9 Week Bodyweight Workout For Strength & Muscle Gains

9 Week Bodyweight Workout
Not only does this bodyweight routine enable you to gain muscle and lose fat, but also helps strengthen your core, improve your range of motion, and make your entire body stronger.

Workout Summary

General Fitness
Full Body
Beginner
3
Bodyweight, Other
Male & Female

Workout Description

Bodyweight training is the fastest growing trend in fitness to date for good reason. The benefits greatly outweigh the drawbacks – because there really aren’t any. Adopting bodyweight training either as stand-alone workouts or as part of your existing program will not only spark new enthusiasm, but will also incorporate real-world bodyweight moves making you full-body strong.

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What Can It Do For You?

  • Shore-up weak spots in your range of motion
  • Strengthen your core on almost every exercise
  • Make you whole-body strong by supporting your own weight
  • Turn you into one functional, athletic machine!
  • Engage a host of supportive muscle that was once ignored through too much isolation work

5 Things You Should Know Before You Start

  1. You can gain muscle and lose fat doing bodyweight workouts: Yes, contrary to meatheads in your local gym you can gain an appreciable amount of muscle performing bodyweight exercises. The key is to know how to be progressive and up the ante regarding difficulty. Still not convinced? Just look at male gymnasts. They have massive shoulders and arms anyone would envy from simply doing bodyweight training.
  2. Challenge yourself: Learning the proper way to perform exercises with precise form and how to progress and regress when needed will give you all the tools you need to challenge yourself. Shifting your bodyweight, single-limb movements and speed of reps are just a few ways to add to the intensity.
  3. Stay efficient: The beauty of bodyweight training is the ability to kill two birds with one stone, namely cardio and strength training. This type of training combines these two factors into one fast-paced, fat scorching, muscle-building workout. Keeping an eye on pace and simply sustaining your own bodyweight will have your muscles and lungs working overtime.

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  1. Keep it interesting: Just as you would your traditional weight training, feel free to change up your bodyweight workouts. There’s more than one way to perform a push-up, pull-up or squat. With seemingly countless ways to change up movements it won’t be hard at all to keep it interesting and challenging all the while keeping you on the right road to progress. Change it up, have some fun!
  2. Adding to your arsenal is easy: Though conventional bodyweight training has you using, well, your own bodyweight, you can easily add in a few tools without too much hassle or money. Kettlebells, bands, weight plates, benches, steps and blocks can be extremely useful pieces of equipment that are not only effective additions but also cheap to boot. As you advance, get stronger and build muscle you may want to include a few of these to your program.

So let’s take your newfound love and understanding of bodyweight training and put it into practice. Below is a complete 9-week bodyweight workout solution anyone can do. Starting with the simple basics, it’s progressive, challenging and contains enough variation to keep you coming back for more.

 

A video posted by Jen Jewell (@fitnessjewell) on

The 9-Week Progressive Bodyweight Workout

Phase 1: Weeks 1 – 3

This phase introduces you to the basic bodyweight exercises and progresses your volume slightly each week. Perform the following routine three times per week on nonconsecutive days such as Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Rest 30 – 60 seconds between sets.

AMRAP = As many reps as possible

WEEK 1 Sets Reps
Push-Ups 3 15
Inverted Rows 3 10
Diamond Push-Ups 3 10
Deep Squats (3 Second Pause At Bottom) 3 15
Single Leg Calf Raises 3 15
Stationary Lunges 3 10
Lying Leg Raises 3 10
Floor Crunches 3 3x10
WEEK 2 Sets Reps
Push-Ups 4 15
Inverted Rows 4 10
Diamond Push-Ups 4 10
Deep Squats (3 Second Pause At Bottom) 4 15
Single Leg Calf Raises 4 15
Stationary Lunges 4 10
Lying Leg Raises 4 10
Floor Crunches 4 10
WEEK 3 Sets Reps
Push-Ups 4 AMRAP
Inverted Rows 4 AMRAP
Diamond Push-Ups 4 AMRAP
Deep Squats (3 Second Pause At Bottom) 4 20
Single Leg Calf Raises 4 AMRAP
Stationary Lunges 4 20
Lying Leg Raises 4 15
Floor Crunches 4 15

Phase 2: Weeks 4 – 6

This phase increases the intensity and difficulty. Since you will be performing more challenging moves you will again build up your volume over time. Perform the following routine three times per week on nonconsecutive days such as Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Rest 30 – 60 seconds between sets.

