I’ve been seeing signs at my gym for a class that they just began offering, and they definitely caught my eye.
While I know the words on that sign individually, I have no idea what they meant in the context of a fitness class. And the online description didn’t provide many specifics, either:
“Get ready for battle with this hard-core, sweat-fest utilizing the toughest fitness equipment around. This Battle Ropes class combines strength and explosiveness to activate and integrate all the major muscle groups for a complete and total body workout with an emphasis on core stability. Get ready to make some serious waves!”
It certainly sounds like an awesome workout, so last Friday night, after buying some bizarre foods at the farmers market, I headed over to take the class.
Turns out battle ropes are big thick ropes, maybe 30-40 feet long, that you throw around in all sorts of ways.
The class was a circuit training class, and five battle rope stations were set up, using the ropes, 45-pound weights, and an upside-down step as a base:
Its hard to explain how you use battle ropes, but the basic idea is that you move your arms in various ways to create waves in the ropes. Then you add in lower body movements like squats or lunges to up the difficulty. The ropes are heavy, and flinging them around is quickly tiring. But it’s a great workout for your entire body, especially your core. Check out this video of a guy demonstrating a bunch of battle rope moves (there’s a lengthy intro, but the exercises start at the 1:30 mark):
The circuit in the class was set up so you would rotate with three other people through 4 stations, one of which was the battle rope. We spent 30 seconds at each station, and we never did the same battle rope move twice. The other 3 stations featured a variety of exercises that changed throughout the class: lunges, planks, jumping jacks, about 3 types of push-ups, crunches, squats, running in place, and so on.
Teaching the class was a guy named Mike, who’s also a personal trainer at the gym. He’s high energy and very positive, and he taught the moves efficiently and was continually encouraging.
We cycled through the stations for about a half hour, and it was hard work. It was also pretty fun, and Mike had great music. He also turned out the main lights for most of the class, leaving only the fun spinning disco lights. I’ve taken a class or two before in low light, and I like exercising in the dark. You focus more on what you’re doing, and focus less on comparing yourself to others around you, because they’re harder to see.
Next, the ropes got removed from their weighted bases, and the bases were replaced…. by people! One of us would hold the end of the rope while planking, and another would do the battle rope exercise. We cycled through this rotation a few times, doing a couple different battle rope exercises.
There was one other rope configuration that involved looping the ropes through each other, and, in groups of four, throwing the connected ropes as high as we could. After that, the class was over. I was drenched in sweat and felt great. I’d totally take the class again – I only wish it was offered at another time, because I often have plans on Friday nights!
The Powerwave Battle Ropes class was a great way to start the weekend, and I was definitely sore the next morning through my arms, chest, and abs.
Keep it up, David!