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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.





Getting Back Into It

October 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

As Dawn mentioned in a previous post, we gave up our gym memberships because we were basically throwing money down the drain by keeping them and rarely ever going.

There are certain aspects of the gym that I miss and then there are parts that I don’t. I don’t miss the fees, waiting for machines/equipment, and depending on who was working out next to me, the smell.

One of the things I do miss is having access to all the equipment that a big gym would have. Second to the squat rack, the equipment I miss most is the pull-up/chin-up bar; simple yet effective for a good upper body workout. The chin up bars at the gym were usually part of some bigger contraption like a squat rack, pull-down or cable row machine, or dip bar/pull up bar combo. Whatever the case, these are machines we do not have the money or room for in our house.

Well, I think I have managed to fill part of this void as I stumbled upon the Iron Gym home fitness system by ProFit. I found it for twenty bucks at WINNERS and at that price, I figured I’d give it a shot.

The Iron Gym is a pull up bar (and then some) that mounts freely on any standard doorway without any permanent fixtures.

I’ve used the Iron Gym more as a coat-hanger since I got it but I have been using it regularly over the past couple of weeks and it actually does the job. It’s design also allows for it to be easily removed from the door frame and serve as a push-up bar on the ground, as well as a sit-up and dip bar. As a result, you can get a full upper body workout out of it.


I managed to assemble it without much trouble and all the parts and tools needed were included. It also came with a manual which contains assembly instructions, a workout plan, nutrition plan and some tips for success. One of the tips for success that was kind of funny was to place a photo of an “in-shape” celebrity by the door frame for motivation. Um ya, not for me but I will take up some of the other tips:

*Chart your progress and place the chart where you can see it often.

*Set a schedule and stick to it.

*Gradually increase reps over time for more vigorous workouts and don’t try to overexert yourself on the first go.

I was a bit worried at first that it might damage the door frame but the only damage so far has been on the equipment itself as the two foam end pieces that rest against the two side door frame moldings have started to rip. I used some good ol’ duct tape to cover it up and hopefully it will help prevent any further ripping. I’ve also noticed some minor scuffs caused by the black foam and plastic parts. Nothing a magic eraser can’t handle.

Overall, it’s been so far so good with the Iron Gym. It’s been a convenient and inexpensive home workout solution that has helped to fill the void of not having a gym membership, sans the smells.

Rip it up!


Iron Gym Push-ups


Iron Gym Pull-ups and Dips