Keep Her Lit | New Home Workout and Girls Gone Strong!

by Marianne  - November 7, 2011

Hi everyone,

It is only 4 days until I make my way back to the USA for the first official meeting of Girls Gone Strong. Super duper excited right now! I can’t wait to show you all what we get up to ๐Ÿ™‚

With all the organising I have to do and me not having any proper annual leave to take I will be trying to squeeze in a few “last chance” workouts here between my shifts and before I leave on Thursday morning. ย While I am excited to be seeing them all again, I can’t help but be a little nervous about the training. It’s natural to feel a little competitive, but I think I put way too much pressure on myself to be even anywhere near the standard the rest of the girls are at. ย In terms of training, I am only just starting my journey – so my focus should be on LEARNING as much as I can from these amazing women, do MY best, ย AND have a lot of fun in the process !!

The Workout Today

For a change I decided to focus on a little more endurance today. Given that the coming weekend will be full of intense training and a lot of travel, I need to take care that I do not over-train now. ย I plan one more Barbell session in the gym tomorrow and then a “lighter” workout /active recovery on Wednesday. Thursday will be for rest and travel; then it’s all out for Friday training with the Girls.

Set your Gymboss Interval Timer for 20 cycles of 30 seconds recovery and 1 min effort. I completed 2 rounds of the following 10 exercises. As usual my weights and reps per exercise are in brackets.

  1. Double KB Suitcase Deadlift Burpee (2x20kg) (14, 12)
  2. KB Tactical Reverse Lunges (16kg then 20kg) (25ish and 19/20)
  3. Elevated Plank Climber (24, 21)
  4. Goblet Squat (20kg) (22, 19)
  5. KB Renegade Rows (only had my 2x14kg) (22, 20)
  6. Two-Handed KB Swing (20kg) (36, 34)
  7. Burpees (19, 16) *busted*
  8. Evil Stand-Kneel-Stand (right) (16kg) (19, 17)
  9. Same, only left (16kg) (18, 17)
  10. Roundabout Swing (20kg then 16kg) (lost count, but about 33ish)

Throughout the workout my focus was not on max weights or even max reps but on enduring the full minute without stopping. Sometimes this meant slowing down and on the final swing it meant lowering the weight. It may also mean regressing the exercise to an easier variation and that is fine too. As your endurance improves, then the need to regress will decrease and you will be able to progress the weights and exercise etc.

For me this workout was very challenging because I am used to 45 seconds effort. That 15 seconds extra feels like FOREVER!

Have fun and I hope to be back before I head to Baltimore.




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  1. Just discovered your blog last week Marianne, absolutely delighted to discover that there’s another Irish girl who likes to throw around heavy things as much as I do! You’re an amazing role model, I’m going to direct any of my weights-fearing friends here.

    Also, sorry if it embarrasses you but I’m going to have to add my voice to the arse-admirer choir! You have definitely convinced me of the efficacy of glute bridges and kettlebell swings!

    I’m awaiting delivery of my new 16kg kettlebell today and I’m going to give this workout a go this evening.

  2. Have a blast on your trip to the States! Can’t wait to hear about it.
    Did this workout a couple of days ago and by the time I did the 10 exercises, I figured I could get through the next round no problem..OMG! I was exhausted halfway through, but I completed it! thanks so much! I don’t own any Kettlebells, so intead I use 35lb dumbells for the renegade rows and my sandbag for the 2-handed KB swing. Also, I replaced the roundabout swing with high knee jump rope. This is a keeper workout for my log book…I’ll do it again for sure!

  3. Hi Marianne,

    yet another excellent workout, really hard work! I decided to lay off push ups, plank climbers and KB thrusters for now because I have a Pectoralis Major Inflammation injury on both shoulders and those exercises seem to aggravate them.

    From your medical perspective, are there any other exercises that I should avoid, or any that I should try and use please?

    Best regards, Peter

    1. Peter, sorry to hear about your injury. My advice is to do what you did; which is listen to your body and stop if it hurts. As for rehab you would need to see a Physio – my medical opinion would only be valid if it was about nursing and health promotion.

      I would advise you to seek the cause of this inflammation and have it treated. In the meantime just keep any chest work light and ensure you do soft tissue work like self myofascial release, to make sure you don’t lose any range of movement across the chest.

