Classes that appeal to athletes often intimidate many beginning- and intermediate-level exercisers; however, participants of all levels can do a challenging plyometrics class if you give them options. Jumping, in fact, can provide a foundation for inclusive, fun and effective training. By teaching with layers, you facilitate self-paced progression that challenges everyone.

Jump Onboard Details

Format: Layered plyometric intervals using a step platform.
Total time: Approximately 1 hour. Each five-layer block can take anywhere from 1 minute 45 seconds to 3 minutes. Repeating each block twice, using six different blocks, can take anywhere from 15 to 40 minutes. Add the warm-up and cool-down to complete the class.
Equipment: One step platform per participant; however, any equipment can easily be incorporated.
Music: High-energy music set to 130 beats per minute. This will help you keep time for your intervals without a stopwatch.
Additional notes:

  • In each block include five levels of the same exercise, taught in 15- to 30-second layers (one or two 32-count musical phrases).
  • Help everyone feel successful by beginning with layer one and progressing gradually to layer five.
  • Stay on each layer for at least 15–30 seconds (one 32-count phrase is approximately 15 seconds for music set at 130 bpm).
  • Move to the next layer, and advise students to remain at the previous one if they don’t want to progress.
  • After introducing all five intervals, encourage students to choose a level of difficulty just beyond their comfort zone for a final 30-second, all-out push.
  • Include a 30- to 60-second active recovery between rounds.
  • Repeat each interval 2–4 times, switching lead legs on unilateral exercises.

Warm-Up (10–12 minutes)

Always provide a thorough warm-up before performing plyometric drills. Keep movements simple and athletic, and gradually increase intensity. Include layers in your warm-up to preview the class structure. Here are some appropriate exercises for an athletic interval class like this one:

  • Start with step-touch that becomes small side-to-side leap, and then big leap. Return to step-touch, and repeat.
  • Do basic squat that becomes double-time squat, and then add small hop. Return to squat, and repeat.
  • March on floor, and transition to basic step on platform; then jog on platform. Return to march, and repeat.

Sample Block #1: Basic Jump-Up (~3–6 minutes)

  • Layer 1: Step up and down on platform (basic step).
  • Layer 2: Remaining on floor, jump forward and step back.
  • Layer 3: Jump up onto platform; step down.
  • Layer 4: Jump up onto platform; jump down.
  • Layer 5: Jump up onto platform and land in squat position to touch platform. Jump down and squat to touch platform again.

Sample Block #2: Repeater Knee Hops (~3–6 minutes)

  • Layer 1: Do repeater knee on floor.
  • Layer 2: Do repeater knee on platform.
  • Layer 3: Do repeater knee; hop on third knee lift.
  • Layer 4: Do repeater knee; hop on first and third knee lifts.
  • Layer 5: Do repeater knee; hop on all three knee lifts.
  • Switch sides.

Sample Block #3: Lateral Leap-Over (~3–6 minutes)

  • Turn platform to vertical position.
  • Layer 1: Do step-touch on floor.
  • Layer 2: Step over platform laterally and tap toe on platform.
  • Layer 3: Step over platform and lift knee.
  • Layer 4: Leap over platform and tap toe on floor.
  • Layer 5: Jump laterally over platform with feet together.

For more sample blocks, please see “Sample Class: Jump Onboard” in the online IDEA Library or in the June 2013 issue of IDEA Fitness Journal.