Husband, dad, pastor, graduate student. What do all these current titles have in common? They keep me busy, they keep me poor, and they keep me motivated to serve in these capacities as effectively as possible for as long as possible. I’ve got to get healthier over time to be maximumly effective over time. But does anyone actually feel like they’ve got enough time to get healthier?
Financial advisors talk a lot about R.O.I. or “return on investment.” How do you get the greatest return on a financial investment? That’s how I like to think about diet and fitness. What are the foods that will get me the best results for the lowest cost, the best taste, and the easiest preparation? What are the exercises that will get me the best results in the shortest time with the fewest risks of injury? I love military presses, deadlifts, squats, lunges, pull-ups, and many other functional movements that get you maximum return on investment. But if I only had 30 minutes to get maximum results from one type of movement, what would that movement be? Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to: battle ropes.
Remember that rope hanging from the ceiling in gym class in the movies? Take it down, place the middle of the rope around a steady pole of some kind, grab the two ends of the rope, walk backwards until there’s tension, sit into a half squat position, and get ready to burn. We’re about to do 30 seconds of max effort and 1 minute of rest for 30 minutes straight! Alternating your arms up and down (as if you were playing the drums) will work your biceps (front of your arms), triceps (back of your arms), traps (upper back), rear deltoids (back of your shoulders), medial deltoids (sides of your shoulders), lats (outer middle back), rhomboids (inner middle back), low back stabilizers, glutes (your buns), and your abs (the front and sides of your stomach).
Battle ropes have the potential for endless combinations of movements. Use both hands to lift the ropes far overhead and slam the ropes down on the ground. Hello, ripped abs! Create circles with your hands (like you were stirring two bowls of oatmeal simultaneously). Hello, chiseled and rounded shoulders! Do a burpee but instead of jumping, slam the ropes on the ground. Hello, near-death experience! You will huff, you will puff, and you will knock yourself down. Your heart rate will break your Apple Watch. Your lungs will hate you today and love you tomorrow. For the first few weeks and months, the ropes will humble you. They’ll show you where your current level of fitness lies. But soon, the ropes will shape your body, expand your lungs, and increase your confidence.
I love battle ropes because they present a simultaneous aerobic and anaerobic exercise. You burn calories while performing these movements due to the high heart rate. Plus, you’ll also breakdown muscle, which causes a much longer calorie burn into the day and night. This is called anabolic conditioning—or, muscle-building fat-burning cardio. If your short on time and want maximum return on investment, try battle ropes. If you give them a try, please don’t hate me for what they’ll do to you at first. But feel free to thank me for they’ll do for you in time.
by Joel Evrist