Get a Grip! Extreme Interval Workout and Pull Ups!

by Marianne  - January 11, 2012

Hi everyone,

Would you believe that my Hamstrings and Glutes are still sore from Monday’s workout! So, in many ways I was dreading this one today. But, once I got warmed up, it was another great challenge.

With the longer effort intervals, you really have to push through that mental barrier of expecting the beep at the usual 45 seconds. That extra 15 seconds seems like forever!

In order to break things up, I have separated the rounds and put in a little “Bridging Combo”. The Combo will work on your upper body strength, your abs and also your grip endurance. If you don’t have a pull up bar, then you can substitute the pull ups with bent over rows and the hanging leg raises for lying leg raises. Β Actually, I felt like doing the same because my grip was shot half way through!

The Workout

Set your Gymboss Interval Timer for 6 cycles of 20 seconds rest and 1 min effort. Complete one round of the following 6 exercises. Then complete the “Bridging Combo” before repeating the process another 2 or 3 times. I did 3 rounds in total and was pretty beat!

  1. Double KB Suitcase Deadlift Burpee (2x20kg) (14, 13.5, 13)
  2. Overhead Reverse Lunge (right) (16kg) (16, 15, then 10 OH, and 6 racked R.Lunges)
  3. Same on left (16, 13, 9 OH and 6 racked)
  4. Two-Handed KB Swing (24kg) (33, 32, 33) – eek, my grip!
  5. Renegade Row (2x16kg) (19, 18, 18)
  6. Burpees (20, 17, 18) – on fire with these today! πŸ˜€

Bridging Combo

  1. Pull Ups x “sub max” reps LOL – (4, 4, 3) – death!
  2. Hanging Leg/Knee Raises x 8 – 12 reps (10, 12, 7) – couldn’t hold on any longer.

Because of the Bridging Combo, you get more of a rest for the higher paced section. This allows you to put more effort and have more endurance for the Intervals. But you still get a real sweat built up!

As I mention at the end of the video, I DO NOT recommend the Overhead Reverse Lunges for Beginners, or Intermediates. It is an advanced exercise and you need to have sufficient shoulder, torso and lower body stability, plus good co-ordination to manage that move. My advice is that Beginners do Body Weight or Goblet Hold Reverse Lunges instead and intermediates do Regular or Contra-lateral Reverse Lunges.

If you have been practicing Windmills, Overhead Presses and/or Turkish Get Ups for a while now, then you can give this exercise a go. Start with a light weight and build up your co-ordination and confidence as it’s very easy to lose the shoulder stability and the weight pull you backwards. Β Focus on keeping that arm LOCKED OUT. Once you are maxed out, then lower the KB into the rack position and carry on with the regular Reverse Lunges.

IF you want to make it even harder, then have the KB Overhead on the opposite side. So it becomes a Contra-lateral Overhead Reverse Lunge. Something I will try the next time – eek!

Lots to keep you occupied here!

Feedback appreciated as always πŸ™‚




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  1. Marianne,
    Great workout! I did have a question with the bridging combo? What is the amount of time allowed for those two exercises? or is it a max effort on those two exercises and when you can’t do another rep you move on to the interval exercises? Is there a set amount of rest after the bridging combo exercises or do you go right back into the intervals?


    1. Hey Jason. No time limit for the bridging combo, or the rest. When you feel ready, do sub-max reps on the pull ups (about 1 or 2 reps less than your max) and then rest a little and move on to the set reps for the hanging leg/knee raises. After the Bridging Combo, begin the intervals when you feel ready. You see, I am not a complete tyrant πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

  2. Marianne,
    My latest workout (that will be posted on my blog as soon as I get it edited) definitely has some KB movies inspired by you! May I post a link to your site on that upcoming blog post?
    Thank you for the inspiration!

  3. Oh my – you know what killed me???? The overhead reverse lunges because my shoulders are not very strong – I can do 50# barbell ( on my back) reverse lunges, but could only hold 15 pounds over head for the first two sets and 12.5 for the last set and I was sucking wind like crazy! I know I need more strength in my upper body…I just LOVE to work my lower body sooooo much more! Thanks for the new routine!!!! Michele πŸ˜‰

  4. Did this one yesterday. Great workout! The overhead reverse lunges were a bit scary, but felt so good to focus and see that I can do them with 25 lbs. I still can’t do pull ups, so I have to jump a bit to give my self a boost :)Thanks for the great workout!

    1. The jump will only be temporary – I promise! Before long, you’ll be pulling from a dead hang. It’s great that you are persevering all the same and that you enjoy a challenge πŸ˜€

  5. I finally got around to doing this workout. I did a warm up then rope skipping for around 2 minutes.
    I was also hungover. I don’t recommend doing this after a night drinking with the girls. notice i changed things up a bit.
    Here are my scores:

    Turkish get up (1Γ—8kg) (?, 2, 4)
    Overhead Reverse Lunge (left) ( 2 8kg) ?,12 1 (8kg), 19 1 (8kg)
    Same on same on right, I tried the 12kg but my hangover would not let me so I quickly switched back.
    alt one handed swing Swing (16kg) (29,26,30, ) –
    Renegade Row (2Γ—16kg) (10, 20 with 2 12kg, 7 with the 16kg)
    Burpees with jump and raising arms at top (14, 13, 13) –hangovers and burps don’t work well.

