Kettlebell Couplet Home Workout with Secret Pyramid! Strength and Conditioning

by Marianne  - April 3, 2012

Hi everyone,

I hope you all had a good weekend and are ready for today’s killer workout! Hehee πŸ˜‰

I went out with a few girls on Saturday night and had an absolute blast! It has been ages since I went out properly and got all dressed up, so it was great to be out of my jeans and Ugg Boots/training gear and Vibrams and just get all dolled up and head out dancing!

I love dancing (usually on my own in the house), and in fact you will see a little dancing from me in my video today LOL! I was just messing, and clearly CANNOT dance, but I love to try πŸ˜€

**Drum roll** In 2 weeks time, I am going to visit my good friend and fellow GGS, Nia Shanks! I will be there for 2 weeks and I plan on continuing my workouts from her basement studio. I might even rope her into a workout with me πŸ˜€ Β During my time in the US, I hope to meet up with a few other friends and get to relax … because I deserve it! Β I can’t wait to do more “on location” workouts – it will be so much fun. Nia’s mum has even offered to cook me traditional Southern foods … I will be in heaven!

When I look back at things, I am actually very lucky to have everything that I do, and I never want to forget how much the relationships I have made (through fitness and my blog especially) have forged the path and lead me here. Β I am so excited to see the future unfold and bring you all with me on this journey. Β I also hope to get the chance to meet many of you along the way. Β You never know, there could be a myomytv training session pop up near you πŸ˜€

In the next while I will be launching my new services page and I am starting to train people again from my home studio. Β In addition, I am launching an Online Service for anyone wanting to have their form critiqued and corrected via video and email communication with me. Β Although I will be charging for these services (a very competitive rate), I will ensure you get the best feedback and help I can offer, because I want everyone to be performing to their best and getting the most of my home workouts. If you are struggling with a particular exercise, and you want personalised coaching online, I can help you improve.

The Workout

This week, I have started with the more advanced workout. Later in the week I will put together an intermediate workout that has regression suggestions for beginner’s.

You all know about my love of Couplets. Pairing two exercises together to create a little torture for you! Today I decided to “weave” a Pyramid in between the couplets and you perform 2 “bridging” exercises between the couplets using a Pyramid format.

There are 4 couplets in total. Set your Gymboss Interval Timer for 6 cycles of 15 seconds rest and 45 seconds effort and complete 3 rounds of each couplet before moving on to the Pyramid Bridging Combo. After that, move on to the next couplet etc etc.

My reps per exercise and weights used are in brackets below. Also please don’t judge my crazy dancing… view it as my baseline and remember that once I start learning proper dance moves, you will see progression … and that’s all that matters haha!

Couplet 1

  1. Alternating Reverse Lunge (20kg) (18, 16, 15)
  2. Kettlebell Swing of Choice (20kg) (32, 32, 31) – I started with roundabout swing, but my left hand calluses were very sore, so I switched to two-handed swings.

Pyramid Level 1 – You can choose different reps if you want to do more (or less) – tailor it to your ability, but always add a little challenge!

  • Pull-Ups x 3 reps
  • Double KB Military Press x 6 reps (2x 14kg) (you can do single presses if you wish)

Couplet 2

  1. Suitcase Deadlift Burpee (2 x 20kg) (12, 10, 10.5)
  2. Weighted Dynamic Squat (6kg) (28, 26, 26)

Pyramid Level 2 – note how Pull-Ups increase my 1 rep, but Presses by 2. That’s because Pull Ups are harder.

  • Pull-Ups x 4 reps
  • Military Press x 8 reps (2 x 14kg)

Couplet 3

  1. Alternating Single Leg Hip Thrust (18, 17, 18 )
  2. Weighted Side to Side Step Ups (6kg) (45, 42, 43) – quad burn!

Pyramid Level 1

  • Pull-Ups x 3 reps
  • Military Press x 6 reps (2x14kg)

Couplet 4

  1. Renegade Row (2 x 16kg) (18, 16, 16)
  2. Burpees (13, 11, 11)


Great workout today with a perfect balance between strength and conditioning. Β I love the way you can cover so much in under 30 minutes of your life and feel amazing afterwards!

