3 Tier Kettlebell and Body Weight Workout

by Marianne  - January 14, 2011

Hi everyone,

After a nightmare of a week (workwise) I am back with a new workout. This last week I have been under a bit of stress and it has affected my strength already – just shows you how life really can interfer with training.  On Monday I went to Andrew’s first Kettlebell Class of the new year, after a 3 week break (the community centre was closed), the class nearly killed me! I think I need to work on my endurance, big time.

This workout is therefore based mostly on endurance. There are 3 stages or sections to it, all working the muscles slightly differently and, or course trying to exercise all muscle groups and ramp the heart rate up too. Today I reduced the weight I used to allow me to increase the pace. Mixing between the 12kg (blue), 14kg (white) and 16kg (yellow). Have to swallow my pride today and admit tiredness is a major factor in trying to training.

The Workout

Stage 1: Using Kettlebells and one bodyweight exercise (moderate weight), we are looking for max reps with good form. You also want slighly higher reps as the pace needs to be quite fast. I will offer suggestions below for beginners to modify. I haven’t yet got my new editing skills refined enough, to film the 3 levels for every workout. Most modifications for kettlebells is down to the weight you use, but I will suggest substitutes. Set your Gymboss Interval Timer for 12 cyles of 20 seconds recovery and 40 seconds effort. If you want a greater challenge, either increase the effort period or reduce the rest. Alternatively, if you are a beginner set the recovery to 30 seconds or more if needed, but try and resume activity to the max once you have recovered.

There are 2 rounds of 6 exercises, as follows:

  1. Kettlebell Thruster into Reverse Lunge (right) (beginners, either just do the thruster, or the lunge to start off)
  2. Kettlebell Thruster into Reverse Lunge (left)
  3. Dynamic Close Push Ups (beginners, push ups only, or wide squat thrusts)
  4. Kettlebell Single Leg Deadlift with Row (right) (beginners, do single arm row)
  5. Kettlebell Single Leg Deadlift with Row (left)
  6. Kettlebell Vertical Swing Burpee (beginners – just do vertical swing part)

Stage 2: Body Weight only section working on speed and endurance. More a cardio section with a longer effort interval. For me, I set my timer for 12 cycles of 30 seconds recovery followed by 1 minute effort. Again beginners play about with the intervals, but always remember recovery is equally important in interval training.

The goal is to complete 2 rounds of the following 6 exercises:

  1. Reverse Lunge Kick Ups (right) (beginners you can leave out the kick up, or just bring the knee up)
  2. Reverse Lunge Kick Ups (left)
  3. Mountain Climbers
  4. “Evil Jumps” (1 rep = 1 dynamic squat + 1 lunge jump each side) (watch your knees!)
  5. 2 Sumo Jump Burpee (with or without push ups or jumps)
  6. Side to Side Step Ups (my favorite, but alternatively – jumping jacks, skipping, high knees)

The final Stage of this workout may seem strange at the end, but I want to work on push myself through, so a little strength work here coupled with cardio. Because I have been without my pull up bar, I needed to go outside, sorry about the wind :/ But with my skipping rope to keep me moving and warm, I did 5 rounds of the following couplet. I set my timer to count down 1 minute for the skipping, but set the reps for the pull ups. I used my pullem bands to assist my pull ups, when needed, you can also use a chair or bench to support some of your body weight.

Complete 5 rounds of couplet as follows:

  1. 5 pull ups (varying hand position if you like) (First round I thought I’d see how many I can do in a row out of curiosity and did 6, which is actually an improvement 😀 )
  2. Skipping (free-style) x 1 minute (evil skipping lol)

This was a tough workout, but I enjoyed it very much. I think confusing the body is a good thing from time to time. Conventinally, you should do strength training first, but as it was only pull ups, I though I would squeeze this challenge in at the end – KILLER!! I really wish my pull up bar fitted these doors – my hands are in bits from the wood!

Love to hear from you as always.



Get the free guide just for you!


