Both Ends of the Jump Rope
Having the wrong tool can hinder a job getting done.
In this, a jump rope is no different, said David Newman, the founder and CEO of RX Smart Gear. “Having the right amount of resistance in a jump rope is key for everything,” he said.
Newman explained the jump rope is a movement that often tortures the member. It’s for this reason he believes owners should provide a solid product for clients to use. “When people come in and have a good learning experience, and they feel like, ‘Wow, I’m getting something out of this, I’m getting better every day,’ they’re a happy member,” he said.
On the other end of the spectrum is Aaron Landes, the founder and owner of CrossFit Lando in Massachusetts. While they don’t go for the absolutely cheapest option in either of his locations when it comes to jump ropes, he does provide basic speed ropes from Rogue for his members. “We basically got 20 and cut 10 of them long and 10 of them medium,” he said. “Are members going to come and join your gym just because of the jump ropes you have? No.”
In fact, Newman mentioned jump ropes aren’t a personal accessory, but rather another training tool like a kettlebell. Yes, having the right resistance or length helps a member be less tortured as they learn. But in the end, he explained members should be able to jump with a variety of rope lengths and weights. Like CrossFit, they should be able to brave the unknown and unknowable jump rope.
Beyond the piece of equipment itself, Landes said technique and practice are huge. But there are choices in that factor, too.
Newman said you have a lot of options when teaching members more about the art of jump roping. “I really believe that gym owners should offer skill sessions. The problem of a movement like the jump rope is that it takes practice, but it takes purposeful practice, meaning you should know what you’re trying to work on, not the end result,” he said.
Skill practice can look like a multitude of things. Newman suggested spending 15 minutes in warm up working with your members on the various components of doubleunders, building upon them as the weeks progress. Or, it could mean bringing in a skills session taught by an outside company. “If a gym owner feels like they don’t have the necessary knowledge or tools to teach in a progressive manner, in a foundational skill-based progression manner, then seek out the professionals that do offer that,” he said.
Ultimately, it comes down to making customers. Whether it’s the type of jump ropes you offer or the workshops you host, Newman said if clients are enjoying themselves, they’ll come back. “That’s ultimately what we want, right? Happy customers that keep coming back,” he said. “That starts with providing a good service, a knowledgeable service.”