It is very difficult to keep track of all the fitness trends, because just when I’m thinking, “Hey, maybe I should try those Tae Bo VHS tapes that have been sitting in my closet for 20 years,” I learn that the kids these days traded their Buns of Steel for Fitbits and are CrossFitting to the oldies. Now, it should be very obvious after one sentence that I am not a fitness buff. If I had to describe my exercise level in two words, it would be “maybe tomorrow.”
Alas, when your job requires you to eat your way through the Caribbean, finding the right fitness routine cannot wait another day. The problem, though, is that unlike at the Grand Fiesta Americana breakfast buffet, I am picky. I hate weights and don’t want to be yelled at. I like to have fun but know that what I am doing is making a difference. And if there’s a technological component that can help me track my progress, or, better yet, encourage me to get up and move, without costing more than one paycheck and requiring monthly fees, I am all in.
So, with my choices down to Jazzercise and Fight Club, I was very intrigued when presented with Crossrope.
What’s That, Like One of Those Things You Hang on a Door?
It’s a jump rope set. But not, like, the kind you were using back in kindergarten. It’s like that set of ropes was struck by lightning and received superpowers. The Crossrope sets were designed with several aspects in mind, including durability, style and variety. So, while it is as simple as picking up the ropes and jumping, Crossrope blends new fitness elements to an old school workout, and the result is a routine that is focused, fun and even interactive.
Variety is the Spice of Life
If your goal is to lose weight, Crossrope offers the Get Lean set, which includes slim handles and 1/4- and 1/2-lb. ropes. If your goal is to build strength, then you’ll prefer the Get Strong set, which includes power handles and 1- and 2-lb. ropes (there are also Heavy LE handles and a 3-lb. rope if you still need more). Or, if you want the whole shebang, then you can grab the Get Fit bundle, which includes all of the above. The only things missing are the lyrics to “Miss Mary Mack.”
Regardless of the set you choose—I went with the Get Lean ropes because of the aforementioned resort food—there are more benefits to be gained than what’s implied by the names. I actually started using a jump rope in training routines over a year ago, and it was really frustrating because I am a natural clutz with as much grace as a one-legged duck. Using jump ropes once a week, even for a few months, led to drastic improvements in my ability to navigate Lego mine fields at home. Combine that with burning calories and I’d call this routine a success.
Is There an App for That?
Crossrope’s app is one of the better fitness apps I have played with, because, for starters, it’s designed in a way that makes it easy and fun to jump right into action (pun very much intended). Click the app and, bingo bango, the latest workouts are listed with the average rating and number of users participating. Or click “Challenges” at the bottom and join any workout series, from Jump Rope Sweat Challenge to Jump Rope Beginner Challenge.
What’s especially great is that you don’t need to be a member to access workouts and challenges, but membership does have its privileges. For an annual fee of $59.99 or $9.99 a month (in case you want to try it first or fear you might bail), you can unlock the full library of workouts, and there are a ton. Certainly enough to keep you busy when you’re stuck at home for an indefinite period of time and can only dream about the next time you’ll see the Caribbean Sea.
What’s My Favorite Part?
Being able to exercise alone, in my backyard or on a private rooftop terrace at a Caribbean resort, is very important because I don’t do well in public settings, and I know that’s an issue for a lot of people. So, the combination of that aspect and the all-around fun of jumping rope makes this the kind of fitness fad that should stick around for a long time, because it’s simple and enjoyable, and the equipment doesn’t take up a lot of space.
Try saying the same about your old Thighmaster.