Heavenly Hell Batman! Kettlebell & Bodyweight Conditioning Circuit

by Marianne  - September 23, 2011

Hey everyone,

Don’t know why I added “Batman” to the title, it seemed funny, so I went with it …

So a little news for those who don’t follow me on Facebook. Tomorrow I am heading off for a week in Malta! Yes, I deserve a relaxing holiday and I intend on making the most of it. This week of annual leave was pre-booked from last year, as it was meant for something else that is no longer happening – so for that reason I am going to take a break from workout uploads and focus on ME 🙂 Now, that’s not to say that I won’t perhaps film a workout for upload when I get home, and I may even have a chance to do a little article while I’m relaxing. In fact I have one in the pipeline that I think you will all like to read …

Oh and if I see anything of interest then I may share some of my favorite things about Malta. I know this is a fitness blog and all, but I feel I have a lot of friends who now visit the site and they might want to know how I am getting on on my holiday.

Now that I have the update done, I will get on with telling you about the killer workout I did today!

Conditioning at its best. If you want to increase your heart rate to the point of wanting to puke, then here is the workout for you! Also, if you are wanting a helping hand to burn a FEW 😉 calories, then go for this conditioning circuit. Using resistance in this interval training style, you will stand to burn more calories during and after you train. With this type of workout, supplementing your strength training and other activities, there will be no doubt your body and mind will thank you ten* fold!

*not an exact figure

The Workout

Set your Gymboss Classic Interval Timer for either 30 cycles of 20 seconds recovery and 40 seconds effort (feel free to increase the intensity to 15/45), or 10 cycles of the same. Then complete 3 rounds (either continuous or separate) of the following 10 exercises:

As usual my weights used and reps per exercise are in brackets.

  1. Vertical Swing Burpee (20kg) (11.5, 10, 10)
  2. Stand-Kneel-Stand (left) (16kg) (16, 14, 13)
  3. Stand-Kneel-Stand (right) (16kg) (15, 14, 13)
  4. Two-Handed KB Swing (24kg) (25, 24, 24)
  5. Super Plank Climber (11, 10, 8.5)
  6. Goblet Squat (20kg) (14, 14, 12)
  7. Kettlebell Half Snatch (left) (16kg) (8, 8, 7)
  8. KB Half Snatch (right) (16kg) (9, 7, 7)
  9. Burpees (13, 11, 11)
  10. **Evil Jumps (10, 9, 8.5)

**One Evil Jump = One Dynamic Squat + two Two Lunge Jumps (one each side)

I LOVED this workout! For me the interval times were perfect for a 10 exercise round and it felt great to have so much variety to keep the workout fun, yet enough technical exercises to make it challenging 🙂 Today I felt a lot happier with my Snatches as I used a heavier KB. So the extra weight made me use my hips more.  I thought I would give revisit the Evil Jumps hehe, because I have a funny feeling you all have secretly missed them 😛

So that is it for today and I hope you will keep tuning in while I’m on holiday as you never know what spur of the moment madness I might post! Besides, don’t I have a “Glute Bridges Everywhere Tour” to start?? All those donations have come in handy 😉 😉 😉 xx

Have a great weekend everyone!


PS – for those of you who don’t have a Facebook account … GET ONE! Even if it’s only to “follow” me, then it’s worth giving in to Social Media peer pressure!!


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What You’re Made Of! Kettlebell and Jump Rope Workout

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  1. i swear by Vibrams….. love them. Unfortunately my work won’t let me wear them there, which sucks, because my feet literally are in pain when i do not wear them. i’ve thought about possible later on after the holiday thinking about seeing about getting a dr’s excuse for them. when i wear regular shoes all day and am on my feet my foot hurts so bad. I can wear the five finger shoes all day and forget i have them on.

  2. Well I guess I’m going to have to start shopping around for some of them funny looking shoes you wear j/k I never realized how important the placemnt of the foot is when doing squats etc. Thanx for the video. U mentioned as well you lift barbell twice a week, do you keep your KB & BW conditioning workouts seperated different days? This weekend I’m working on a whole new workout routine, thanx 2 u:) What I like about your workouts is that my heart rate stays up so I’m actually getting a good cardio workout as well (not that boring running on the tread mill stuff), which means I’ll be out of the gym a lot faster:)

    1. Haha, I would recommend the shoes, I love them for that very reason. Vibram will soon have to make me an affiliate, because I am always saying how great they are for lifting and balance!

      For me, keeping my strength training (BB stuff) and my conditioning (KBs and BW stuff) on separate days works best. The KB and BW stuff definitely is great conditioning and fun. But I know a lot of people who still enjoy “conventional” cardio. Fair play to them!

