We’ve heard of weights, bands and even tape that are commonly used in fitness routines. Now it’s time for the ropes. You’ve probably seen ropes being used for cardio in gyms thinking, “What the heck are they doing?” Well, battle ropes used in training have been around for longer than you think. 

Battle ropes were introduced into fitness routines as early as 2010. They were called “power ropes” and “battling rope systems” developed by John Brookfield. These are weighted ropes that usually weigh 24 pounds. In his interviews, John Brookfield had mentioned that he came up with the system in his own backyard. He had been looking for ways to train for speed, power, strength, and even mental endurance in the long run. After training for a whole year, he says the results were phenomenal and had started teaching it as well. He concluded that this training was quite adaptable and transferrable to other fields of training, such as athletic and military training.

While constantly being compared to kettlebells, Brookefield claims that these are two very different types of training. Comparing it to a body of water, with fast-flowing current, there is no stop, no lull. The body is simultaneously present with the mind, working at all times. This causes velocity, which is a combination of speed and strength. Using kettlebells or any kind of free weight, there is a “rest” period in between reps where you allow your mind and body to relax for a couple of seconds before the next rep, while ropes keep your mind and body engaged the entire time you do training which results in maximum output. 

So, using a rope and getting fit, sounds easy right? Not even close. The system actually teaches users how to increase endurance overtime. This is done through using the ropes at only seconds at a time at intervals. 20-30-40 intervals are used most of the time and for about 10-20 minutes, depending on how much the user can endure. Being able to sustain eventually helps users to be able to effectively execute and excel in their field of choice. 

John started training with military personnel during his first times sharing this drill with others. Being friends with commanders, they let him test this drill with some of their men. After his training had reached numerous amounts of people, John noticed that these people, no matter how able and well-trained they had been, were struggling until the last minutes of the drill! Other athletes including NFL and Olympic competitors had also experienced this. This is because many workouts and training focus on either strength or speed, never the same of it together – velocity. When training to produce velocity, any training that comes after won’t necessarily be easy but range of motions can be found to be less difficult to execute. 

Velocity also helps with a better blood flow and overall circulation in comparison to other types of training. John also compares the blood flow to a body of water, like a river. Such bodies of water allow the pushing out of debris, whereas slow-moving bodies of water make for a build up of it. The bloodstream, in general, is a slow-moving fluid because of its density. This can result in the build up of lactic acid. Velocity, increasing the circulation, potentially moves the debris. This counters the build up. As a result, studies prove that muscles do not fatigue as much.

Another thing this system teaches is the effectivity of the correct breathing can be. According to Brookefield, many people that do training (even athletes) get into something called panic breathing. John says that we can first learn to condition our minds to let our bodies relax when undergoing stress, and soon after it will transfer to all aspects in our lives, be it work stress, emotional stress or even physical stress. It is still possible to relax even if our bodies are undergoing extreme stress by changing our breathing. 

Battle ropes target many parts of the body at once with a couple of different moves as they also enhance your grip, strength, and overall work capacity. A 10-minute workout can actually get your heart rate to peak, which makes it classify as a high-intensity workout, and can be good for cardio. The high heart-rate can really aid in weight loss. The benefits of using this drill include: 


  • They are perfect for high-intensity interval training (HIIT) which are proven to improve the metabolism even after workouts! These are usually shorter routines but the range of motions have to be executed a peak intensity. These can also burn an estimated 300-500 calories per half hour. This can help your metabolism to be up until 36 hours after a workout! You’ll be burning calories even while sleeping and doing your daily activities even by sitting at your desk the next morning. 
  • They are short, non-time consuming and still effective. According to studies, 3 sets of an HIIT battle rope routine only takes 10 minutes but the calories burned are equivalent to jogging for 45 minutes! Perfect for those with busier schedules. 
  • Building muscle, burning fat. Using battle ropes hits two birds with one stone, using half the time and less the equipment and make for a full body workout, too. They target many parts of the body at one time.
  • Adaptive to fitness levels, you can work your way from the bottom to the top.  As you get more used to them, you can add more challenging moves and alter the duration and number of sets you execute. You can also increase the weights and lengths of the ropes you use.

It is suggested to do 4 exercises with minimal rest in between. Something else to remember is that no one has the same amount of strength, endurance or dexterity on either arms. One arm’s strength is another arm’s speed. Doing this routine consistently will help improve the weaknesses found in both arms, making them almost equal. Integrating this type of drill into your routine is a sure fire way to reach your goals and even strengthen you to be able to perform other routines accurately and with ease.

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