June 01, 2008
By the end of the preparation phase (step 1 of my four- step training system), athletes should have developed sufficient skill and cardiovascular conditioning levels to allow safe increases in training intensity as they go to the next level. (See my articles on the preparation phase in CrossFit Journal issues 62 and 64.) Learning how to progress safely from 500 jumps to 5 minutes of jumping is a matter of focusing on body mechanics and turning technique, building concentration, and being able to rely on a good jump rope conditioning base for muscular stamina and cardiovascular endurance. By now your sense of balance, timing, and coordination should have improved to prepare you for safe progression from the 500 jumps we built up to at the end of the preparation phase to the five minutes of continuous jumping that we'll aim for this time.
During this phase your level of jump rope proficiency should allow you to gradually increase rope speeds from 140 turns per minute to somewhere in the range of 160 to 180 turns per minute. We'll also add a few additional new moves to the ones we've already discussed, the basic bounce step and the alternate-foot step. While increasing your endurance to five minutes in this phase, you'll also expand your repertoire of moves to include the side straddle, forward straddle, skier's jump, and bell jump. Performance standards for the intermediate phase
The principle of continuation is the key to maximizing each jump rope training session. Continuation means being able to sustain an uninterrupted bout of jumping lasting up to five minutes or longer while executing different foot patterns at varying intensity levels. The more proficient you become and the more endurance you develop, the more benefits you can reap from the exercise. Wearing the proper clothes, jumping on a good surface, and using an adjustable jump rope with a good turning mechanism are some of the keys to ensuring continuation.