Feedback always welcome πŸ™‚




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  1. Marianne,
    This was brutal! You were right about the celebrations after each couplet, esp the third one with the side to side step ups– eeeeeeek! I really liked the pyramid option in between helped break things up a bit. Great workout, I passed this along to my brother, lets see if he can beat my scores πŸ˜‰
    take care,

  2. I was reviewing this workout again today since I wanted to give it a shot. You mentioned in the routine description….

    “I started with roundabout swing, but my left hand calluses were very sore, so I switched to two-handed swings.”

    Made me think and look back in some of your other posts, why don’t you use hand chalk when lifting? It can help reduce the rawness created by the rubbing friction. Personally, I’m going to start using it as we enter the summer months. The heat and sweat make snatches dangerous πŸ™‚

  3. Pingback: Kettlebell Couplet Home Workout with Secret Pyramid! Strength and … | Kettlebell
  4. Girlfriend – number ONE you received 73 comments so far – I remember the day when there were around 10; number TWO – you do have a secret extrovert inside you – however, I take that back, you were dancing alone, BUT you let us all watch!; number THREE – love, love, love the socks!; number FOUR – I’m telling you, I’m getting jealous of the shoulders, and lastly number FIVE – I really love this workout!!!! I can’t wait to do this, and I am excited about the weighted dynamic squats and step up! Wow!!! Thanks a LOT!! Michele πŸ˜‰

  5. i just did this workout, wow, killer, the dynamic squats as always are killer, i only usedc a 8lb weight on these, don’t have pullup bar here so i just did the presses, i could only manage one set of burpees, and opted for mountain climbers on the last two rounds, and on the alternating single leg hip thrusts,, epic failure on the last round, i had to move to the floor.

    then i practiced on my deadlifts, with all the tips we spoke of before, i always put the bar up on my steps before i do it now…. trying to work back up the weight, doing only 5 reps at a time.

    1. Having to regress is not an epic fail, so try not to be too hard on yourself! There are many times I have to regress an exercise. The main thing is that you don’t give up πŸ™‚

  6. First off…I absolutely adore your socks! I’ve been looking for pink and black stripped socks forever! You look fantastic!
    Secondly, a girl’s gotta dance! Love it! Glad to see I’m not the only crazy one dancing!


    1. I agree!! Dancing (in any shape or form) is my new “get in a good mood activity” … Works every time! I will have a look for another pair in the shop and maybe do a competition for them πŸ˜‰ Or I’ll send them your way! x

  7. Me again..I forgot to ask…On the Military Presses. Can we use our legs to press up or will that make the exercise a push press?


    1. Hi again πŸ˜‰ If you find the Military Press too difficult, then Push Press is the next best thing. You can even push it up, then control it down … that way you get to work on your eccentric strength.

  8. I really enjoyed this workout today, it was fun and followed with some heavy hip thrusts:-, Love the socks!

    Couplet 1

    Alternating Reverse Lunge (20kg) 24, 24, 24)
    Roundabout swing (20kg) (28, 28, 28)

    Pull-Ups x 3 reps with 45% weight assist
    Double KB Military Press x 6 reps (2x 14kg) (you can do single presses if you wish)

    Couplet 2

    Suitcase Deadlift Burpee (2 x 20kg) (11, 11, 11)
    Weighted Dynamic Squat (6kg) (27, 28, 27)

    Pull-Ups x 4 reps 45% assist
    Military Press x 8 reps (2 x 14kg)

    Couplet 3

    Alternating Single Leg Hip Thrust (20, 20, 20 )
    Weighted Side to Side Step Ups (6kg) (53, 54, 55)

    Pyramid Level 1

    Pull-Ups x 3 reps 45% assist
    Military Press x 6 reps (2Γ—14kg)

    Couplet 4

    Renegade Row (2 x 16kg) Too awkward and too much shoulder pain, took a long rest:-)
    Burpees (9, 8, 9)

  9. Awesome warm up!! Glad to see that you are in good spirits. Great workout once again! I need to get a pair of those them! Don’t change any of those dance moves for anyone.

