Birthday Kettlebell Bash | 30 Rep Challenge!

by Marianne  - July 2, 2012

Hi all,

I have a moment to post this very “fun” (fun being a relative term), challenge for my 30th. I have no idea why I was so weak today – after the first exercise I wanted to a) faint, b) die and c) give up … but I did none of these things. Instead, I gave myself a firm talking to and got on with the rest of the challenge!

Anyway, on Friday I got a lovely surprise from a friend of mine who arrived up at my house with the gift seen below.

mmm Kettlebell Cake!

I had this sitting in my house all weekend until my actual birthday … this is what the cake looks like now:


Enough said! Never leave me alone with ANY food, if you want a share!

Now, the challenge:

I did one round of the following 6 exercises:

  1. Goblet Squats x 30 reps (24kg) – death nearly became me!
  2. Two-Handed Swing x 30 reps (24kg) – these were fine
  3. Burpees x 30 reps – cursed myself!
  4. Single Leg Hip Thrusts x 30 reps (EACH LEG) – enough said!
  5. Renegade Rows x 30 reps (total) (2x16kg) – so much harder than usual!
  6. Dynamic Squats x 30 reps – easy finisher 😀

I must have bee really dehydrated or something because I have never ever felt faint during a workout … so I might need more cake to help me out … low blood sugar an also cause these symptoms 😉 😉 😉

Hope you enjoyed the video!

I’ll be back soon with more from London.




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  3. Hi Marianne,
    I wanted to ask you if you could advise me about purchasing my very first kettlebells. I’ve finally found a guy who’s making them at reasonable price (3euros per kilo), and I want to buy an 8kg and 12kg KB. I would start with an 8, but want to have a 12kg one for later when I need to progress..

    So I was hoping you could tell me what I should pay attention to when buying one, the grip, the horn, the shape, anything that is important to pay attention to when buying this piece of equipment.

    Thank you in advance, I know you have a lot going on right now, so whenever you have time to answer, I will deeply appreciate it! 🙂

    i’m so excited that I will finally be able to start KB training!!

      1. Thanks Marianne, this article was very helpful and informative!! This helps a lot! 🙂

        Hopefully I’m gonna buy KBs soon, so I could finally do your workouts with an actual KB! 🙂

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  5. Love this workout….am I crazy to think I can do 37 reps because I am 37? I won’t be using as heavy bells as you so I think I can….i think I can….i know i can!

    Question: I have trouble holding the bell at chest/shoulder height for the goblet squats….I need to work on my shoulder strength, right? Seems like an obvious answer though….

    1. Hi Mary Kate,

      Yes, you MUST to 37 reps 😉 hehe!

      To answer your question, it depends on where you feel the “trouble” – it probably is upper back, arm and grip weakness … but this will improve. Just do as many as you can, put the weight down and either continue with Body Weight only, or pick the weight back up after a rest 🙂 This is the only way to strengthen that link.

  6. Hi Marianne

    Happy birthday. I’ve been following your blog for a few weeks now and thought I should drop you a line. I’ve just moved over from South Africa to London and have a great interest in your training methods. I trained in Durban – South Africa for approx. 4 years with Sean Temple & Natalie Jay from Flux Fluid Motion ( I did all their promotional videos around the gym, it’s trainers and when the occasional visitor, like Steve Cotter came through. You can view these videos either on their site or mine.

    I just wanted to touch base with you and check if you’d ever require my services in terms of your video blogs / photography. Also I’m quite new to Kettle Bell training in London (I presumed you’re either London based or visiting, due to your comment at the end of this blog)

    I just bought my own set of Bells and will start training people in London. Obviously highly influenced by your blog and training regimes. I still need to get qualified to train people but for now it’s mostly my friends and my wife who are exercising with me.

    Besides all fore-mentioned, I’d just like to thank you for providing a platform for training and the ideas you have for Kettle Bell exercise. I can see you’re an inspiration to many.


    1. Thank you Zane, this means a lot 🙂 Would love a cool promo video for myomytv 😀 I’m actually based in Belfast (I was only over there meeting a friend). But who knows, I could go over again soon!

      If I ever am, I will certainly arrange a meeting to see if you could help me with something 🙂


  7. Hi Marianne and happy birthsday. Was it Monday?

    I’ve been following your blog around for well over a year now. However this is my first comment. But this time I knew that I had to write one. Why? Because on Friday, it’s MY 30th! All hail those from 1982!! ^^
    I adore your blogs and I do your workouts every week – sometimes however I change itsy bitsy parts, making it fit my weekly routines better. You’ve kinda become my KB mentor. So A BIG THANKS for that and keep it up.

    So again HAPPY HAPPY 30th!

    Big thanks and greeting:

    /Mark (from Denmark)

  8. First: Happy Birthday!!! Everything others have said is true: over the last 18 months, you have blossomed, becoming more confident, stronger, and ripped! You have such a fantastic combination of muscle and curve, you’re just gorgeous! The sweet smile and the pension for indulgence is endearing and helps make us feel not so different. I know you’ll have a fantastic time in London!

    **** I thought you had tried to kill me us with the LAST workout! I felt truly ill on the last round of that! (I actually think I had swigged too much water.) Somehow I soldiered on and finished that, but not with the strength I’ve had in the past (I think too much cardio.)

    So anyway, THIS was my workout! (Maybe all the cardio was a good thing.) The squats and the burpees were tough; the single leg hip thrusts were a great burn, but all doable. I got finished in 12:06. Wow!

