What is Plyometric Training? What are the benefits?

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What is it?

Plyometric training is something that I have been incorporating into my exercise routine on a weekly basis for about a month now.  I usually do it on a leg day.   Plyometric training involves mostly bodyweight exercises making it efficient and practical for all.  Plyometric training includes explosive movements such as jumping, hopping, skipping, etc.  These movements are usually performed on different planes of movement, such as left-right, forward-backward, and up-down.
Plyometric exercise is one of the most time-effient training methods available, and has arguably the greatest transfer to sport application.¹
The purpose of plyometrics is to train muscle elastic strength and explosiveness.  It utilizes high-intensity and explosive movements to enhance an athletes overall power and agility with the stretch-shortening cycle–which is basically taking advantage of the muscle elasticity and the stretch reflex (eccentric loading immediately followed by a concentric contraction).  It has been studied that the quicker the muscle is stretched eccentrically, the greater the force will be on the following concentric contraction.²  This will help you to be more explosive and powerful at sprinting, explosive during your lifts–really can be applied to any sport or situation.

 The Research

After researching, I found many studies that proved positive results for the training style.  The first study evaluated the effects of plyometrics on muscle-activation in female athletes. To skip the boring and straight to the facts, the analyses showed an increase in firing of muscles and muscle activity with plyometric training, and the females involved in the training group showed an overall increase in vertical jump height after the 6-weeks of plyometrics.³ Also, found that females who participated in plyometric training had a significant decrease in number of serious knee injuries.³  Thus concluding,
“plyometric exercises should be incorporated into the training regimens of female athletes and may reduce the risk of injury by enhancing functional joint stability in the lower extremity.”³

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Shoulder Workout II

My high rep shoulder blasting workout

Triset:  3 rounds 10-12 reps each

  • Curl and press
  • Lateral lifts
  • Frontal rotations with 5lb plates

Triset: 3 rounds 10-12 reps each

  • Seated press
  • Front raises
  • Upright row/high pulls

-Leaning lateral raises : 4 rounds 10-12reps each arm
-Shrugs: I use 45 lb plates 4 rounds 15-20reps 
Superset: 3 rounds of 8-10 reps 

  • Standing press
  • Lateral to frontal raise 

You’ll feel the burn on this one! Your delts of steel will thank me later 🙂 enjoy !

Leg Day with Active Rest

Active rest is a style of training in which you take out your usual –sit on bench and text between sets–rest and replace it with active rest.  Active rest is an activity that spikes your heart rate.  This style of exercise helps you burn fat faster–you’re getting in a cardiovascular workout as well as weight training.  You can skip the treadmill today, you’ll have that part covered!  Active rest helps you to eliminate that –oops its been 7 minutes since my last set–rest period and actually take your muscles to at/close to failure.  It is a great way to burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time.  It is hard!  I would recommend doing it 1-2 times per week, any more and you’ll tire yourself out.  It is a great way to switch up your normal gym routine!  Continue reading

Arm and Chest Workout

I have been slacking on the workout pages because I like to include pictures of how to do the exercises.  But, since I go to the gym alone this hasn’t been easy to accomplish!  I have included links to pictures I found online corresponding with some exercises that may confuse some people.  Hopefully this helps!

Arms and Chest

Superset: 3-5 rounds 8-10 increasing in weight

Superset:  3-5 rounds of 10

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6.12 Leg Workout

 Today was leg day! Honestly, my least favorite day–but my greatest weakness, so I work legs twice a week!  Usually Monday and Friday– start and finish the week off with a bang!  Here is an example of a leg day workout utilizing a barbell or straight bar.  Feel free to use dumbbells or anything that could add some weight!Split Squats– 3 rounds of 10/each leg  For split squats: Focus on staying tight in core, keep your chest up!! Do not let knee pass your toes on your squat!

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Back workout 

I love training back.  Here is my routine from yesterday 6/10/15:

Superset:

  • seated cable rows (3×8-10 with close grip attachment, 3×8-10 sets wide grip attachment)
  • dumbbell pull-overs  6×10

Superset:

  • Pull-ups (5×5)
  • Face-pulls with rope attachment (5×10)

Superset:

  • Standing wide grip lat push downs (3×8)
  • Wide grip lat pull downs (3×8)

Superset:

  • Narrow grip lat pull downs (3×8)
  • Behind the neck lat pull downs (3×8)

Ab circuit 

Doing Ab workouts used to be my least favorite. I actually avoided abs for a long time. It always felt so tedious and I wondered why I wasn’t seeing any results from doing 200 reps of crunches.  And the reason why was just that: I was just doing crunches.  Decline crunches. Normal Crunches. Crunches to the left. Crunches to the right. BORING.  I finally figured out you have to utilize different exercises and engage different muscles if you want to have a strong core.  PS, you DO NOT have to do abs more than once a week if you are ENGAGING and tightening your abs during your weight lifting workouts.  If you were to punch me in the stomach while I am performing a Lat pull-down, strict press, lateral raise, deadlift—you name it, A. you would probably get punched back, but B. you would feel that my core muscles are 100% engaged (WHATS IT LIKE PUNCHING ROCKS ?! 😛 )  This is where the majority of my ab work comes from–and it not only gives you a solid core, but it helps your form while weight lifting as well!  Make a conscious effort next time you pick up weights to engage the core!

One of my favorite circuits for a toned tummy! I do this routine once a week 🙂

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