WEEK 1 Sets Reps
Feet Elevated Push-Ups 4 15
Medium-Width Grip Pull-Ups 4 10
Feet Elevated Diamond Push-Ups 4 10
Rear-Foot Elevated Bulgarian Split Squats 4 10
Jump Squats 4 10
Single Leg Calf Raises 4 AMRAP
Decline Board Crunches 4 10
Hanging Leg Raises 4 10
WEEK 2 Sets Reps
Feet Elevated Push-Ups 4 20
Medium-Width Grip Pull-Ups 4 15
Feet Elevated Diamond Push-Ups 4 15
Rear-Foot Elevated Bulgarian Split Squats 4 15
Jump Squats 4 15
Single Leg Calf Raises 4 AMRAP
Decline Board Crunches 4 15
Hanging Leg Raises 4 15
WEEK 3 Sets Reps
Feet Elevated Push-Ups 4 AMRAP
Medium-Width Grip Pull-Ups 4 AMRAP
Feet Elevated Diamond Push-Ups 4 AMRAP
Rear-Foot Elevated Bulgarian Split Squats 4 15
Jump Squats 4 15
Single Leg Calf Raises 4 AMRAP
Decline Board Crunches 4 15
Hanging Leg Raises 4 15
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Phase 3: Weeks 7 – 9

This phase increases the intensity and difficulty yet again so building up your tolerance to volume will be the goal. Exercises labeled as 1A, 1B, for example are performed back-to-back without rest. After the two sets are completed you can then rest for 30 seconds. Perform the following routine three times per week on nonconsecutive days such as Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Week 3 will utilize a few bodyweight assisted pieces of equipment.

WEEK 1 Sets Reps
1A: Feet Elevated Push-Ups 3 15
1B: Medium or Wide-Grip Pull-Ups 3 10
2A: Parallel Bar Dips or Bench Dips 3 15
2B: Reverse-Grip Chin-Ups 3 10
3A: Rear-Foot Elevated Bulgarian Split Squats 3 10
3B: Reverse Lunges 3 10
4A: Box Jumps 3 10
4B: Single Leg Calf Raises 3 15
5A: Bicycle Crunches 3 15
5B: Lying Leg Raises 3 15
WEEK 2 Sets Reps
1A: Feet Elevated Push-Ups 3 AMRAP
1B: Medium or Wide-Grip Pull-Ups 3 AMRAP
2A: Parallel Bar or Bench Dips 3 AMRAP
2B: Reverse-Grip Chin-Ups 3 AMRAP
3A: Rear-Foot Elevated Bulgarian Split Squats 3 15-20
3B: Reverse Lunges 3 15
4A: Box Jumps 3 15
4B: Single Leg Calf Raises 3 20
5A: Bicycle Crunches 3 20
5B: Lying Leg Raises 3 20
WEEK 3 Sets Reps
1A: Feet Elevated Push-Ups w/ Bands 3 AMRAP
1B: Weighted Medium-Grip Pull-Ups 3 AMRAP
2A: TRX Triceps Extensions 3 AMRAP
2B: TRX Biceps Curls 3 AMRAP
3A: Jump Split Squats 3 20
3B: Weighted Rear-Foot Elevated Bulgarian Split Squats 3 15
4A: Weighted Single Leg Calf Raise 3 15
4B: Kettlebell Sumo Squats 3 20
5A: TRX Pikes 3 15
5B: TRX Leg Tucks 3 15

 

25 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Thu, 08/31/2017 - 08:43
Jared

What do I do on the days I am not working out?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 08/31/2017 - 09:18
JoshEngland

Hi Jared,

Rest and recover. If you really want to do something, do something light such as a recovery walk. Use those off days to focus on your nutrition, sleep, and stress management. All of which play a HUGE roll in accomplishing your goals.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Wed, 08/30/2017 - 16:22
Emmanuel

i do not have some of the equipment for some exercises. Do you know any exercises that are equivalent in results to those exercises i cant do?

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Posted Sun, 05/07/2017 - 20:45
Dozier

Is that right on Week 1 Phase 1 for floor crunches? 3 sets of 3x10? 90 crunches?

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Posted Sun, 01/03/2016 - 13:37
Aashish

Hi Brad,

Thanks for sharing this schedule. I have started this workout from today. Would like to know how to manage a clean diet (an indian diet..we have lots of carb in it)..want to loose about 44 pounds in 6 months..morever a the goal is to achieve athletic fitness

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Posted Sat, 01/02/2016 - 05:17
Frankie

Hi Brad,
I can't wait to try this workout!!! It'll be a great start to the year. I have two quick questions ...
1. In Week 1 you have floor crunches 3 sets at 3x10 reps is that a type-o? It should be 3 sets at 10 reps, correct?
2. Unfortunately, I neither have TRX nor access to TRX. So I was wondering what the non-TRX comparable exercise(s) would be?
Looking forward to your answers!!! All the best!!!