    You look HOT In that dress! Thank u so much for what u are doing!

  10. Your site is so awesome and inspiring! Thank you so much for taking the time to offer so much great information and for sharing your workouts. Your fitness level is what I strive for!

      1. I did this workout for the first time yesterday, and it was so hard but so much fun…and my body hurts like hell today. πŸ™‚ I loved the couplet/pyramid style. The pace is great, and I got a better calorie burn than any other one-hour workout I’ve done! Thank you, thank you!

        Enjoy Kentucky, by the way. I lived there for a while (Louisville) and now I am at Marshall University in West Virginia, which isn’t too far away. Have fun!

        1. Good to hear you loved/hated the workout πŸ˜‰

          I think Nia might be taking me to Louisville. Might be trying to meet Molly and Jen there I think. I can’t wait!

    1. Karmen, Hi!! I never count the calories I eat anymore … It just isn’t necessary for me to do that, and might actually trigger my unhealthy thoughts about calories and my body image. So I just eat when I am hungry, and not to excess. Plus I have a fairly good idea of what is “too much” these days from all those years of counting. Make sense? πŸ™‚

  11. Awesome warmup:) I often times dance during my rest intervals. lol I’m pretty excited for the new changes you’re going to make. A chance to learn from the master:)If you don’t mind me asking, where in the US are you going to be. You mentioned southern cooking but that doesn’t necessarily mean, the south. I’m in Charleston, SC. Well anyway I’m going to throw my bells around a bit before I go for my run. I hate running but I’m getting results much faster adding in the cardio so it’s worth it:) I start my personal training course 4/14 and don’t want to be the fat kid in camp:) Oh and by the way, you look awesome!!! I can only hope that one day I can have legs like you:)

    1. Thank you! I’m going to Paducah, Kentucky πŸ™‚

      I will launch the “Services” Page very soon – I am just finalising the pricing, as I really want to make it as fair as possible to both clients and me. Hope you enjoyed the run!

      1. I did very much enjoy it today! Well if you ever decide to visit Charleston, my couch is yours and I’ll play tour guide:)

  12. this looks like a fab workout!!! and are you taking fashion tips from crossfitters?! ok girl.. i wanna see that warmup in your next gym session video! i dare you πŸ™‚

    1. Haha! I’d love to see the faces of the guys in the strength room! πŸ˜€ I quite like the sock look from Crossfit. GGS are getting socks for our apparel site. Can’t wait!!

  13. LOVE THE SOCKS !!!!’!!!!
    You look more fabulous every time I log into your blog.
    The dancing was good !
    I wish you all the best in your endeavors . Do not look back.

    Minnie πŸ™‚

    1. In my head, my dancing was much better LOL – thank you! I think we should all do our own signature “myomytv warm up dance” and post it on Youtube! You can do it anywhere; in the gym (lol), walking down the street, at home, in a class etc … and see who has the funniest reactions πŸ˜€

  14. I LOVE this silly side of you. It is GREAT! Keep it up. Can’t wait to try the workout. I think I need to go get some socks like that to do it in too. πŸ™‚

  15. Marianne,

    Hi. Great workout. Enjoy your visit to the U.S.. When you start your training session, don’t forget So Cal (Southern California). It would be great to meet you and Nia. :))))


  16. ROFL!! Love the socks, the numerous “thank god” comments and kettlebell inspired dance moves. Just need to break out a chair in the clubs and start some side to side step ups πŸ™‚

      1. Wow – this is an awesome workout!

        Jus need to get me some bigger kettle bells… #wimp
        Only have two 7.5kgs …

  17. Agh.. I wish I would have logged on to see this BEFORE I ate that big bowl of ice cream!! Now i’m feeling guilty…and too full to go bust out a workout. Tomorrow i’ll have to make up for it! Altho what’s coming on Thursday… birthday cake… won’t help matters, but I can’t NOT eat Cake Right?!

