UPRISING turns a childhood toy into an intense interval workout

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I never learned to jump rope properly as a kid. Sure, I could hold an end in each hand and jump by myself but I lacked the grace (and probably the friends) to ever master any of the more complicated stuff with multiple people and ropes.

As an adult, I’ve (not surprisingly) only ever encountered a jump rope in a workout capacity. (We have an incredible ability to suck the fun out of things as we age, hm?) I whine when it’s presented as part of a workout because I consider it among the more brutal, lung-burning forms of cardio out there, and I’d rather just plod along on the stairmaster watching Bravo! for 30 minutes, thanks.

So when presented with an opportunity to do a workout centered on the humble playground toy, I cringed and then gleefully accepted. I love a good butt kicking, after all.

UPRISING Fitness Cornelius NC

UPRISING is an intense interval training workout that combines jump rope cardio bursts with strength training circuits in a group class format. The concept comes from trainer Jon Mackey who saw an opportunity to turn “Mad Hops,” a jump rope class he formulated as a trainer at Kadi Fit, into its own standalone studio.

“I began to develop circuits that combined the rope with specific strength-based exercises and that’s when everything changed,” he says on the UPRISING site. “My clients were seeing results like never before.”

UPRISING Cornelius

UPRISING just officially opened last week but it already has a dedicated following of jump rope enthusiasts who got hooked on Jon and his method over the years. He’s an incredibly likable and motivating trainer, but don’t think he won’t leave you in a puddle on the floor after 30 minutes.

UPRISING Fitness Cornelius

The class starts with a thorough walk through of all the strength circuits where Jon demonstrates each move and points out proper alignment. The plan was to perform each of the four strength circuits for 60 seconds followed by 2 minutes of jump rope and then do the whole thing over again for a heart-pounding, sweaty, 30-minute workout.

As a hater of jump ropes, I wanted to die about 15 seconds in to our first of 8 2-minute jump rope intervals. After this class I’m convinced the surest way to slow time is to start jumping rope and I swear the seconds stop turning.

UPRISING Katie Levans

Before I knew it, everyone was laid out on the floor, completely wiped out from, as Jon put it, a $2 piece of plastic.


Even though I hate jump ropes, I love a quick, effective, knock-you-to-the-floor workout and it turns out the rope, unfortunately, is a great way to get that. So I’m a believer. I’m told there are other classes that involve a weighted rope for added resistance but I think I’ll stick to the weightless piece of plastic for now. Just imagine me hitting myself in the face with the weighted rope…


Aside from the effective workout (I took a nap when I got home and was sore the next day), I appreciate the sense of community already present in such a new space. You work through your circuits in “teams” and everybody’s cheering everyone else one. It was, dare I say… fun.

The flagship gym is located up in Cornelius but Jon already has his eyes on Charlotte expansion and beyond. But don’t let that stop you; one of the other girls in my class drives up from Cotswold on the regular. I’d say a 30-minute commute is a pretty strong client testimonial.

Bonus points for UPRISING: Tess the gym dog who dutifully stands guard up front while you hit yourself with a jump rope for 30 minutes.


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Katie Levans Loveluck
| @katie_levans |
Co-Founder and Creative Director