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Posted Wed, 09/02/2015 - 11:48
Henry

I would like to see people who have done this and have gotten results cause I'm not so sure to just start and is there a diet plan

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Posted Sun, 09/06/2015 - 09:19
Greg

Henry
I did this program. I burned fat and got a lot stronger! I did yoga on my off days. Any stretching on the off days will assist your recover and enhance your gains. Push yourself every workout and experiment with a diet. There are a lot of diets on this site and enough advice to formulate a diet for YOU. You'll find that listening to your body is a big factor in arriving at a diet right for you.
You'll get results with this program to be sure. Dive in!

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Posted Thu, 02/02/2017 - 02:39
dean

thats true

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Posted Sun, 07/26/2015 - 09:11
Greg

Brad
I am about to begin week 9 of this program. I have been eating clean, resting and doing yoga on my off days and have not felt this good since I was in my 20's and I'm 58! I have been doing only body weight workouts for the past two years for the sake of my joints. I gave up flour and sugar in March and have lost 25 lbs.
Question: my body is telling me to rest...how long should I rest between programs? What would you suggest I do during these rest periods? Any suggestion for my next challenge?
I'm getting older but I am NOT getting old!
Thanks for your encouragement. I appreciate your writing and articles!

BradBorland's picture
Posted Mon, 07/27/2015 - 12:44
BradBorland

Hi Greg. Thanks for the kind words.

Wow! You sound like you are in incredible shape and have made some great choices for better health. As far as rest is concerned, I would either take a couple of days off completely or do some active recovery for a full week. This can include walking, biking, stretching, rolling, light cardio, etc. That way you keep your metabolism going without getting too lazy and sluggish.

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Posted Wed, 06/17/2015 - 13:46
Sara

Will I still get results even though it is on a beginner level

BradBorland's picture
Posted Fri, 06/19/2015 - 11:30
BradBorland

Hi Sara. Absolutely! Beginner programs are oftentimes the best to follow. Sometimes we get so tied up in advanced routines and techniques that we lose sight of the "simpler is better model."

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Posted Wed, 04/29/2015 - 06:43
Daniel

Doing an 8 week challe ge and using this is my fitness guide. A mate told me about it and looking at it has me super pumped to get started. In always worried about going to the gym and not knowing what to do and now i have a guide. Thanks heaps guys will let you know how i get on

BradBorland's picture
Posted Thu, 04/30/2015 - 12:14
BradBorland

Thanks, Daniel!

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Posted Tue, 03/24/2015 - 09:23
Daniel

Hi, I have one Question. For example in Week 1, do i have to perform first three sets of push-ups and continue then with 3 sets of inverted rows or should you perform in a circuit style?

BradBorland's picture
Posted Tue, 03/24/2015 - 10:40
BradBorland

Hi Daniel, alternate them circuit style.

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Posted Sun, 05/07/2017 - 20:44
Dozier

Still not clear in regards to your response..
i.e.
Week 1 Phase 1 circuit style:
Push-Ups 15
Inverted Rows 10
Diamond Push-Ups 10
Deep Squats (3 Second Pause At Bottom) 15
Single Leg Calf Raises 15
Stationary Lunges 10
Lying Leg Raises 10
Floor Crunches 10
Rest for 30-60
Repeat above two more times.

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Posted Tue, 03/10/2015 - 05:18
Chris

Hi,
What is one set?
Is one set doing all exercise in succession, then resting 30-60 sec?
or
Is one set for example 15 pushups, then rest 30-60 sec?

Should I do all push ups before i go to the next exercise or do all exercises once, rest, repeat?

BradBorland's picture
Posted Tue, 03/10/2015 - 10:51
BradBorland

Hi Chris, you would do one set of each pair back-to-back without rest. Once you do one set, then rest.

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Posted Sat, 02/28/2015 - 07:28
Naveen

Starting this Monday but I will add 1 total body resistance training every week. Very exited. The only supplement which I believe taking is creatine. I eat lot of veggies,chicken and fish. So I don't like to waste my money on supplements. Just finished with "21 days fast and furious shredding cycle" of this website. Lost 5-6 lbs within 21 days of that workout cycle.

BradBorland's picture
Posted Sat, 02/28/2015 - 22:25
BradBorland

That is awesome, Naveen! Thanks for sharing...

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Posted Tue, 02/24/2015 - 16:47
Karen

This looks fantastic! Would you recommend incorporating it at the end of a workout in a circuit style? It would be great for strength and to get my cardio for the day in without half-heartedly making my way over to the elliptical or treadmill. Thanks!

BradBorland's picture
Posted Wed, 02/25/2015 - 15:28
BradBorland

Hi Karen, thanks so much!

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Posted Wed, 01/04/2017 - 20:51
Scout Flodquist

Can i do this everyday of the week to get better results?