    Bridging Combo

    Pull Ups x β€œsub max” reps LOL – 3 2 assist 4 3 assist. 3 assist. I re
    Hanging Leg/Knee Raises x 8 – 12 reps (10, 11, 12) I did all full leg raises these bitches hurt

    I was dead and sweating.

    1. OOOH dear a hungover workout! eek! The secret is, to do it while you’re still a little drunk… then it don’t seem so bad and you don’t even care about your numbers hehe! You think you do great no matter what πŸ˜›

      Kodos to you for sticking with it! x

  6. Hi Marianne,

    Just a quick question for you…
    I’d like to give the double suitcase deadlift burpee a try but I have different weight and sized KBs. Any tips? (I don’t want to do double the amount of burpees! – one for each arm)

    Great workout as always. Will be giving it a go tonight!


    1. Hey Clare. You can do the DLs with uneven weights and sizes, just swap them over on the second round. I know the 3rd round will be tricky, but you could always add a 4th to get even numbers πŸ˜‰

      Hope this helps. Good luck! πŸ˜€

  7. A great uncomplicated workout with some double-duty exercises and with nice longer time intervals for endurance.

    1. Double KB suitcase DL/burpee 16 Kg x 2: 14.5 13. 13.5 (the max I can go with doubles)
    2. overhead reverse lunge R 10 Kg 20, 20, 19 (anything heavier was too scary! ;-o )
    3. overhead rev lunge L 10Kg 20, 19, 19
    4. 2 handed swing 20 Kg 38, 37, 38 (not so scared)
    5. renegade rows 12 Kg x 2 24, 25, 24 (my heaviest stable pair)
    6 burpees 15, 15, 15 (I still feel slow at these)

    1.pullups (chinups) 4, 4,4
    2. hanging leg raises 12, 12, 12

    I am still intimidated by 20 Kg swings, so I don’t use that weight much, but I can obviously do it, so I should persist with that weight more often. On the exercises using paired bells, I am limited by what I have, esp with the rows, as there is no way I could row with a bell buddy on the bottom — I’ve already fallen over on this exercise, and I want to stay with KBs for this as its good for developing core strength. I probably could have gone up on the overhead lunge, but I wasn’t confident about more over my head at the same time as focussing on a stable stance. My shoulders did get some burn just holding the weight up that long!

    Even though I worked hard, this just didn’t tax me as much as the faster routines — I didn’t think I took that much rest.. just an extra sip or two of water! I was still breathing hard when I did the bridge, but then there was another short rest before the next round. So my scoring system is lower than usual:
    HR 1 Sweat 1- Face light red, but breathing hard.

    I still enjoyed this, Thanks!

    ~ Gillian

  8. I too am sore form Mondays workout!!! Looking forward to tonight’s workout-bring on the ouch πŸ™‚
    Thanks for the great workouts…

  9. Woah! Just finished and I’m whacked! Thanks again, it was awesome. I really feel that I’m starting again in a way, which is good because I was beginning to plateau using a certain other site. A new and very challenging level for me, and it feels great. πŸ™‚

      1. yea i was wacked to, not sure how my numbers were, but my body said you rocked, and now i’m dying , thank you very much.

  10. cAN I JUST SAY YOU ROcK.. i just did this, and i’m steal panting and shaking as i’m typing this. I thought after the second round, there was no way in hell i was going to make it to the 3rd round. but i pushed my way through. I had to make some modifications as that damn elbow will not get better.

    suitcase burpees 14, 14, 12 with 15 lbs
    OH Reverse lunge l, and right 23, and 24, all three rounds, 23 was always on the left side.
    2 hand swing, 25 lb 36, 36, 15lb 26

    Renegade row, 25lbs 30, 15lbs, 33, 15lbs 30
    burpees `15, 17, 15

    first two rounds of rows 25 with 8 lbs, can’t do pullups….
    third again, my arms, i had to bump down to 5lbs, did around 30

    legs lifts, 12, 12, and then i did 12 regular and 8 on each side diagonally.

    May i say, i have never run out of water before, and yea i did. i was dying.

  11. Marianne,
    I can’t do a quarter of a pull-up to save my life. Any recommendations on how to start on getting there ?
    This workout looks soooo good…. I am so tempted to get me some kettlebells, for now I just use dumbells. What kind of kettlebells would a beginner need ? ( as in what weight and how many, I see you have them all in pairs and nicely colour coded :)).

    1. Satya, In my FAQ area, I have a handy post “A Guide to Pull Ups” that will help you. Another article that might help you overcome this obstacle is Neghar Fonooni’s “How I Stopped Sucking at Pull Ups”.

      As for the weight. I need to do a post on this: but for women, I recommend starting at 6kg-12kg. Normally, most women can manage an 8kg at the start of all things, but will quickly progress to using the 12kg for swings, squats, deadlifts, rows. If you are only getting one, get the 8kg. If you can afford 2, get the an 8kg and 12kg. They don’t need to be the same weight as you can double up eventually with uneven weights anyway.

      Hope this helps. I always advise you to try before you buy too. So find a shop you can get a feel for the weight to gauge it better for yourself, but also consider what is better value. If it’s between a 6kg and 8kg for example – go with the 8kg as it will do you longer and benefit your strength more.


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