Home Strength Workout with Evil Tabata!

by Marianne  - December 18, 2011

Hi all,

So a few of you have been wanting to find more of my strength workouts on here, so I have done this one to make it a little easier in the meantime as I try to re-organise all my workouts.

The frustrating thing about this workout was that I had it filmed already on Thursday and then I accidently deleted the files on Friday night (after a couple of vinos) πŸ™ So I had to re-film it on Saturday. I couldn’t face sitting and editing it, so I gave myself today to work on the blog! It’s very frustrating when this sort of thing happens – I am glad I had the wine to keep me chilled LOL!

Anyway, you will see from the exercises here that there is nothing “special” or fancy about them. In fact, for the most part, these exercises (or variations of them) are all you need in your program. To get stronger just progress the weight. Β But also remember that your “lighter” work with KBs will assist your strength gains because you are always working on the same movement patterns, full range of movement, your flexibility, mobility, stability and correct muscular activation etc. There are so many improvements you can make to your strength by these home workouts alone πŸ™‚

The Workout

Rather than doing sets, I decided on rounds of set reps (within a range). Β The rep range that I have suggested may differ from your own. It is fine to do more or less reps than what I suggest, as long as you are being challenged by the exercise.

Also remember that where I have two KBs, you can do the same exercise with one. And for those who don’t have a pull up bar, just leave that out for now. Β I would recommend getting a pull up bar if you intend on training at home.

Complete 3 rounds of the following 6 exercises. My completed reps and weights used are in brackets. (And, I only did 2 rounds – bad me!).

  1. Double KB Front Squat into Double Military Press x 5 – 10 reps (with 2x14kg – 8 ) (with 2x16kg – eventually 3 presses then 3 with double jerks) – my vertical press needs a lot of work these days!
  2. Double KB Single-Leg Deadlift (right) x 6 – 12 reps (with 2x16kg – 10 ) (with 2x20kg – 5 then 1)
  3. (Left) – same everything, but felt a lot harder.
  4. Pull Ups x just under your max (5, 5) – these are feeling better!
  5. Close Grip Push Ups x your max (19, 18 )
  6. Double KB Bent Over Row x 8 – 15 (2x16kg – 13) (2x20kg – 5 then 3 more) – tough jump of 8kg in this exercise!

Evil Tabata

Evil is right !! Set your Gymboss Interval Timer for 8 cycles of 10 seconds recovery and 20 seconds MAX effort. Complete 4 rounds of the following 2 exercises:

  1. Two-Handed KB Swing (24kg)
  2. Squat Jumps

Two rounds plus Tababa, I think, took me about 30. But I was bad and didn’t time it – sorry!


Let me know how you did πŸ™‚

Have fun!



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  1. I did this workout again this evening and as I hadn’t trained for four days I thought I’d go for three rounds. It was tough and I was taking it nice and steadily because I really wanted to get my form right as it needs improvement. Then damn you and your quick fire tabata to finish! LOL only joking πŸ™‚ The dramatic shift in pace rockets you out of your comfort zone and I was in a heap at the end. Thanks again for another awesome workout, your site is the best!

    Also, did you do the max chin ups Survival of the Fittest challenge yet?

    1. Haha Niko! Glad you survived this one. I haven’t done the Max Chin-Up challenge yet and now my arms arm so sore from yesterday’s workout, might need a few days before I try it. Are you going to do it?

    1. The reason behind barefoot training (or as near to it as you can) is that you get grounded better. This means you can really grip the floor with your feet and enhance your balance, co-ordination and strength because you can maintain the tension throughout the whole body. I never realised how important the feet were in all this until I tried training barefoot. I also love my Vibrams, but there’s something nice about barefoot training too. Plus I was washing my Vibrams over a couple of days πŸ™‚

      Although it is a personal preference too, I would recommend training this way πŸ™‚

  2. Excellent combination for routine and start, kill and force development. very judicious as always, hank you for sharing.

  3. I just asked about strength workouts last week, and now you have already started πŸ™‚ thanks a lot for this workout, looks great.

    And I can see you also added a strength section under “workouts”,
    just super πŸ™‚

    Thanks a lot for all your work to share so much useful information, it’s just the greatest website for finding training information.


    1. You’re welcome Paul. And, there’s another one on the way for this section πŸ˜€ Though it has conditioning too – but it is definitely a strength-based design!


  4. I also just made a small donation to you Marianne. If you lived closer I’d buy you a drink.:-)
    Thank you for all you do you are an awesome inspiration.

    1. Aw THANK YOU Mickela! So kind of you! I really do appreciate all the support. Without my readers, I would have no reason to keep making this place better. And I thank you for all your input and suggestions. Hopefully I will get to buy you a drink one day πŸ˜€

  5. Good mix of body weight and kettlebell exercises. tonight is my hot yoga class, will save this one for tomorrow. it looks scary in a good way.

    I am bracing up for the holiday madness. My weakness is the alcohol espcially wine and bubbly wine.
    I just purchased the gymboss max and left your website on the where did you find out about gymboss.

    1. Ooh nice one!! Love my Gymboss MAX! Thanks for letting them know where you saw it. Myomytv needs to be an option!

      Ah yes, the alcohol :-/ hehe! Irish Coffees, mulled wine, cider … list goes on! HA! Good on ya girl, that’s my attitude festive drinking.

