BeWOW: The 21-15-9 Workout

Our latest Be Well Workout of the Week.



Did any of you guys catch the CrossFit Games this weekend? I stumbled onto them on ESPN2 the other night, and for the next three hours I watched the most insanely fit people on the planet do unthinkable things with their bodies in the name of fitness. It. Was. Awesome.

The point of CrossFit is to train in every aspect of fitness to create a well-rounded athlete. This keeps the body guessing and working hard, plus you wind up pushing your body to places you never thought possible. What a great fitness philosophy, right?

So in honor of the CrossFit Games, this week’s workout is inspired by the 21-15-9 CrossFit workout. But don’t worry, you won’t be doing any muscle-ups today. You’ll start by doing 21 reps of each exercise, then you’ll run a 400-meter sprint. Next you’ll do 15 reps, then run 400 meters again. And for the last round, you’ll do nine reps and and finish the workout with a strong 400-meter run. (If you aren’t on a track, just use the treadmill or elliptical for the sprint.)

BeWOW: The 21-15-9 Workout

Deadlift with dumbbells
Squat with overhead press (or do cleans if you know how)
Box jumps (or squat jumps, if you don’t have anything to jump on)

Explanation of exercises

Deadlifts withdumbbells: Hold dumbbells with arms extended down so they’re resting on your thighs, feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping shoulders back and abs tight (and without locking your knees), bend at the hips and let the weights lower towards the floor, going as far as you can without bending your knees too much. Drive your heels in to the floor and stand to return to the starting position.

Push-up: Start lying face down with your chest on the floor, with hands facing forward and palms down in line with your shoulders; elbows should be pointing back. Push up until arms are extended (the inside of the elbow should be facing forward) and drop back down.

Squat with overhead press: Hold the weights at your shoulders, do a squat.  As you stand back up, press the weights over your head.  Return them to your shoulders as you squat back down.

Burpee: Just like an up-down in football. Put your hands on the ground, jump your feet out behind you so you’re in push-up position, lower to the ground, bring your feet back in, and stand up.

Box jumpsPick a sturdy surface you can jump up on to safely (maybe a bench or a step). Jump on the box, landing with both feet and in a squat at the top. Step back down.


Audrey McKenna Hasse is the owner of A.M.Fit, a personal training and healthy consultation business on the Main Line. You’ll find her workouts every Monday right here on Be Well Philly.

Like what you’re reading? Stay in touch with Be Well Philly—here’s how: