My Theory on Why Battle Ropes Build Muscles Significantly Faster and Bigger Than Any Other Exercise

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I am going to turn 40 later this year. I have been working out all my life since I was about 15 or so. On average I went to the gym 2–3 times a week and each time I spent at least one hour or more doing weights. I saw some progress once in a while mainly in the form of more distinct muscle shapes but not really in consistent and visible growth.

In the last three months of going deep into battle ropes (almost exclusively) I’ve seen completely different results. I have a simple theory about it. Let’s discuss this.

When we do our standard exercise format while lifting weights, say, 5 bench sets with 10 reps each, we only engage muscles for about 30 seconds at a time. Once we are done, we rest. The blood briefly fills our engaged muscles and then it leaves in a minute or so. Then we do it a few more times and the process repeats.

With battle ropes — if you go for several minutes at a time — the dynamics are very different. The strain on the muscles begins within the first 15–30 seconds and gets more grueling as you go. The ropes are heavy and it’s very hard to continue to lift them and wave them out. 3–4 minutes in, the pain becomes real. Forearm, shoulder and back muscles are screaming and begging for this to stop. Every second that goes by tells you that it’s enough and it’s your call on whether to continue thru the pain or drop it. It’s exactly in these moments that I believe the magic happens.

In order for your muscles to have the stamina to go on thru all this grueling strain, they need to be able to recover real time as fast as they can. This real time recovery means that the blood is efficiently delivering oxygen and necessary nutrients to the muscles non-stop. This process doesn’t end here. During these moments, when you push your muscles to extreme for an extended period of time (key!), the body feels that this state of the muscles becomes a norm and it needs to do something about it. Not only the blood carries more oxygen and nutrients to the muscles, but the muscles themselves start changing their structure and grow to adapt to such high endurance and long lasting attack so they can sustain this task more comfortably in the future. I do believe that it’s exactly because of this that the muscles start growing at significantly faster rates than with the standard sets/reps approach. No other exercise or activity, in my personal opinion, has that many “extreme endurance units per minute” (probably should patent that) than battle ropes.

I do ropes three times a week — Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Every time I put in at least 10–15 minutes. After each workout I look at myself in the mirror and I simply can’t believe how much bigger my muscles get every single time. The change is not only visible to myself but to other people around me. Some guys in the gym’s locker room are already asking me what protein powder or shakes I’m taking and I tell them that I don’t do any of that stuff. They find it hard to believe, of course.

These are my thoughts and my thoughts only. I’m not a fitness trainer or anything like that. I’m only sharing my journey and my thoughts with you as I go. At this point I cannot imagine my life without the ropes and I can’t wait to see how my body will look like when I turn 40 at the end of this year.

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