Jump

My jumprope journey.

I am completely obsessed with jump rope as it’s a full body workout and efficient way to burn calories and build stamina. I’m so happy I picked up my rope, and bounced back into shape – stronger than I’ve ever been.

In February 2022 I picked up my jump rope for the first time in over 40 years. Of course, when I was a child, I called it a skipping rope, but times have changed and so has my body. Why did I chose skipping? Click here to see the top 10 benefits of skipping.

I set myself a challenge.

I decided to set myself a challenge. To go from zero to 2000 jumps per day within a month. Sounds easy…right? How wrong was I?! I’ve been a keen hiker for many years, spending hours hiking the steep hills along the south Devon coast. My legs are strong so I thought skipping rope would be a piece of cake, a walk in the park – easy! How wrong was I? It was really tough at first, but I built up over one month to jumping 2000 jumps per day. I’ve been jumping ever since. It’s a full body workout and has totally transformed my body.

Which jump rope?

I’ve been jumping rope every day using a selection of ropes from Dope Ropes and I’ve partnered with them to provide you with a discount code FIFTYSISTER. There’s also a FiftySister Rope click here to take a look. If the FiftySister rope is out of stock (it sells out fast!) then check out the weighted Cardio 2.0 which is exactly the same specification, just a different colour.

I started with a beaded rope. The beaded rope is popular for learning tricks and freestyle. As a beginner, it gives you the ability to jump slower as the beads give weight for momentum, to keep the rope in flight. Click here or image below to visit the store.

Cardio 2.0 rope

I used the Cardio 2.0 (standard not weighted) speed rope when I started. If you only want to buy one rope to build strength and stamina, I’d recommend this one, or the weighted version to build arms and shoulders. The Dope Rope Cardio 2.0 is ideal for all experience levels and is a particularly good option for cardio fitness and increasing the heart rate. If you want to get into skipping as a form of cardio, then this is a great rope to use!

Weighted jump ropes

I then progressed to weighted jump ropes, because I wanted to tone my arms and shoulders. I highly recommend the Cardio 2.0 weighted (my current favourite) for speed jumping sessions. It’s not too heavy and you will see and feel a difference in arm strength within a few weeks if you jump daily. If the FiftySister rope is out of stock (it sells out fast!) then check out the weighted Cardio 2.0 which is exactly the same specification, just a different colour.

Cardio 2.0 weighted rope

For those that want to add a bit more weight and resistance to their workout and up the intensity, the Cardio 2.0 weighted edition is ideal. It features a 6mm PVC cord making this rope around 1/4lb in weight and is around 20% heavier than the original cardio 2.0 speed rope which uses a 5mm PVC cord. This rope is ideal for all experience levels and for anyone wanting to get into Jump Rope as a form of cardio fitness due to its combination of speed with that little bit of extra weight!

This rope is classed as a heavy rope weighing around 1/4lb but it is at the lighter end of the heavy rope spectrum. Weighted ropes range from 1/4lb up to 2lb, so please consider this.  If you are a beginner, this rope is also suitable and it’s better not to use anything heavier than this or you could risk developing poor form, injuries and you may also struggle to last as long in your sessions. At this weight, this rope can also be used to perform different skills and tricks making it versatile as well.  Once you build up good form, stamina and endurance with this rope, you could go for an even heavier rope at a later stage if you wish!

Muay Thai rope – a bit of a beast!

The Muay Thai rope is a bit of a beast. It’s a thick 1.3-pound jump rope (circa 500g) for adding heavy resistance to jump rope workouts. Why this rope? If you want a quicker cardio workout and a heavier burn in your shoulders and forearms. You will definitely feel the burn using this rope for even short amounts of time. The length isn’t adjustable so check the length you require when ordering. My first time jumping with it, I only managed 20 seconds. I have now built up to 2 minutes , which I do x 2 in my daily workout.

My daily jump rope routine

Why did I chose skipping? Click here to see the top 10 benefits of skipping.

Building up slowly, has helped me progress from 20 jumps the first day, to over 3000 jumps per day now. My 30 minute daily exercise routine looks like this:

  • 5 minutes speed rope
  • 5 minutes 8kg kettlebell
  • 5 minutes speed rope
  • 5 minutes 8kg kettlebell
  • 5 minutes of speed rope
  • 5 minutes 8kg kettlebell

To begin with I counted jumps in sets of 100. Now I time my number of jumps per minute and then multiply that by the number of minutes jumped. Now I can do 3000 jumps in 15 minutes but I am going at supersonic speed! I do 3 sets of 5 minutes.

Jump and jiggle

Day one I didn’t have a proper sports bra and I was completely unprepared for the jiggle, of not only my boobs, but my jelly belly, inner thighs and bingo wings. I was more out of shape than I thought. I now use the Pebe sports bra which completely prevents any jiggle. Click here to visit the Pebe store – small UK company run by a lovely lady called Charlotte. She provides an online measuring service and ships worldwide. You can use my discount code FIFTYSISTER to save.

Why was I out of shape? Let’s rewind a little…

In July 2021 I had gained 32lbs quickly. I was drinking too much alcohol, accompanied by fatty, salty snacks, I wasn’t exercising so much – due to lockdown. I had recently moved back to Portugal, was living in a small rental property. Unable to hop on a plane to visit my son, I felt trapped and that my world was out of control. I was stressed, depressed and anxious. I wanted to just go to sleep for a very long time.

I booked a trip up to the north of Portugal, keen to hike in cooler weather and swim in freshwater rivers in the mountains. I set up my camera to film this stunning location, at the bottom of a valley in Soajo. I shot some footage of me swimming with my dogs and forgot all about it until September. Browsing through my photo album, I stumbled upon the footage of me setting up my camera and taking a dip. In the shot, I looking at the camera to see if the light is on, and I really don’t look my best with wet hair, no makeup and carrying extra weight. What a wakeup call.

Finding the light

I’ve carried extra weight before, but this was different. I could see the darkness in my eyes, the darkness that I’d been wallowing in for months. I wasn’t depressed because I was overweight, I was overweight because I was depressed. I had been drinking too much – 2 double Gin & Tonic each day, not keeping a check on my nutrition, and not protecting my energy.

In an attempt to quieten my mind, I found a monk named Nick on YouTube. His calm, soothing voice distracted me from my world and I listened as he talked about his eating regime. He could only eat twice per day, compared to 5 times per day when he lived in California. This set me on a path to research intermittent fasting, and I adopted time restricted eating the same week. Fast forward 5 months and I was 32lbs down and ready to regain my physical strength. Which is when my jump rope journey started and my journey as an author began.