Battle Rope workouts are becoming more and more popular in the fitness world thanks to circuit style training and new research about the negative effects of steady state cardio. According to all the recent articles out there, they are able to burn high amounts of calories and fat while building muscle. It also has the advantage of being very low impact (considering you're just standing, it is virtually no impact). But, can we believe the hype?
What Does the Research Say?
Well, unfortunately, there isn't a lot of research out there at this point about battle ropes, so I took the liberty to do a little test run on my own to see just how effective they can be. I set up a HIIT style workout using the battle ropes, and I kept it short and sweet at just 10 minutes. I worked at maximum effort for 30 seconds then took 30 seconds of active recovery (I walked during the 30 second recovery period). Using a heart monitor and my Polar T4 wrist monitor, here is what I found:
Workout Duration (excluding warm up and cool down): 10 Minutes
Total Calories Burned: 149
Max. Heart Rate: 172
Notes: I also felt some serious burn in my arms and shoulders, and I could tell my core got a solid workout also.
So, what does this mean? Is that a good workout? Well, in terms of calories, that is an awesome workout for the duration. For a HIIT style workout, I wouldn't recommend going longer than 30 minutes. Typically, if you can last longer than 30 minutes, you could be working harder. So, in 30 minutes, that works out to 447 Calories, plus all the extra calories you'll burn in EPOC which varies, but usually works out to around 100-200 more. Interval training like this also promotes some very important health benefits including insulin resistance, increased VO2 max and many others. For those of us looking to get more defined, interval training maintains muscle mass which is crucial for getting a nice physique.
To put this into perspective, let's compare this to some other forms of cardio.
- 30 Minute Battle Rope Workout: 447 + 200 in EPOC = 647 Total Calories Burned
- 60 Minutes on the treadmill at 6mph (10 minute mile): Approximately 700 Calories
- 60 Minutes on the treadmill leisurely walking: Approximately 270 Calories
- 60 Minutes of Basketball at a vigorous intensity: Approximately 600 Calories
Keep in mind, the Battle Rope workout is a 30 minute workout. Thirty minutes of Battle Ropes at maximum intensity burns as many, if not more, calories than many common forms of exercise can burn in twice that time. This is an awesome way for people with joint problems to be able to perform high intensity exercise while maintaining their joint integrity and limiting joint pain. Battle Ropes also promote strength gains in the upper body and limiting the catabolic effects present during steady state cardio. Overall, Battle Rope workouts are looking to be a great new form of cardio and a great addition to any workout program.
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