21 Minutes to Go! Kettlebell Full Body Workout

by Marianne  - May 17, 2012

Hey everyone,

Today’s workout felt great … afterwards of course. It’s only 21 minutes long and there was a lot of sweat!  Great for full body conditioning and a quick workout when your are short for time.

Other news: I have now launched the FULL array of my Online Coaching Services.  While I was away in the US, many of you will know I got to spend some invaluable time with Bret Contreras who taught me his Programming System. So I am very privileged to have this knowledge to apply to my programs. Anyway, feel free to check it out and ask any questions.

The Workout

Set your Gymboss miniMAX Interval Timer for 21 cycles of 15 seconds rest and 45 seconds effort and complete 3 rounds of the following 7 exercises. Remember there is no pressure to do the same as me. You can split the rounds up and have a longer break in between, or you can increase the rest interval to 20, or even 30 seconds if you need to. We are all different and we need to tailor our training to reflect that!

As usual my reps per exercise and weights used are noted inn brackets.

  1. Goblet Squat to Press (20kg) (11, 10, 11) – I did this variation to reduce stress on my low back and pelvis, as other variations would be more increase the need for stability.
  2. Renegade Row (2 x16kg) (18, 17, 18 )
  3. Roundabout Swing (changed to 2H Swing in 3rd round, due to blood blister on my hand) (20kg) (29, 29, 31)
  4. 2 Jump Squat Burpee (11, 10, 10)
  5. Stand-Kneel-Stand (right) (16kg) (13, 11, 10) – took my time with these, due to a little pain 🙁
  6. S-K-S (left) (16kg) (12, 10, 10)
  7. Vertical Pull Burpee (20kg) (11.5, 11, 10) – these felt good!

The I did 2 sets of RKC Planks – SET 1: x about 30 seconds, SET 2: 40 seconds (below is a tutorial from Bret).

The only slight difference that has evolved from this variation is that Bret taught me to bend my knees slightly, rather than squeeze the legs together, to allow for greater contraction of the glutes and creating more of a posterior pelvic tilt … which is what I need. Give it a try, and remember to stop once your form starts to suck. The handy thing about this exercise is that you get a really great assessment of just how active your glutes really are. They should be solid and switched on throughout. You might feel one or both glutes starting to twitch or tremble as you try to contract it or as they tire. This is a sign you need to do more glute activation/strengthening drills, Hip mobility drills and more importantly – THINK ABOUT CONTRACTING YOUR GLUTES. Get your mind linked to those muscles and really focus on that movement. Once you do that, your RKC Plank endurance and lumbopelvic stability will sky-rocket!

Hope you enjoy today’s workout and will leave your feedback below.

PS – If you buy a gymboss through text or banner links on my pages, I will earn a wee bit of money for that. I have been a gymboss affiliate since 2010 because I loved them then and I love them now. Especially because it one more thing I can operate that’s not on my phone.

Gymboss miniMAX


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Kettlebell Kick-Start | 18 Min Interval Training Home Workout

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  1. Pingback: The 5 Keys to Successful Kettlebell Workouts | Breaking Muscle | Kettlebell
  2. Hi Marianne

    A friend recommended your site to me a while ago and I’ve been silently ‘stalking’ now for a few weeks, trying out a few of your workouts and did this one this morning. It was tight going but I managed 3 rounds. I gotta say, you make it look easy!

    Keep up the good work.

  3. Ouch! I tried this last night and I sweat like a good ‘un – thanks!

    It’s a perfect workout to fit into a tight schedule =)

    1. Crumbs! Tried this again yesterday and it was MUCH harder than the first time, mostly because my form has improved and I’m using the right muscles this time (thanks Bret Contreras and Marianne), but also because I felt strong enough to use slightly more weight yay!

      1. That’s great to hear! I am please to hear that you are not just basing your performance on reps and times – improved form and strength have happened instead 🙂 The reps and time will happen next! I’m sure Bret would be very happy to hear this too 🙂


  4. Pingback: The 5 Keys to Successful Kettlebell Workouts | Breaking Muscle | Kettlebell
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  6. Thanx Marianne for this workout! I’ve just recovered from Dengue fever and after 2 weeks of rest i just need to continue my workout routine. I miss my KB so much so i just did this one. hehe. but i just managed to do 2 rounds of this and the plank session. sweat like a rainy day! thanx for the great workout again!

  7. Great workout, fun and extremely sweaty :-). Linked to it on my blog and might do it tomorrow again, just for fun! I am however a little bit annoyed that you do renegade rows with 16 kg, I can´t even move 12 kg, 8 kg is possible but SO hard! Love it 😀

  8. Wow, what a great idea! I will definitely try this out soon because I’m really struggling with push-ups (I hate it but I gotta do it). Online personal trainer with Marianne! 😀 Cool! 😀

    Mike 😀

  9. Holy Jesus Murphy! This was a killer – nice job putting it together! It’s the S-K-S exercise that breaks me every time! I was sweating on my knees too – I kept slipping as I got down on my knee on the mat.
    Thanks for a great (uber-sweaty) workout!