Don't Sit on the Sidelines - Join In - Home Workout.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

  1. Pingback: DAY 83/90 – MYOMY: 3 TIER KETTLEBELL
  2. Pingback: DAY 81/90 – MYOMY: 3 Tier Kettlebell and Bodyweight
  3. Wow did this one today…deadly. My quads felt like rocks.

    My Scores:
    Sections 1:
    1. KB (8kg) Thruster/Rev Lunge R (8.5, 7)
    2. KB (8kg) Thruster/Rev Lunge L (9, 7)
    3. Dynamic Close Push Up (15, 10)
    4. KB (35lb) SLDL w/Row R (8, 7)
    5. KB (35 lb) SLDL w/Row L (9, 7)
    6. KB (35lb) Vertical Swing Burpee (7, 6)

    Section 2:
    1. Rev Lunge Kick Up R (25, 15)
    2. Rev Lunge Kick Up L (25, 20)
    3. Mountain Climber (40, 30)
    4. Evil Jumps (14, 11)
    5. 2 Sumo Jump Burpee (full) (7.5, 6)
    6. side to side step ups (40, 29)

    Section 3: 3 rounds
    Pull Up
    -R1: 2 w/ no assistance, 1 with 52lb assistance and 2 w/46lb assistance
    -R2: 5 w/46lb assistance
    -R3 5 w/40lb assistance
    High Knee Jump rope
    -R2: 130
    -R3:86 (exhausted)


  4. This was really hard!! But felt amazing afterwards wooo 🙂 thanks Marianne!

    Section 1
    KB Thruster into Reverse Lunge (L) 16kg (5), 12kg (6) – had to change to 12kg as my left shoulder just felt a little unstable with the 16kg
    KB Thruster into Reverse Lunge (R) 16kg (5), 12kg (6) – could have done more on my right side but there’s already quite a different between my left / right shoulders due to an old injury!
    Push Ups – 6, 5 – after looking at your tutorial I was doing these totally wrong, so I found these really hard
    KB Single Leg Deadlift with Row (R) 16kg – 7, 8
    KB Single Leg Deadlift with Row (L) 16kg – 7, 8
    KB Vertical Swing Burpee, 16kg – 6, 6

    Section 2
    1. Reverse Lunge with Kick Up (R) 17, 15
    2. Reverse Lunge with Kick Up (L) 17, 16
    3. Mountain Climber – 62, 58
    4. Evil Jumps – 10, 9
    5. 2 Sumo Jump Burpee – 7, 5
    6. Side lunge Jump – 38, 39

    Section 3
    5 x 5 pull ups – 1 leg chair assisted (not quite there yet with the unassisted pull up)
    5 x 1min skipping – yes skipping is evil!!

  5. Ouch, ouch and ouch! Marianne, what are you trying to do to us?! This was the most evil workout to date in my opinion and this is reflected in my not-so-outstanding numbers. Though to be truthful, I did wake up this morning with a good old blocked nose / dry throat and haven’t felt 100% all day, so this may go some way to explain my difficulties with this particular workout.

    My numbers are as follows (I’ll break the ice with revealing numbers, I’m not embarassed!):
    Section 1 – 2 rounds at 40 sec effort, 20 sec rest.
    1. Kettlebell Thruster into Reverse Lunge (R) 16kg – 7.5, 12kg- 9
    2. Kettlebell Thruster into Reverse Lunge (L) 16kg – 6, 12kg, 7.5
    3. Dynamic Close Push Ups – 11, 11
    4. Kettlebell Single Leg Deadlift with Row (R) 12kg – 9, 10
    5. Kettlebell Single Leg Deadlift with Row (L) 12kg – 9, 10
    6. Kettlebell Vertical Swing Burpee, 12kg – 11, 9

