A unique app aimed at getting the nation fighting fit, no matter a person’s age or how little spare time they have, has been launched by a Broadstairs dad-of-four.
John McCormack is the force behind Skip2bfit, skipping workshops using specially designed counting ropes to encourage fitness through fun and numeracy.
Skip2bfit, which launched in 2002, started in schools in Thanet, Kent, and has since swept the country – and further afield – not just in schools but also businesses, on-street demonstrations and through public health organisations such as Coventry City Council, Luton Council, Kent County Council and Bath Health Improvement.
The two-minute skipping challenge has been tried out by MPs, including Labour’s Ed Balls, MEPs at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, and England winger Andros Townsend who clocked up 259 skips in the two minute timeframe.
Now the skipping phenomenon is available on a free app aimed at getting you to continually beat your score and “become the best you can be.”
The app is backed with music but the focus is John’s inimitable voice-over, bellowing at you to get up, get skipping, beat your personal best time and “forget the neighbours!”
The motivational mantra throughout the app is aimed at getting the skipper through to the end – and ready for their next challenge.
Former Heavyweight boxer John said: “Everyone can do this. There’s no gym, no transport, no fees. You can do it at home, in the kitchen, in the garden, with the kids.
“The challenge is two minutes, it gives people structure and motivation. The aim is to get people to be the best they can be.
“The rope with the counter is adjustable so parents and kids can use it, companies can get employees to use them, it really brings people together.”
People can record their scores on a leader board and can move up to the High Intensity Interval Training with an eight-minute workout of two minutes on and one minute off.
John said: “During the one minute off there is the sound of a heartbeat and then it’s two minutes back on, motivating quotes to get you through, and the countdown as you get near the end.
“It pushes the blood around the arteries and it’s more effective than running because you are constantly on the balls of your feet.
“You get out of bed, do the challenge and then off to work. Eight minutes is less than one per cent of the day and you can burn 10 calories in just one of those minutes.
“It’s your own MOT, Motivation – from the app -, Opportunity – anywhere – and Time – two minutes.
“It brings together people of all diversities, it’s not about beating other people, it’s about making a better version of you. People just care about how many skips they can do in the time!
“We need to change people’s thinking so they take responsibility for their health. With this there is a shock tactic when people realise how unfit they are. I want to be in your face, to make you take responsibility for your life and your health.
“With the app you get your own professional boxing trainer in your house.
“No-one else in the world has come up with this idea yet it is so simple and the feedback has been that everyone loves it.”
The app, available on App Store and Google Play, also offers additional music to keep your skip challenge fresh and John plans to keep it updated with fresh voice-overs.
The 8 minute challenge upgrade costs just £3.
Roping in the MPs
Who is the leader, and the slacker, of the House?
‘Tory Tornado’ David Davies scoops the crown with 348 skips in 2 minutes. He also took a boxing session with John for the Bobby Moore cancer charity
London Mayor Sadiq Khan achieved 197 skips in 2 minutes
Lib Dem Nick Clegg gets a respectable 152 skips
Good job for Labour’s Ed Balls who managed 138 skips in 2 minutes along to the sound of Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now
UsKIP title for Douglas Carswell with 156 skips – and he didn’t switch ropes
Dancing queen Anne Widdercombe gets 78 skips
The money’s not on former Chancellor George Osborne who got a paltry 46 skips