This jump training workout will use your entire body to create force, speed, and power
Building a strong, sculpted body doesn’t require hours spent working out—just an expert approach. And with The Master’s Hammer and Chisel, seasoned trainers Sagi Kalev and Autumn Calabrese have compiled their best, most efficient techniques into 30- to 40-minute resistance-training workouts to help you craft a powerful, perfectly defined physique in just 60 days.
Throughout the entire 60 days, you’ll focus on Stabilization, Strength, and Power to rapidly build, sculpt, and refine your physique. Combine this training with proven portion-control nutrition-the way Sagi and Autumn do in The Master’s Hammer and Chisel-and you’ll build a body that’s strong, chiseled, and defined.
As I embark on my own 60-Day Journey with The Master’s Hammer and Chisel, I will be reviewing each workout as they present themselves in the program calendar. I will add my own insights and observations about the workouts; the comments I make are my own as an Independent Certified Personal Trainer and do not necessarily represent the Celebrity Trainers or Beachbody. Full disclosure, I am also an Independent Team Beachbody Coach and a distributor of this program and all other Beachbody products. I hope the information I provide is beneficial in your personal fitness journey.
Plyometrics: noun plural but singular or plural in construction plyo·met·rics \ˌplī-ə-ˈme-triks\
1: exercise involving repeated rapid stretching and contracting of muscles (as by jumping and rebounding) to increase muscle power. plyo·met·ric \-trik\ adjective. [source: Merriam-Webster].
Plyometrics, or simply “Plyo” workouts are usually referred to as Jump Training and focus on using explosive movements to build strength and power. The main principle behind plyometric exercise are to react with the the ground surface in such a way as to propel your body away from the ground with greater speed, this is also why you’ll hear plyometrics referred to as a “reactive” exercise.
There are three phases to all plyometric exercise which are often described by the state of the muscles during each stage of the movement: Eccentric, Isometric and Concentric. These phases can also be seen as deceleration, stabilization and acceleration.
During the eccentric movement you’re stretching the muscles, loading them in preparation for the move, much like stretching a rubber band. Potential energy is stored in the elastic components of your muscles. When performing a vertical jump as in the first exercise of this workout, the eccentric phase consists of squatting down to gather your energy.
Just as when you pull back on a rubber band, there’s a pause when you reach the limits of the band, a point of stabilization. This is the transition phase between harnessing the potential power of the muscle and actually using it. The longer you stay in this transition or isometric phase, the less powerful your final movement will be – the key to generating maximum power is in a rapid transition between the eccentric and concentric movements. Unlike the rubber band, the potential elastic power in your muscles can dissipate the longer you wait to release the power. In our vertical jump example, the isometric phase is the bottom of the squat position.
The concentric phase is what you normally associate with the plyometric move, this is the actual jump or explosive movement – the “unloading” of the muscles. In your vertical jump, this is the push off from the ground. In many plyo moves you’ll engage other muscles to assist the move such as swinging your arms upwards and reaching overhead as you jump.
Your success in everyday life activities (and many sports) is dependent upon your muscle’s ability to generate force; and the general rule is “the quicker the better.” This is a trained response that is limited by the signals sent to your muscles by your brain via the central nervous system. Plyo training helps train and improve your neuromuscular coordination by engaging and exciting your neuromuscular system. The goal is to get the muscles firing faster and generating more power. It’s important to have mastered basic balance and stabilization exercises, developed good core strength, joint stability and have a good overall strength baseline before introducing plyo into your workouts. If you’re just starting out, don’t be afraid to modify movements – learning the proper form and function of the move is essential to preventing injury. As you progress through the movements you can increase your range of motion and speed to increase the level of difficulty.
Now let’s take a look at what equipment you’ll need for this workout and get into each individual movement
Landing is critical, unlike cats, we don’t have the innate abilities to perform soft landings from high heights. Because of this, you have to pay more attention to improving your landing ability through technical training. Land softly (toe, ball, heel) before loading your legs to repeat the movement. Proper landing techniques in all plyometric movements is necessary to avoid injury.
You can progress this move by adding the push-up, but the standard execution is actually a half-burpee (yes, wait for it…a hurpee). Trust me, you won’t hear Sagi calling it a hurpee though!
This is a timed interval with two components, the burpee and a standard pull-up. Grasp the bar with palms facing outward, hands wider than shoulder width and using the large muscles of the back, pull yourself up. Variations include using a pull-up assist band, or if you don’t have a bar, you can secure a resistance band at a level above head height, assume a rear lunge position and use the same pulling motion focusing on the back muscles. SAFETY TIP: If you use a resistance band, inspect the band before use, use only approved means to attach the band to a door or other secure anchor. This is a great combo and you may be surprised at how many you can do when you’re switching between the two moves.
SAFETY TIP: As with many speed, agility or balance drills that involve stepping up onto your bench, you must ensure that the bench is stable and the surface is dry.
Concentration and coordination are necessary to hit the top of the bench cleanly and not get hung up by missing and hitting the side. As you progress and your legs tire, you will want to ensure you’re picking them up high enough to land squarely on the bench.
The plyometric portion of this exercise is pushing your body away from the ground with enough explosive force that your hands leave the ground, the height you get will depend on the upper body strength in the muscles used, and your ability to direct that force. Don’t be frustrated if you’re not “getting a lot of air” when you start doing these, this is an advanced push-up. Pay attention to your landings, avoid locking out your arms, keep them loose with a slight flex to help absorb the shock when you land.
As with the Burpee Pull-Up, this combination breaks up the chin-up move with the squat jump and helps you focus on maintaining proper form by alternating between moves, one rep at a time.
Select your weight and hold it in the hand opposite the leg you will be jumping with. Step back into a rear lunge, bringing the dumbbell to the ground near the instep of your forward foot, explode up driving through the heel of the forward leg while simultaneously pressing the dumbbell overhead. Land softly and drop back into the rear lunge position and repeat the move.
Maintain positive control of the dumbbell throughout the full range of motion and focus on body alignment and balance, if you find yourself losing balance and fall off to either side, slow down. The benefit of this exercise is the plyometric component – not how much weight you can press overhead, the weight should provide additional resistance but not be so heavy you can’t control it.