      Actually, just this last few sessions in the gym, I have started adding 15 mins of cardio to the end. I just feel that it might help my over all conditioning and CV health to have a little cardio. But even 15 mins on the cross-trainer thing BORES me to tears! The other reason I have added it is because it’s the season to eat more LOL and I can’t (nor want to) say “no” to nice festive food. So I add a little more activity to my days instead as energy compensation 😛 But it is annoying to hang about at the gym longer than before. I should probably just buy a bicycle and bike-it to the gym and back …

      1. Alright, I’ll keep an eye out for them shoes thanx! (one more reason I’ll have people @ the gym looking @ me crazy, should’ve seeing the stares when I was doing the barbell hip thrust lol) Oh well….like Bret (glute guy) said soon everbody in the gym will start doing these lol

        On your strenght training days do you do any cardio or any of your light conditioning w/o’s? Being on the lean side I dont want to lose muscle so i’m thinking of not doing any cardio on these days. And do you think its safe to do pull ups, dips, & push ups every other day or should I wait atleast 2 days?

        And I watched the GGS video….wow! It’s really good to see women encouraging & pushing one another marianne! Great vidoe!! Who ever said women cant get along anyway man lol Please keep us updated with everything you are doing..please! It really pushes me to work harder.

        1. Cita, lately i have added 15 mins of cardio to my strength training days, but only because I know I will be eating a little more at this time of year. Plus it’s good for CV health. I have managed to maintain my body composition without extra cardio.

          As for your dips and pulls ups etc, gauge it on how well you have recovered. Also if you are not progressing after 2 weeks, then reassess and possibly add more recovery. It’s an individual thing really, but my advice is listen to your body.

          I’m glad you enjoyed the GGS video! Keep glute bridging too and let people ask what you’re doing! 😀

          1. Hope you’re doing good! I’ll definitely make a note of that…in the past when I dont see results/no progress I usually intensify my workouts, but u actually think I should maybe think of adding more recovery time, ok, I’ll try that. And you’re right I dont always listen to my body. I’ll let you know how that works out for me. I just always think more recovery time equals loss of muscle.

            I dont know if you do any additional exercises for your calf or not but mine are real lean & I want to add size to them as well, do you think it’s too much to work them twice a week. (3 differnt weight exercises/3sets per ex. & 3sets of 100 reps BW calf raises) I actually feel the burn better when using my own BW.

            Thanx again for everthing……talk to u soon!

          2. With the calf muscles I say you can hammer them fairly often as they are a small muscle and they recovery quickly. Again go with your own recovery rate. Because you are used to training them often then stick with it. Twice a week I think is grand 🙂

            Best of luck !

  3. Just subscribed on FB !

    stumbled onto your site via youtube.

    gotta say your vids are really inspiring !

    I Started working out again about a year ago after a long long….long layoff

    thought I was finally in pretty decent shape until I saw some of your workouts….you would kick my ass in the gym ! LOL

    Keep up the good work !

  4. just found your blog via bret contreras and nia shanks….loving it! great workouts…its so kick ass to see women lift heavy and work HARD…keep it up!

    1. Hey Naomi, thanks for your comment! Welcome to my blog 😀 Like the look of yours and loving the name onefitfoodie.

      Check it out everyone!

      Same right back at ya x

  5. Well Marianne, its been awhile since I’ve completed one of your workouts. I had high hopes for today, but it appears my lower back had other ideas. I am going to try to rest and recover so this pain goes away and then hopefully i can finish this one. (The first set was awesome btw 😉 Unfortuantely I am too stubborn and I don’t listen to my body enough…
    I hope you are having fun on your vacation, I am going to visit the boyfriends parents this week in Buffalo, NY. I think it will be the break my mind and body need from work 🙂 Have fun
    Take care,

    1. Thank you Sam, hope you have a great weekend and rest 🙂 My body is well rested, I only dread the DOMS after my first workout since coming back LOL! Hope your back feels better soon!

  6. Amazing workout! I can’t wait to get back to it. I took 2 weeks off to help my parents move and I feel like a blob!!!!! Monday can’t come soon enough for me to try this workout. Marianne, take some time to relax in Malta and have a drink for me!!!

    1. Thanks Mike! Don’t worry, feeling like a blob is something we all think after some time off from training. I know I have these feelings right now after indulging on holiday and not training. But, this does help with making you more motivated and more focused when you get back into the swing of things. I will be joining you on Monday to do a new workout 😀

  7. Hi Marianne,
    Great workout, tough . I really enjoyed it .
    I also tried Mickela’s workout sans the pull ups.
    Whew !!! That was tough as well. I used a 8kg
    Kettlebell throughout . My shoulders were on fire.
    You guys rock !!! Thanks for posting Mickela.
    Enjoy Malta , pictures, pictures .
    Minnie 

    Ps. I did these workouts on different days.

