Battling Ropes Training SystemBy John Brookfield
Note: Photos are of Ingrid Marcum (USA Weightlifting National champion and U.S. Bobsled world team member) from the Hurricane Ingrid Battling Ropes Workout DVD.
The Battling Ropes® Training System is a unique, one of a kind training system that is different from any other type of training for the simple fact that the athlete must train using velocity and non momentum principles. When this occurs the athlete is physically and mentally engaged at all times which forces the user to train or compete at a higher rate of intensity. This higher rate of intensity will transfer into any sport or battlefield. In fact, the Battling Ropes® training does not only train the athlete to train or compete at a higher rate of intensity, but if the principles are followed correctly they will be able to sustain this intensity for much longer durations of time which gives the user a huge advantage physically and mentally.
There are actually seven different concepts to the Battling Ropes® system. However, we will take a look at the first two concepts. The first is the velocity/wave principle which is also the foundation of the training and needs to be correctly implemented before the user can move into the other concepts and levels and advance deeper into the system. The velocity principle is where the user creates a wave or series of waves which flows down the entire rope to the anchor point. This system was created with the flow of a Hurricane or fast moving water in mind. If you look at the constant motion of water during a Hurricane you will quickly notice that the flow is nonstop and relentless with no lull in the action.
With that being said, this is how the velocity/wave system was created and should be implemented. After having several hundred people try the system I quickly found that velocity and sustaining velocity in particular was a complete missing link in training today. I found that everyone without exception struggled to keep the waves moving on the ropes for any length of time, even though the people being tested were physically and mentally tough and disciplined. They very quickly became winded and experienced muscle fatigue. They all quickly noticed that no other type of training demanded their efforts in such a constant manner where they could not rest or use momentum to their advantage.
I was very surprised at how creating the waves and sustaining the waves became so difficult for very seasoned performers that I continued doing more and more hands on research into the training. As I quickly found that this was a missing link in training I also found that if the athlete persisted with the right attitude and fortitude they would start to adapt to this missing link in training. As they pushed themselves and started to adapt they also found that their fitness levels and performance levels greatly improved as a result. It was very simple to see that the Battling Ropes® training transferred into sport or any task and the ones who followed the Battling Ropes® training principles could not only train or compete at a higher level of intensity, but also sustain this intensity for longer time frames.
You will also find that not only will your fitness levels and ability to sustain a higher level of intensity greatly improve, but that you develop a greater level of strength, power and speed from a wider range of angles and movements. The freedom that the ropes gives not only enhances your ability from a wide variety of angles and movements, but also gives much greater flexibility from these positions which in return helps the athlete to resist injury as well. The ropes gives the athlete the unique opportunity to train and develop this strength, speed and power from different angles and positions in a completely safe manner without the fear of injury which was unable to accomplish before now.
With the velocity/wave system your goal is to create a series of waves flowing down the entire rope to the anchor point. The faster you move the ropes the more waves will be flowing to the anchor point. Your goal is to sustain the series of waves without letting the waves slow down or stop. By watching the waves flow the athlete has a tremendous visual motivation factor which helps push them not to stop or let the waves slow down. Many people use the Battling Ropes® velocity/wave system exercises in short bursts or intervals which is very effective, however I strongly suggest trying to sustain the waves and intensity for longer durations of time without stopping or going to another exercise. By enduring the training and pushing yourself to sustain your body will start to adapt to this missing link and you will not only progress to higher levels of the training, but be able to compete or train at a higher level of intensity for much longer time periods. Being able to sustain higher levels of intensity gives a huge physical and mental advantage for any athlete or fitness professional. You will also find that this advantage will transfer into anything you do and give you the staying power to succeed and accomplish your goals in general.
The second concept in the Battling Ropes® training system is the Pole System, which is the main strength endurance phase. The Pole System gives the athlete the ability to sustain and maintain their top strength levels over much longer time frames without wearing down or fatiguing. Not only will the user develop the ability to sustain strength, but they will also develop this ability to gain strength and endurance from any angle, which with other training methods can't be accomplished in a safe and effective manner. As with the velocity/wave system the Pole System forces the user to train without using momentum in a fashion where they can't rest and are forced to be physically and mentally engaged throughout the training.
This constant engagement enhances the users ability physically and mentally and develops the ability to sustain their strength levels for much longer time frames without wearing out or fatiguing. Because of the constant hand over hand pulling motions the athlete will also develop greater grip strength, which will transfer into any situation or activity. In fact this grip strength will be sustained grip strength, which will last much longer than other forms of grip training. Once again, due to the pulling motions coming from different angles and positions the user will develop functional grip strength from a wide variety of angles, which is not implemented in other training methods.
The velocity/wave system and the Pole System can both be implemented as a stand alone training tool or they can be used together with the athlete going back and forth from velocity training to strength endurance training. It is extremely important to understand that with the velocity system, the Pole system or any of the Battling ropes® concept, the athlete can continue to improve and enhance their intensity and work capacity. The simple reason for this is that the system has no limits and the athlete can always be challenged and can never master any of the concepts, drills or exercises due to the progressive nature of the Battling Ropes® system.
The Battling Ropes® training system can be successfully and safely implemented by anyone no matter what their level of strength and conditioning is. The system will greatly enhance anyone's ability to sustain a higher level of intensity and maintain a higher level of work capacity, which will transfer into their sport or chosen battlefield. The Battling Ropes® can be used to train the individual or a group or team while forcing everyone to stay physically and mentally engaged as their ability to sustain a higher rate of intensity goes to the next level.