THE MANTRA CHALLENGE: 5 minutes of skipping (double-unders or singles).
GEAR NEEDED: Skipping rope.
This challenge started as a dare. A friend of mine has created a skipathon to raise money for a women’s charity. It’s called the GorillaStore Skipathon for Breast Cancer, and it’s going to take place on the 8th and 9th of August (which is Women’s Day). You submit your 5 minute video for proof, and the entry fee is R300. Yes, that’s expensive, but R100 goes to the charity (The Pink Drive) and you get a cool speed rope from the Gorilla Store (and there are prizes for the winners too). So don’t be cheap, think of it as an investment in your fitness and a good pay-it-forward deed for the month. I’ve signed up and this is a perfect opportunity for a Mantra Monthly challenge. My prep for this: after each training session I’ll do a ‘finisher’ with three other training partners where we’ll attempt as many unbroken double-unders as possible (my max right now is 202 – which I want to beat) and count each other’s reps. If we don’t beat 50 reps on our first attempt, we do burpees. Then we try again. You can train however you want, but you’ll need to do some skipping every day. Either make it a few minutes of non-stop skipping, or try the max rep tactic that I’m doing at the end of your training sessions. Your body will be tired from your normal training, so that means the skipping finisher will be even better for your conditioning. Either way, this is a great challenge: you need to work towards a goal of being able to skip for 5 minutes, which doesn’t sound like a long time, but trust me on this – it’s a tough cardio-killer if you don’t take long breaks.
On the plus side, this daily training won’t take up too much of your day, and it can also improve your skipping technique – which is a big bonus for me. Right now, I move like an elephant in double-unders – I’m not what you would call efficient. See this video of one of the finishers we did recently for proof – it’s not pretty and it (hopefully) makes for a great “before” comparison.
Back to the challenge. You’ve got until Women’s Day to improve your skipping, where you’ll be timed to see how many skips you can do in five minutes. You can take breaks when ever you want, but it’s your overall score that counts. You’ll need to record your 5 minutes for it to count, the rest of the details are on the RXIT Series competition page. First prize is to do this challenge with double-unders, but there’s also a scaled option that uses single skipping. Either way – this will get you fitter, build up your speed and reflexes, and make you more co-ordinated with a skipping rope, which should make for plenty of motivation.
Why do I like skipping? Let me count the ways:
- It’s a brilliant warm-up tool. Boxers have been right all this time. You get a total body movement that not only gets all your muscle groups warm and nervous system firing, it’ll also get your heart rate up. Quickly.
- It’s portable. You can take it anywhere. Especially good when it comes to holiday time.
- There’s almost no limit to the skill challenge. Double-unders, triple-unders, high-knees, backwards, crossovers – there’s a different method for different muscle and skill emphasis. If you don’t believe me, check out the video below. Floyd Mayweather also swears by daily rope work – and as much as we respect his conditioning – he’s a idiot (so there’s none of his skipping videos).