GETTING stuck at home during the community quarantine has forced everyone to be creative when it comes to working out and staying fit.
With gyms still closed, a fortunate few have their own equipment to turn to. But most who can’t afford have been sweating it out through bodyweight exercises.
Still, there’s one low-cost, yet equally efficient equipment to burn calories and fat that’s becoming a trend these days: the jump rope.
One of those who have caught the jump rope bug is former San Beda Lady Red Booter Mica Reyes, who has rarely, well, skipped a day of training since the lockdown started last March.
“It’s portable, easy to learn, and fun,” she said in an online chat with SPIN Life. “No pressure siya pag nag ja-jump rope; flow lang with your pace, kaya masaya, mabilis mag-progress. Mapapansin mo yung form mo and jumps tumatama na after a few days. And it can burn high number of calories in a few minutes.”
Accustomed to daily football varsity training as a student, Mica turned to boxing regularly after graduation to fulfill her need to break a sweat. Sessions would normally start with a warmup that includes using a jump rope.
This sparked a new habit that's currently sustaining her throughout the lockdown.
During the quarantine, she trains at home 15 to 30 minutes per day for five to six days a week.
“I think nag-trend siya because [no one can] jog or even walk around or mag-gym,” Mica said. “Not all kaya bumili ng treadmill or elliptical or indoor bike. Jump ropes now cost P380 to P1,300 depending sa type compared to P10K to P100k [na] cardio equipment.”
She has already seen the weight-loss effects. (Not that she needed it.) Mica has already shed 16 pounds since late March and is down to just 119 lbs. That toned midsection is all the proof you need for the effectivity of her very structured workout plan.
It's not just about jump ropes. Mixing her jump rope routine with HIIT (high-intensity interval training), bodyweight exercises, rhythm cycling, and occasional jogging, Mica still insists it’s not all about working out. Diet is also a key component of fitness, reinforcing the old saw that abs are made in the kitchen.
“Cardio and any training/workout can make or help you lose weight talaga, but will take time depending sa discipline,” Mica said, finding her sweet spot in 16 hours of intermittent fasting and following weekly carb cycling (basically five days of zero-to-low-carb, high-protein meals, one high-carb day, and one cheat day) during her eight-hour eating windows.
Mica felt the need to shift her fitness and diet to a higher gear when she kissed her high-metabolism days goodbye.
“Before, kahit anong workout and inom ko, hindi ako tumataba. Pero nung nag stop workouts due to work schedule and hindi ko pinapansin kinakain ko, tumaba ako,” the 28-year-old real estate agent said. “Medyo nararamdaman ko na kasi yung metabolism ko sumasabay sa age.”
As her fitness steadily improved, so did her jump rope skill level. Mica even learned a few tricks from watching actress and fellow jump rope advocate in Ellen Adarna, who regularly posts her routine on her Instagram account.
Social media-savvy herself, Mica then came across JumpFestPH, an Instagram page that features promising Filipino skippers and poses virtual challenges in exchange for a handful of cool prizes.
Mica decided to answer one of the challenges just to initially give her simple routine a different flavor. She ended up becoming the grand winner of season 1, with a routine made up of boxer skips, crisscrosses, double-unders, side swings, and running.
“Sumali ako to spice up my workouts. Dun ko rin na-explore yung iba’t-ibang tricks and footworks that helped me improve," Mica said. “Hindi ko inxpect (manalo) kasi una, hindi ko naman kinarir yung mga video editing and stuff and sobrang gusto ko lang maki-join for fun.”
If she can do it, so can anyone, even those who feel are lacking in coordination.
“Hirap din ako sa coordination, hindi ako sumasayaw,” she admitted. “Pero a jump rope can definitely help in coordination and focus.”
While football will always have a special place in her heart, jump rope has been the one occupying her mind — and time — lately.
“Football is still my first love. Jump rope is something I’m getting good at — I think. Football pag may chance, pero jump rope, portable, anytime, anywhere.”
“Lagi ko nalang siya isasama kung saan ako para wala ako excuse mag gain ulit,” she concluded.