Fat Loss Fever ~ a Tabata Twist | Home Workout

by Marianne  - February 17, 2011

Hi everyone,

Although my main goal is not fat loss as such, there are people out there who are looking to lose body fat. There is way more to losing fat than just the type of workout you do, but this type of fast-paced Conditioning workout using Kettlebells and Body Weight is a great calorie burner – with a Tabata at the end to spice things up further. You will be drenched in both sweat and endorphins after this one alright!!

There are 2 sections to the workout. The first has 2 rounds of 8 exercises, then the second section is 4 minutes of Tabata Interval Training.  I have provided alternative workout breakdowns below so you can adjust it to your fitness level.

Advanced Workout Breakdown – Starting @ 02:07

Section 1 (Conditioning Workout, so use a moderate weight)

Set your Gymboss Interval Timer for 16 cycles of 15 seconds rest and 45 seconds effort. Complete 2 continuous rounds of the following 8 exercises. My reps are recorded in brackets:

  1. *Double Kettlebell Suitcase Deadlift into burpee with Push Up (2 x 20kg) (6, 5.5)
  2. Dynamic Squats (33, 31)
  3. Kettlebell Reverse Passing Lunge (right) (16kg) (18, 16)
  4. Kettlebell Reverse Passing Lunge (left) (16kg) (17, 16)
  5. Plank Climber (advance it further by elevating feet) (20, 18)
  6. Kettlebell Renegade Row (2 x 14kg) (18, 16)
  7. Kettlebell Push Press (right) (16kg) (14, 12)
  8. Kettlebell Push Press (left) (16kg) (12, 11)

Section 2 (Tabata – MAX EFFORT) – Best to choose straight-forward exercises that can be performed quickly AND safely.

Re-set you timer for 8 cycles of 10 seconds rest and 20 seconds MAX effort and perform the following sequence TWICE:

  1. Two-Handed Kettlebell Swing (20kg) (14, 13)
  2. Side to Side Step Ups (21, 20)
  3. Alternating Kettlebell Swing (16kg) (13, 13)
  4. Side to Side Step Ups (20, 18)

If you don’t have a step or bench to use, you can look at the alternatives below, or continue to alternate the kettlebell Swing and just do a swing tabata. Alternatively you could do Squat Jumps, or those “evil” Light Sumo Jumps, something that will make you want to puke 😀

Intermediate Workout Breakdown – Starts from 03:57

Section 1 (Conditioning)

For the timing, there are a couple of options. Either set your timer for 16 cycles of 20/40 or, 8 cycles of 15/45 (taking a longer break between rounds). Choose a weight that you can perform slightly higher reps with (except in the deadlift exercise which you shouldn’t rush).

Refer to the video for demonstrations of the exercise modifications.

  1. Either, *Double Kettlebell Suitcase Deadlift into burpee (minus Push Up) or Single KB Deadlift Burpee (no Push Up)
  2. Dynamic Squat
  3. Kettlebell Reverse Passing Lunge (right)
  4. Kettlebell Reverse Passing Lunge (left)
  5. Plank Climber
  6. Kettlebell Bent Over Row (alternating or double)
  7. Kettlebell Push Press (right)
  8. Kettlebell Push Press (left)

Section 2 (Tabata)

Re-set your timer for 8 cycles of 10 seconds rest and 20 seconds MAX effort and complete 2 rounds of the following:

  1. Two-Handed KB Swing
  2. Either, side to side step ups, forward step ups, high knees, skipping or Jumping Jacks (plenty to choose from)
  3. Alternating KB Swing
  4. Either, side to side step ups, forward step ups, high knees, skipping or Jumping Jacks – or more swings!

Beginner Workout Breakdown – Starts from 05:39

NOTE: For absolute beginners (in your first 4 – 8 weeks of training) I advise you to only do section 1. Feel free to add a 3rd round instead, but I think the intensity of the Tabata may be too extreme at this stage.

Section 1 (Conditioning)

Either set your timer for 16 cycles of 30/30 intervals, 8 cycles of 20/40 intervals or complete the set reps/time below.  Remember some of the exercises remain the same no matter your level. This is when you must choose an appropriate weight and time interval you can handle. Demonstrations of the exercise modifications are in the video above.

  1. Either, *Double Kettlebell Suitcase Deadlift (minus Push Up and Thrust) or Single KB Deadlift Burpee (no Push Up or Thrust) x 10 reps
  2. Partial Dynamic Squat / Body Weight Squat x 20 reps
  3. Either Alternating Kettlebell Reverse Lunge (Goblet Position) or, Alternating Body Weight Reverse Lunge x 20 reps (total)
  4. Plank Climber / Static Planks x 30 seconds
  5. Kettlebell Single Arm Row (right) x 12 – 15 reps
  6. Kettlebell Single Arm Row (left) x 12 – 15 reps
  7. Kettlebell Push Press (right) x 12 reps
  8. Kettlebell Push Press (left)x 12 reps

Section 2 (Tabata)

NOTE: Absolute beginners – If you REALLY want to try Tabata, do half of it and see how you get on. So, you would set your timer for 4 cycles of 10 seconds rest and 20 seconds effort. It is meant to be extremely challenging, so be prepared.