      Hope this helps

      1. Hi Marianne,
        perhaps I had better explain where the the injury is, in case I have picked up the wrong term for it off the net.
        Where the deltoid muscle joins the upper arm and comes to a point, there is another muscle tendon that is attached under this end of the deltoid muscle and this is the one that is painful. I have seen a physio about it and he explained the layout of the muscles. He also said that it was in a difficult place to treat by massage…

        hope this clears things up a bit, Peter

          1. He actually said it wasn’t the rotator cuff, but I guess RC exercises may help with shoulder strength and rehab, perhaps?

            many thanks


  4. Hi Marianne, I did this awesome workout the other day , but right before I did it , I had told my husband” I don’t think I am going to go 100% today , I am just going to have some fun(so unlike me, my energy was down) and I thought I would do some exercise DVD of some sort , but low and behold I looked at the line up of exercises and thought OOO! 30 sec rest, 1 min work ,very interesting and then I saw the ever fun suitcase deadlift burpees and thought hmmmm, I like those,LOL, but you had me at “Tactical Reverse Lunges” . I had to do it and I am so glad I did because the workout totally energized me and got me back in a good space.;-) Thanks for always being a light in my day ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Hey Marianne,

    That was a really tough workout, was bathed in sweat after that one!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    That was quite an interesting swing variation you did, not seen that before, just gets the brain thinking a bit while you do it lol.

    My personal trainer I see once a week gets me to do quite a different type of swing sometimes that is really good. You may well know it already. Basically you stand with your feet almost together and swing a KB in each hand outside of your body. You tend to need to bend the legs more as your hips don’t assist the movement of the weight in the same way as the standard swing. It is more intensive on the glutes and the quads as there is less hamstring activation, and a little bit more shoulder activation to. Not quite sure if there is a proper name for it. It feels more of a strength swing than a cardio swing. I like it anyway lol.

    Oh and I hope you don’t mind but I was telling him about your site and I kinda stated that you have the best bum on the net ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Hope you have a fantastic time in the US. Just be yourself rather than trying to compete, although you can’t help being a bit competitive, I am sure you will all bring something different to the table.


    1. Thanks Steve! Gosh lots of “bum” comments today ๐Ÿ˜‰ Cheers for the compliment!

      I have never seen that type of swing. Maybe when I get a chance I’ll look it up. Do you have a link to anyone performing it?

      All of us are having an amazing time here. I forgot just how well we all get along and even though you want to do GREAT, everyone is so supportive and the competition is super friendly! Everyone have their strengths within strength training which is great, so I am getting to learn a lot of different tips from each expert in their area! I can’t wait to show you all the footage ๐Ÿ™‚

        1. Interesting Steve. Not sure what my thoughts on this swing are. If the drive isn’t coming from the hips, I don’t know the point in this other swing. Do you find it good for anything above and beyond the conventional swing? Just curious ๐Ÿ™‚

          1. Hey Marianne sorry for the late reply, I was lounging around on a beach in Egypt and had no mobile reception at all, and the internet cafe was rubbish lol.

            I am not sure quite how to answer that question. To me they are almost 2 different exercises, they definitely feel quite different to me. I certainly wouldn’t replace or favour the outside the legs swing over the conventional swing, that I am sure will remain my most frequently practised exercise. But it is just a bit different in that it places different emphasis on different areas. I guess you can only try it and see what you think. I think we all have some exercises we hate and some that we love. That’s the beauty of kettlebell training, there is so much variation ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Ok I mean no offence, but I can’t stop looking at your bum!!!
    It’s like a perfect round C!!!Blimey makes me want to do your favourite glute exercise(as seen on Bret’s blog) over and over three times a day!!!
    Had to look the video a second time to actually see the exercises LoL!!!
    Tracy Anderson my bum, you could get celebrities to get C bum, JLo step aside!!!
    Have a great time in America can’t see what you girls get up too!!Loved the way Alli casually turned round last time and said somebody go on the prowler!!!Legendary!!
    Safe journey

    1. Hey Sara, thanks for the best wishes AND the compliment ๐Ÿ˜‰ We are having such a great time; and Alli said it again!!!

      Can’t wait to get all the videos and photos up on here to show you all ๐Ÿ˜€

      So busy though, so blog post will be up asap!

  7. I love the Girls Gone Strong page! I have been doing Nia’s Badass heavy weights program and KB conditioning with yours as well as throwing in other finishers. It is awesome!!!!!!! Go learn lots so we can soak up the knowledge!!!!!

  8. Is it ok to do the deadlifts and row with kbs of different weights if you switch side in the 2nd round? DOnยดt have two of the same weight…

    Would love to try this as soon as my cold passes, soar throat and everything. Btw, would love to hear your opinion on working out while having a cold/feeling sick.

    1. Beata, I think you can use different weights for these exercises as long as you really focus on your core stability (especially the renegade rows). For the DLs, it fine ๐Ÿ™‚

      I wouldn’t tend to train when I feel sick or coldy, but I no some people say that if it’s above the neck then fine, if below the neck (in the chest), then rest. Personally, I’ d rest either way.

      Do what feels right for you, but if your form suffers and you feel really exhausted, then stop ๐Ÿ™‚

    2. Hi Beata I have used 20kg and 16kg and I alternate, I have also done a farmers walk alternating the weight, it is no different than carrying 2 shopping bags of different weights. Watching your form is the key.