    Section 2 – 2 rounds at 1 min effort, 30 sec rest.
    1. Reverse Lunge with Kick Up (R) 29, 34
    2. Reverse Lunge with Kick Up (L) 31, 31
    3. Mountain Climber – 101, 98
    4. Evil Jumps – 18, 16
    5. 2 Sumo Jump Burpee – 14.5, 10
    6. Side to Side Step ups – 63, 59

    Finally, I only managed 3 rounds of 5 Pull-ups followed by 1 min rowing.
    Then I crawled home to sneeze and cough on the sofa, where I shall remain for the rest of the evening!
    Ruth (Feeling sorry for myself) 🙁

    1. How Evil were those evil jumps !!? My legs hurt the next day after this one. Nice work Ruth, after waking up feeling miserable. Poor you. Don’t be over doing it now 🙂

      Take care

  6. Hi!!!
    i’m sorry to ask about something not related to the workout, but my doctor said i have to rest for a week as i am not recuperating as i should from my chest infection, bohoo 🙁
    my question is:you’re honest opinion on coconut oil?
    i decided that in 2011 i am going to give natural health a try, using creams and cleansers with as little chemical as possible, as after using any brand on the high street none has delivered the result they promised!
    researching on the net i stumbled on the coconout oil,and i remembered that you use it in some recipes, and well some people seem to use it for everything from cooking to moisture skin and hair!
    has any of you ladies and gentlemen tried it?
    some claim it boosts immune system, i could really do with that!i still have to get used to the much colder winters in the uk than what i’m used to, every year i’m knocked down but some bug or virus of God knows what else1!!
    Thank you

    1. Hi Sara, Firstly, sorry you’re so ill, I hope you feel better soon! 🙁

      Honestly I love Coconut Oil, I have used it the odd time for my skin and it’s great! But my skin is generally grand. I many cook and bake with it, I replace spreads with it and I use it for energy! Andrew would be prone to candida from sugars in his diet which would make him bloated, say if he has wine or bread, but he swears by coconut oil to cure it! I don’t know if it’s related or not, but since 2009 I have been on medications that can suppress the immune system for my auto-immune arthritis. I haven’t even had a cold in over 2 years! The last time I got sick was way before this. It may be due to many things, but coconut oil certainly hasn’t done me any harm, plus it’s yummy!!!

      The Indian nurses I work with swear by it for their hair and skin, they use it for conditioner before they wash their hair. And their hair is amazing! Worth trying anyway, especially as it’s natural. Make sure it’s pure grade and organic.


      1. as i had so much time today i researched it a bit and i must say that 90% of reviews were positive!
        also i’ve been reading an ebook “look great naturally.. without ditching the lipstick”, very good read and the author also recommends it.
        amazon sells coconoil organic, i think i’ll give it a try and stick to it for 4-5 and see if i feel any different, and if i like the taste!

        1. Hi, this IS up my ally of professional experience as I make skincare products, though I do not sell outside the US. You do not need very much to keep your skin looking good. I always recommend a good handmade type soap (made from vegetable oils) rather than a detergent bar, as they do not strip the oils from your skin.

          Lotions and cream are just oil and water emulsions. When you put oil and water together, you create an environment where molds and bacteria can grow, so they need a preservative of some kind. I don’t sell in Europe partly because cosmetics are considered drugs there and are subject to massive regulation that I not cost effective for me.

          I put lots of herbs in the liquid I use in my creams, but if you just want something simple, coconut oil is a great choice as a moisturizer. It is a skin and hair care staple in the Pacific. I would buy Virgin Coconut Oil and use it to cook with and and on your skin. It is solid at room temps, so you will have to warm it up to use it on your skin. It is non-comedogenic, which means it doesn’t clog pores. It is just as good as a fancy expensive cream!

          There are several books about how wonderful it is, including The Coconut Oil Miracle. It was lambasted years ago by the soybean and canola oil industries, but it turns out that, even as a tropical oil, it is better for you in cooking. It also has a long shelf life and does not break down quickly under high heat.

          If you want face colors, I would go with mineral cosmetics, which you should be able to find just about everywhere now.


