Plyometric Circuit training
Many of you ask what you can do to burn extra calories, tone the muscle you do have, and increase your endurance. Plyometric training never fails! Cardio accounts for half of my pre contest fat burning efforts, but the rest of my program is super set with plyometrics! Why is plyometric training so beneficial?
Plyometric training involves and uses movements that toughen tissue and train nerve cells to stimulate a specific pattern of muscle contractions so the muscle generates as strong a contraction as possible in the shortest amount of time. A plyometric contraction involves, first, a rapid muscle lengthening movement (eccentric phase), followed by a short resting phase (amortization phase), then an explosive muscle shortening movement (concentric phase), which enables muscles to work together in doing the particular motion. Plyometric training engages the myotatic reflex, which is the automatic contraction of muscles when their stretch sensory receptors are stimulated.
So, as you can see, training like this not only strengthens the muscle, increases speed, and develops explosive power in your movements, but also lengthens, stimulates, and tunes in to the fast twitch muscle fibers and slow twitch muscle fibers.
Here is a circuit that I do on the weekends. It’s fast, will kick your butt, and will make you feel powerful! I can burn up to 500 calories doing this circuit!
Do this 5 times. Do not stop until you get to the end. At the end take a 60 second break, then start the next set!
25 minute cardio routine!
Instructions: This program is done on the treadmill and contains three different intervals involving walking, lunges, and running
WARM-UP: Ride the recumbent bike or EFX at a moderate pace for 10 minutes
INTERVAL : Set the treadmill at a 2% incline at a speed of 3.6mph+ and walk for two minutes. Back the speed down to 2.0mph or less and lunge on the treadmill for one minute. Immediately up the speed to 6.0mph+ and run for two minutes. At the conclusion of the run, up the incline by 2-3% and repeat the cycle adjusting the speeds for each section the same. This will cut up your legs, strengthen them and elevate your endurance!
Instructions: Set the stepper up on Manual at a regular pace for a twenty minute interval at level 6. Warm up for two minutes at the required steps per minute pace based on level 6. At the 2 minute mark take your level up to 9 and maintain the required steps per minute pace. Every minute, change your stance on the pads. At the 2 minute mark take your feet to the very front of the pedals and pump out short quick strokes pushing from the balls of your feet for 1 minute. After that minute slide your feet to the very back of the pedals and push out long full range strokes pushing from your heals for the next minute. Continue to alternate stance for 12 minutes, changing every minute. Finish out the 20 minutes by taking a neutral stance in the middle of the pedals
Follow this up with 10 minutes on the treadmill at a speed of 3.8 and an incline at 4.0
Instructions: This exercise is set up on the treadmill. Be sure to wear running shoes or cross trainers for this cycle. Take long strides and squeeze your butt with each step. If performed properly your hips, hamstrings and gluteus will be fatigued at the end. The cycle involves a powerful walk, an interval of alternating lunges, and a brisk jog. Choose a pace that is challenging yet still allows you to stay within a safe walking stride for the walking and jogging intervals. The jogging pace should be at least 2 points higher than the walk The intervals are as follows: You walk for 2 minutes. Jump off the treadmill leaving it run, and do alternating lunges for 30 seconds. Get back on the treadmill and with the next 30 seconds, set your pace and begin jogging on the minute for 2 minutes.
Instructions: This cycle requires using the Elliptical, Treadmill, and Stationary Bike. Begin with the treadmill, go to the elliptical and finish with the stationary bike or stepper
TREADMILL: Hit the treadmill for 20 straight minutes at a pace range of 3.8 to 4.2 at a 0% grade. Take long strides and squeeze your glutes with every step At the 10 minute mark go to a 12% grade and back the pace down to 3.4 to 3.6 and maintain the same stride
EFX: Set the EFX up on the program that is consistent with a flat running stride Set the resistance at a moderate level then maintain 160 to 180 strides per minute for 15 minutes
STATIONARY BIKE: Set the bike up at a manual setting at level 3 and place the seat at your normal comfort zone. Place your feet in the stirrups and actually pull the pedals. You should feel it in your hamstrings. Pedal for 10 minutes
Instructions: Set the stepper up on Manual at a regular pace for a ten minute interval at level 6. Warm up for two minutes at the required steps per minute pace based on level 6. At the 2 minute mark take your level up to 10 and maintain the required steps per minute pace for 30 seconds then drop back down to level 6. Repeat this cycle up to the 9 minute mark. At 9 minutes drop down to level 4 and cool down for one minute.
Follow this up with 20 minutes of stationary bike on level 2 – 4.
