The Battling Ropes training system is a training system unlike any other due to the fact that the user is forced to work and maintain velocity throughout the workout. Velocity is the combination of strength and speed being used at the same time. The great advantage to using strength and speed at the same time is that the user gets not only stronger but also faster as well. One might ask isn’t power and velocity the same thing? They are related but, actually a lot different. For example, swinging a sledgehammer and driving a railroad spike is a form of power. It demands power as you explode the hammer into the spike. However, after the sledgehammer hits the spike you must pull the hammer back into position again. To do this you must reset yourself again. In a nutshell this explains power output, it explodes and then resets itself to explode again and again. Velocity on the other hand does not have to reset itself. A good example of this is an arrow shot out of a bow and arrow. The arrow can maintain its speed in flight without stopping to reset itself. As long as the velocity of the arrow is maintained it continues in flight. With this in mind the Battling Ropes training once again forces the user to train with constant output or maintained velocity. Another very unique point of the Battling Ropes system is that their is no momentum used in any of the training whatsoever. As we know momentum is being used in any type of lofting where weight is used. The momentum takes effect when the weight travels back towards the ground and gravity takes over. This actually gives the body a brief moment to relax and recover slightly. When momentum is not used and pure velocity is maintained the body and mind must operate at a higher level of intensity without rest. However, with this type of training the results are tremendous and the athlete will be able to train and compete at a higher level of intensity for longer durations of time.
When I first started creating the Battling Ropes system, I trained on the system for about a year before I decided to bring the system out to the fitness industry. I found that the results that I was getting from the training were more than great and that the training transferred into all arenas and produced results in a big way. What I found that was just as important if not more important than the results the training produced, was the fact that it was a missing link in training. I discovered this very quickly when I first invited some of my friends to try the training at the basic beginner level. These guys were a combination of seasoned athletes and military special forces. When they went through the basic exercises they very quickly became fatigued and had to stop. They could not believe what had happened by them struggling so much on what seemed to be a easy looking exercise system. This happened over and over with many different groups of people who tried out the basics of the training system. My research time and time again proved the same thing without exception. Thats when I found out that Velocity training was a missing link in training. We do know that certain athletes use velocity for short durations of time, however, no one has had to maintain and sustain velocity for very long. The body has not had to do this and it is a missing link in training today.
The great thing about this missing link is that the body will adjust to maintaining velocity if the user persists and does not give up. The even greater thing is that the results are tremendous and they will transfer into your chosen battlefield and you will be able to train or compete at a higher level of intensity for greater lengths of time. You will not only develop greater physical endurance but you will also develop a greater mental endurance or mental toughness because of the training. This is the result of taking out the momentum factor where the body has time to recover and replacing it with constant output where there is no time to relax mentally or physically.
There are actually seven different levels and concepts to the Battling Ropes training system. The first two are velocity endurance and strength endurance. The first which is velocity endurance is also the most important and the foundation to the training system. Once you ground yourself in the velocity training and persist with the training where you can go for much longer durations of time on your workouts you will be able to move deeper into the training system and advance to new levels of intensity. To start people on the training I use either A fifty foot inch and a half diameter rope or a fifty foot two inch diameter rope. Either one can be used for the velocity endurance. However, the inch and a half rope is quicker and can create more of a series of waves for most people.
To start you simple need your rope and some type of anchor. I generally use a round smooth pole. The pole can be a outside basketball goal, a piece of PVC pipe placed in the ground or anything that is smooth and wont cut into your rope. If you are using something square, abrasive or even a tree, be sure to pad the spot on the rope that is around the abrasive anchor so that it does not chew into your rope over time. Even a heavy kettlebells or two will work well as a anchor for the basic velocity endurance. Once you have your pole, simply bring one end of the rope around the pole so that it is anchored by the pole. Now pull the two ends of the rope backwards and stretch them out equally so that you are holding the ends of the rope in each hand. Also, be sure to leave a little bit of slack in the rope so that you can create the waves by the whipping action. To make this easy, simply stretch the ends of the rope back so that there is no slack in the rope and now step forward a couple of feet. This will create about the right amount of slack to create the waves. Once in this position you are ready to start. Even though there are many different exercises in the velocity endurance segment of the training we will look at two of them to get started with.
The first exercise is the underhanded alternate waves. To start grasp the ends of the rope with one end in each hand using an underhanded grip. Now start to explosively alternate your arms up and down without stopping. This will get the ropes moving and whipping which will start creating waves flowing all the way to the pole. Continue this movement with your arms keeping the waves rolling into the pole quickly. Strive to keep up your pace and not let the waves slow down. You will quickly find that this is not as easy as you think, you are using velocity to create the waves which is the combination of strength and speed. You will also notice that the faster you move with the alternating technique the more waves you create rolling into the pole. With good speed on the rope you will create a series of waves. Once again strive to keep up your pace and not let the waves slow down. Go as long as you can. You will find that when you lose your velocity the waves and wave will slow and not make it to the pole.
The second exercise is similar to the first, however, now you will use an over handed grip which will have a different feel and work your muscles at a different angle. The same rules apply, simply keep a little slack in the rope and start alternating your arms while using the overhand grip. Strive again to create a series of waves flowing into the pole as long as you can without stopping or losing your velocity. These two exercises are very demanding even for seasoned athletes, however your body will start to adjust to the training if you persist with determination. The results will transfer into your chosen battlefield in a great way and you will be able to train or compete at a higher level of intensity for longer durations of time. As we mentioned before you will also develop a greater mental toughness because of the training. A simple formula to start with on the training is to work to keep up a strong pace on the ropes for a good 60 seconds. Stop for about thirty seconds and come back for another 60 seconds keeping your pace again. Take another short break and then come back again using this type of round training. Once you can go hard anytime for 60 seconds, start increasing your length of time on the rope exercise while increasing your intensity as well. As a basic guideline I would suggest doing these Battling Ropes exercise three times a week as your body adjusts to maintaining velocity.
John Brookfield is the creator of the Battling Ropes training system as well as a multiple world record holder. To learn more about John and his Battling Ropes system please go to www.battlingropes.com