Being able to lift yourself to safety is the ultimate functional fitness goal so Gymbox member Genevieve Teevan tried the new Rope Burn class to learn how to climb a rope – and got a fierce workout along the way.
Each of the five stations that make up a Rope Burn circuit involves – go figure – a rope. The climbing rope is the fun station. (Many supposedly fun things, in fact, are not fun. They include, but are not limited to, karaoke, outlet shopping, making your own yoghurt, the Eurovision Song Contest, Monopoly, fruity cocktails, brunch, paint ball, parties celebrating the birth of anyone under 18, and weddings.) Rope climbing, however, is actual fun.
The other four-fifths of the Rope Burn circuit adds up to a varied and near perfectly balanced workout. It’s one of the more challenging Gymbox offerings but Firas Iskandarani, who devised the class concept, and the other instructors have adaptations ready for each exercise. Plus, Firas has distilled how to climb a rope to a lesson they can deliver in a matter of minutes. The key is to lift one bent knee high against the rope, wrap the rope around that foot, and stomp on it with your other foot. This gives you a step so you simply stand up – barely relying on your arms – and repeat until you reach the top. It’s really that easy – if you pay attention to the demo. The first time I did Rope Burn, I was a bit unfocused and didn’t quite get it. Yvette Carter
What about the other stations of the circuit? You have skipping ropes, battle ropes, Hercules hoists, and short ropes. The skipping and battle ropes give you intense cardio bursts. The Hercules hoist – a 24kg kettlebell tied to the end of a rope that you pull up over a high bar for resistance – works your entire body. I love this – it’s tough but do-able and feels like hauling up the anchor of a yacht. Finally, the short ropes strengthen your grip, lats, biceps and abs. You hang on to them and do any exercise you’d normally do hanging from a bar but with the additional variable of being able to grip them at varying heights. They really test your forearm and grip strength, so you won’t be able to do as many pull-ups as you would on a bar.
You work through the circuit with a partner. One person does a complimentary bodyweight exercise (plank, press-ups, mountain climbers, etc.) at each station whilst the other person does the rope exercise. The pace is intense; you’ll be sweaty and out of breath. The non-rope exercises are vitally necessary to give your grip a rest. This class will wear out your hands, so (obvs) don’t do it if you have delicate surgery or complex concertos to perform later in the day. As a complement to the demands of Rope Burn, also try the new Grip class to work towards peak strength and technique.
Rope Burn is being held at all clubs:
Covent Garden, Saturday @ 11:15
Old Street, Monday @ 18:15
Westfield London, Monday @ 19:15
Victoria, Tuesday @ 18:15
Farringdon, Tuesday @ 19:15
Bank, Wednesday @ 13:00
Holborn, Wednesday @ 13:00
Westfield Stratford, Wednesday 18:15
Or you can Book here