          ~ Gillian

          1. you should soooo write a book!!!
            i friend draw my attention to chemicals in body lotion and moisturizing creams, and it got me thinking and researching!
            my body skin never gave me problems, well except for a couple of stretchmarks(:( the dark side of the force when you lose weight), but my face, oh boy do i battle against my face! i have the classic combination skin, with dry cheeks and oily t zone, and after years and a lot of money wasted on all kind of brands i read something interesting lately. somebody called it the oil cleansing method, many swear that by using a little bit of oil (either jojba or neem or mixing a base oil with a few drops of tea tree oil) the skin will slowly find the balance. not that would be a dream come true!
            i do use mineral foundation, i was a mess at putting on at the beginning but i am improving.
            conviced, i’ll give organic coconoil a try!
            Thank you

          2. I want to reply to Sara, but for some reason this post doesn’t look like it is going in the right location… anyway…

            People tend to treat oily skin harshly. If you remove too much of the natural oil, your skin will just make more. It is better just to clean your skin and live with a little extra oil and blot it if you need to. I actually make an balancing oil for oily skin! It doesn’t sell well, as most people don’t seem to accept the idea of putting oil on oily skin! The oils you mentioned should help: jojoba is actually a wax and it has a long shelf life, but it is a little heavy – other good individual oils are hemp and macadamia as light oils, and hazelnut as a slightly astringent oil. Neem is very strong smelling, but antibacterial; you can get a neem extract which give your the benefits without as much smell. Tea tree, or the New Zealand alternative Manuka, are antibacterial, so both would be good for problem areas. So a good mix might be hazelnut and macadamia with a little neem and some tea tree (make sure you don’t go over 1% on the essential oils). Wash your face with a nice soap and then pat some of this on your wet skin see how that does.

            Much of problem skin can be attributed to genetics, hormones and diet. You can’t change the first two, but you can change the last — I would really cut out fried foods if you haven’t already done so. Processed foods are bad anyway, but processed sugars are especially bad, and the worst is high fructose corn syrup.

            A book? I am thinking of a blog once I finally revamp my website. Publishing is easy, its the selling that is tough! I am sure there must be something out there, this isn’t rocket science… although I do get a lot of questions…

            ~ Gillian

    2. Wow, was this ever hard! I went down in weight to something I thought I could do higher reps, but it was still tough. No one is posting numbers… a good thing, as mine look dismal! Even the pullups were so hard, I had to revert to bands to help (I usually do pullups with a 60-90 sec rest).

      It did what I wanted though, which was get my pulse up. Marianne, you are the queen of evil! (In a good way 😉 )

      Have a great weekend everyone!

      ~ Gillian

  7. Hey this was a really tough workout, I am covered in sweat right now, but I loved it!!!

    That’s a really good video by Melissa on Pull-ups. That type of method is really good for all sorts of exercises. If you can’t do the full rep, get yourself safely in the ‘up’ position, then lower yourself down slowly until you build up the strength for a full rep. Great for people who at first can’t do push-ups or sit-ups to.

    Oh yeah I have ordered a ‘kettleback’, it’s basically a heavy duty rucsack that you can carry 2 kettlebells in. So you can do weighted push-ups or go hiking or even pull-ups to. Really can’t wait to get it. Think it will help take my training to the next level. It’s not cheap (the postage is really expensive) but hopefully it will be worth it. I’ll let you know how I get on with it. Here’s the link if you’ve never seen it before.



  8. I won’t get to try this until the weekend, but I would like to say a few things anyway!! (Like that is a surprize, right?)

    First, I LOVED your pic of your back doing the pullups! It looks awesome –truly a back to aspire to!

    Second, I really liked that you showed using rubber cords to assist with the pullups: I think they are way more effective at developing pullups, as the assistance they provide diminishes as they are less stretched. They are relatively cheap and easy to get and are far more effective than using a chair.

