9 Week Bodyweight Workout For Strength & Muscle Gains

Brad Borland
Written By: Brad Borland
February 19th, 2015
Updated: June 13th, 2020
Categories: Workouts Bodyweight
819.1K Reads
Fit woman doing push up workout on kettlebells
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
  • Main Goal
    General Fitness
  • Workout Type
    Full Body
  • Training Level
    Beginner
  • Program Duration9 weeks
  • Days Per Week
    3
  • Time Per Workout45-75 minutes
  • Equipment Required
    Bodyweight, Other
  • Target Gender Male & Female
  • Workout PDF Download Workout

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.

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.

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 10
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

 

71 Comments
Ammanuel Isaac
Posted on: Fri, 02/11/2022 - 20:47

Can I use my chin up bar to do the inverted rows?

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 02/17/2022 - 18:32

If that is the best option you have, then go for it!

Irshaad
Posted on: Mon, 08/02/2021 - 02:18

Hi

I am currently on week 8 of this program and am planning on taking a 1 week low intensity active rest week after completing week 9.
Can you suggest a follow up bodyweight / calisthenics workout program to do after that?

Thanks

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Marina
Posted on: Wed, 08/04/2021 - 13:45

Hi Irshaad -

You've got a few options here, depending on your goals:

Calisthenics for Lifters: 12 Week Workout to Improve Performance
https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/calisthenics-workout-to-impro...

Body Like A God: A Complete Bodyweight Muscle Building Plan
https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/body-god-complete-bodyweight-...

8 Week Muscle Building Bodyweight Workout
https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/8-week-muscle-building-bodywe...

Let us know if you have anymore questions!

Jerry Cayat
Posted on: Mon, 07/19/2021 - 16:46

I am 11 year old skinny guy can I bulk up
and build strength?

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Abigail
Posted on: Wed, 07/21/2021 - 11:21

Hey Jerry - check out this guide for teenage bodybuilding: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/expert-guides/teenage-bodybuilding

Jerry Cayat
Posted on: Wed, 07/21/2021 - 18:21

Can you sent me the website of full body workout
Bodyweight for 11 years old and meal plan also?
:)

Frank
Posted on: Wed, 05/26/2021 - 05:16

Hi, Am intending on starting your program and wanted to know if it could help me gain muscle on my arms/ abit of body mass too and at the same time improve my chest area and abdomen area.

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Abigail
Posted on: Fri, 05/28/2021 - 09:47

Hey Frank - yes, this program can help you reach your goals.

Josh
Posted on: Thu, 04/08/2021 - 13:06

Should I do my 15 min of cardio after or on off days?

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Abigail
Posted on: Fri, 04/09/2021 - 09:02

Hey Josh - you can do either! Whichever fits into your schedule the best.

Jason
Posted on: Sun, 02/21/2021 - 08:39

What do you have for intermediate level body weight programs?

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Abigail
Posted on: Mon, 02/22/2021 - 10:38

Hey Jason - check out our selection of bodyweight workouts here: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/bodyweight

Jason
Posted on: Thu, 02/25/2021 - 22:42

Thanks Abigail, most of those are Training Level Beginner. Any suggestion on how to scale them?

Preston
Posted on: Sat, 02/13/2021 - 16:10

On your rest days can you do abs?

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Abigail
Posted on: Tue, 02/16/2021 - 10:22

Hey Preston - yes you can.

Patrik
Posted on: Tue, 02/09/2021 - 04:19

Got maybe a more general question about leg training in bodyweight trainings - is it enough for leg muscle growth to have just 2-3 leg excercises in workout? With "just" bodyweight?
I feel like legs need weight to grow even more than any other bodypart, so I am just curious, if it could work ... Thanks in advance for response!

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Abigail
Posted on: Tue, 02/09/2021 - 11:29

Hey Patrik - legs can grow with just bodyweight. This workout does have sufficient leg exercises to stimulate muscle growth.

Marc
Posted on: Fri, 01/22/2021 - 22:45

Can these workouts be done in circuit fashion to increase cardio benefit?

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Abigail
Posted on: Mon, 01/25/2021 - 10:18

Hey Marc - yes they can.

Jim
Posted on: Thu, 12/17/2020 - 18:02

In my dieting if I take a calorie surplus and do this 9 week workout program will it help bulk me up.

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Abigail
Posted on: Fri, 12/18/2020 - 09:59

Hey Jim - yes it should

Melissa
Posted on: Wed, 08/26/2020 - 10:45

Love it, Now I can start doing something productive : >

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Marina
Posted on: Wed, 08/26/2020 - 11:59

That's what we like to hear, Melissa! Let us know how this works out for you.

