Elizabeth Andrews by Elizabeth Andrews
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It’s that time of year again…holiday parties, cookies, pies, eggnog, spirits, mass consumption. Even for those of us that make fitness our business, we can—and do— overindulge. So, just in case you or your clients happen to overindulge at this time of year, here are a few metabolic drills that can raise your regular training drills to a higher level. Perform these exercises as timed intervals or for a specific number of reps, depending on your class structure or training goals.

Shuttle Runs PLUS 

Place two cones about 5 to 6 feet apart (or more if you have the space). Run and touch each cone as fast as you can. 

shuttle run

To amp up this exercise, you’ll need four or five moderate-sized weights. Pick one weight up and run as fast as you can to other weights. Place the one you are holding down, pick up another one and run it to other side. Repeat this pattern until time is up. Try to alternate the side you pick up with and use your hips. 

shuttle run

Shins to Tucks 

Traditional tuck jumps—taking a squat jump and drawing your knees into your chest—are a challenge.

tuck jumps

To amp up this exercise, begin kneeling on the floor. Jump up from your shins into a deep squat and then immediately jump into a wide tuck and repeat. 

tuck jumps

Squat Jump to Clap 

Regular squat jumps are a typical part of boot camp-style classes. Lifting the arms helps lift the whole body.

tuck jumps

To amp up this exercise, clap your feet directly under your butt. Begin with your feet slightly less wide than you would have them for a regular squat jump. And, as with any plyometric movement, try to land as if you are on glass, so the hips take the impact rather than the back and feet. 

tuck jumps

Over the Bench 

The traditional movement has you jumping over a cone. Keep your wrists stacked under shoulders and be careful not to collapse into the shoulders. Instead, extend through your back like you are pushing the floor away. The goal is to drive the hips toward the ceiling and keep your body weight centered as you jump back and forth over the cone as fast as you can with great form. 

over the bench

To amp up this exercise, swap out the cone for a bench that is 2 to 3 feet tall. Follow the same principles of form, recognizing that much more strength, power and stability are required to clear the bench versus the cone.   

over the bench

Traveling Spider Push-ups 

Traditional spider-man push-ups can be very challenging, requiring stability, strength, rotation and mobility to move through all planes of motion. 

spider pushups

To amp up this exercise, move across the floor while pretending to crawl under a barbed-wire fence.

spider pushup

Hill Sprints 

Sprints are tough on a good day, and hill sprints take them to a whole new level. If you don’t have a hill to run up, set a treadmill to 1.5% grade and increase your speed until you reach a full sprint. Maintain this speed for 15 to 20 seconds and then use the rails to push off and straddle belt. Rest and then get back on the belt. 

hill sprints

To amp up this exercise, set the grade to 10 to 15% and increase your speed to a full sprint. Ideally, you should be able to maintain your sprint in the middle-to-front of the belt. 


It is important to note that every individual’s fitness level is different and we recommend using the ACE IFT Model to provide customized fitness programs and progressions to your clients.

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