It's day five of the 8-week STRONGER Challenge, and that means it's time for plyometrics! Plyo-what?! Basically, think of it as jump training. Plyometrics (a.k.a. plyo) is defined as activities that enable a muscle to reach maximal force in the shortest amount of time, according to the National Strength and Conditional Association.
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Elite athletes use plyometric exercises to enhance their power and performance. And you can adopt this training style, too, which also burns a ton of calories and improves your strength and cardiovascular endurance.
But if you're worried about how you'll make it through this workout if you have knee, shoulder, back or other joint issues or injuries, fear not! As long as your doctor, physical therapist or orthopedist gives you the all-clear, there are modifications for each of the moves in this workout that take out the jump, so it's easier on your joints. Just give it your all and be amazed at your results!
How to Sign Up for the STRONGER Challenge
1. Download the MyPlate app for iOS or and create your account. If you're on Android or don't have a smartphone, you can also use the desktop version. Make sure you set January 8 as your start date so you can be on the same page as the rest of the LIVESTRONG.COM community!
2. On your start date (we're launching our next challenge January 8th), you'll be able to log into your account and click on “Meal Plan” in the bottom navigation bar of the app. There, you'll have access to each day's meals as well as each week's shopping list.
3. For each meal and snack, track your calories by clicking the check mark next to each food or recipe. If you need to deviate from the meal plan, you can also enter foods manually from the “Track” tab on the bottom navigation. Just search for your food and click the “I Ate This” button. Also be sure to track your water intake from the “Track” tab.
5. Track the STRONGER workouts in MyPlate. On the app's main page, click Exercise then search STRONGER. All of the workouts will be listed below. Select the one you performed that day.
6. Join our LIVESTRONG.COM Challenge Facebook Group to get daily tips, encouragement and motivation! You can also join the conversation in our community boards in the app ("Community" on the bottom navigation) and on desktop.
7. Do the workouts with us, cross them off the calendar and post about it in the Facebook group. We're cheering for you!
Readers — Are you joining us for the 8-week STRONGER Challenge? What do you think of the STRONGER workouts? Have you taken a look at the meal plan yet? Are you having any trouble accessing and using either of them? Have you ever done a fitness challenge group before? How did it go for you? Have you joined our LIVESTRONG.COM Challenge Group on Facebook? Leave a comment below and let us know!