Posted 14 September 2014 by Alex Stuart

Hardcore Training Part 2:

The 21 to 15 to 9 Method


Hardcore Training: Part 2

I like to use this style of training to completely exhaust the entire body. The way 21-15-9 does this is by utilizing many exercises per workout while still keep intensity at its peak.

You will also notice when I go into more detail about the exercise arrangement I like to make sure that all areas of the body get touched on. This is a key factor in making the 21-15-9 Training Style so effective.

The name 21-15-9 pretty much gives it away. This style of training is done in in repetitive fashion with 21-15-9 being the target rep ranges for each giant set while having no breaks between exercise and sets. I like to pick 5 exercises that focus on separate parts of the body. Lowerbody being exercises that are compound movements and 2 or more exercises that will focus on this area. Here is the break down below:

You will perform 21 Reps of each exercise with no rest between sets, once you have finished each exercise you will start from the beginning performing 15 reps and so forth until the final set of 9 reps per exercise. As mentioned above there is no resting between exercises and or transitions from 21 rep scheme to 15 and so on to 9 reps.

The goal is to finish the entire program. As with the 15-1 training method if you fail during any part of the training, note where in the workout this happened then at that time lower the weight to be able to continue until you finish. Next time around use less weight until you are able to finish the workout entirely without stopping.

Intensity is key to making the 21-15-9 workout style effective, being that I am designing this series for home use Speed and Time are the best way to increase intensity. That being said increasing weight also will help increased intensity. I find that moderate weight coupled with a focus on improved time in completion of workout is the best formula for results.

Below I am going to lay out 5 of my favorite workouts that I like to use with the 21-15-9 Training style. Please note there is no difference on the exercise choice from beginner to advanced lifter the only difference is the amount of weight used and time it takes to complete the routine. Remember the golden rule about all of my At Home Training Styles, the goal is complete the routine in its entirety without a break so please make sure to adjust weight accordingly.


  • Dumbbell Pendley Row
  • Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press
  • Squats
  • Burpees
  • Crunches

Workout #2

  • Dumbbell Squat Presses
  • TRX Close Grip Rows (If you don’t have TRX do a standard Dumbbell Row)
  • Lunges
  • High Knee Jumps
  • Push-Ups

Workout #3

  • One Arm Dumbbell Snatches
  • Squats
  • TRX Chest Press (If you don’t have a TRX do Push-ups)
  • Dumbbell Side Laterals
  • V-Up Crunches

Workout #4

  • Squats
  • Jump Lunges (Have to complete both side for 1 Rep)
  • Burpees
  • Standing Dumbbell Curls
  • Standing Triceps Kick Backs

Workout #5

  • Squats
  • Dumbbell Pendley Rows
  • Burpees
  • Dumbbell Snatches
  • High Knee Jumps

Each of these are great workouts though I find Workout #5 to be the most challenging as each exercise recruits many different muscle groups. That about does it for the 21-15-9 training style, if you are looking for an intense full body workout try any of the above 5 workouts and be careful with #5 it is a tough one.

Hardcore training - Introduction

Hardcore training - Part 1

Hardcore training - Part 3

Written by Alex Stuart:


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