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Crossrope Diaries: Why Paul Never Leaves His Jump Ropes at Home

Man jumping rope on vacation

“I really liked that I could take them with me and get a decent workout on the road.”

Meet Paul Chong: world traveler, husband, father...and dedicated user of a Polar heart rate monitor (but we’ll get to that later).

As Vice President of Business Development for Carnival Cruise Lines, Paul is no stranger to the rigors of living out of a suitcase, nor the toll that excessive travel can have on mental and physical well-being.

“I really travel too much for work. It used to be fun when I was younger because I got to see the world, but now I’d rather be home with my two ladies - Hilda, my wife, and Isabel our 12 year-old. The good thing is, home is mostly wherever they are.”

Because he’s constantly jetting off to cities all over the world, Paul wanted to find a travel-friendly exercise routine and started dabbling in the art of jumping rope.

Like so many jump ropers before him, Paul underwent the usual stages of finding the ‘perfect jump rope’ - from trying all varieties of cheap store-bought ropes, to more sophisticated speed ropes.

But he found himself, much like Goldilocks, in a dilemma: the cheap PVC ropes were too slow, and the speed ropes were too light to time himself.

Where was the happy medium?

Stuck in a jumping rut, and unable to progress past basic jumps, he turned to his old pal, YouTube, where he stumbled upon a video about something called Crossrope.

“Given that I’d already tried so many other ropes at that point, I was really curious to see what was so different about Crossrope. It looked cool, but I’m a pretty big skeptic.”

The day the ropes arrived, Paul wasted no time putting them to good use...and was pleasantly surprised.

Paul hanging out with his Crossrope set in Cozumel.

Not only was he able to perform double unders (for the first time in his life), he also noticed that his heart rate was elevated more quickly than any other type of cardio he’d done in the past.

“I used to workout a lot with my Concept 2 Rower, and I regularly lifted weights and did Crossfit as well. But these ropes elevate and maintain my maximum heart rate better than any other exercise I’ve ever tried.”

Apart from the cardio benefits, Paul started noticing some ‘bonus’ improvements as well: definition in his shoulders (without lifting weights), improved strength in his core, calves and wrists.

“I can now stay above 156BPM for more than 20 minutes per each 30-minute session. I still perform some deadlifts and back work, but it no longer causes me to have a sore back. I used to need massages to ease the ache; now I don’t.”

Once he began to reap the benefits, Paul decided to stock up on the full array of ropes.

“I went nuts and bought 4 Rugged Handles, 3 Speed Handles, 4 Bolt Sets and array of every rope in each available weights (in two different lengths, so that my wife and daughter could jump too). I guess you can say I’m an official collector at this point!”

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On days when Paul is not traveling, he likes to do an occasional Crossfit workout and weight lifting session. But Crossrope - once just a means of staying in shape on the road - has gradually taken over as his primary form of exercise.

“Crossrope is 70% of my weekly workout routine now. It is short and intense: a 10 minute warm-up, followed by a 30-minute real target heart rate session. When I have more time, I do weights after that session. But in short, I am relying on Crossrope to give me all the benefits that medical science attributes to exercise.”

And speaking of “medical science”, Paul leaves nothing to chance. Described as “straightforward heart rate targeted sessions”, his workouts are done in front of a Polar heart rate monitor to carefully track his progress and level of exertion.

The minute his heart rate sinks below a certain level, he increases his intensity.

“I just do 20-50 double unders until my heart rate is back up out of the Red Zone (20-50 unbroken). The best part is, I can now do both double unders and criss-cross on demand (without tripping), thanks to Crossrope. And because Crossrope is a system, every time my body starts to adapt, I just change the rope and shock my body. It hurts during the workout, but it’s a great feeling after.”

Crossrope is now becoming a family affair in the Chong household, and he’s proud of how quickly his daughter picked up on jumping rope after watching him.

“Jumping rope is a lot of fun! At first, it requires you to be very conscious about what the heck is happening with your core, arms and feet, the placement of everything, etc. But once you get it, everything is passed to your subconscious and all you feel is the rhythm of it. I love it. And now that I am pretty good at it, I think it is cool to see a 47 year-old moving like I can with a rope.”

Paul’s advice to new jumpers?

Just power through all the stumbles and trust you will get there.

“9 months ago, I looked like an idiot with a WOD speed rope, but now I am confident enough to say I am pretty good…for an old man.”

Paul makes it a point to never leave home without his ropes. You’ll often see him posting cool pictures on the Jump Rope Fitness Community Page of his Crossrope set in far-off and exotic corners of the world.

Paul having fun with his Crossrope on the cruise ship.

“I have tried many ropes. Many of the well reviewed ones like RX ropes, WOD jump ropes, and others are all good in their own way. But if you want intensity and the ability to pick up any rope in the future and nail it, the Crossrope ‘System’ is the foundation. It provides endless challenge combinations, it’s durable and it makes the jumping experience feel like a fun, quality workout. Now I can pick up a speed rope, a freestyle vinyl rope, pretty much any rope and have fun with it.”

Thank You Paul!

Thank you for sharing your story Paul. If you guys have questions for Paul, please leave them in the comments below and hopefully he'll get back to you from the cruise ship :)

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