  9. Good luck on your travel and training. I like the set up of this workout. long rest and at least one minute of work, that is usually what I do with kettle bells, sometimes as much as 2:00 effort, it helps me with form instead of fighting with how many reps I can complete.
    I did my cardio today, although I also did an interval of push presses with 2 12kg KB. I also did 2 consecutive pull ups.
    So things are improving around here.

    I can’t wait to see what you achieve with the girls.

    Safe travels and a big hug


      1. yes do I will probably be in the court yard doing my snatches and waving at every airplane like a lunatic, wait…. I am a lunatic


  10. Great workout Marianne, i have arm and glute envy you look amazing. Enjoy your trip to the US it’s very important what you girls are doing. I believe it’s vital for women to stay really strong whatever age they may be. Have fun

  11. Querida marianne,

    Gracias por ser una inspiraciรณn tan grande. A lo largo de los รบltimos aรฑos he luchado con mi peso, con mi aspecto, conmigo misma. Muchas veces mi motivaciรณn no ha estado lo suficientemente clara para mi; en la mayoria de los casos tengo que reconocer que he pensado que tenia que hacer ejercicio por la percepciรณn que tenรญan los demรกs de mi. Hoy me miro al espejo y me veo a mi misma,veo que solo me tengo a mi para poder estar saludable (aunque mi esposo es increible y me apoya incondicionalmente) Aรบn asรญ no es suficiente con el entrenamiento y hay que saber decir basta a la comida. Hoy he dado el primer paso, he ido a comprar un par de kettlebell (6kg) y estoy a punto de empezar a recorrer este camino.



    1. Hi Marianne, I just would like to translate this for you (it’s Spanish, very similar to Italian), just in case you hadn’t been able to figure out the meaning of MF’s message.

      “Dear Marianne,

      thanks for being such a great inspiration. Throughout the last years, I have been fighting with the way I look, with my weight, with myself. Several times, my motivation was just not sufficiently clear to me: I have to admit that most of the times I used to consider the idea of working out because of other people’s perception of my looks. Today I look at myself in the mirror and I just see me: I see that I have only got myself to be able to be healthy (though my husband is giving me an increbile support in this). I know that fitness is not enough, because I also have to learn how to reduce my food intake, but today I have made the first big step: I have bought a couple of 6 kg kettelbells and I am about to start my journey towards health and wellbeing”.

    2. MF,

      Bianca has kindly translated your message to English for me and I want to say that I am happy that you are finding a way to be happier in yourself and start progressing your fitness. This is exactly the sort of strength gain I love to hear about. Getting your first Kettlebell will mean that you can join in my workouts and hopefully keep me updated on your progress ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Hi Marianne,

    I just wanted to wish you loads of luck on your trip. I completely understand how nerve-wracking it must be going into a gym with those ladies. I’d be putting huge pressure on myself too wanting to be on top of my game, but you should feel confident you can hold your own among the best and be so proud of all your achievements. I think it’s amazing how you manage to hold down a job, run this site and have earned a place among some of the hardest training women in the world. If that doesn’t deserve a pat on the back, I don’t know what does!

    Anyway, all the best for another great trip. We’ll all be rooting for you ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Can’t wait to try this workout. I wish I had two of each KB’s. Can’t do double lifts without them. Oh well, I know enough exercises now to improvise!

  14. Ok I’m pretty sure I’ve never gotten so sweaty in such a short period of time! This is such a sneaky workout… the first 5 exercises kinda fool you into thinking you can kick this workouts butt, but then the last half totally killed me! You’ve absolutely done it again, Marianne, in a way only you know how to do… have to say this one is deceptively killer, much like its creator ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Btw – have fun in baltimore (my hometown!) And give Neghar my love… she is one of my top 5 female kettlebell idols… had the pleasure of working with her & her partner Joe back in september for the HKC. Such an inspirational woman indeed. You are certainly in excellent company.

    1. Aw cool Lindsey; Neghar totally rocks the KBs and I can’t wait to meet her. She is even putting me up for the weekend, which is very kind of her! She has the rest of the Girls Gone Strong booked in for a killer KB Class on Saturday … eek!!! I’d say it will kill me, her style is way different to mine and she is super strong! It will be great to learn from her ๐Ÿ˜€

      Glad you liked the workout today. It was kind of a sneaky one, even for me. By the time I got to the Stand-Kneel-Stands I pretty much wanted to die ๐Ÿ˜‰ Definitely needed the 30 seconds!

      Cheers for the great feedback!

  15. Have you ever injured yourself with the kettlebell swing?

    I did this weekend (and 6 months ago) with my 40 lbs KB. Could not move all weekend. I have been working hard to build back muscle strength. Lower right muscle was injured. Like a severe muscle spasim or cramp.

    1. Oh dear Steve. Are you sure it was the swing that did it? It may well have just flared up an existing injury or imbalance. To answer your question though, I have never been injured with the swing. Poor you, I hope you heal soon ๐Ÿ™

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