Price-wise you could say that battle ropes are a bit expensive compared to other bodyweight workout accompanying gear, but… it’s a piece of equipment that doesn’t need any maintenance and it can last you a life-time. Depending on your training goals and workout location, you’ll have to decide which battle rope size is more suitable in your case.
Length & Thickness
Battle rope common lengths are 40 and 50 feet. As to thickness, you’ll usually find them in two sizes – 1.5 and 2 inches. Two-inch-thick battle ropes are heavier and more challenging for your forearm muscles. One-and-a-half-inch battle ropes offer a more comfortable grip and allow you to use faster tempo because the rope can undulate in a more fluid manner. Forty-feet long ropes are usually more suitable for smaller spaces (if you train at home, the basement, your garage, etc.). Keep in mind that because your rope will be folded in half at the anchoring point, the length you’ll need space-wise will be half of your battle rope’s total length. For example, for a forty-feet long rope, you’ll need twenty feet of clear space. For men, if you go for a battle rope shorter than fifty feet, go for the two-inch-thick battle rope. Its thickness will make it heavier and tougher to hold, keeping it challenging enough without being that long. If space is not an issue, get the fifty-foot-long and one-and-half-inch thick battle rope. This is my favorite battle rope and it’s a rope that will always get the job done for both your neuromuscular and cardiovascular systems. I don’t recommend battle ropes shorter than forty feet since most people outgrow them after a few weeks. To sum it up, don’t go below one and a half inches when it comes to thickness or forty feet when it comes to length.
As shown in my previous video, if you train outdoors, you can anchor your battle rope using a simple loop resistance band wrapped around something steady enough. If you train at home with a forty feet battle rope you’ll need a space of minimum 6X2 square meters (20×6 square feet). The battle rope can be loud so I wouldn’t recommend setting it rooms next to or above neighbors. You’ll also need a solid wall to drill a battle-rope-anchor on. You can find one of these for less than ten dollars and it’s the best solution for indoor set ups.
Ideal duration of your sets depends on your training level and the size of your battle rope. For beginners or someone training first time with a battle rope start somewhere between fifteen and twenty seconds. As you build stamina over time, build your sets up to thirty to forty-five seconds max. I like this range because it has a hybrid stimulus that combines a little bit of everything – power, hypertrophy and muscular endurance. A lot of people work on ranges as high as five minutes but unless you’re not training for a specific athletic goal/sport you don’t have to go higher than forty five seconds to push your limits, no matter how strong and fit you are. Instead of long sets of draggy lifeless waves, focus on short, fast, symmetric and explosive waves that reach out all the way to the anchoring point. No way you can work this way and not be all tapped out after half a minute.
Battle ropes & bodyweight circuit training
If you want to work on battle ropes separately, six to eight sets with ninety seconds of rest in between will do. One of the best ways to use the battle rope though is placing it as a final station in circuits combined with strength-oriented bodyweight exercises that combined target the whole body. This way you’ll burn fat, build muscle, improve your lactate acid threshold and build a symmetric strong and lean physique – all in one workout that doesn’t have to last more than half an hour (45 minutes if you take into consideration a proper warm-up).
In my next video I’ll sharing with you these type of battle rope and calisthenics workouts.
Till then… keep on training!