Plyometrics Pyramid Workout

My work schedule has been all over the place lately (although I have a full week off right now for some family stuff, which is wonderful!), which means my workouts have been all over the place.  Some days I work out early in the morning, sometimes it’s in the afternoon, and other days I don’t get home (or just don’t get around to it…) until the evening.  As someone who thrives on schedules and routines, this has kind of thrown off my mojo.  To counteract that, I’ve been doing a lot of new workouts and trying to spice things up.  This plyometrics pyramid was something I did as the second half of my workout earlier in the week.  I remembered doing a plyo pyramid workout about 6 months ago, but couldn’t find it for the life of me, so I improvised and came up with my own.  It takes less than 25 minutes, but it’s still challenging and will get your heart pumping nice and fast.

plyometrics - tuck jump man outdoors

Plyometrics are explosive movements – think squat jumps, box jumps, burpees, and the like.  These exercises activate your fast twitch muscle fibers (simple explanation of muscle fiber types HERE), which allows you to build explosive power, strength, and muscle mass (although plyometrics alone are not going to elicit  any kind of extreme hypertrophy – you would need more focused resistance training for that to happen).  Your fast twitch muscle fibers have the least endurance of all the muscle fibers, which means that they are best worked with short, intense intervals interspersed with recovery periods.  Because plyometric exercises also tend to be high impact, they can present problems for people with injuries or joint issues.  I’ve included lower-impact modifications for each of the exercises in this ploymetrics pyramid workout, so that those of you who need can substitute accordingly.  (Note: Never feel bad about modifying a workout.  It is far, far better to modify a movement and complete the workout safely and with good form, rather than to do the workout exactly as Rx’d and end up injuring yourself and being sidelined for weeks.  Trust me on this one.)  If you want to sub in other plyometric exercises for the ones I have listed below, feel free (more plyometric exercise ideas can be found HERE, and THERE, and EVERYWHERE.).  As always, your workouts are your own, so make them work for you!

Plyometrics Pyramid

5 exercises x 5 rounds

You’ll be completing 5 rounds of intervals using 5 exercises, and the length of the intervals follows a pyramid format (increasing to a max time and then working back down).

*Quick note: Keep in mind that plyometrics are an advanced type of exercise, and you should have a solid fitness base (both strength and cardio) before you give this or any other plyometrics workout a shot.  Don’t be afraid to take more rest time or do fewer rounds if you need to.  This workout should be hard, but you shouldn’t be feeling dizzy or on the verge of losing your lunch.*

Here are the plyometric exercises you’ll be doing:

  • Squat Jumps [modification: speed squats]
  • Burpees [modification: plank jacks or mountain climbers]
  • Skaters [modification: stationary lunges]
  • Push Ups [modification: push ups from knees, on bench, or against wall]
  • Tuck Jumps [modification: high knees]

Here is the interval format you’ll be using:

  • 1st round: 10 seconds work, 10 seconds rest
  • 2nd round: 20 seconds work, 20 seconds rest
  • 3rd round: 30 seconds work, 30 seconds rest
  • 4th round: 20 seconds work, 20 seconds rest
  • 5th round: 10 seconds work, 10 seconds rest

For example, the 1st round would look like this:

  • Squat Jumps – 10 seconds
  • Rest – 10 seconds
  • Burpees – 10 seconds
  • Rest – 10 seconds
  • Skaters – 10 seconds
  • Rest – 10 seconds
  • Push Ups – 10 seconds
  • Rest – 10 seconds
  • Tuck Jumps – 10 seconds
  • Rest – 10 seconds

Then you would rest a couple minutes and repeat, but the work and rest intervals in this 2nd round would be 20 seconds.  Rest a few minutes, repeat with 30 second intervals, and so on as you work your way back down to 10 second intervals.  As with any intense training, make sure to give yourself at least a day or two between this or any other plyo-centric workouts. You muscles – including your heart – need time to recover and rebuild!

If you want to really mix it up, you could try doing this workout in the water (I’d probably switch out the burpees and push ups…).  The water provides additional resistance, which will make the movements more difficult and elicit more strength gains, but it will also greatly decrease the impact of the movements.  Definitely worth a try, and if I had access to a pool, I would be all about it!

As for me, I’m off to go give this bad boy another shot right now…As my Marine brother and his friends would say, “Embrace the suck.”  Good luck, and enjoy the endorphin rush after this plyo-madness!


Do you do plyos regularly?

What are your favorite plyometric exercises?

Would you rather do a plyo workout or do moderate steady-state cardio (running, swimming, etc.)? Both have their place, but most people prefer one over the other.

For more fun bodyweight workouts, check out these quickies!

If you’re in need of a timer, I highly recommend the Tabata HIIT Timer app.   It’s free, has no ads, and lets you customize the number of rounds and length of each work and rest interval, as well as designate a prep interval in the beginning to give you time to set up.  And did I mention it’s free??


5 thoughts on “Plyometrics Pyramid Workout

    1. Burpees??? Girl, you’re hardcore! 😉 I can only handle them here because it’s for 30 seconds tops, haha. Let me know if you give this a shot!

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