The 9-9-9 Workout

December 13, 2011 in Exercise

The 9-9-9 WorkoutWhen we’re short on time but feel like we need to move our butts, we typically opt for short and intense workouts with minimal to zero rest breaks. In November, we experimented with the 9-9-9 workout which we discovered on the Men’s Health website.

The first 9 refers to the number of repetitions performed of each exercise; the second 9 is the number of rounds of the circuit; and the third 9 is the maximum number of minutes to finish the entire workout. Essentially, the task is to complete the entire workout as fast as possible (hopefully, in under 9 minutes).

We made a slight modification to the workout due to the fact that we don’t have the set-up at home to safely perform inverted rows, opting for bent- over rows instead. We also chose to do plyometric squats instead of body weight (air) squats to increase the intensity of the workout.

Here’s our version of the circuit:

1. Plyometric (jumping) squats: 9 reps
2. Push-ups: 9 reps
3. Bent-over rows: 9 reps
4. Jumping Jacks: 9 reps

That’s one round. We managed to complete the 9 rounds of the circuit with zero rest between rounds. Here are our results:

Nov 4:       Jerrick-8:51; Dawn-8:12

Nov 13:     Jerrick-7:25; Dawn-6:55

Nov 26:    Jerrick- 7:42; Dawn: 7:34

For the bent-over rows, I used two 25 lbs. dumbbells and Jerrick used a 65 lbs. barbell. During our workout on Nov 26, I struggled with the push-ups at the end and had to modify them for a few reps in the final round of the workout. I was definitely challenged by the race against time.

9-9-9 Push-ups


9-9-9 Bentover Rows

Bent-over rows

9-9-9 Plyometric Squats

Plyometric Squats

I like the flexibility of this workout, in that it can be modified in so many ways. Whether you want to increase the intensity or if you don’t have the equipment, here are some modifications that can be experimented with:

  • Burpees or mountain climbers instead of  jumping jacks
  • Bodyweight (air) squats or dumbbell squats instead of plyometric squats
  • Renegade rows with dumbbells/kettlebells or seated rows with resistance bands can replace the bent-over rows
  • Bench press, swiss ball push-ups or spiderman pushups instead of regular push-ups
  • Plastic milk jugs filled with water or sand can substitute for dumbbells
  • ….the possibilities are endless.

Here’s a link to the Men’s Health 9-9-9 Workout.

Give it a try and let us know how it goes. We’d love to hear from you.