Everyone else, re-set your timer for 8 cycles of 10 seconds rest and 20 seconds MAX effort and complete 2 rounds of the following:

  1. Two-Handed KB Swing
  2. Either, side to side step ups, forward step ups, high knees, skipping or Jumping Jacks (plenty to choose from)
  3. Alternating KB Swing
  4. Either, side to side step ups, forward step ups, high knees, skipping or Jumping Jacks – or more swings!

* If you have 2 Kettlebells but they are different weights, you can still perform the Double Suitcase Deadlift, but swap sides in round 2.

Now, I realise you are all having fun over at the forum, but feel free to leave your comments here too 😀




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  1. I have been using your workouts for a little over a week now and I love all your videos and that you put emphasis on the form of the moves.
    My only question is for someone like me who wants to burn more fat (I had a daughter last year and am trying to get my stomach back to being flat) while also getting my muscles toned up, are there any specific kettlebell workouts that are better for burning fat/calories? In my understanding any of them will burn calories and help build muscle which helps burns fat, but am I wrong there? Thank you again for creating these videos, I will be sure to spread them to my other female friends who are trying to get more in shape!

    1. I also wanted to mention I did see your comment above about the ab specific workouts, but I know I need to lose the body fat on top of my muscles first before they’ll even show and I didn’t know if those links you provided would do that. If so, I apologize for the duplicate question. Thanks 🙂

      1. Ab exercises won’t do this. You should focus on full body training until your body fat is lower and only do minimal ab work. There’s really little point in doing much on the abs because it can actually make your waist thicker if you do too much :-/

    2. Any of my works will help with this, because they are more anaerobic in nature and will help at least preserve muscle. Always put a focus on strength training with a little conditioning to see the best results. And eat to support your performance, not starving your muscles 🙂

  2. I have been working my way through your workouts and I am loving them! My friend Joyce and I have done one along with extra cardio everyday for the last 3 weeks at the gym. I would love to see any ab specific workouts you might have, if you have done one would you let me know where to find it?
    Thanks for your work,

  3. Well after managing the warmup!…I completed two sets of the main workout (without cheating) and sweated my way through the cool down.

    It wasn’t the kettlebell exercises that tired me out (2 x 16kg)…as I have 19st to heave about, it was the bodyweight ones BUT I felt much the better for it the next day without any aching…the only thing was, I had carpet burns on my elbows from the plank climbers!!!

    I might not be able to add the Tabata just yet but that’s the goal!

    1. Hey Steve, it’s funny how the body weight exercises are more challenging sometimes 😀 Maybe you need to get a mat for the plank climbers though!! Don’t want any more carpet burns.

      Keep up the good work 🙂

  4. This was my Friday morning workout — a really nice way to end the week.

    1. Double Suitcase DL to burpee pushup (16 + 14Kg) 7.5, 6
    2. Dyno Squats 29, 29
    3. Reverse passing lunges 14 Kg R 13, 17
    4. L 14, 16
    5. Elevated plank climber 16, 15
    6. Renegade Row (30 lb DBs) 18, 18
    7. Push Press R 12 Kg 10, 10 Kg 12
    8. L 12 Kg 10 (assisted), 10 Kg 12

    1. 2 handed swing 14 Kg 12, 13
    2 side to side step up 20, 20
    3. alt swings 12 Kg 12, 12
    4 Side to side step ups 20, 22

    I really liked the DL to burpee — they are fun!

    The reverse tactical lunges were a challenge (the first round was wobbly, but I got better — interesting b/c I did a similar motion yesterday with the deficit rev lunge and I had no problem.)

    Elevated plank climbers are hard always, while the renegade rows are relatively easy, but they tired me out for the presses! I had also done presses yesterday, so the first round was tough and I had to reduce weights.

    I reduced wts for the swings since I figured the Tabata would be demanding, but I thin I could have gone with higher weights.

    I finished it of with a little more glute stuff, since help there: lying band abduction 20×2 each side and bridges with 10 lbs in my lap for 20 x 3.

    This was a challenge, but not a cardio scorcher like some! I really enjoyed this!

    ~ Gillian

    1. Your glute stuff sounds interesting. I introduced an X-band walk to things the other day, and my band broke 🙁 AND my gymboss clip broke too! This isn’t my week LOL
      I think I will add more abduction in for my glute med and they need work. Thanks for the ideas.

      I am feeling guilty this week, because I have so much on my plate with crappy hours bits and pieces I feel I am neglecting everyone 🙁

      Hope you can all forgive me for not having a new workout up yet? On the bright side though, after the weekend, I am off for nearly 3 weeks!!! yippeeeeeeeee 😛

      1. You have so many workouts up already, there is a lot of selection to choose from.

        Wonderful to have some time off! I hope you get to enjoy yourself and have some relaxation time. I really don’t know how you fit ‘us’ in with your work as well!

