Conditioning Workout USA – Kettlebells and Body Weight

by Marianne  - August 26, 2011

Hi everyone,

Before I went away I was convinced that because I work night duty I would be immune to Jet-Lag. Well, since I got home I have felt pretty much like a zombie. I did a workout yesterday and I only managed to use a 14kg Kettlebell (but 20kg for the swings) :-/ What a difference tiredness makes to performance. Just remember this the next time you feel drained of energy. It’s ok to drop the weight. It’s better that hurting yourself being stubborn.

Today I feel a little more like my normal self which is good because I can’t wait to get my training back on track.

The day I was leaving the USA, I decided I had to take the chance to film a second workout there.  Melissa was unable to take part as she was schooling her kids, so I went solo on this one. But she was there in spirit.

The Workout

Keeping things simple, I opted for 3 rounds of 6 exercises in an interval set up.  With the heat rising, I decided to have longer recovery periods between each exercise and each round. You may choose this set up too, or you can go for 18 cycles for more of a challenge. I set my Gymboss Interval Timer for 6 cycles of 20 seconds rest and 40 seconds effort. I used a 16kg standard sized KB and a 20kg Pro Grade through the workout.

My reps per exercise are noted below:

  1. Kettlebell Alternating Reverse Lunge (20kg) (16, 20, 17)
  2. KB Vertical Swing Burpee (20kg then 16kg in last round) (8, 7, 7 )
  3. Two-Handed KB Swing (20kg) (27, 27, 26)
  4. KB Alternating Bent Over Row (16kg) (16, 14, 10)
  5. Dynamic Push Ups (17, 16, 11)
  6. Dynamic Squats (32, 30, 33)

This workout was just what I needed to help me make it through the long journey home, so I was very glad I did it. However, it was so difficult in the heat! I had to drop the weight down for the vertical swings which never happens and the rows seemed more challenging than usual too!

Anyway, I hope you will give this one a go as it is a nice length for when you are pushed for time.





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  1. Hi Marianne,

    Been following your site for a few months now. One more person you’ve got obsessed with the KBs! I have a question for you though, as KB expert and a nurse sort of: I struggle with the KB vertical swing due to what I assume is a problem with my rotator cuff (it grinds loudly when lifting weight above my head and feels like it slips partially out of the socket). Is there some workout I can replace the vertical swing with and reap the same benefits?

    P.S. Just finished this workout and trying not to sweat on my keyboard! Phew!

    1. Hey Mandy, have you been to see someone about this problem? I would get it checked out first of all and make sure that you assumption is right. I would be worried to prescribe you an exercise that may cause you some sort of injury :/ If this exercise is causing these issues, then I would just leave it out for now. If you have additional KBs available, then you could double them up and do KB suitcase Deadlifts instead. This will not have the overhead component, but is a good “pulling” exercise and will work many of the same muscles. Or, if it is just the overhead part that bothers it, you could do a partial vert swing, which would be like an upright row, but that may still annoy the shoulder. Although I am a nurse, my expertise lies in Cardiac nursing. You would need to see a physio to assess the shoulder.

      Hope this helps 🙂

  2. oh my, i’m pooped. I haven’t done any kettlebell workouts in over a week, maybe longer, i just can’t say. At first on round 3 i was only going to do one more round, as it was already getting tough, plus i started crying about my dad during the plank climbers(subbed for pushups)
    but i pushed on actually upping my weight for the last two rounds, i did 15 lbs, up from 8.

    reverse lunges, 20, 22, 24, 22, 22, 26
    vertical swing, burpee, 10, 11, 11, 11, 10, 11
    2 handed swing, 26,28, 25,26,25,25
    alternating rows, 26,28,28,30,26,24
    dynamic pushups(i replaced with plank climbers( 16,16,16,15,20,16
    dynamic squats 28,30,29,28,26


  3. Hi,

    My username is june6294. I’m still waiting for my account activation. Thank you! I got a welcome reply on August 29th but my account has not been activated.


  4. I love your workouts and want to try them myself. The only thing is that I don’t have access to kettlebells in Santiago, Chile (I’m here for 6 months for a startup program). Are there any alternatives to using kettlebells? Thanks!

    1. Hey Yifan, Thanks for the comment, and I wish you had access to some Kettlebells. The best alternative is to use Dumbbells, but you can also substitute certain exercises with a sandbag too. Or just start off with the body weight workouts. Maybe someone will buy you a KB for your birthday 🙂

  5. Hi Marianne,
    Love that t-shirt -it’s so cool! All the footage of you badasses training has been so inspiring. I just wanted to let you know that I’m passing on the message as far as strength training goes (as I’m sure lots of girls are who follow you badasses). Last night I was in the gym and this lady came over and paid me a really nice compliment. She asked how I train and I was only too happy to tell her about kbs and lifting. I even demonstrated a few hip thrusts :). It really brought it home how much I’ve learned since I’ve been following your wonderful site and the progress I’ve made. I know I’ve said it before, but I really wouldn’t be where I am with my training if it wasn’t for your expert knowledge and amazing workouts. Thank you so much for all you do. It’s so great to have you back 🙂

    1. Emma, this message has made my week 😀 I am so proud of you that you are out there spreading the word! Hip Thrusts are infiltrating gyms all around the country then – this is so cool!!

      Thanks for this 🙂

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