I got better at it with each visit to the gym, but I still looked at jumping rope as a warm-up to my actual workout of hitting bags. Then, a few months ago, I learned that my grandpa, a tough ex-Navy motorcycle-riding outdoorsman of a breed that’s all but extinct, used to jump rope in the house when my mom was a kid. That’s when I bought a rope to use at home on days when I didn’t make it to the gym.
When it’s nice out, I jump rope on the roof of my apartment where there’s an epic view of the city, and when the weather turns cold I take it inside like my grandfather used to do. I crank up the music and focus on getting into a rhythm and not whipping myself in the back of the head. But like every form of exercise, if you’re not altering your regimen and finding new ways to push yourself, you eventually plateau. (Also: You get bored.) So I called up GQ’s go-to trainer, Oscar “O-Diesel” Smith, and asked him how I could take jumping rope to the next level.···
From Oscar:For this workout, all you need is a standard jump rope and a little timer you can buy for ten bucks. You can jump rope anywhere, and you can do it if you’re traveling or if it’s raining out—you just need a couple feet to each side of you. You can also switch between a speed rope, which needs more momentum to keep it going, or a weighted rope, which is definitely going to put a bit more burn on your shoulder.