Olympic athlete and world’s best jump roper, Buddy Lee talks with BeTheFittest on how he started jumping rope, his skipping rope workout, the benefits of skipping, jump rope exercises and much more.
Former US Olympic wrestler, 10x world medalist, 20x national wrestling champion and most recently known as the world’s best jump roper Buddy Lee has created a worldwide reputation with his jump rope training system. He used skipping/jumping rope as one of the main keys to success in becoming a US olympic wrestler. Buddy Lee talks to BeTheFittest about his secrets of jumping rope and how it can develop superior fitness and improving sports performance for anyone. One of the most inspiring and entertaining interviews i have ever experienced. I thank Buddy Lee for his time and knowledge and wish him all the best!
You were a former Olympic wrestler, How was it competing in the Olympics and when did you first start jumping rope and in what way did it relate to wrestling (or any other physical sport) during your career?
Any Olympian will tell you that the Olympics represents the pinnacle of any sporting event, it is the most amazing experience and surreal experience, it is sometimes almost beyond what it is what you dream. It was the hardest thing i have ever done in my life, I got injured in the semi finals and i couldn’t wrestle and i ended up in sixth place in the world. It was my worst performance but being top sixth in the world i’ll take that any day! Once I integrated jumping rope into my training it provided advantages in speed, quickness, superior conditioning balance, co ordination, incredible reflexes, helped me with weight loss and in the next three years I only lost two wrestling matches and became the schools first state wrestling champion and in my senior year I got fifteen scholarship offers.
How many times a week and hours did you and do you put in to become the worlds best rope jumper?
When I was younger I spent a lot of time learning to jump rope but as I started integrating it into my training as a wrestler it became a significant part of my training regiment. One hour to one and half hour conditioning with the rope simulating different energy systems, high intensity and working on different foot patterns that would transfer over to better performance and movement in my sport. How I train today or when I competed is that I used it as a warm up before anything else. Jump rope is a total body movement that incorporates every single muscle in the body that allows you to raise your body temperature quicker than any other exercise because of all the different muscles integrated. I used it about ten to fifteen minutes because I was an accomplished jumper than after training I would spend two hours conditioning with the rope, I recommend just 10 minutes of skipping during each session for fitness.
What are the main benefits of skipping that can help athletes and also the general public to be fit and healthy?
If your a bit older it builds new brain cells and basically reverses the clock, what makes it magical is that it works the brain and insides. It gives you endorphins, making you feel happy and good. Your cardiovascular health, internal organs, heart lungs and blood vessels. It’s very efficient a third of a time doing this exercise will improve the cardiovascular health. It’s great for body composition, trimming waistlines, toning arms and legs. One of the most important things it improves, is balance! It improves gross body equilibrium, spacial awareness. This is the foundation to all movement and jumping rope helps this.
Every time I see you jump rope it looks phenomenal, how did you come up with the routine and what ways or exercises did you use to increase your speed and reaction to help improve this?
The jump rope, was a big part of my training and I had a mission to become an olympian. So I learnt how to use that tool in the way I wanted to wrestle. I would mimic the movements that I used in my sport and use the energy systems I needed to become a superior wrestler. My best bit of advice is to train with the rope the way you want to move in your sport or goal. Train for speed, power and finesse.
You created your own brand of skipping ropes. What makes your ropes different to the rest and how can people benefit from using them?
We have new technology that has revolutionised the jump rope market. What is unique is that it has an external swivel bearing system, it allows the rope to turn freely with no rope tangle, no rope drag and smooth turning in every direction of movement. The rope will respond to your needs whether your beginner, intermediate or advanced.
Your a spokesperson for youth fitness, how did this opportunity come about and how do you feel fitness can help the youth?
I was contracted by the US government as the ambassador of fitness for the get fit be strong program for the whole world. It was a part of Michelle Obama’s campaign to get America moving. My mission was to go out educate and motivate staff and children about the benefits of jump rope and how to get fit through jumping rope through mind body and spirit. I felt i had a duty to give back to community, I wanted to change people’s lives with the rope and this opportunity came about.
What nutritional advice could you give for people that want to skip and also lose weight?
What I suggest to people is that if your health is important to you, start educating yourself about how your bodies works, the things it needs and what kills us. Eating the right way and thinking the right way is a lifestyle. We have to stop consuming all these sugar drinks and start drinking good water, eat fruits, vegetables. I don’t eat that much, I eat 2.5 meals a day, I eat fruits and vegetables and get my exercise in and surround myself with good people. My biggest bit of advice is we should all educate ourselves.
For people who have read this and now want to get into jumping rope where can they follow your programme and what advice could you give for a beginner to start a skipping rope workout?
The jump rope isn’t easy, just like life isn’t easy. Get started by getting the Buddy Lee training system. It will teach you how to get started, how to progress and how to get yourself into programmes of jumping rope. Get the whole recipe, don’t just get the rope, Get the video, book and learn how to jump and then get the programme to challenge your energy systems. Learn how to lose weight and tone legs improve in your speed agility, quickness and explosive power. This is all in the book and it can educate yourself, Jump rope training second edition.