        ~ Gillian

  5. That was a great workout! I went through the 1st section 4 times. I was ready to stop after 2 but I forced myself to keep. (I’m trying to get in at least 30 mins a day on my non-running days) I was shaking all over after I was done with this.

  6. I just got home from the gym after doing this. I am so energized!! While my gym does have an array of kettle bells, there aren’t pairs that are heavy enough for me (the biggest pair is 2 x 15 pounds). So for the first exercise I substituted vertical swing burpees and for the renegade rows I just did alternating rows. I did dynamic squats the first time but switched to static the second round–my knees are dicey. I did elevated plank climbers the first time and regular the second. My goal is to have better endurance on those elevated ones! I was pretty sweaty after the conditioning section but I rocked the tabata! I hate to admit it but I love side to side step ups! Thanks for an awesome workout.

  7. Hey Marianne, this was really cool! But honestly there was a lot of inner fighting to get myself to do it today… eventually got there lol.

    Also got my gymboss timer in the post yesterday so I got to use it today. Its MUCH better than looking at a clock.

    Section 1
    Double Kettlebell Suitcase Deadlift into burpee with Push Up (16kg/12kg) (6, 4) – I couldn’t balance on the kbs doing the push up because my 12kg is a lot smaller.
    Dynamic Squats (33, 32)
    Kettlebell Reverse Passing Lunge (right) (16kg) (18, 15) – these were tough but definitely felt easier than last time I tried to do them.
    Kettlebell Reverse Passing Lunge (left) (16kg) (17, 16)
    Plank Climber (advance it further by elevating feet) (10, 7) – these are sooo tough!!!
    Double KB Row (16kg/12kg) (18, 15) – swapped over on second round
    Kettlebell Push Press (right) (16kg/12kg) (4/4, 6/4)
    Kettlebell Push Press (left) (16kg/12kg) (4/4, 6/4)
    –Had to change to the 12kg but I’m sooo happy about doing 6 reps of the push press with the 16kg, last time I tried my left arm felt too weak to do one. Whooop whooop!!!

    Section 2
    Two-Handed Kettlebell Swing (16kg) (14, 15)
    Skipping (40, 47)
    Alternating Kettlebell Swing (16kg) (14, 14)
    Skipping (42, 48)

    Great workout, loved it 🙂 It was great to do the tabata section at the end.

  8. Enjoyed this one Marianne, as usual. Some things better than others, did well on the renegade rows 17 and 16 with 45lbs..my dynamic squats were anything but, but i went as deep as I could and jumped anyway..lol burpees from the suitcase were 8 both times…well 8, and 7 and change. I did strait presses instead of push press, 12 and 13 R, 12 and 11 L, I alternated which side went first with each round. The tabata went well, but no bench so I did high knees…probably could have pushed a bitharder on the knees,but swings were good..pushed it on those. Even though my squats suck by My O My standards, theyre way better than even last week. All in all, encouraging..thanks Marianne, well done!

    1. Your strength is really starting to show John! 45lbs 😀 I think Tabata is hard to gaige at times. Some exercises don’t allow you to get to your max quick enough. I should’ve used the lightet KB for the swings because I wanted to get more speed, so I’ll remember that the next time 🙂 We all live and learn!

      Glad you enjoyed this.

  9. Hoy much time do you devote to planning, writing, and doing these workouts for us? I am so grateful to have the ability to learn all of this. THANK YOU again.

  10. I’m trying this tomorrow! Unfortunately I only have one kb so I’ll have to modify some. I need to find some good deals so I can get more. Thanks for giving me so many ideas for my workouts!

    1. Hi Vickie, For one KB you could just add more exercises by spliting the rows, deadlifts either to single sided or the single bent over row and Deadlift with KB as shown in Intermediate and Beginner rounds. It’s not that these modifications are only for those levels, but also what to do if you only have 1 KB.

      Hope you enjoy it all the same


  11. Marianne,

    Sometimes you make me so mad! Haha! Seeing “use a moderate weight” followed by you using 2X20kg kettlebells kind of makes me feel like less of a woman. =) You’re pretty much my hero. Also, I watched your TGU with the 24kg!!! Awesome job and SUCH beautiful form. I saw Lauren Brooks do the same weight but her form was kind of sloppy so I was SUPER impressed watching you!!! Can’t wait to try this but I’m doing the “Extreme Kettlebell Strong Woman Workout” today.



    1. Aw thank you Sable 🙂 The only thing is, Lauren Brookes is probably a lot lighter than me. So, if I can do the same with a 28kg some day, then I’ll be happy. I watched her do it months ago and thought I could NEVER do that, yet now I have 🙂 Just shows ya, never say never !

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