Look...training is easy for us triathletes right? Its all about swim, bike, run. Go longer, go harder, go faster, recover then repeat...right?! Right?! I often chuckle at my single sport friends who complain about trying to find time to "cross train". YOU can't find time? Try being a triathlete!
I admit however that its a constant struggle for me to find time, or the desire, to do some other type of training after a swim, bike or run workout. As most of you know that read this blog or follow me, I'm a total night owl and most gyms are closed when I get the urge to workout. So I'm always looking for things to keep in my home gym, or take while traveling, to help keep me in shape when I get the urge to train (at whatever ungodly hour that is). Well, I recently came across Muscle Ropes because of my association with FitFluential...more specifically their jump rope.
Now, we all know that jumping rope is a great exercise. I mean how can all those boxers and MMA fighter's be wrong?! We've all seen the black and white video of Muhammad Ali looking all graceful while he "floats like a butterfly" jumping rope and doing crisscrosses and such (what? too old of a reference? Well then watch any MMA show)...but its not as easy as it looks...and this ain't your dad's jump rope. This thing is 2" thick and is heavy. Sure there are weighted jump ropes on the market but this thing is diesel...and bombproof!
Now I just thought I would pick this thing up and use it like a regular jump rope. Oh no, this rope takes a little getting accustomed to. First off, its not soft and pliable (although I sure it would get that way over time and with use) like a regular jump rope and secondly your forearms and hands alone get a work out from just holding onto the 2" think ends while the rope spins around you. IF it hits you, you know. That smile in the picture is not because I'm enjoying myself...rather its from the fact that I finally learned to quit smashing myself in the calves with the rope!
So, I rethought my plan and started with sets of 3 sets 10 just to learn how to handle this thing and after just 30 reps I was sweating, my shoulders were burning and I was winded...from jumping rope! Thirty minutes into a workout and my upper body was on fire. My shoulders, chest, arms and forearms were pumped like I'd been lifting in the gym. My quads and calves, from the constant bouncing up and down on the balls of my feet with the added weight of the rope, were killing me. My jump rope workout now is: 20-jumps, 15-figure 8 swings, 20-jumps and 30 pushups (which constitutes one "set"), repeat for 4 - 6 sets or to failure. I can tell you that after the third set my forearms look like Popeye's!!! I would've never thought I could get such a massive workout in such a short amount of time with just a jump rope! You can find out more about Muscle Ropes here but I'll tell you that this is a new staple in my training routine! The upper body muscular strength, muscular endurance, cardio and balance built from using this will pay off in the water, on the bike AND on the run. Its a great cross training tool for any athlete especially triathletes. Go get yourself one and see for yourself!