Instructions: This exercise is set up on the treadmill. Be sure to wear running shoes or cross trainers for this cycle. Take long strides and squeeze your butt with each step. If performed properly your hips, hamstrings and gluteus will be fatigued at the end. The cycle involves a powerful walk through a series of different grades over time. Choose a pace that is challenging yet still allows you to stay within a safe walking stride
( Slow pace for cool down at 30:00)
Instructions: This cycle requires using the Elliptical (EFX), Treadmill, and Stationary Bike. Begin with the EFX the go to the Treadmill and finish with the stationary bike. Each piece of equipment is used for a 20 minute cycle.
EFX: Set the EFX up on the program that works the entire lower body (Pyramid grade) Set the resistance at a challenging level then maintain 160 to 180 strides per minute for the bulk of the cycle
TREADMILL: Hit the treadmill for 20 straight minutes at a pace range of 3.8 to 4.2 at a 0% grade.
STATIONARY BIKE: Set the bike up at a manual setting at level 1 and place the seat closer then your normal comfort zone.
Instructions: This program is done on the Elliptical Trainer. Use the “Quick Start” method of starting the program and set the ramp at its lowest grade. Put the resistance at level 4 and keep it there. Maintain a brisk pace for two minutes (4 to 600 mets) At the end of the two minutes set the ramp at its highest grade and go for one minute backwards at a moderate pace (2 to 300 mets). Repeat this cycle for 20 minutes. At the conclusion of twenty minutes restart the Elliptical and program it to the cross-training program at a level 4 resistance for ten minutes only at a moderate pace.
Restart the Elliptical setting it for the cross-training program at a resistance level of 4 for ten minutes
Instructions: This program is done on the treadmill. Do a 5 minute warm up at a 0% grade at 3.5 speed. Raise the ramp to a 12% grade and at a 3.0 speed for 7 minutes taking long exaggerated strides. At the end of 7 minutes take the ramp to an 8% grade and jog at a speed of 5.5 for 7 minutes. At the end of 7 minutes take the ramp down to a 0% grade and the speed up to 7.5. Do a brisk run for 1 minute then jump off and do a set of pop squats for 30 seconds. At the end of 30 seconds go back to your brisk run for another minute. (take the additional 30 seconds to get back on the treadmill) Repeat this cycle for 10 minutes. At the end of the 10 minutes walk for 5 minutes at a speed of 3.3.
Instructions: This is a cross-training program designed to use a rowing machine if you have access to one, the treadmill, and recumbent bike. If you do not have a rower, supplement the stepper.
ROWING MACHINE: Start by doing 12 minutes on the rowing machine at a pace that is equal to 32 strokes per minute. At the conclusion of 12 minutes, move to the treadmill If you are using the stepper, use a manual pace at a level between 9 and 11 for the twelve minutes.
TREADMILL: Run 1.0 miles in less than 8 minutes at a 0% grade. Set the speed accordingly. Gage what that speed will be to enable you to make the 8 minute time for the one mile.
RECUMBENT BIKE: This is an interval program alternating a cruising pace maintaining 80 rpms at level 2 with a more intense pace maintaining 100+ rpms at level 3. The intervals are as follows.
Instructions: This program is done preferably on the EFX 546 Elliptical Trainer. ( others are fine as well) This program is performed in four different cycles. The stages are as follows;
CYCLE #1: Set the EFX for a 10 minute time interval on program #8 and set the resistance level on level eight. For the duration of the 10 minutes maintain 170+ Strides per minute. At the conclusion of 10 minutes move to cycle #2
CYCLE #2: Cycle #2 is to simply perform the standard cooldown provided by the EFX program. Perform this cool down using a backwards stride and a 150 + Strides per minute.
CYCLE #3: Reset the EFX for a 10 minute time interval on program #4 at a resistance level of four. For the duration of the 10 minutes maintain 180+ strides per minute. At the conclusion of 10 minutes move to cycle #4
CYCLE #4: repeat the cooldown program described in Cycle #2
Instructions: This program is done on the treadmill and contains three different intervals involving walking, lunges on the treadmill, and running.
WARM-UP: Ride the recumbent bike or EFX at a moderate pace for 10 minutes
INTERVAL : Set the treadmill at a 2% incline at a speed of 3.6+ and walk for two minutes. Back the speed down to 2.0 or less and lunge on the treadmill for one minute. Immediately up the speed to 6.0+ and run for two minutes. At the conclusion of the run up the incline by 2 to 3% and repeat the cycle adjusting the speeds for each section the same.
Instructions: This program is performed on the treadmill and involves intervals on and off the treadmill. Each walking interval will be followed by a leg shaping movement off the treadmill then a change in speed and percentage of incline for the walking interval
WARM-UP: Set the treadmill at 3.4+ speed and walk for five minutes
INTERVAL: Start with a 3.4+ speed and adjust the incline to its max. Walk for three minutes then perform one minute of walking lunges off the treadmill. After each leg shaping interval adjust your speed by +.2 and decrease your incline by 2%. Walk for another three minutes then change your leg shaping exercise as directed and repeat.
