Introducing: The 9:1 Workout

Ready for your next gym challenge? A workout to target strength, endurance and mass and to help kickstart your 2018 gains…

 

I call this the 9:1 Workout because it’s based around a 9-day split, and each workout contains one key compound exercise with 9 pyramid sets. It’s best for slightly more advanced fitness levels due to the high volume and strain required. If you feel very sore you can pop an extra rest day in between any of the days to avoid overtraining and allowing your body to recover fully.

 

Each routine starts off with either an isolation exercise - to target muscles that are quite commonly neglected or underdeveloped; or a pre-exhaustion exercise - to force your body to afterwards really target the desired muscle(s) more, for the full pyramid sets.

 

Click each exercise for full instructions and a demonstration video via BodyBuilding.com.

 

Full pyramid - 9 sets:

Start with a weight that you can comfortably manage doing 15 reps with. You will gradually increase the weight for the first 5 sets, before you decrease for the last 4. As the weight increases the amount of repetitions goes down (from 15 to 12, then 10, then 8 then 6), and then when the weight decreases again the amount of reps will go back up.

An example:

1st set: 15 reps at 20 kg

2nd set: 12 reps at 22 kg

3rd set: 10 reps at 24 kg

4th set: 8 reps at 26 kg

5th set: 6 reps at 24 kg

6th set: 8 reps at 26 kg

7th set: 10 reps at 24 kg

8th set: 12 reps at 22 kg

9th set: 15 reps at 20 kg

 

Burnout sets:

Each routine will have a burnout set at the end where you do 1 set to muscle failure, ideally around 12 reps and no more than 15. If you have time you can do the burnout set as a drop set x 3: after the first set immediately drop the weight down and squeeze out as many reps as you can again, then drop the weight further down for one last set of as many reps as you can muster.

 

 

Day 1: Chest

Suggested warm-up: Dynamic chest stretches, row machine for 2-5 minutes

Cable crossover, 3 x 15 reps

Incline dumbbell press, full pyramid 9 sets

Incline dumbbell flyes, 3 x 12 reps

Low cable crossover, 3 x 12 reps

Burnout set: Chest press machine, 1-3 sets to failure

 

Day 2: Glutes

Suggested warm-up: Incline treadmill walk for 5-10 minutes

Single-leg press, 3 x 15 reps on each leg

Pull through, full pyramid 9 sets

One-legged cable kick back, 3 x 15 reps on each leg

Thigh abductor, 3 x 15 reps

Single leg glute bridge, 1 x 25 reps on each leg

Burnout set: Flutter kicks, 1-3 sets to failure

 

Day 3: Back

Suggested warm-up: Arm swings, row machine for 2-5 minutes

Pull-ups / assisted pull-ups, 3 x 15 reps

T-bar row with handle, full pyramid 9 sets

Shotgun row, 3 x 15 reps on each arm

Hyperextensions, 3 x 15 reps

Burnout set: V-bar pulldown or underhand cable pulldowns, 1-3 sets to failure

 

Day 4: Active rest day

Suggested: 30-45 minutes incline walk on treadmill in the fat burn zone

 

Day 5: Biceps and triceps

Suggested warm-up: Dynamic stretches

Dips, bodyweight/assisted or weighted, 3 x 15 reps

Wide-grip standing barbell curl, 3 x 15 reps

Superset: 1) Dumbbell floor press, full pyramid 9 sets

2) Hammer curls, full pyramid 9 sets

(The two exercises above are done back-to-back to save time, rest after completing the hammer curl set)

E-Z bar skull crusher, 3 x 15 reps

Zottman curl, 3 x 15 reps

Burnout triceps: Reverse grip triceps pushdown, 1-3 sets to failure

Burnout biceps: Standing biceps cable curl, 1-3 sets to failure

 

Day 6: Legs

Suggested warm-up: Cycling 5 minutes

Single-leg press, 3 x 15 reps on each leg

Barbell full squat, full pyramid 9 sets

Calf press on the leg press machine, 3 x 15 reps

Burnout 1: Leg extensions, 1-3 sets to failure

Burnout 2: Lying or seated leg curls, 1-3 sets to failure

 

Day 7: Total rest day

 

Day 8: Shoulders

Suggested warm-up: Dynamic stretches, rowing 2-5 minutes

Reverse flyes, 3 x 15 reps

Seated dumbbell press, full pyramid 9 sets

Superset: 1) Single dumbbell raise, 3 x 15 reps

2) Car drivers, 3 x 15 reps (a turn each way is 1 rep)

Standing dumbbell upright row, 3 x 12 reps

Burnout: TRX / handstand push-ups, 1-3 sets to failure

 

Day 9: Abs

Suggested warm-up: 5-10 minutes crosstrainer

Bottoms up, 3 x 15 reps

Rope crunch, full pyramid 9 sets

Standing cable lift, 3 x 15 reps on each side

Ab roller / barbell ab rollout on knees, 3 x 10-15 reps

Burnout: Decline reverse crunch, 1-3 sets to failure

Add-on superset: 1) Stomach vacuum, 1 set to failure

2) Plank, 1 set to failure

 

Happy training!