Kettlebell Complex Workout

by Marianne  - March 30, 2010

Hi everyone,

Today’s workout was a great cardio challenge i.e. very intense! I’ve been reading a lot about kettlebell complexes and they are great full body mixes and great for fat loss. You can include many different exercises in to one workout so they all flow into each other, making the session run very smoothly. I hope to challenge myself soon to a more advanced version by using two kettlebells throughout the workout instead of swapping sides. However today, swapping sides with a single Kettlebell was enough for me as I want to perfect my technique before pushing the boat out even more.

The Workout

I set my Gymboss Interval Timer to run consecutive cycles of 15 seconds. The idea was to perform 5 exercises without resting on one side, rest for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side and rest for another 30 seconds – this counts as one round, lasting 4 minutes. I then repeated this sequence for a further 2 rounds. The whole workout lasted 12 minutes.

You can obviously increase number of rounds, the rest periods etc to suit your own requirements. I wanted a short intensive workout as this suited my time-frame today.

The exercises in the single Kettlebell Complex went as follows:

  1. Single-handed Kettlebell Swing
  2. Kettlebell High-pull
  3. Kettlebell Clean
  4. Kettlebell Push-Press
  5. Kettlebell Reverse Lunge
  6. Rest

Now repeat on the other side.

I really felt the burn from this complex in my grip, forearms and shoulders, but  it also gave me a really intense cardio workout too.  12 minutes was plenty for me today as I was on night shift last night.

Hope you will give it a try and let me know how you get on.

See you soon



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  1. Where have you been all my life? I’ve been scouring the net for creative workouts and yours are the best. I have a little trouble following the videos because, well, you’re smoking hot so my attention wanders . . .

    OK, back on track . . . many thanks for listing out what you include in each complex.

    I actually take some of your combinations to the gym and substitute barbell exercises. Works great.

    You’re my hero. Keep up the great work!

  2. Hi Marianne!

    I am really enjoying your workouts! I’m going to do this one in the morning… a couple of questions, though. First I’m wondering what weight you’re using… I know this is an old workout and you may not remember but thought I’d ask anyway… also, the times don’t add up for me… 5 exercises at 15 seconds each with a 30 second rest X2 would be 3 mins and 30 seconds for one complete round… but my math is horrible. I’m going to make each exercise, and the rest periods, 20 seconds that way 6 exercises X 20 seconds each should be 2 mins per side. But, like I mentioned, my math skill do lack. Anyway, hope you’re having a good time on your trip to the USA… That’s where I am, Welcome! =)

    1. Oh Ruth, this is confusing me LOL too!! I think you can adjust this to suit yourself though, as you have done. That’s my easy answer hehe 😛 My Maths skills suck too lol

      I am having a great time so far, so chilled out!


  3. Hi Hope you are doing well. I have a question. When doing a Kettlebell Clean (#3 move in this workout. How do you do the move without the kettle hitting our wrist too hard?

    1. The kettlebell usually hits the wrist too hard when:

      1) The elbow is not kept into the side
      2) the Kettlebell is too light
      3) The Clean is too much like a swing, so therefore it is traveling ourwards and not upwards, so when it finally does get pulled upward, there is too much horizonal force making the bell travel round and bang the wrist.

      Chect out my Kettlebell Clean Tutorial for full info on this.

      Hope this helps.


  4. Wow i tried this workout today, and i sucked at it. Here’s the problem. I did it at the gym, and there smallest weight is 12K, so that was very hard, since usually for a hard workout like that i use a 8pound(whatever that converts to KG ) so i probably could have done it better here at home. Anyway i think i only did one round, and i had great problems with my left arm, obviously since its the weaker arm. I will be attempting it again tomorrow (at home)

    ps otherwise i love the workout. oh ps, i couldn’t do the snatch with that heavy of a bell so i did cleans to substitute

  5. also, i noticed some talk about flatter shoes for this workout , or is that just all KB workout in general.i would think that because of your back you would need good supportive shoes.

    1. Hey Tempest, I mentioned the flat shoes with a thin sole because it’s best to be as stable as possible. It’s even better to workout in bare feet, but I haven’t tried tha yet. Melissa exercises without shoes, and many people wear these glove-like shoes for feet, called “five fingers”, but these are expensive to buy.

  6. I am looking into your older workouts, wanted a short workout, and i guess i found one. however, i’m already looking at this one, seeing that you are doing one side at a time, and all i can say is myomy ha ha. i’m not so sure about that, but i’m going to try it.

    keep up the good work. i also went over to missfit, and she is awesome as well,

  7. My chocolate-less Easter is being improved by options hot chocolate!
    Oddly, my diet has always been pretty ok, but I just never have really moved so my metabolism is kinda revving up from the halt of not moving!
    I am so glad those trainers are fine because they look great and aren’t that expensive which is a bonus!
    I have no idea about RSS feeds either :/ sorry I can’t be of any help but it would be a fantastic idea… or possibly a twitter account?

  8. Hi Marianne,

    I was thinking of possibly getting these trainers its so difficult to decide though!!

