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Your Guide to Creating a Plyometrics Workout to Burn Fat

Updated: Jan 15

designing a plyometrics workout

Clients who have a goal to decrease body fat tend to gravitate to the gym’s cardio section. They assume cardio is the key to burning calories and fat. But really, to burn body fat you need to focus on both exercise and nutrition.

We know that clients must expend more energy than they consume or be in a calorie deficit to lose weight. So, as a trainer, it is your job to educate and prescribe clients with the best options to do so.

The type of exercise your clients perform will determine the number of calories they burn during and after a workout. This is in addition to their regular daily activities and resting metabolism.

Let’s take a closer look at how clients can achieve better results from plyometric workouts rather than just focusing on cardio.

Plyometrics Defined

Plyometric exercise involves exerting maximum force over a short time. This type of training increases muscle power, explosiveness, and body control. It also helps clients increase their calorie burn, leading to greater fat loss.

Squat jumps, box jumps, and plyometric (plyo) push-ups are plyo exercises that elevate heart rate, increase strength, and build muscle. These fat-burning plyometric movements are commonly referred to as jump training.

Plyometric training requires many muscle groups to work together at one time. This forces the body to use more energy and burn more calories.

Can Plyometrics Burn Fat?

Imagine you have a client who completes a 30-minute cardio session on the treadmill. You also have another client who completes a 30-minute plyometric workout. 

Which client would burn more calories? 

In most cases, the client on the treadmill would burn more calories. Cardio performed on the treadmill is a form of aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise induces a high exercise heart rate, which is why this client will end up burning more calories during exercise.

Once the client stops the treadmill, their heart rate will return to normal. Therefore, they will stop burning calories at the same rate as they were on the treadmill.

On the other hand, the client performing the plyometric workout will likely burn fewer calories during exercise. This is because plyometric exercises are more anaerobic than a cardio workout. 

During plyometrics, clients' bodies undergo anaerobic exercise and burn through glycogen. This forces changes in strength and muscle in the body, leading to greater overall fat burn. The more muscle a client has, the more energy their body requires to optimally function.

Once the workout is complete, this client will have a higher resting metabolism. They will burn more calories at a higher rate than they normally do.

Check out the ISSA blog to learn more about the differences between aerobic and anaerobic workouts.

The Best Plyometric Exercises for Fat Burn

There are many options for implementing plyometric training into a client’s program. And, conveniently, some of the same exercise movement patterns can also be found in the following:

  • Resistance training 

  • High intensity interval training

  • Strength training 

Squat Jumps

To effectively perform a squat jump, have your client start with their feet shoulder- or hip-width apart. Instruct them to descend into a squat position and explode back up off the ground. Cue them to drive their heals into the ground on the upward phase. With great force, they should propel themselves off the ground into the air. As they return to the ground, they’ll transition into the next rep. 

Jump Lunges

Start at the bottom of a lunge position with the back knee just above the ground. Cue your client to jump straight up off the ground, switching the front and back leg. End in the bottom of the lunge position with the opposite leg in front. Repeat consecutive reps exploding off the ground as high as possible.


Tuck Jumps

Instruct your client to stand in an athletic stance. From here, they’ll perform a vertical jump. To perform a vertical jump, quickly bend at the knees and hips while snapping the arms down. Follow with extension of the hips and knees and swinging the arms up. Your client should propel themselves off the ground and immediately tuck their knees into their chest.

Plyo Push-ups

In a push-up position, descend toward the ground and explode back up off the ground. Cue clients to push their upper body away from the ground. Control the landing and repeat.

Skater Jumps

Starting on one leg, your client will jump side to side, landing on the opposite leg each time. If your client starts on their right leg, then they should jump to the left, landing on just the left leg. As soon as they land, they should jump again. Repeat the workout for time or reps.


Designing a Plyometric Workout

Combining these plyometric exercises into one workout is an effective way for clients to burn fat. You do not need cardio to lose fat. Instead pairing a good nutrition plan with plyometric training can help clients lose fat efficiently. 

Have your client perform a 2-minute warm-up. Jumping rope or a light form of dynamic exercise is plenty to prime the body for the workout. Be sure to outline the plyometric training in a circuit style. This will help create a HIIT training exercise environment.

Increasing the client's heart rate will accelerate calorie burn. Depending on the fitness level of your client, you can even add weight or dumbbells to each exercise. Resistance will add more stress to the muscles and induce greater strength gains.

Not all clients are at the same fitness level. So just know that bodyweight workouts can still produce just as good results for weight loss.

using plyometrics

30-Minute Plyometrics Workout to Burn Fat

Squat Jumps: 3 sets for 45 seconds with 15-second rest intervals

*Rest up to 2 minutes before the next exercise

Jump Lunges: 3 sets for 45 seconds with 15-second rest intervals

*Rest up to 2 minutes before the next exercise

Tuck Jumps: 3 sets for 45 seconds with 15-second rest intervals

*Rest up to 2 minutes before the next exercise

Plyo Push-ups: 3 sets for 45 seconds with 15-second rest intervals

*Rest up to 2 minutes before the next exercise

Skater Jumps: 3 sets for 45 seconds with 15-second rest intervals

*Rest up to 2 minutes

Finish with a 2-minute cool-down stretch.

Not yet a trainer but ready to start making a difference? Learn how to provide clients with customized training programs to help them reach their fitness goals. Check out ISSA’s #1-rated Personal Trainer certification program.

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