My teacher says that we build muscle and increase our anaerobic fitness in the anaerobic zone(that's 80%-90%) of heart rate.

Is this true? Can jumping the rope at say 90% of Max HR build muscle?

1 Answer 1


Will it build muscle? Maybe very very slightly, but certainly not anything notable. Muscle is built by breaking down muscle fibers by presenting a sufficient challenge and then allowing them the time and fuel to recover. Can jumping rope do this? It’s certainly possible, but compared to something like lifting weights you’re only getting a small fraction of the muscle building results (and even that takes a lot of time to be noticed).

Why is jumping rope so inefficient for building muscle? One word; failure. Working your muscles to or close to failure ensures that you are breaking them down enough to produce a good hypertrophic response from the body. With jumping rope, sure you may break down some muscle fibers and you certainly may get stronger, but it’s simply not going to be anything notable.

Which isn’t to say that jumping rope is worthless, that isn’t the case at all. Jumping rope is a great conditioning exercise that engages many body parts and builds cardiovascular endurance. However, it is suboptimal for building muscle. If you want to build muscle, you can still enjoy it, but you’ll want to include other things into your routine.

  • What does failure really mean?
    – AScientist
    May 9, 2018 at 8:43
  • “Failure” occurs when a muscle (or group of muscles) can no longer perform a given task. So say you’re doing a bench press and after a few reps you start to struggle, and after a few more reps you can no longer get the bar to the top of the position, in the moment that you can no longer push the bar to the top part of the position you have reached failure. Ideally (when strength training), no matter how many reps you do of an exercise you should be striving to reach failure at the end of each set (or close to it). May 9, 2018 at 12:15
  • S,Is it like if I'm really tired at 100 fast jumps,would that constitute as failure?
    – AScientist
    May 14, 2018 at 6:21
  • Being tired would imply a general lack of energy. Failure on the other hand would imply an inability to continue. May 14, 2018 at 11:54

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