Plyometric AMRAPs and more

Ironman 11-12-2019, Q by Blackberry

Attendees:       @Fidget Spinner, @Can-Can, @Butterfinger, @Lab Rat, @heehaw, @DodgeBall, @WAR chicken, @Blackberry, @loveseat

Plyometric techniques are probably the 2nd biggest exercise bang for the buck that you can get in benefits for your time & effort.  They’re hitting fast twitch muscle fibers.  They tend to NOT leave me sore where the same non-plyo would.  For example, I get great results in my quads from Jump Squats or Bench Jumps and recover quickly, whereas lots of Tempo Squats only leave me sore for two days with very slow gain in strength. 

Good examples of Plyo exercises are 2-part Box Jumps (not step-ups) and Frog Leaps.  They are usually 2 part, with an eccentric/contraction part (jump down from bench, squat into a ball, go down in pushup) and an explosive movement (jump up to bench, explosive Frog Leap, push into the air for hand clap).  Lots of studies on the quick results in strength gain, recovery and the how’s & why’s. 

The purpose of this method is to “shock” the body and nervous system to produce higher levels of muscle tension and force than would normally be possible [than a single movement exercise]. In fact, the “father” and creator of modern day plyometrics, Yuri Verkoshansky of Russia, originally named the plyometric method the “shock” method.”

I wanted to do something hard with a little recovery built in to get the full benefit of pushing yourself on the hard ones.  We ran through them all for a fast 12 minute warmup, followed by two 15 minute AMRAPs of all of them.  I tried to alternate upper/lower body and mix in an ab/recovery every 2-4 movements.

I wanted to do something hard with a little recovery built in to get the full benefit of pushing yourself on the hard ones.  We ran through them all for a fast 12 minute warmup, followed by two 15 minute AMRAPs of all of them.  I tried to alternate upper/lower body and mix in an ab/recovery every 2-4 movements.


12 minute quick runthrough of all exercises – 7 out of 10 are Plyo, 3 are for Abs and/or recovery

    Didn’t know SSH was plyo?  Heels are supposed to hit the ground, so I guess I’ve been cheating
    Better-than-Mountain-Climbers.  Start at plank, jump your knees in towards chest and land feet near wrists
    Smurf SSH Jacks.  Keep low and in squat as you jump feet out to shoulder width. 
    Pushups, on Down jump legs out to wider than shoulder width.  Hop feet back together on Up.
  • GYMNAST SIDE KNEE CRUNCH, 5x 4CIC  (abs/recovery)
    Unlike Gymnast Crunch (ie advanced leg lift) where your upper back stays fixed off the ground, you can lay all the way back but keep both legs raised at 45 degree angle.  Elbows behind head crunch to one knee, then back down, then the other knee.  Try to keep the other leg perfectly straight and your quad flexed during the crunch.
    Tuck Jumps with elbows pulled in.  Squat with feet shoulder width on balls of feet, jump up and try to pull knees up with abs.  I find this easier/faster to slap your knees on the jump up.
    Modify when you can’t do any more hand-clap Merkins, push off hard enough on the Merkin for hands to come off the ground.
  • V-UPS, 5x 4CIC  (abs/recovery)
    Better-than Big Boy Situps and harder than it looks.  Start on back with legs & hands straight up, like touching your toes.  Lower arms over head and legs down to almost touch the ground.  Repeat to up position.
  • X JACKS, 5 OYO
    This is hard after 5 reps.  Start in a squatted ball feet under shoulders.  Do explosive jump with hands & legs out in an X but return feet to starting position before returning to sqaut.  Modify can be landing feet in the X position then jump back down into squatting balled position.
  • WALK DOWNS, 5X CIC  (abs/recovery)
    Standing, lean forward then walk hands down and do 1 Merkin, walk hands backto feet and stand fully up before repeating.


As many OYO reps as possible in 60 seconds  Rest for 30 or 60 seconds while either Planking or doing LBACs (Little Babby Arm Circles).  None chose planking.  The timer was too much trouble to change.  I would do 60/30 or 45/30 seconds for everything if I had to do it over.  The rest/recovery is important (see Dave Asprey below). We did 2 complete sets in a little less than 30 minutes.

  • PLANK TUCKS, 60 seconds AMRAP / 30 second recovery Plank or LBACs
  • MIDGET JACKS, 60/60
  • MERKIN JACKS, 60/30
  • GYMNAST SIDE KNEE CRUNCH, 60/30  (abs/recovery)
  • V-UPS, 60/30 (abs/recovery)
  • X JACKS, 60/60
  • WALK DOWNS / WALK DOWN MERKIN, 60/30 (abs/recovery)

We had a couple of minutes left for Can-Can & Dodgeball to lead us in some stretches & Agility Plyo jumps.  1 legged hops side-to-side and forward backward.


Can-Can 30, LabRat 46, HeeHaw 39, DodgeBall 34, Mrs Howell 52, WarChicken 67, Butterfinger 52, Fidget Spinner 49, BlackBerry STILL mid-to-late-forties…


Praise for HeeHaw’s dad returning home after successful surgery.  Prayers that HeeHaw’s mom won’t kill him while he recovers.


Loveseat posted at 12:30 AM with photos to prove it, and he did not wait out the next 5 hours for the rest of us.  Per Loveseat, “Well this is a first. Somehow my alarm went off at 12:10 instead of 5:10 and I didn’t notice…”  He did notice the locked gate that greeted him back at his neighborhood.

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This little experiment in Plyometric exercises resulted from a challenge by DodgeBall, who probably wanted more agility/balance type Plyos because he’s going skiing, but that’s OK.  More agility oriented physical + cognitive plyo would be a little too much for me at that hour of the morning to do + Q on the first try, but I’ll be glad to follow.  Thanks to Fidget Spinner for the help with the exercises and the idea to do them AMRAP, as many reps as possible.  Thanks to everyone else for putting up with us messing with the Interval Timer.  I’ll get it right next time.

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PS:       What’s the #3 bang for the buck exercise?  Totally my humble opinion, Little Baby Arm Circles.  Since I learned LBACs at my first F3 post, they’ve increased my upper body strength more than anything else.  They improve my pushups more than doing pushups (well, I just today started doing PLYO pushups…).  I do them in the steam room, while jogging, while biking.  I even did them for an hour driving through Orlando with one arm out the window (don’t try this in weekday I-10 traffic). 

PPS:     What’s the #1 bang for the buck exercise you can do for bodywide results in muscle growth, hormonal benefits & fat loss?  Sprinting.  Jogging is a waste of time in comparison; long distance running is just a bad idea to increasing number of sports physicians.  Sprints are it.

PPPS:   How long do you have to sprint to get the benefits?  Only 1 minute!  That’s in 3x 20 second sprints with a couple of minutes of warming up and recovering, vs same or lesser benefits of 45 minutes of cardo.

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Good HIIT guidelines from BulletProof Dave Asprey.  I came across this after the workout but same principles I try to apply.

When you’re designing an HIIT workout there are a couple things to keep in mind:

  • Alternate between an exercise and active rest.
  • Don’t string together exercises that target the same muscle group. For example, don’t follow squats with lunges. Both target your quads, and you don’t want to tire your quads out and then tax them again immediately afterward. A good method is to alternate between upper and lower body exercises.
  • Set a timer instead of counting reps. Keep your phone at your side or an eye on the clock.
  • Keep good form!!! HIIT gets exhausting quickly. Exhaustion brings poor form, and poor form brings injury. If your form starts to slip, slow down or skip an exercise and do active rest instead. Listen to your body to avoid hurting yourself. If you’re unsure of good form, is a useful resource.

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