon.com/perfectfitness.