    1. Thanks Minnie. You are super dedicated. I have hardly done any training here in Malta, so it will be interesting to see how my numbers are when I get home! eek!

      I will get some lovely picts up when I get home. Just too much beautiful weather that I don’t want to miss 😀

  8. i had to just do vertical swings, no burpees, as i was using the 25lb bell. i also did the 2 handed swings with the 25lb kb. i used the 15 lb for the stand kneel stands, 2 handed swing, goblet squat, snatch… i did not do the burpees at the end….

    this is a awesome workout. i can’t believe how flipping heavy the 25 pound weight is, i don’t understand how you can possibly be swinging and snatching around 50 lb bells, IMPRESSIVE.
    TEMP : )

  9. Do you do any exercises to build grip strength ?
    Unfortunately having broken both wrists throughout life my grip strength goes the way of the dodo ( thank goodness for straps )when into heavy DLs/etc and even heavier weighted interval exercises.

    Ps. Your backside looks particular globular ! Amazing work woman!

    1. Thanks Lauren 😉

      The grip strength topic is one I am intending on covering in an article + tutorial in the near future, so you will get some useful tips from that. Hopefully we can help yours 🙂

  10. hi Marianne I just finished a workout that is similar in the way it kicks your cardiovascular system’s butt.

    I called it extreme crazy cardio. Reduce time according to level
    50 sec rest 2:00 min x6 cycles for all exercises rest in between each exercise or you will not be able to finish this madness.

    long cycle (swing, clean, push press or jerk) I used 12kg

    snatch 8kg,12kg

    push press 2 kb 8kg each

    rope skip try different styles so as to not get bored.

    Then I threw a pull up at the end. I would not recommend this to a beginner.
    I will try yours on my next extreme cardio workout.


      1. mickela, can you explain that long cycle to me, are you chosing one of the few moves mentioned, or doing every single one of them for the 2 minute work.

  11. Hi Marianne,
    I don’t know if you’ve looked at the forum lately but, person (s)
    are posting alot of nonsense. Crap really. How did that happen ?
    They’re on introductions and other parts of the index. There’s someone
    who posted something in another language. Anyway, just thought I’d
    mention it. I don’t know if it’s spam or what .


    1. Thanks Minnie! Yeah it’s all SPAM 🙁 Sarajane and I are working on a solution to allow people to activate their accounts more easily but without letting spam in… it’s hard to get the balance right! Cheers for letting me know, will let Sarajane know too 🙂

  12. I will try this…with either a bucket or doctor close by…i can see myself puking or having a heart attack…but at least i’ll have killer abs and a toned butt…just kidding…killer workout!! Great job

  13. Hi Marianne! I will be doing this workout tonight and I can hardly wait. It’s like a “goody bag” of exercises 😉 ! I wish you a fantastic trip in Malta and look forward to any updates you post on Facebook.

  14. Hello Marianne,
    hope you have a blast in Malta:)

    A question on heart rate and exercise and if you don’t/decline to answer then I fully accept that. And if you do I still don’t hold you responsible;)

    When going through a hard kettle bell routine – along the lines of one of yours – I find I am above 85% of my HR max for probably >90% of the session. The only reason I know this is that I train with a Polar heart rate monitor, mainly to get a count of my calories.

    What is your opinion on exceeding the 85% max? For me I know I am working hard (swinging a 16kg bell is no mean feat even for the fittest of us) but I feel fine during the workout and even better after it (I guess because of the endorphins). And my lips never turn blue:) I would say I am reasonably fit and have been using kbs for the past 6 months.

    Any opinion welcomed and I realize its only an opinion and that I should contact a doctor for any advice:)

    thanks again and great work on the blog,

    1. PP, I would honestly answer that I don’t know the long term effects of this happening, but I am 100% sure that my heart rate frequently exceeds 85% of my MAX during my workouts. In fact, unless you are using a measuring device, how would most people know how to stay within what is “safe”? You know what I mean? If you didn’t have that heart monitor you would be exceeding the 85% anyway, but would be none the wiser … maybe we think about these things too much. I think it matters more when you are at 85% for a prolonged period of time, but then I am a firm believer that the body has its own safety mechanisms in place to warn us of “danger”, unless your heart is faulty.

      Also, during my workouts and other HIIT training you have a recovery period that SHOULD allow the heart rate to drop enough! I know of another fitness blog who has intervals of 10 seconds rest and 50 seconds effort. So perhaps it is not the fact that you go to 85% or above, but for how long.

      Again, I do not know the exact research/science behind it but, the way I see it, how do any of us know our HR if we are not calculating it? Just a my opinion and experience though. Please do check with a medical professional if you have any doubt or concerns OR any heart issues etc etc, as I am not an expert in that. There’s my disclaimer 😉

      Good question!