  6. yes, that was exactly the move i’m referring too. yes if you could add some in like maybe once every four workouts or something,,,, then i can remember to add them at the end of some of the workouts you don’t have them on. but sometimes i need my memory jolted on how to do them……. Or heck even if you wanted to do a tutorial or a quick set and put them under that group…. then i could always refer back to tutorials, since i would know where to find them .

    I”m going to try your killer workout today, if i get a nap in. I only slept four hours last night.

    1. I have always got mine from Wolverson-Fitness, based in England. If you are ordering, so it before January, because they told me their prices are going up then. I was wanting to put in an order for a weighted vest and a new KB – so need to do that asap πŸ™‚

  7. ok i can’t wait to do this workout, i’m thinking tomorrow on my day off…… you looked like you were going to fall down on those evil jumps, makes me wonder if i do the three rounds recommended that i will even be able to attempt the tabada. ha ha

    also i was browsing your old workouts, and there is a ab move i never see you do anymore, you were taking the KB all the way around your body,,,, why don’t you do those anymore?

    1. Is that the slingshot move? When I stand and pass the KB round and round? It’s a good move, I just don’t really do much ab or core specific stuff anymore. Would you like me to add some of that stuff back in, maybe as bridging exercises? πŸ™‚

  8. This is a goodie, Marianne. You are damn strong! Thanks so much for all you do! I hope you know that we appreciate your taking the time to film your workouts, blog it and provide full details. And, on top of it all, answer reader questions! Hugs!

  9. Marianne,

    Looks good. I’ve used the tabata protocol quite often when I’m switching up intensity in my workout. It always helps to switch up athe perspective of a routine.

    Is this routine evil? Could seem that way.

    Is this routine good for you? Yes.

    Thanks for sharing.


  10. Looks great! And really hard!

    One question: You write that you recommend us to get a pull up bar if we intend to workout at home (which i do) so I wanted to know how one should start working with that. IΒ΄m not even close to doing one push up on my toes, IΒ΄m working on them on my knees still… So I guess itΒ΄ll take me quite some time to do pull ups. Would you recommend a dip station instead? Also?!

    1. Beata, are you asking how you can build up to your first pull up or push up? Your one question is kind of 2 or 3 πŸ˜‰ lol

      Pull up Guide will help you with learning good form and some progressions. As for a dip station, I would say “maybe”. The problem with many “cheaper” dip stations is that, for females, the bars can be set too wide – so I would like to find a dip station I was happy with before recommending one. Besides, I do feel that you can accomplish great upper body pushing strength with just a horizontal press (push ups and chest press) and your vertical press (military press, push press etc). Dips ARE a badass exercise though and a great one to accomplish, but hold off until you can master your push ups …. especially the close grip ones to really strengthen those triceps. The ONLY additional benefit to some dip stations is that you can to easier seated pull ups and inverted rows. That being said, it might be better to buy a TRX or rings, if you have somewhere to put them – more stuff you can do with them so better value for money.

      Just thinking out loud really, so I hope it makes sense ??

  11. Hi Marianne,

    That was a great workout.

    The one question I have is regarding the pull ups. Is there an advantage in using the neutral grip (which you demonstrated) vs the wide grip? I would think you could do more with the neutral grip but I’m not sure.



    1. Good question Garry. Both the underhand and neutral grip pull ups (or chin ups) allow you to use more biceps to assist the pull therefore making it easier. Overhand wide grip pull ups should be all back, which make them harder. Most people find it difficult to fully engage the correct muscles and end up shrugging their way up. Aiming for the chest to the bar is a good cue to avoiding this.

      But wide grip is more challenging than even the narrow overhand grip, because you are relying more on the lats over the upper back muscles, traps and lats etc. I would recommend a variety πŸ™‚ To get the benefits of all pull ups!

  12. New workout, yay:) This one looks deliciously evil!!! I’m gonna give it a go tomorrow since I already have the magic blonde workout in my book for today. I’ll post my scores when I do it.

  13. Hi Marianne,

    Did you do this workout for time? (i.e. did you time yourself to see how quickly you did it?)

    thanks again – it looks great! πŸ™‚


      1. That’s OK – one more question, though. When it says, for example, “…Double KB Front Squat into Double Military Press x 5 – 10 reps”, does that mean I’ll be doing 5 reps to 10 reps of the exercise (as opposed to 5 sets of 10 reps) and then move onto the next exercise?

        Thanks! πŸ™‚

        1. I mean you do 5 – 10 reps of that exercise, move on to the next and do the reps etc. Then come back to each exercise in the next round. My next workout (another great strength workout) will have sets and reps – so you try both ways. I have filmed it and all, and it’s a GOOOOD ONE πŸ˜€

          1. Oooo! I have been doing workouts from another blogger but now that I have found you, I much prefer yours! Love your (and that of your GGS colleagues) philosophy toward women and strength training and your workouts!

            Thanks for sharing and keep up the great work!! πŸ™‚

          2. Thanks Wendy! I am glad that you like the message that myself, my readers, and the other Girls Gone Strong “preach” – it is much more positive than what “some” other blogs are doing.

            I stand by this message and method 100%

            You are very welcome here, thanks for your comment πŸ˜€

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