    I love your dancing! Is there really a proper way to dance?! That’s what dancing is.. just letting it all hang out and having fun. (I’ve been told I dance like Elaine from Seinfeld..if you’ve ever seen that episode?)

    Can’t wait to see what you’ll be offering on your service page. I know I could use a lot of critiquing!!

    You had to be turning heads on Saturday night! That’s for sure!
    Love the socks too.

      1. Here’s that episode. OK.. I am not THAT Bad!

        Yep, today is my big 4-0! My husband is taking me to the Prime Quarter tonight (Steak joint..grill your own over these huge grills inside the restaurant.) Love it there. Will have to have a clamdigger too πŸ™‚ Just one tho..i’m a cheap date.

        Have a great day!

          1. yah, i don’t think i’m that bad.
            I had to settle for a bloody mary over the clamdigger. Thanks for the Birthday wish.

  18. Hello,

    Cant wait to try this work out marianne! And you should have seen my face lid up when I read about possible myohmy training session ……sign me up. I would love to see that happen. I’m very happy for you, you have a lot of us who support you.

    Now I’m not sure if missed my comment about 3 days ago or not, regarding the increase on protein & calories. I remember you mentioning once that we only really need a certain amount of grams in a day, the rest is a waste? Did I get that right? I get confused @ times & I wonder if I should actually concentrate more on increasing carbs instead of my protein to gain more muscle?? I guess time will tell what works best for me, good thing is that I’m not just sticking with one thing, keep switching it, especially if I dont see results in a month or so.

    Thanx again for all that you do….god bless!


    1. Sorry, I must have missed that bit. What I meant was that by eating more more protein, you won’t necessarily gain more muscle because it’s protein, but rather due to the extra calories. You do need protein, but there is still protein in other foods (just not the complete profile of amino acids). To grow muscle, lift and eat more; eat a food variety of foods, with proteins, fats and carbs from veges and fruit. If you aren’t gaining muscle, then you probably just aren’t eating enough total calories. I find when I eat more fats, I gain muscle very easily, but then they do yield 5 more calories per gram, so it’s easy to make up more total calories that way. If you like making up your calories with protein sources, then go for it … it won’t be wasted.

      Does that make sense?

  19. You look absolutely amazing in those pics! They motivate me to work harder and harder! Those workouts work miracles Marianne! Long way ahead of me, but I will get there! Thanks for everything πŸ™‚

  20. Marianne you’re crazy! πŸ˜€ (meant it in a most positive way possible)
    I love your positivity and such a great attitude, LOVED the dancing at the end, reminds me so much of myself :))

    Also, you look gorgeous in that dress!!! πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you. When I learn to dance “properly”, I will re-shoot my warm-up and let you all see my improvement πŸ™‚ Keep dancing everyone … it’s FUN!

      1. πŸ™‚ I think this way makes it kinda more fun! You’re enjoying the beat and melody while not stressing about “proper moves” or rather “proper form” πŸ˜€

        Anyway, did this workout today and I had a blast! It kicked my ass, but I enjoyed every second of it! πŸ˜€

        I had to modify few exercises, because I don’t have KB but a BB, so instead of a Suitcase Burpees I did a half burpee and then sumo DL.
        It was great workout nonetheless.

        I recorded myself, just to check my form on lunges and squats, and I noticed I lean a bit too forward while doing dynamic squats. I don’t round my back and my knees are not going over my toes, however I’m not really happy about the way my squats look.. I definitely have to work on my hip mobility, or whatever it is that’s restricting me..

