Take Your Fat Burn and Fitness to the Next Level with Plyometric Training - Men's Health Magazine Australia

Take Your Fat Burn and Fitness to the Next Level with Plyometric Training

Chase the jump, not the pump this summer

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.

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