    Surrey BC, Canada

      1. I’m glad I made you laugh! 🙂

        If I am correct with my Canadian English, I believe the “Jesus Murphy” is an Eastern (waaay east, the Altantic provinces rather than the central ones) Canadian thing. Is to be said with more of a Newfie (Newfoundland) accent. 🙂 I just like the way it sounds!


  10. 10 stars for this workout… Really loving your style of training.
    I am renaming the SKS,S… To “oh my lords” getting down on to your knees (prayer position) then back up to standing position, holding that 16kg KB is an absolute killer… I say a silent prayer every time I do them…
    Keep the great workouts coming 🙂

  11. Wow nice workout, just made notes to do this one tonight. I love the plank we do that it yoga I think it is amazing for endurance and core work. Loving the website lately. I really feel that if it myomy didn’t exist, I wouldn’t work as hard with my kettlebells.

    1. Thanks Mickela! I am very happy to hear that myomytv provides you with some motivation! What is it you like about the website lately? The Guest posts? New workouts? (which I am planning more of this week 😀 )

      1. what I have been liking lately is the positive energy from you and all the people who visit the site. Yes the workouts and posts are great as well and the guest idea is fantastic.
        I have been lurking about at a few other channels and sites, and everything seems to be so superficial, I just go, ewww and come back here and go phewww sanity.

        finished this workout
        with some changes I bet you can guess which ones 🙂 great great workout.
        the plank was brutal I did 30 seconds then 2 very torturous minutes.
        I do have to say I have a super strong core. when my gluteus get this strong I’ll be super girl. (just kidding).

        1. Boy, you must have a strong core!! Super-core-woman 😛

          Thank you for the wonderful compliment. I totally agree about the energy around here … let’s keep it up, coz it’s making great things happen for us all 🙂

  12. Hey Marianne! Just did this workout today with one change up in that between each round of 7 exercises I ran on my treadmill for 7minutes @ 7MPH. I have been really enjoying putting running intervals of varying speeds in the mix of my training lately. Awesome workout and loved Brett’s tutorial. Congrats to you with all your success , you deserve it!! Now, if we could just get you out to California next time you are in the U.S. 😉

    1. WEEEELLLLL, funny you should mention Cali … I am hoping to go there in September. San Diego in particular! I have a dream of living there one day 😀

      Great job with the workout variation!

      1. Sweet! San Diego is pretty awesome. I am up in Northern California(Wine Country), we would love to have you in Cali!!!!

  13. I’ve done a couple of your workouts but usually tone the difficulty level down a notch as assume my ability is not as advanced as yours but managed this KILLER session with 12kgs this morn and loved it!
    Thank you for your great guidance and easy to use workouts, much appreciated by us lesser mortals!

  14. OHMYGOD! I just did this in my lunch hour (think each exercise was the weight down from yours but still…) – this is a killer! Approx 380kcals according to my heart-rate monitor, and my bpm were up between 150-170bpm the entire time. The stand-kneel-stand exercises were much harder than I thought they’d be…! I was trembling by the end – great stuff! 😀

    1. NICE! Yes, it’s amazing how many calories 21 mins of KBs will burn! You must have really been giving it your all, well done! That’s great you fit this in during your lunch, perfect length for that!


      1. Judging by the fact that my thighs and glutes STILL ache so much, 3 days afterwards, (even with sauna/steam room AND foam rolling) I would say so! I’ll be doing this one again…! 😉

  15. Hi Marianne – great workout again, can’t wait to try those planks! Quick question for you about the renegade rows. I find I can do the first set with 12kg kettlebells, but thereafter usually have to drop down to a pair of 8kgs. The problem is that with the smaller surface area to balance on I sometimes topple over and I have a huge bruise on my left knee now as a result 🙂 Is this just a balance issue that will improve do you think? Or should I keep with the larger kb and just do the exercise slower (less reps)?

    1. Thanks for the question Leona. Use the bigger more stable based KB! Or change the type of row to single arm row. I don’t want any broken wrists from wobbly KBs 😉 You can do as many reps as you can with the 12kg on the renegades, then switch the type of row using the 8kg. As long as you’re getting a pulling exercise. You will train your core enough later with the planks 🙂

    2. I would not recommend doing the renegade row with the smaller sized kbs.
      The pro kettlebells are pretty stable. I hurt myself last time with smaller kbs. almost fell on my face. Ouch!

  16. awesome workout, as usual…I love the stand kneel stands and are KILLEr when incorporated into a full body circuit such as the this one you posted…aweosme tutorial from Bret as well! love the RKC plank and this looks awesome!

  17. Thanks for this post Marianne!I really love Planks and start to incorporate RKC Plank in my routine recently.In your opinion how many times per week should we include this planks into our training?

    Have a nice day!!

    1. I would say that especially if you are having low back issues, or have a weak core, then there is no harm in adding the RKC Plank in at the end of most workouts. It’s only 2 short sets. And you can also to some rotary core exercises too, like side planks from time to time.

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