Anders
Posted on: Fri, 07/10/2020 - 14:23

Great program! No beginner is going to be able to do 3 sets of 15 pushups though (maybe on his/her knees). So to beginners, use the program, but cut down on the reps ;)

Pawan
Posted on: Wed, 04/01/2020 - 11:45

What about the shoulder body part does the exercise go to that muscle

Ahmed
Posted on: Wed, 09/04/2019 - 17:44

Hi, in first week if I do 15 rep in first set then second set I can't do more than 6 and in third set I can't do more than 5 ..is that ok ?! If no what should I do?

Ahmed
Posted on: Thu, 09/05/2019 - 16:31

I talk about push up workout

Raff
Posted on: Mon, 04/06/2020 - 08:09

Stick to week 1 until you can.

Anurag Kumar Singh
Posted on: Sat, 06/27/2020 - 17:23

Its ok . You gotta gain some strength which will come as you comtinue to workout. Meanwhile after hitting your max in regular pushup , start doing pushups on knees.

joshua hunter
Posted on: Fri, 06/07/2019 - 19:58

Amazing workout plan I love it the results are crazy long as you work hard and stick with it

zain
Posted on: Sun, 01/24/2021 - 16:03

how were the results did you gain a decent amount of muscle?

Ronan
Posted on: Tue, 02/19/2019 - 16:00

Hi, I'm slightly confused on the rep and rest with this workout.

For example am I supposed to do 1 sets of 15 reps for push ups and then rest for 30-60 seconds and then do my second set of 15 push ups, and do that for every individual set of each exercise.

Or do I do 1 set of 15 pushups, 1 set of 10 inverted rows, 1 set of 10 diamond pushups and then once I've done 1 set for every individual exercise take a 30-60 second rest and start from the top again. For a total of only three 30-60 second rest periods?

Thanks!

Saugata Roy
Posted on: Thu, 09/27/2018 - 05:14

Hi
Is high reps(30+) of bodyweight exercises effective for building descent amount of muscle??
Thanks

Abhishek
Posted on: Fri, 07/20/2018 - 11:23

Can this build muscles if I'm an intermediate and used to exercises mentioned above. Or is there another preferable routine for maximum muscle growth.

Lal Sangkima
Posted on: Mon, 07/09/2018 - 21:18

Can I combine this workout with weight training I lift 3 times a week and rest on days I can do this workout to feel up my free times will that be okay

Steve
Posted on: Fri, 05/18/2018 - 00:10

Hi I’m a beginner rock climber, and decided to start this plan to gain strength and lose fat. I workout mwf and chose to run on tuesdays and Thursday’s. Will my current routine be effective, or should I switch it up?

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JoshEngland
Posted on: Fri, 05/18/2018 - 09:28

Hi Steve,

Sounds like an effective plan to me :)

Hope this helps!

Josh
Posted on: Sun, 04/08/2018 - 17:51

In AMRAP if I can knock off say 50 reps of the pushup variations is that ok and will 4x50 build decent muscle?
Thanks!

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JoshEngland
Posted on: Mon, 04/09/2018 - 09:20

Hi Josh,

Yes that is ok and yes you'll build muscle (although if you're capable of doing that you should already have solid muscle).

Hope this helps!

Eddie
Posted on: Thu, 02/08/2018 - 11:41

Hey I'm confused about how the sets and rest between them work. For instance, do you rest the 30-60 seconds between each set in an individual exercise? Do you go through 1 set of each exercise and then rest after you're done with all of them? Or do you do a whole exercise without rest then rest after you're done with all the sets in the exercise?
If you could clear this up for me that would really help!

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JoshEngland
Posted on: Thu, 02/08/2018 - 13:40

Hi Eddie,

Rest 30-60 seconds after each set of each individual exercise.

Hope this helps!

Isaiah
Posted on: Sat, 02/03/2018 - 02:37

Hey Brad, I'm trying to gain weight and build some muscle for my last year of high school football. Will this program help me achieve that? I weigh 135 lbs at the moment and really need a life saver for senior year. Feel free to message me via email or just reply. Pleas hit me back as soon as you can.

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JoshEngland
Posted on: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 09:39

Hi Isaiah,

Try any of these sport specific workouts: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/sports

They're likely better options for football than this workout program.

Hope this helps!

Jose
Posted on: Thu, 01/25/2018 - 12:03

On the first phase, do you go thru all the exercises and that counts as a set or do you do each for the said set and rest in between each exercise?

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JoshEngland
Posted on: Fri, 01/26/2018 - 15:24

Hi Jose,

You can do either or depending on your experience level and goals. You could start off by performing them a set at a time, then work to progress to performing as a circuit.

Hope this helps!

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

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

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JoshEngland
Posted on: Thu, 08/31/2017 - 09:18

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!

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

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?

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

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