    Third: I HATE skipping! I am terrible at it and I commonly end up hurting myself. (It was one of those things I never learned as a child, so now I am fated to live a life as a skipping klutz!) I would defer to Melissa on these and suggest that one use good shoes and a slightly softer ground, rather than concrete. Maybe one day I will learn to do more than a couple of skips without getting my feet tangled up. So in the meantime, after a few attempts, I just hold the rope in one hand and pretend that I am really skipping with the rope normally. I figure I am getting most of the benefits out of it that way. You make it look too easy!

    Thank you, I really enjoy your workouts!

    ~ Gillian

    1. Yes it was silly to do the skipping in on the concrete, although I skip on my toes which act as shock absorbers, but for the non-skipper, do something else. I will amend the post to reflect Gillian’s advice. I knew I didn’t cover everything :/ Anyway, I used to hate skipping too. You should see Andrew try and skip LOL LOL, it really is a sight, I think I have him trying at the end of my old skipping cardio challenge from last year. He lost the rag and threw the skipping rope away 😀

      Andrew says my back is pretty great, but I can hardly ever see it LOL. Must be all the rows and deadlifts 😀 Want a strong back, Pull up, row, deadlift and swing!

      I would HIGHLY recommend the bands for training, they are well worth it and, you can use them for other stuff too, like I used them in a workout to add resistance to my push ups.


      1. Marrianne,
        I know Gryer said he hates skipping rope, but I just want to thank you for incorporating it in this workout. i don’t have a step box that you use for some of your workouts so I use the jump rope instead. I’ve been jumping rope for about 6 years now and I still do it at least twice a week. It is such a good total body exercise. My rope has the weights in the handles which I really like. Thanks for the new workout.

        1. Cheers Jim. It’s been a while since I got my rope out, it was good, but it burns the calves LOL! Though you really should take a look at Andrew HERE @ 2 min 55 seconds he he he (evil laugh) ! He has no patience for skipping LOL, Cutie was not impressed :/


          PS Gryer is a she 🙂 aka Gillian

  9. I am VERY inspired by your pull ups! This looks like a great workout, I love how you can do something different every single time you work out with these exercises 🙂


    1. Maybe I just get bored easily, he he! I was shocked I could even still do one unassisted, so thanks.

      I remember about 2 years ago saying to Andrew I want to be “super strong” and thought I could do a pull up no problem LOL, he laughed and said we’ll see, you may need my help! Stubborn as always and not wanting to be look any help, I waited until the Strength and Conditioning room in the gym was nearly empty to have my big moment (having never even tried a pull up before). After a massive build up, the adrenaline pumping through my veins, I gave it my ALL … Every ounce of strength I had went into … at best, a 1/4 pull up 🙁 !! LOL

      So for those of you out there who can just about hang from a pull up bar, do not lose sight or faith, because strength is something that is meant to be built. Plus if you don’t take no for an answer, but are ready to accept help, then you will see amazing progress.

      I refer people to Melissa’s video on How to build up your Pull Up reps as I have yet to do a tutorial on it. But Melissa and Gillian are Pull Up Queens 😀


    1. I hope my suggestions cover everything, I’ve been a little distracted of late, if you know what I mean. Need to read over this and see if I can add more, so come back to it, just incase 😀


      Oh PS, I haven’t forgotten about the squat explanation you asked for 😀 😀

  10. Hi Marianne! I can’t wait to try this one but I’m taking a day off to rest my dodgy knees.

    I have been curious about your footwear and what you recommend and why for kettle bell workouts. Thanks, as always, for the motivation and great workouts!! I’m addicted.


    1. Firstly avoid the jumps and skipping if you have achy knees.

      The footwear recommended for Kettlebell training is no footwear. The reasons are vast, but it’s to do with posture, biomechanics and “rooting” to the floor. I found THIS article that explains more reasons for barefoot training, along with a kettlebell section near the end. Like most new things for the body it takes time to “connect” with the floor and actually use your feet properly, but it’s very freeing.

      It has definitely given me better posture, balance and control over my movements.


{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

You may be interested in