    In my mind, that’s not enough time to call work, so I added my usual ‘leg finisher’ for good measure. (Its BW 20 squats, 20 alt lunges, 20 alt jump lunges, 10 dyno squats = 1 set. Do 5 rounds for time.) Got a PB out of it at 8:29:59!

    Now I can go and have breakfast.

    I guess since I’m over 50, I’ll have to do 50 rep challenges! Amazing that I had never though of that! This workout felt so different from your others, even though you’ve done high rep challenges before. I’ve been feeling a little unexcited lately, so this was a great change. And swinging Kettlebells is so much more fun than cardio.

    — Hey was the cake at least low carb? Like coconut or almond flour, or was it totally decadent? I don’t think you told us the flavor either… I hope it was chocolate!

    ~ Gillian

    1. Thank you Gillian! I’m glad you rocked this workout … I was so lame that day LOL!

      You should’ve done 50 reps! 😉 If the cake had been chocolate, I would’ve eaten it ALL! haha! It was victoria sponge I think. I’m not a fan usually of that sort, but it’s the icing that gets me started, then the cake doesn’t seem so bad! And I wish it was low carb … eeek! But sure, it’s only a few days of eating bad – it won’t harm in the long run 😀

      I need to message you btw – got to reply to your last email. I will asap. 🙂

  9. Happy Birthday Marianne ! Myomy that cake looks good. Can’t wait to try this challenge.
    You look fantastic, definitely not 30.

  10. Happy 30th Marrianne. It’s always worse when you turn two numbers instead of one, but the next two numbers are 10 years away. Jim

  11. Great as always! Quick question..for the hip thrusts, does your top half (head/shoulders) need to be higher than legs? Sounds like a silly question but…I’m full of silly questions. 🙂 Thanks..still planning on signing up for one of your packages!!!


    Cake: WANT! (What type is it?)
    Go Carting: jealous!

    I was planning on doing 28 burpees to celebrate my birthday, but this is WAY BETTER! I’m sooooo stealing this! (my B-Day is this month also! so I can’t say *whoops, forgot about this workout…whole world will be celebrating with me, hehehe)

    Any recommended modifications for the SL Hip thrusts? I don’t have a padded weight bench. Should I use my sofa and chair, do it on the floor, or use the Swiss/Big Bouncy ball? Ah, it’s all good, I’ll be feeling it from the squats anyways!

    Have fun in London!

    (did you think I used enough exclamation points? Here’s one more…)

    Happy Birthday!

    1. Hey TS, I recommend using the sofa to rest your back against, or just do glute bridges (shoulders and feet on the floor). I wouldn’t suggest the swiss ball because it makes you too unstable and won’t allow you to recruit the glutes as well 🙂

  13. Happy birthday, Marianne!! I’ve always thought that the “30’s” is when ladies “grow into their muscles” with strength & confidence….at least that was the case for me. So if you’re amazing NOW, just-you-wait…it only gets better!!

  14. happy birthday marianne.u have 10 years on me booohoooo hit 40 a month ago AND no cake into the house this birthday because hubby and 3 daughters have a slice and june eats the rest by midnight…. so this year i broke the tradition which is 🙂

    also thank u for finding the tutorial on racking the bell. im reading and re reading and will not really getting anywhere with the left arm.

    quick question i dont have a camcordor thingy and am not not not into gadgets will an ipod do to record exercises and send to u for checking

    1. Hey Bug, an iphone or ipad record stuff, so I think they are fine. Even a wee Flip Camera (they are really good and only cost about £120), but it depends on how much you need something. Anyway, see how it turns out on the iphone 🙂

      1. thanks marianne will look into this would like u to look at few clips through ur service page. ive got another huge bruise from not racking the bell properly and im gettin v v annoyed.

        on posiitve note i did 4 sets of 5 pull ups yes (leg day) with great form. im not doing them on days i train back any more as im physically exhausted from the workout when im done and i cant move i died a slow death last tues and hubby had a great laugh……..
        but i had the last laugh when i told him i droped an olmpic bar and put a huge whole in the wall ha ha so now it needs filling sanding and painting …….lol

  15. My word, I’m glad you weren’t turning 50! 😀

    My husband and I are celebrating our 18th wedding anniversary today so can I change the reps to 18? Especially the goblet squats and the burpees? 😉

    Looks like a “fun” workout; look forward to doing it later to work off all that Canada Day BBQ we had! Happy Birthday! Hope you had a good one!

    Surrey, BC Canada

      1. Well, I did as you ordered! All 210 reps (that’s counting the 30 on each leg of the hip thrusts)! It actually wasn’t too bad! I might even do it twice next time! 🙂


  16. 30 Years, not an ounce of cellulite and looking more like 25! You are a great advertisement for health, fitness and vitality. Now eat the other half of that cake.


    PS love the matching socks & banner!

    1. Cheers Adam! Though I need to confess, I do have cellulite 🙁 Like most of the female population. It’s not as bad as it used to be, but in the wrong lighting … eeeeek!

      I did have another slice :/ but mum had another dessert too 😀

      1. Oh well, at least you’re human! But seriously Marianne, I’ve been following your blog for the last 18 months and you’ve got stronger, leaner and matured a great deal. I’ve always been impressed with your organisational and written skills and I think you will make a top personal trainer for years to come. Your workouts are brilliantly conceived, effective and most importantly – short! I love them as much today as the first time I nailed a workout plan to my garden fence. You really are a star and I thank you.

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