      1. Thanks Marianne. I don’t have any worries or concerns or heart issues 🙂 but value different opinions. If I stuck to 70% of my HR max, I don’t think I would feel any benefit and would definitely not be close to feeling taxed and would be concerned that I was not increasing my strength or aerobic capacity. As it is I feel I am having a good hard workout and feel great afterwards and the positive effects that a hard workout brings. But that’s just me 😉

        Hope you have a great time in Malta and I look forward to your next routine:-)


        1. I’m the same PP, totally agree 🙂 I am having a great time in Malta, but having blog/workout withdrawals 🙁 I am looking forward to getting stuck into a new routine early next week 🙂

  15. Loved this workout! I used the 45/15 interval it seems to work well for me. I had to modify the snatches my left side I couldn’t do a half I actually had to do the full motion or it still hurts it’s weird. Definitely pushed it with this one:)

  16. Hi Marianne,

    That is a great workout and I will try and implement at one of my sessions next week. My question is how much time do you usually rest after each round before the next one? With 10 exercises I would think you would rest, at least, a minute.

    Thanks and have a great time in Malta!!


    1. Absolutely Garry, 1 – 2 mins depending on how you feel. I think what matters is that you don’t cool down and you are able to put a good amount of effort into the next round to make it beneficial. For beginners that might be 3 mins of active recovery, others 1 min.

      Malta is beautiful so far!

  17. Marianne,

    Hi.I also do the half-snatch. I really like the negative part of it. It really works my shoulders. But I wish I could do the snatch, its when to bell comes down that doesn’t feel right. Hope you have a great vacation. And yes, please post pics of your trip.


    1. Thanks Maria! The snatch hurts my grip on the way down,and I think the negative part will even help my Military Presses? I hope anyway 🙂 I hope I will have a chance to update you all during the week. If not, I will when I get home 🙂

  18. I did miss the evil jumps! In fact, I did them last week in a workout. Have a lovely time in Malta and enjoy pampering yourself.

    1. Wow! That video really inspired me to step it up,
      I appreciate you sharing that. I wanted to know how many times a week do you work out? And do you ever lift free weights. That’s all I’ve ever really done as far as strength training and I want to start adding these workouts to my routine! I dont want to over-train. Thanx again!


      1. Hey Cita,

        I lift a barbell twice a week and I do a KB and BW Conditioning workout twice a week. I used to do more, but now this is enough because I lift heavier and I respond better to more recovery. Other people train more, some less; it’s about finding what works best for you, so there will be some trial and error 🙂

        1. Very surprising….your arms have a lot of definition to them and the fact that you dont really lift free weights is shocking to me, I guess cuz I’m use to them. Which I have to admit they are very boring. Are you usually using the barbell for bridges/hip thrust/squats? The gym that I go to has KB’s and barbell so I will definitely start follwing your work outs…I love them. I always admired how football players train and your work outs remind me of them. lol Thank You soo much for the advice & enjoy your day 🙂


          1. The definition is there because I do pull ups, dips, push ups, other heavy training and lots of conditioning 🙂 I don’t believe that anything else (for isolating muscles) is necessary unless you have a weakness, or are wanting to create perfect symmetry for body building or figure shows. Plus I guess it depends how lean you are too.

            I use the barbell for Deadlifts, squats (front and back squat), front-loaded reverse lunges, good mornings, RDLs, overhead presses (sometimes) and Glute bridges. I am also starting to do Olympic lifts again – so snatches and cleans with jerks. Loads of things with a barbell 😀

            KBs are my conditioning buddies 😛 But I also want to use them for increasing my press and TGU.

            Hope you will let me know how you get on with my workouts!

            Have fun!

          2. that’s really good to hear….like I said before I was getting pretty bored with my routine. I am lean on top so I’ll monitor my progress as weeks go by. Today I tried the waist shrinking workout/cardio & core routine and it was a lot of fun:) Started @ the beginners stage but it wasnt as challeging, so next time I will step it up to the inter/advanced. I also cehcked out your advice on back, core, squat and it was very helpful..thank you for that. (found out I wasn’t doing my squats correctly) And speaking of squats, I notice that I can feel more contraction in my glutes when I’m bare footed than with shoes, why is that? Is it just me? lol Anyway, cant wait to chek out the girls gone strong video. God bless and take care!!

          3. Nice one Cita! Oh the video is up – check out my new post Simply Girls Gone Strong.

            As for your barefoot giving you more glute contraction, that is because if you enable your whole foot to be in contact with the floor and this will actually help activate the muscles in the rest of the body. For example, I learned from a great coach about performing pistols that the part of the foot near the big toe will help activate the VMO (Vastus Medialis Oblique part of the quad). Now when I squat etc I ensure my whole foot is in contact with the floor.

            Check out this video on Tripod Foot. It is not only you, it means you have good activation 🙂

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