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Take Your Fat Burn and Fitness to the Next Level with Plyometric Training
By Scarlett Wrench | Nov 24, 2021
Photography: Philip Haynes, Model: Alex Beattie at W Model, Styling: ABENA OFEI, Grooming: Chloe Edwards, Digital Manipulation: scratchinpost.co.uk, Illustrations: Andrea Manzati at Synergy Art.
Whenever many of us got to train in a gym this year, we tended to have one core aim: to lift big. After all, cardio and conditioning are easy enough to replicate at home, but few of us have the set-up for a grunt-inducing 100-kg bench press in our backyards.
Admittedly, there’s no sound more satisfying than the clatter of a barbell on the floor as you push for a new personal best, but there are some elements of your WFH workout plan that are well worth sticking with. Plyometric training – the squat jumps, burpees and double-unders that you (perhaps begrudgingly) perform in your garden and living room – is an indispensable weapon in your body-transformation arsenal.
Though its primary purpose is to develop power, says personal trainer Jason Jackson, plyometric training has serious, underrated fat-loss benefits, too. According to a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning, young basketball players noted a reduction in body fat after just six weeks of plyo work, alongside increased muscle mass in their lower bodies and torso. A recent study of parkour athletes noted similar changes with three plyo workouts a week, over eight weeks. And these are seasoned athletes. There’s a time and a place for those biceps curls, too, but jump training is often underappreciated, both as a lower-body muscle-builder and as a kilojoule-torching cardio tool. It’ll do more to reveal your six-pack than a set of bicycle crunches – plus, as an added incentive, you can do it outside in the sun. Hop to it.
Skip the Dull Stuff
Plyo training doesn’t have to be bodyweight-based.
Try PT Jason Jackson’s four-move plan.
01/ Depth Jump
(5 x 5 reps, 2-3min rest)
Start on a box and step down. As soon as both feet touch the floor, jump as high as you can.
02/ Med-Ball Chest Pass
(5 x 5 reps, 2-3min rest)
Knees soft, explosively push the ball away from your chest with both hands. Let it bounce back for rep 2.
03/ Barbell Squat Jump
(5 x 3 reps, 3-5min rest)
Keep it light. Drop your hips and lower into a back squat, then jump up, landing softly. Reset, repeat.
04/ Snatch Pull
(5 x 3 reps, 3-5min rest)
Bar on the floor, drop your hips to grab. Stand and pull it up to chest height, shrugging your shoulders.
Scarlett Wrench is the Features Editor at Men’s Health and she specialises in food and nutrition, mental health, science and tech. By night, she hosts and produces live events for storytelling club Spark London. Follow @ScarlettWrench
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