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Metabolic Cost of Rope Training

Fountaine, Charles J.1; Schmidt, Brad J.2

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: April 2015 - Volume 29 - Issue 4 - p 889–893
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3182a35da8
Original Research

Fountaine, CJ and Schmidt, BJ. Metabolic cost of rope training. J Strength Cond Res 29(4): 889–893, 2015—Rope training, consisting of vigorously undulating a rope with the upper body, has become a popular cardiovascular training choice in fitness centers and athletic performance enhancement facilities. Despite widespread use and growing popularity, little is known about the metabolic demands of rope training. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to quantify the cardiovascular and metabolic cost from an acute 10-minute bout of rope training. Eleven physically active participants used a 15.2-m rope anchored by a post, resulting in the participant holding 7.6 m of rope in each hand. The 10-minute protocol consisted of 15 seconds of vertical double-arm waves followed by 45 seconds of rest for 10 total repetitions. The metabolic cost was estimated from heart rate, lactate, resting O2 uptake, exercise O2 uptake, and excess postexercise O2 consumption measurements. The average heart rate for the workout was 163 ± 11 b·min−1 with peak



of 35.4 ± 5.4 mL·kg−1·min−1, and peak METs were 10.1 ± 1.6. Total energy expenditure was 467.3 ± 161.0 kJ. When expressed per unit of time, EE was 41.3 ± 14.1 kJ·min−1. The results of this study suggest an acute 10-minute bout of rope training in a vigorous-intensity workout, resulting in high heart rates and energy expenditure, which meet previously established thresholds known to increase cardiorespiratory fitness.

1Department of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, University of Minnesota Duluth, Duluth, Minnesota; and

2Department of Athletics, Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska

Address correspondence to Charles J. Fountaine,

Copyright © 2015 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.