Why Everyone Can Do Plyometric Moves Plus My Three Modifications

Why Everyone Can Do Plyometric Moves Plus My Three Modifications

Happy Friday friends!! Its been a while since I posted a workout, so I figured I’d share a bit of what I do with my HEAT class and what I do with them since I do a fair share of plyometric moves in a bit of each of my class’s and my own workouts.

In case you’re wondering what plyometrics are, plyometrics (aka plyo) are a form of cardio using intense amounts of effort in a short amount of time. I do a combination of them in between different exercises to add an extra challenge and calorie burn or lump them all together for longer duration to focus on cardio alone. It’s really whatever you like!! A few examples of plyo moves are lateral bounds, depth jumps, vertical jumps, box jumps, power push-ups, medicine ball throws, and last but not least–burpees. The factor that makes these “plyo moves” is the added burst of intensity, namely the jump/throw movement or using the word “power.”

With plyometrics comes with impact, just FYI. These movements aren’t something you do for long periods time because they’re intense, you don’t need to do them for long to get benefits. The longer you can go, the better you’re getting at them! Although that’s not a bad thing since it shows your improvement, it means you can also make it more challenging ;).

So you might be reading this and thinking, that you’re not up to that level or you’re coming back from an injury (do I hear cranky knees?)…that’s okay! The best part is that plyo moves offer modifications so anyone can do them! I admit, I was not great at them off the bat, in fact I was terribly uncoordinated. Wait, I kinda am still uncoordinated jumping and moving around at the rate I’m going, but overtime I worked up to it using modifications. As a result of working at these, I look more put together as a result too! Yay to looking less clumsy and more coordinated! ūüėČ

Guess what the secrets are? You’ll be more apt to try them knowing you can drop the intensity and still get benefits with these modifications:

  • ELIMINATE THE JUMP OR POWER MOVE! Yep, simple as that. Lateral bounds without the hop in between, box jumps with alternating high knees, medicine ball press without the throw/catch. Wanna make it tougher? Add the jump, but jump HIGHER or onto something higher, throw a heavier ball, or simply increase time or reps.

 

  • Go At Your Own Pace – Just like standard cardio, go at a pace that feels comfortably hard for you. Keep in mind the talk test. If you’re huffing and puffing and can speak in short choppy sentences, you’re doing it right. If you’re at a conversational pace, you can up the intensity.

 

  • Time Work and Rest According to Ability – You’re putting through an intense amount of work in a short period of time, ya gotta rest to replenish! So how long do you rest? I’d say work for as long as you rest. An example would be work for thirty seconds then rest for thirty seconds. My sweet spot for these is forty five seconds. A period of time between thirty seconds to a minute is a good amount of time to start. Again, this is whatever you like! So think outside the box too. Twenty seconds of work and ten seconds rest is really good and tough! (aka tabata!) Try four times of work and four times of rest. Play around and see what you like.

If you’re doing lateral bounds for thirty seconds and feel tired, but not wiped you’re doing them right. Pair that with a thirty second rest and you should feel ready to tackle another hard thirty second bout again. Making the movement intense for that amount of time should leave you feeling fatigued but not so wiped you can’t continue. If you do get to that point of fatigue, instead of completely stopping, MODIFY! Remember my suggestions at the top? This is when you can use them! You still get benefits of the movements even with the modifications.

So behold, by plyometric workout below! I’ve added the plyo moves in between other moves like this one here, but doing them at the end when you’re tired is good too!

Plyometric Workout with Odd & Even Numbers

Format: Two times through each round, two times through with plyo moves*, sprint once after both rounds then rest after last round for one minute.

Lower Body = 15x, 20x; Odd Rep Plyo Moves*

-Squat Jumps

*9 burpees

-Sumo Squats

*7 burpees

-Reverse Lunges (15 and 20 reps both sides)

*5 burpees

-Wide/Narrow Squats

*3 burpees

~Sprint~

Upper Body= 15x, 12x; Even Rep Plyo Moves*

-Power Pushups

*10 lateral bounds (double count- left and right sides equal one rep)

-Lat Tap Pushups

*8 lateral bounds (double count)

-Tricep Pushups

*6 lateral bounds (double count)

-Standard Pushups

*4 lateral bounds (double count)

~Sprint~

Rest!

