Sprint toward a leaner body and ripped abs with plyometric training.
Lee Boyce, C.P.T. 1 / 6
You know the rules for getting lean. You have to do more reps, take no rest periods, and eat less, right? Well, the last point holds true, but the first two don’t. Losing fat doesn’t require light weights done for infinity reps and circuit workouts that take you to every corner of the gym. Plyometric training, including jumps and sprints, is not only an effective way to boost your metabolism and your athleticism, it’s also the most fun you’ll have training for fat loss.
Many elite athletes in various sports boast ripped physiques even if they do little or no weight training. The fast running and jumping they do in practices and games are part of the reason. Explosive movements (plyometrics) activate the body’s biggest muscle fibers and burn big-time calories. They’re hard to recover from, too, so your body burns more calories between workouts trying to repair itself—a phenomenon known as excess postexercise oxygen consumption (EPOC).
The workout here is hard and high-impact, so much so that it shouldn’t be done if you have back or knee problems. But if you’re healthy and looking to enhance your speed, power, agility, and, of course, abs, do it on days off from your gym workouts (take it outdoors to a football field!) and have a fat-burning blast.
Perform the workout twice per week. You may do it immediately after your leg day in the gym but not before. Also, don’t perform it less than 48 hours after any squat or deadlift workout.
Scroll through the gallery for each exercise and a description of how to do it.
1. High Box Jump
Rest: 2–3 minutes
Use a box that’s high enough to be challenging to jump up onto but still safe. Stand behind the box and swing your arms behind you as you bend your hips and knees to gather momentum. Jump up onto the box and land softly. If you land in a deep squat position, the box is too high. Step off the box (place a small platform next to it if the box is too high to step down to the floor); don’t jump off.
Stand with feet hip-width apart. Swing your arms back as you bend your hips and knees. Jump as high and as far forward as you can. Land softly and hold your landing position for three seconds. Then perform your next rep. If you don’t have the space to perform reps in a straight line, turn around and jump back and forth.
Stand on one leg and squat halfway down. Place the toe of the opposite foot on the grass behind you for balance. Explode off the working leg, jumping up and forward, and land on the same leg. Hold the landing three seconds and begin your next jump.
Run half the length of a football field at about 90% of your top speed. Stay tall, relax your neck and jaw, and drive your knees high. Run on the balls of your feet and keep your toes pointing upward when in the air.