"During my fourth semester, I was under a lot of stress. My blood pressure was high and I had a heart arrhythmia. At that time, I wasn’t training."
Hesham Al-ansi is a 29-year-old mechanical engineering student from Yemen, currently living in Germany.
Hesham never thought he would have a heart arrhythmia, high blood pressure, or any kind of medical condition. He was an avid weightlifter for nearly a decade.
But a year ago, things changed.
He stopped lifting.
"With time, it got really boring. I was training three to four times a week but I stopped losing fat. I couldn't see my six pack. I was even keeping track of what I was eating, and that didn't help."
The doctor said he had to work out more. He had gained weight and was hovering at about 198 pounds, which did not help with the high blood pressure. Two or three years ago, Hesham started to incorporate more cardio into his training. He started running and boxing for one hour three to four times a week, and was able to lose weight.
Some time passed, and Hesham started noticing that he was not progressing to his desired weight. That's where he got introduced to jump rope training.
"I saw a video of Floyd Mayweather preparing for a fight, and I was blown away. I told myself 'I gotta get jumping.'"
He went out and bought five different ropes.
"All of them were crap."
His father would always encourage him to be athletic when he was younger, and when Hesham told him how much he had spent on the ropes, his father said: “that’s a great investment, son!”
Today, he pretty much owns every rope that Crossrope has to offer.
"I would have to say that my favorite rope is the [1 LB] intensity rope. It's so versatile! I like the heavy ropes because of the feedback they provide."
Since he started jumping, Hesham has made an effort to eat in moderation. He has the occasional soda and eats in smaller portions.
“Instead of having 700 grams of fries, I have 200-200 grams. That way, I can have what I like to eat and not feel guilty about it. With my jump rope and CrossFit training, I can eat whatever I want everyday. I can have chocolate or ice cream and I'm still able to lose weight!"
In fact, he lost 12 pounds while participating in our 30-day jump rope challenge this summer.
"I lost a lot of fat and was able to build muscle. I gained a lot of definition and more shoulder strength because of the heavy ropes, in particular the Fury Rope."
What's Hesham's advice for others struggling to reach their goals?
"Keep at it. Try and you’ll get there. My trainer always says, success is the best motivation. You work out for a month and you can track your progress in photos. You’ll be more motivated until you hit your target. Try working out with friends to stay accountable."
That last point couldn't be more poignant for Hesham. He focuses on training and staying healthy by doing it with friends to make it fun and to stay accountable.
"I have seven or eight friends at the gym who I jump with (my crew). They call me 'Capo'."
Hesham's jumping skills have garnered quite the attention at his gym.
Small crowds often gather nearby to watch him perform his jump rope tricks. The manager at his gym even asked if he would teach a jump rope class at the gym.
He draws a lot of inspiration and ideas from the workouts we share in our 30-day challenges and in our Facebook jump rope fitness community group.
"I joined the group as soon as I got my ropes in March. I love the community! It's so fun to watch all the awesome people! I especially love the performance challenges because I get to compete against people I admire like Chad, Jordan, Matt Garner, and it makes me want to push even harder. These are some guys that I look up to and I try to beat them. Friendly competition is awesome!"
He respects and appreciates all the older jumpers that post in the group because they prove that living an active and healthy lifestyle is for every age no matter what obstacles. Hesham's plan is to continue with his jump rope training to build enough strength to do advanced calisthenics and gymnastics moves like the front lever and the planche. He also wants to perform triple unders with his jump ropes.
"Since I started jumping, I've been able to do handstands, human flags, and double unders. My goal is to perform advanced jump rope and calisthenics moves and to continue to increase my strength."
Thanks for sharing your story Hesham and for always being a constant source of inspiration. We’re excited to see you crush your fitness goals in the New Year!
If you want to see Hesham in action, make sure to join our community. You’ll find thousands of jumpers all over the world sharing some of the coolest workouts you’ve ever seen.
And if you have any questions for Hesham or just want to show him some love, please leave them in the comments section below!