Kick Up Your Cardio

Blast calories with Tabata plyometric intervals

Kick Up Your Cardio - Blast calories with Tabata plyometric intervals
After being on the road for a week with minimal training time, I came home ready to sweat and with some extra calories to burn. (This summer countdown is on!) Looking for some training inspiration, I browsed through the FitnessRx For Women online content and was reminded of the ultimate HIIT workout: Tabatas.

Tabata training was founded by a Japanese researcher named Izumi Tabata. He defined an optimal work/rest interval of 20 seconds of high-intensity training followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated for 8 rounds (or 4 minutes). Typically, multiple (3-6) Tabata rounds are performed back-to-back separated by a minute rest between rounds. This usually results in a 15- to 30-minute training session.

Kick Up Your Cardio - Blast calories with Tabata plyometric intervalsI decided to incorporate these Tabata intervals into a steady-state StepMill cardio program. I used some of my favorite plyometric exercises for the Tabata intervals, and I was not disappointed. In less than forty minutes, I was drenched in sweat and my legs were on fire. I actually had to just sit on the ground for a few minutes before I left the gym. I’m sure you know that feeling!

While the workout was very challenging, it was also really fun and time flew by. That’s a huge compliment for any cardio work, so I will be regularly incorporating this program into my training week. I highly recommend you try it!

Kick Up Your Cardio

Perform the following program one time through. The StepMill intervals are your recovery between each Tabata. If you are still gasping for air and your heart rate isn’t decreasing while on the StepMill, decrease the speed to 70-80 SPM.
Kick Up Your Cardio - Blast calories with Tabata plyometric intervals

5 Minutes: StepMill, 90 SPM (moderate intensity)

4 Minutes, Tabata 1: Tuck Jumps & High Jumps
Perform 1 set of Tuck Jumps (20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest) and then a set of High Jumps (20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest). Repeat this three more times.

5 Minutes: StepMill, 90 SPM (moderate intensity)

4 Minutes, Tabata 2: Squat Switch Jumps
Perform 8 sets of Squat Switch Jumps (20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest).

5 Minutes: StepMill, 90 SPM (moderate intensity)

Tabata 3: One-leg Mountain Climbers
Perform 1 set of One-leg Mountain Climbers with the right leg (20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest) and then 1 set using the left leg. Repeat this three more times.

5 Minutes: StepMill, 90 SPM

Plyometric Descriptions

Tuck Jumps. Standing with your feet together, jump straight up into the air and bring your knees up as high as you can. Land with your feet together, and immediately jump back in the air. The jumps should be performed at a very fast pace. See the video at the bottom of the article for a demonstration.

High Jumps. Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, jump straight up into the air. Land in a squat position, and immediately jump back in the air.

Squat Switch Jumps. Beginning in a squat position, jump in the air and land in the opposite direction (180-degree turn). Jump up again and land back in your starting position. Repeat without stopping. See the video at the bottom of the article for a demonstration.

One-leg Mountain Climbers. Begin in a plank position. Lift one knee toward your chest and hold it. Then, bring the other leg forward and back as you would a typical mountain climber for the duration of the 20 seconds of work. Then switch legs. See pictures for demonstration.

Push Toward Your Best
Every day we stay on track to our goal is one day closer to achieving it. The trick is to find ways to stay motivated. From my experience, one of the best ways to overcome a lack of motivation is to challenge myself with something different— whether it’s trying a new rep scheme, changing my split, incorporating cardio intervals into my lifts, taking my training outdoors or simply working out at a different gym. So, before you throw in the towel on one of those low motivation days, try switching things up. It just may give you the jumpstart you need! Keep pushing— your best is waiting.

Your Best is presented by Gaspari Nutrition.

Jaime Baird

Jaime Baird is an IFBB Bikini Pro. Her life’s mission is to help others, especially women, achieve their best in health and life.

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