The premise of this program is this: As the intensity of the incline decreases, the intensity of the speed and of the off treadmill exercise increases.
Instructions: This program is performed on the stepper utilizing a variation of foot placement and intensity levels. Set the stepper up on Manual climbing at a regular pace. Set the speed level at 9 and do a five minute warm-up. At the conclusion of your warm-up turn and face backwards on the pedals and maintain a full range stepping action for five minutes with your feet at the very end of the pedals. After five minutes turn and face forward staying on the end of the pedals and maintain a full range of motion for one minute. After one minute up your step speed to 11, move to the front of the pedals and perform a quick (sprint like) shortened range of motion for one minute.
After one minute go back to your original step speed and backwards foot placement then repeat intervals.
Finish this workout with ten minutes on the recumbent bike at a moderate pace
CARDIO PROGRAM #14
Utilizing the treadmill for this workout warm up at 3.0 mph for 5 minutes at the 5th minute, turn around and walk backwards on treadmill. Hold on to the rails at first, walking on the balls of your feet and reach back with each step until you get comfortable w/ each stride, then let go. Continue for 1 min. then switch back to walking forward and up the incline by 1 % and the speed by 0.5 mph. Walk for 2 min. squeezing your ass with every step. At the 2 minute mark switch to backward walking dropping the speed back down.
But keeping the incline increasing with every interval. Continue for 30 minutes. Increasing the incline until you reach max on your treadmill.
As the incline increases, the focus on the backward walking will be all quads and the forward walking should be hips, hams, glutes…if you’re squeezing with each stride, this is much harder than it sounds…
CARDIO PROGRAM #15
Utilizing the treadmill for this workout, warm up at 3.6 mph for 5 minutes. At the five minute mark turn to your right and do 20 lateral shuffle steps. At the conclusion of 20 steps, turn to your right again and walk backwards for 60 steps. At the conclusion of the 60 steps turn to your right once more and do 20 more lateral shuffle steps. (you’ll shuffle each way every time through). At the conclusion of that series of shuffle steps you will turn to the front, up the speed to a comfortable pace and run until the top of the minute and one additional minute. (it could be 15 seconds, 40 seconds to the top of the minute, then run one more minute.) You control the time interval based on how quickly you perform the lateral and backward strides. After one rotation you will up the incline by 2% and walk for one minute and then repeat as instructed. Hold on at first to become comfortable with the lateral shuffle and backward walking. Do both on the balls of your feet and with knees slightly flexed.
CARDIO PROGRAM #16
You’ll need a partner, a resistance band, an exercise belt, and the treadmill. Its a partner interval workout that will kick your butt, literally.
STEP #1: Take the belt and loop the resistance band through the back of it and put it on.
STEP #2: Set the treadmill up for a 4.0 speed and a 4% incline
STEP #3: Walk normal for 30 seconds. At the 30 second point have your partner grab the resistance band and give it full tension as you walk for 60 seconds. Try not to hold on and you may have to break into a slow trot to keep up with the speed. Find a speed that is challenging yet still doable on your treadmill. After a minute switch partners and repeat interval.
NEXT INTERVAL: Take the treadmill incline up to 8% and repeat steps 1 – 3
NEXT INTERVAL: Take treadmill incline up to 12% and repeat steps 1 – 3
NEXT INTERVAL: Take treadmill incline up to 15% and repeat steps 1 – 3
At the conclusion of the fourth minute interval each partner is to find there own treadmill and run a mile at an 8 to 10 minute pace. Following the mile do a 10 minute cool down walk and your ass will be officially kicked
To be performed on the Cybex Arc Trainer, with or without moving arms. The program is performed in intervals involving depth of step action and resistance. You will spike your heart rate in and out of the fat burning zone by design. Start with the Arc Trainer set at 0 elevation and a resistance of 15 and warm up for five minutes. At the conclusion of that five minutes start with the following interval stages. ELV is elevation, RES is resistance and the time interval is listed
Be sure to incorporate either the arms on the machine or a running motion with your arms during the last 20 minutes interval
To be performed on a stepmill. This is an interval program that includes a warm-up and cool down again designed to spike your heart rate in and out of the fat burning zone. If you are unable to perform the program at the suggested levels, adjust to be able to. (all machines are calibrated different and may vary in speed) Stage three should be a light jog pace and stage four more of a run. Do stages one and two without holding on to the rails. Four and five will require you hold on. The program requires a speed interval and time interval with a warm-up and cool down. The cool down will require you walking backwards up the stepmill.