Extreme Kettlebell Strength and Conditioning Workout

by Marianne  - November 3, 2010

Hi everyone,

Today’s workout has been inspired by my 2 day Extreme Kettlebell Instructor’s course last weekend with Optimal Life Fitness Group. I decided to taper back the variety of exercises and concentrate on 2 strength and 2 cardio exercises. The focus should be on the quality of each rep, rather than the quantity of reps per interval.

I apologise for my lack of attention lately, but Andrew and I are preparing to move house and we have quite a lot of things to organise and move, so along with work, I will have little spare time over the next week to spend on the site. However I will try to update with new workouts as I do them, but they may lack the usual write ups :/ So will have to cut the chat basically LOL!

Anyway, back to today’s challenge. There are 4 rounds of 4 exercises. You can set the reps if you wish, but I used my Gymboss Interval Timer to set 16 cycles of 15 seconds (recovery) and 45 seconds (effort) intervals, keeping me motivated and focused throughout.

I did record my reps, but not so much as a competitive thing, but more to measure if I was consistently getting the similar reps per round.

The 4 exercises are:

  1. Double KB Front Squat into Double KB Military Press (not a thruster) (4.5, 3.5, 3.5, 4)
  2. Two-handed KB Swing (28,29,27,28)
  3. KB Renegade Row (18,16,17,19)
  4. KB Alternating Swing (25,24,24,26)

The biggest challenge for me were the double presses with 16kg, but I just needed to make sure I was able to allow that flow of energy to focus my strength.  Try and use a challenging weight of you have it available, it’s good to build your strength.

Looking back at the workout, I probably could have made it longer with a fifth round, but I it was still a tough challenge. If you think you won’t be challenged enough with the weights you have, then add another round, perform the reps slower, or change it up completely and go for reps instead. But always remember good form.

I feel like I am starting to waffle a little now, as I feel a nap coming on before I begin my next 3 nights in work, so I’ll love yas and leave yas to get on with the workout.

Let me know what you make of it.




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  1. Hi Marianne,
    I forgot to tell you,those box jumps, had to improvise. I used a chair measuring 16 1/2 inches,that was hard enough. I do have a bench measuring I believe 20 or 21 inches so I attempt that next. I really like that kind of stuff. I looked at your latest workout ,like that as well. I’m practicing the clean, haven’t been able to master it yet. I also bought “Enter The Kettlebell”
    by Pavel Tsatsouline. I’m hoping to get more insight from the book. I’m eating ,sleeping and breathing kettlebells. Thanks for that. Had I not found your website I might not have ever tried this. As for the wide based kettlebells, well I don’t mind spending the extra money. I will put them to good use. I’m rambling now. Thanks again and good luck with your move and your new home.
    Minnie V. 🙂

    1. The clean is a hard enough one to get right, but try to keep your elbow to your side and almost twist the bell down and use the hips to thrust the bell back to your side again. You should get a lot of info and tips from your new book. I don’t think I have a style of kettlebells, except my own of course 😉 I am glad to hear you so passionate about them 😀

  2. Hi Marianne ,
    Did this wkout yesterday. Whew! Totally out if breath. Can’t do the renegade rows so I just row. Flat back and row . Simultaneously. I’m looking into buying the wide base kettlebells you use as I hope they’ll help with the rows. It’s kinda Like I’ll get into position , my mind says okay row but my body doesn’t move. I’ll keep trying. Anyway love , love , love this website. Thank you.
    Minnie V.
    Ps- tried oct challenge @ olf wow, sore for days.
    Those box jumps are amazing. :0)

    1. Minnie, the wide based KBs are a lot better for push ups and renegade rows, but they are slightly more expensive. Good job for doing the Oct EKI challenge – I didn’t do it, but must have a go at Novembers 🙂


  3. I finally got one kettle bell they didn’t have a 12KG only a 10KG so I got that one and walked home with it swapping it from arm to arm then I went up 4 flights of stairs to my flat. I named her flippy it rhymes with skippy which is my cat’s name.

    I must say that I am even more impressed by your strength I have a long way to go, but I love the challenge.
    today is a rest day I will try the workout you suggested tomorrow.

    nice weekend.

  4. You are doing such a great job, I am so excited for your move and the things you’ve been learning in class! I can’t wait to see what all you come up with as a result of your training. 😀

    YOU ROCK!!!

    BIG hugs,

  5. Fantastic job with 16kg & 20kg. Keep up the good work. Focus on the breathing more when dealing with these weight.

    Enjoy & improve,

    1. Thanks Mohamed. I have been practicing the breathing technique to engage thoracic pressure in the most difficult part of a lift. It sounds like I’m holding my breath, but I am trying to control it. It is hard though 🙂 Practice makes perfect, I hope.


  6. Hi Marianne can’t wait to start the kettle bell work outs. will be picking mine up tonight and my first workout is to walk home with them 30 min walk through New York City 🙂 it will be fun.

    I also have a lot of catching up to do with your workouts, so by the time you are settled, I might be ready for new workouts.

    You are really building muscle it totally is starting to show.

    Cheers to you and hope your move is low stress

    1. Thanks Mickela, you will be doing a great KB exercise on your way home, which is the farmers walk 🙂 So you’ve already started!

      Thanks about your comment about my muscle – I must just be losing a little body fat, because I weigh the same – mind you my clothes are getting tighter, so maybe I am building more :/ It happens to me way too easily! Andrew hates that I can build muscle easier than him (evil laugh)!!

      As one of your first KB workouts, I would recommend the Lady Marmalade one, as it is geared towards those just starting with KBs.

      Let me know how you get on.


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