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My Journey to 26.2: My Training

My Journey to 26.2: My Training

I wrote about my race day experience last week, now I’m writing part two of my journey about my training. Aside from it being an overall positive and successful race, there was way more then just “running all the time” to get me to the finish. Any runner who has done any kind of race, knows its more then that. This training was unlike any kind of training I’ve ever done. Besides just running longer and farther, each run, workout, meal, rest day, etc impacted my training in some way. They said marathon training is a beast in itself, and it is completely true! Don’t be discouraged though, if you getting an itch to do it, that means one thing: SIGN UP! I’ll be honest though, it was a very grueling three months and am thankful I can relax for a little from the training. I would say if you are seriously considering signing up for one, take a couple factors into consideration:

  • Type of work schedule:
    • Early mornings or late nights
    • Full-time vs. part time
    • A new parent or stay at home mom
    • Student in school
    • Traveling
  • Time of year of the race and training (e.g. marathon during the fall months requires summer time training)
  • Finances/budget–because marathons ain’t cheap
  • Type of race you’re interested in running (big city, rural, themed, destination, cause)

 

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Found my name!

REAL TALK: I mention these factors because training for a marathon is commitment. You don’t wanna run a race with high expectations then realize you picked a bad time to train based on whether you’re in school or have a crazy work schedule. This was a big factor in my training because I had the availability to train for one. I was not in school during my training which my a BIG difference in my commitment and availability to focus on my training and in some aspects, performance. Not to say if you are in school or have a busy/crazy schedule you can’t do one, just know it may take more advanced planning and/or a stronger level of commitment compared to someone who is more flexible. I purposely planned to do one once I graduated. I felt ready to make a commitment and knew my schedule allowed for it. To be honest, I would hesitate doing another once I start graduate school because of the need to focus on studying instead of the commitment to train. *this idea is subject to change* ūüėČ

Back to the training! As mentioned in the race day post, I ran about four times a week. I combined running with twice a week strength training days, typically a push/pull day or an leg day and upper body day. Each strength day would take me about an hour and a half to complete since I like to take my time. On days that I was pressed for time, I did HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts and targeted total body in about thirty minutes with minimal rest. During the middle of my training, as a way to double up, I would run in the morning and do a strength day in the afternoon. Working on tired legs post run was tough but a good challenge since it mirrored what my legs could typically feel during the race. I did about three to four targeted exercises based on what I was doing that day plus two exercises for my core. I would finish with cross training on the bike or if I didn’t run the morning before, I would do a high intensity speed session of thirty minutes on the ‘mill before stretching and cooling down.

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Where accountability and motivation starts for the week ahead!

Aside from strength training days, I incorporated Peerfit¬†for my cross training or anytime I wanted to change up my routine.¬†Peerfit is a company creating a versatile, multi-location subscription used at various boutique fitness studios around Tampa Bay, Orlando, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Sarasota, and Jacksonville. See my post on working with Peerfit and experiences I had with them¬†here. I was able to cross train using them at a variety of places through Bella Prana Yoga & Meditation, Soho Cycling Studio, and Mantra Tampa. The days of cross training helped keep my cardio fitness up and strengthing weaker muscles while giving my body a break from the running. I really enjoyed cycling, especially since I don’t consider myself a “cycler”–in fact, I wasn’t into it because I thought it was boring. Soho Cycling changed the game on that one! Mantra Tampa is a pure strength training workout using a Megaformer. ¬†It was all about the burn, helping me focus on the slow part of the movements–so killer and unlike any soreness I’ve had in awhile lol! It worked my entire core and targeted my whole body in fifty minutes. Yoga helped with stretching out any tight muscles and helping me feel relaxed. I’m not so much into the sweaty, hot yoga classes but the stress relief and flow classes did wonders for keeping me flexible and balanced.