        Sorry for the long post, just wanted to say this one rocked and I loved it! πŸ™‚


        1. This is great information to share! It shows your awareness is progressing and you are now trying to find your own solutions based on your knowledge! Hip mobility is a great place to start for this exercise πŸ™‚

          Glad you appreciated my dancing πŸ˜‰

          1. Thanks Marianne for the feedback! I really appreciate everything you do with this blog, it offers great information! πŸ™‚

  21. Love your dress! and of course your socks..and dancing! Fun! Thanks for another great workout. Have a fabulous trip!

  22. Can’t wait to do this workout tomorrow! You’re such an inspiration…and you are looking fabulous! I bet I am your biggest fan from Colombia! PS – love the socks!

    1. Lindsay I am also Colombian

      Great video, you are such a hottie Marianne.
      I must warn you sailing is insanely addictive.

  23. Haha, the dancing and the socks are contagious, I swear πŸ˜‰

    The online service is a good idea (lucky me, living in almost the same time zone as you :)), though I wonder how the hell you manage to squeeze that in with your full-time job and the blog – super woman! πŸ™‚

    After almost two weeks I am back on track with a modification of your last pyramid workout. There are changes in life that leave a huge gap and I have to learn to live with one of these. Motivation doesn’t come easy to me this time, but I try.

    Looking forward to your on location workouts with Nia πŸ™‚

      1. Thank you, I do πŸ™‚

        In the last few days I’ve been talking to friends and colleagues about fitness and stuff and once again I realised, that there’s a lot of rubbish out there – and people are willing to pay for that? PowerPlates? Ultrasonic fat reduction? Lower body vacuum training?? And surprise, surprise, all of them are not satisfied on the long run. Once again, the odd “I want a perfect everlasting solution and I want it now, because I want to be lazy again”. (My turn ranting now).
        I am really thankful for the rock solid knowledge that you pass on to us!!!
        Cheers πŸ™‚

        1. Tell me about it! Why can’t everyone find the joy and excitement about training, and let the rest just happen! If you always focus on what you are not happy with, then you will just keep getting the same! Focus on what makes you happy and you attract more people and situations of joy. You have actually given me an idea for a blog post! Thank you πŸ™‚

          1. Did I get you started again?? Uh-oh πŸ˜‰
            But I was thinking the same after I wrote this post – Why are most people focused on fat loss – instead of the joy of moving and getting stronger? This way they will not be happy with the results anyway…

  24. I love your socks and your dancing. πŸ™‚ You’re the cutest!
    Keep going with this less serious style. πŸ˜‰

  25. You are looking amazing!! Thank you so much for doing these videos…you are truly inspiring and I’m so glad I found out about you! Also, are you still doing IF?

          1. Have you heard of LeanGains? This is the “style” I do. Fasting for 16 hours in ever 24, then eating between the hours of about 2 or 3pm and 9 or 10pm.

          2. I use the LG approach too.

            Where does your workout fall into your routine, do you train fasted? If so do you take BCAAs?

          3. I almost always train fasted, and I never take BCAAs. But that’s not to say you shouldn’t, I just prefer to let my body do its thing πŸ™‚

  26. Crud.

    I reckon I better start working on my conditioning! However, it should be entertaining for your viewers to watch me sweat, twitch, and hallucinate from one of your workouts. πŸ˜‰

  27. Congratulations for your training and your body. I am very interested on the service you will propose. I hope one day you’ll be able to do that for living because it seems to be a passion for you.

  28. hello, i’m so glad to see a new workout. i took my first long walk of the spring season this morning, five and a half miles, my hips are killing me.

    i’m glad you will be starting to train people and helping them with their form… unfortunately, i won’t be able to pay for help, so hopefully i can find resources through the internet……..

    also who takes those pics of you,

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