Dan Witmer, one half of YouTube’s Jump Rope Dudes, set himself a challenge at the start of the summer after getting a little lax in his training while on vacation: he wanted to complete 100,000 skips over the course of one month, and see what kind of impact it had on his physique and fitness. Now, in a new video, he shares what he learned over the 30 days.
Witmer broke down this target into 3,500 to 4,000 skips per day, consisting of 40 to 45-minute, high-intensity jump rope workouts.
“It sounds kind of easy, but then once you start doing it you realize how difficult it actually is,” he says. “Even 4,000 skips a day, I was like, it’s not that much… but when you are doing it and you’re doing it correctly, it’s actually more difficult than I thought. And not just fitting in the 40 to 45 minute workout, but doing it every day.”
The habit creation aspect of the challenge actually ended up being one of the more surprising benefits, he notes.
“One cool part about this process is that once I built that habit of doing this all the time, once I got past that 50,000 skips mark, it did actually become easy,” he adds. “I think my body was used to jumping like this more, and also it had just become part of my routine… Sometimes it’s not about getting the motivation to do a two or three hour workout, it’s about just doing something for five minutes every day, and the act of you doing that will help you create the habit, and once you create the habit it’s really easy to just continue and increase the amount you’re doing.”
As somebody who also runs, surfs and plays basketball, Witmer was pleased to find that the results of his new habit, which included an improved cardiovascular fitness, also helped him in his other athletic pursuits.
“Probably the coolest takeaway from this challenge was my increased stamina, speed and endurance,” he says. “I noticed my ability to go faster and for longer periods of time drastically increased… from a performance standpoint, that’s really exciting… I could feel myself becoming a better athlete, and that’s where I see the power of jump rope really being effective.”
Philip Ellis is News Editor at Men’s Health, covering fitness, pop culture, sex and relationships, and LGBTQ+ issues. His work has appeared in GQ, Teen Vogue, Man Repeller and MTV, and he is the author of Love & Other Scams.