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I rested about one-two times per week. If I felt I needed another day, I took it. If marathon training taught me one thing about myself, is that I am incredibly stubborn and wanting to keep pushing for more. Pushing for more isn’t a bad thing, but on some occasions I forced myself to relax and if feeling the urge to still do something, I picked a yoga class. Resting is SO important during this kind of training. It really is a big part of the process in that it allows you to let your body heal and mind refresh. Check out my post on the benefits of rest here.

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Running down Bayshore Blvd

Meal prep wasn’t bad because I already love being in the kitchen. I tried to minimize on how much I went out, about once or twice a week at the most. I cooked and prepared ahead of time occasionally, but most nights I get home late, so I incorporated my assembly only meals for dinner–aka SALADS! Yes, they were filling and full of only the good stuff. Each one had a bed of greens, various veggies, a lean protein, nuts/seeds, cheese, dried fruit, and simple easy dressing. If anyone doubts this amazing meal, all I’ll say is see for yourself because this is heaven. The best part is that it didn’t leave me filling full and gross before bed!

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Another thing I incorporated was protein shakes. I made them veggie-based (usually with spinach or kale), added fruit (fresh and frozen–either pineapple or mango), almond milk, and protein powder. Simple. They were great because I took them on the go, knew what was in it, snuck in a serving (or two) of vegetables, and it held me over. Best part was that I couldn’t taste the veggies! As always, I drank a lot of water. I didn’t ditch coffee, in fact I needed that even more since I was getting so tired! I drank minimally. I didn’t miss drinking and wanted to only fuel myself with quality ingredients. Even post training, I’m not drinking and want to continue to keep it to a minimum. I felt my best and want to keep it that way! Aside from eating healthy, I definitely had my share of carbs, but nothing crazy. Still kept it to a serving. I really like quinoa and brown rice the best. Seeds of Change Brown Rice & Quinoa –the best of both worlds, was a great thing to have on hand since all you needed was to mic it! Super easy and healthy. I didn’t deprive myself and let the eating take over my life. If I was hungry, I ate. If I was full, I stopped. I had sweets when I wanted. I ate chipotle, which came in handy for those carbs post run or before a tough workout–LiveSweatSleep gets me ūüėČ No deprivation allowed! Marathon training isn’t the time to lose weight. You need your body to be fueled to the very best in order to perform.

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If you haven’t noticed a pattern, I’m really into bowls…especially from Chipotle

This is my training in a nutshell. Three months of planning each week of workouts in my log,¬†seven to eight consistent hours each night of sleep, positive vibes and thoughts, and supportive family and friends. I’m hoping to include these components of training for future races while learning more about myself. In the meantime, you’ll still find me on the run but not going quite as far LOL and getting ready to gear up for my next race–the Gasparilla Half Marathon!!!

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Miami Marathon finisher medal #MiamiFamous
You Don’t Need a Gym! Try My Outdoor Stair Workout

You Don’t Need a Gym! Try My Outdoor Stair Workout

ITS FRIDAY! I love writing towards the end of the week since its a great time to reflect on what my week entailed. I’ve been much better about getting in my strength training this week. I love the squat rack and lifting heavy, but using the things around you to challenge yourself can be just as tough! I teach my bootcamp, H.E.A.T at the Downtown Tampa YMCA at lunchtime which I LOVE and is a great way for me to get creative with my class since its outside! Yes, I said outside, its much more challenging and fun!! My group is really into it and motivated so I can get as intense I want ūüėČ The thing I love about bootcamp style classes is that it’s more unique then the traditional inside strength/cardio class. You challenge yourself with the elements of being outside, your own bodyweight, and high intensity components such as reps, times, and types of cardio and strength. You also are among a group that makes it like a team-effort with added motivation.  I love teaching traditional type classes too, but sometimes I find I lack creativity when stuck inside. This week I came up with a new workout based on time. No need to count reps…yay! All you need is a good three flights of stairs (if not three, one or two works well too) and a stopwatch. Think a stadium, stairwell, or even a ramp since the incline works too. Heck, you could do DIY stairs and replace with high knees or the stair master machine to get a similar experience. Remember you can always modify these moves. You get the same benefits of the modification without the added impact. Listen to your body…you can put in the work! NO EXCUSES! 