    I waited till today to reply to you because I ordered a kettlebell and got it left down today! I decided to challenge myself and get a 10kg, because I think a 12kg might be too hard… The plan is starting tomorrow an hour a day 6 days a week, using some of your workouts and what I’ve been taught in the classes! And still go to at least one class a week because I love the social interaction 🙂

    I was at the nurses on Friday and she said that last time she weighed me when testing for diabetes (huge family history) I was 101kg in November/December I am now 88kg, so I was thrilled at that! I am thinking if I get to 70kg ish I will be happy cos I am a curvy girl 🙂

    This is my first chocolate-less Easter! And I am coping by eating frozen mango my current craving 🙂

    I am looking forward to being able to workout in my pjs lol

    Hope you and Andrew have a fantastic Easter- see you on Wednesday 🙂


    PS. as Ed below says an RSS feed would be fantastic- I am not sure how to set them up but I would find a way get it working with a Windows 7 gadget!

    1. Alana,
      Firstly, Happy Easter! Secondly, well done for your success in changing your life-style, you are a real inspiration to people.

      The only thing I would say is just be careful you don’t over-train. An hour, 6 days is a lot of training. I would vary the intensity and the length of your workouts so you don’t injure yourself. Also make sure you have plenty of protein in your diet to allow your body to build a little muscle. This will fire the metabolism (allowing you to lose weight even while your resting), and help repair and rebuild following the resistance side of the kettlebell workout.

      Always remember that 80% of a weight loss plan is diet. If you get that right, you’ll definitely reach your goal. Also it will go a long way to keeping those blood sugars stable. Combined with exercise, you’ll significantly reduce your chances of developing Type 2 diabetes 🙂

      Those trainers look grand, they look like the same base as mine, so I imagine they’ll do the job 🙂

      As for the RSS feed, I’m still a bit of a novice with all this internet stuff, so I’ll have to ask a friend to help me set that up.

      Hope you have a great Easter and well done for avoiding the chocolate – you have more will-power than me lol


  9. Hi Marianne,

    I found your website whilst trying to find some workout idea’s for when I buy my own KB, all I can say is jebus I thought the classes were hard! hehe!
    I have a bit of a question I keep meaning to ask you or Andrew in the classes but never remember- what type of shoes are best, I clearly need new ones and mine are a bit too ‘bouncy’, have you any tips of the best shoes to wear?
    I also love your opinions on fat, using coconut oil is something I have never considered but really should do! Have you any tips for using it more in cooking?


    Ps. you should give you leaflets to the class promoting this site- its really fantastic and has lots of really great info that everyone would appreciate!

    1. Hi Alana, Thanks for your comment. You should definitely try some of these workouts, you’re doing really well in the classes. With regards to shoes, we would recommend something more flat and without cushioning, to give you a more firm base and better balance.

      With coconut oil, I just replace all cooking oils and most spreads with it. Also I add a teaspoon to my porridge and use a little extra while cooking, but then would make sure I have less or no starchy carbs with that meal and only have fibrous ones, to cut down on the excess energy.

      I hope this helps, and stay tuned for more workouts 🙂

  10. Marianne, just wanted to write and let you know that I’m a big fan of your website.

    I’m following the same general type of workouts (in group class also with the addition of bands and med balls) and I’ve gotten some good inspiration from your site, so please keep it up. My instructor has the gym boss, but you’ve sold me on it, and I hope that by buying from the link on your page it provides you a little compensation for your efforts. I was going to say put some money in your pockets, but you don’t seem to have any.

    Maybe I missed it, but one thing that is not clear to me from the individual workouts you’ve posted is what a typical week of workouts looks like in terms of number and/or length. I’m going back and forth on whether to up my workouts (right now about three, really hard 45 minute sessions a week) to see if progress speeds up, or whether I’m where I should be in terms of getting rest and recovery.

    Thanks again. One last thought, it be great if you could add RSS syndication or the like so I could keep an eye out for new content on my home page.

    1. Hi Ed, Thanks for your support, it’s nice to know there are other’s out other trying to find the best way to get results.

      I think how you train and how much rest to take all depends on your goals. My goal is to lose body fat while preserving the muscle I’ve built, so my workouts are short but intense, I take about 2 days rest per week and I use Kettlebells for resistance to help keep the muscle tone. I don’t have a set routine as I like to change things often to trick my body, this works for me. Plus I work shifts, so every week is different. My site has helped me increase my exercising to 5 days per week from about 3 previously. I used to do more resistance work and less cardio or full body workouts. Since I’ve changed to this method, I think I’m seeing results. My heavy weight session is once a week, but not always the same day. A lot of what I’m trying to achieve will come from my diet.

      If your goal is building muscle then it will be a different approach, although diet will still play an important role, the rules will be different. I couldn’t tell from your comment what your goals are,so I’m not sure what approach you should take?

      Much of what we want to achieve is trial and error. There is a lot of information out there to sift through, so it can be hard to know what’s best.

      I’ve been meaning to add an RSS feed to the site. Hope you enjoy your Gymboss timer, mine is great!


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