Published on July 20, 2016
Meet Claude: A 55 year-old French Canadian polymath, fitness fanatic, Krav Maga expert, former competitive track cyclist and jump rope enthusiast.
Claude is also a veteran “Crossroper” - he was one of our very first customers back when our system looked like a pair of nun-chucks. Seriously.
He hails from Montreal, where he was “born, bred and buttered.” With over 15 years of military service under his belt, he’s travelled the world on NATO peacekeeping missions.
We've invited Claude to join us in this week's customer spotlight so he can share his experience with fitness, jump rope training, Crossropes, and everything in between.
Read on to see how Claude manages to stay fit on the road, how he fits workouts into his busy schedule, and how his approach to fitness has changed now that he’s in his 50s.
CR: Have you always been into fitness?
Claude: I’ve been involved in sports and fitness from a very young age, whether it be physical training, soccer, martial arts, running or track cycling. At the time, however, I was a kid and didn’t think of it as “fitness” (I was too busy having fun)!
As a teenager, I started lifting weights and working out at the local gym, and I never looked back. It was at about this time that I became interested in judo, karate (taekwondo) and Olympic boxing.
At the age of 16, I shifted my focus to track cycling and became quite good. However, I retired from track cycling when I joined the French Marine Infantry and resumed martial arts training. I’ve since reached an expert level (black belt, 2nd Darga) in Krav Maga.
CR: Why did you start jumping rope?
Claude: When I was young, I honestly thought jumping rope was just a playground hobby for girls. Boy, was I mistaken!
Once I started using jump ropes to warm up for judo class, I quickly changed my mind and I’ve been hooked on jumping rope ever since.
A jump rope is a truly ideal piece of fitness equipment for anyone on-the-go. It's relatively cheap, lightweight, easy-to-use and extremely effective. Besides, it’s super easy to learn; everyone can jump rope!
CR: What other types of sports or physical activities do you regularly perform? Do you feel jumping rope has helped you improve?
Claude: During the summer, I run (cross-country running) and I ride my bikes (racing and mountain bike). I try to do a few triathlons/biathlons, as well as Spartan races. I also workout outside (mostly CrossFitting).
The rest of the year, I train in gyms, hotels or at home.
Jumping rope has helped a lot with my coordination, as well as my flexibility, speed and agility. As a child, I was always tripping and unable to perform well in gymnastics, skiing or any sport that required balance.
I later learned that I had a balance disorder resulting from a chronic labyrinthitis (middle ear infections). While it has since been treated, I would definitely say that a combination of jumping rope and martial arts training contributed to my quick recovery.
CR: You’ve tried many other brands of jump ropes in the past. What made you decide on Crossrope?
Claude: I’ll admit it - I’m a jump rope junkie, and I’m always on the lookout for new ropes.
I’ve tried a ton of brands (Buddy Lee, Reisig, JumpNRope, Buyjumprope, RPM) and they’re fine, but they just don’t make heavy ropes.
RX doesn’t make heavy enough cables either (its heaviest is only 8.6 ounces) and the cables are really difficult to switch out in the middle of a workout.
Muay Thai heavy jump ropes are usually cheap and don’t last long and the weight in Duvide heavy ropes is in the handles (instead of the ropes themselves) - not ideal.
A few years ago, I was browsing the web and Crossrope immediately caught my attention. I knew by the looks of it that Crossrope was on the cutting edge of jump rope technology, and they were serious about the quality of their products.
First I got myself the Crossrope Complete Set, which today translates to the Get Fit Bundle, and eventually ordered several other sets - including the Bolt Set. I really enjoy switching between heavy and light ropes.
CR: You have a very demanding job and are required to travel frequently for work. How does this affect your fitness routine?
Claude: My work requires that I spend almost as much time in a hotel as I do at home.
It can be challenging at times to achieve work/life/training balance and there’s always a good reason not to workout (but usually, they’re just excuses).
I find that hotel gyms are limited when it comes to strength and cardio equipment, but I’ve learned to be resourceful from my time in the Army.
In addition to performing bodyweight and stretching exercises, I always bring my Crossrope with me. It’s just so versatile and portable, and it doesn’t require a large workout area.
A word of advice: If you ever decide to jump rope in your hotel room, make sure the ceiling is at least 10-12″ and that the carpet is not too thick.
CR: How has your fitness routine changed from when you were in your twenties to now?
Claude: My fitness routine has changed dramatically since my twenties.
I learned to train smarter instead of just harder. I do a lot more stretching, proprioception, plyometric and calisthenics exercises than in my twenties and tend to add more variety to my workouts.
I am also more focused, yet less of a perfectionist than I used to be. I don’t think - I feel. I feel the flow, and focus on bodily and mind awareness.
I try to exercise almost every day, even when I don’t think I’ll have the time.
I try to get enough rest and sleep, even when I am behind at work.
I have more self-confidence.
And lastly, I set realistic fitness goals for myself and take the necessary steps to achieve them.
CR: How has Crossrope helped you improve your conditioning and performance?
Crossrope’s workouts have helped me get into top shape, build muscle and become ripped.
Overall, the conditioning workouts helped me improve my VO2 max, as well as my overall performance. The weighted ropes work my shoulders, wrists, legs and lower back, giving me better posture, more control, better balance as well as increasing agility, quickness, speed and stamina.
Training with Crossrope has also given me a stronger performance when fighting (boxing, martial arts, etc.) because the heavy ropes give me the edge I need by delaying the onset of fatigue and conditioning both the upper and lower body muscle groups.
CR: What is your favorite Crossrope conditioning workout?
I like training with heavy ropes. So I guess the Brute circuit would be one of my favorite Crossrope conditioning workouts (but with a twist, using the heavier Titan rope).
Afterwards, I like to cool down with lighter ropes (either the Stamina or the Speed rope) and focus on my footwork and agility.
Lately, though, I’ve been focusing on perfecting my double unders. Somehow I knew I could be better at double unders if only I devoted more time to them. Last spring, I tried the Rapid Double Under Improvement Program.
My initial Double Under PR was 103. Not bad but for the longest time I was stuck at around 100 DUs. My final double under PR after 3 weeks was 131.
I’ve improved my DUs by 28 in only 3 weeks.
So, to answer the question, my favorite Crossrope workout is…
The last one I’ve done today and the next one I’ll do tomorrow!
Thank you for sharing your story Claude!
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