Bootcamp Style Timed Stair Workout

4 Rounds, Twice per Round~ about 40 min total (don’t forget warm-up and cool-down!), At the end of the minute either ending the strength or stair movement…find a flat surface and go for it! Grab water and rest about 30 seconds/1 min at the end of each round before moving onto the next. NO REST between the first time and second time of each round. PUSH YOURSELF! 

-1 min sprint up (jog down) (2x)

  • 1 min squats

  • 1 min pushups (standard, on knees, on wall)

-1 min every other step up (jog down) (2x)

  • 1 min skaters (opposite hand to opposite foot!)

  • 1 min inchworms (extra challenge…pushups or hold at top of plank!)

-1 min side step alternating sides up (jog down) (2x)

  • 1 min alternating jump lunges (or regular alternating lunges)

  • 1 min plank on forearms

-1 min wide step (jog down) (2x)

  • 1 min alternating plank push-ups (with or without knees on ground)

  • 1 min mountain climbers

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My H.E.A.T class using the ramp for a similar style workout.

Love Your Body: Reasons & Benefits of Rest

Love Your Body: Reasons & Benefits of Rest

So marathon training is in full swing…I completed week three of training! However, it came with a couple setbacks. No one said marathon training was going to be easy. I signed up knowing setbacks could be part of training. Knowing I teach group fitness, I didn’t completely account for rest. I do the workout with my¬†Barre class since form and equipment are involved and generally instruct with demos for my H.E.A.T class. I’m not generally sore or feel completely wiped after teaching so I figured to take it as an¬†active recovery¬†day. This past weekend I did a nine mile run at¬†Upper Tampa Bay Trail and LOVED IT!! Beautiful scenery and I was feeling great. However, my hamstrings and feet felt otherwise. I taught barre and H.E.A.T no problem, but realized I never actually RESTED aka was lazy and didn’t do anything physical. I’m naturally on feet most of the day since I work in fitness, and since when do we ever sit??!! NEVER!! We constantly GO! Which is great, the reason why I love what I do, but rest is equally important. After the two “active recovery” days, I felt good to get my six mile long run out of the way during the week. Again, felt great! Post run I felt extra tight, sore, and just overall achey. My hamstring and feet felt tight and over-used. I literally hurt all over. I then felt equally bad and was hardcore kicking myself because I knew I should have¬†listened to my body. I also know a reason why I felt I over did it was because I had neglected¬†leg day/strength training¬†(I know what you’re thinking…”Ali how could you?!”) just because I wanted to hit my milage each week. I’m also focused on my client’s and group fitness and along the way, neglected my own. Muscle-wise there was a lot of imbalances that contributed as well.

SO LESSON LEARNED: Listen to your body and give it the¬†TLC¬†it needs! Its okay to say give an extra day to relax and be a¬†couch potato,¬†it won’t kill you. As runners or anything else you might be passionate about, you want to constantly strive to be the best you can. That might mean doing it regularly to take advantage of continued¬†improvement.¬†NOT SO FAST! (lol pun intended) giving your body time to recover from your hard work is equally important too.

Below are reasons and benefits why REST is important and to not be afraid to add it to your program:

-Time off from activity allows your body to heal and rebuild without added activity

Gives your mind a mental break

-Prevents injury

-Restores glycogen stores

*Other benefits of rest ;)*

-Sleep in (set NO alarms)

-Focus on foam rolling, icing, or soft tissue work 

-Get other things done…either personal, work, school, etc (that closet that needs cleaning out…)

-Focus on other hobbies, friends, or activities that don’t take the same demand…a cooking class/meal prep, yoga

-You get to be (somewhat) lazy :P…GO AHEAD! curl up with a movie, a cup of tea/glass of wine/ice cream…[you know where I’m going with this], and take care of yourself, you deserve to relax!

Instead of using your setbacks as ways to wreck your motivation, use it as a way to IMPROVE and learn from your mistakes!

Happy Running & Resting!!

-Ali