Build it Up | Kettlebell and Body Weight Pyramid Workout

by Marianne  - February 14, 2013

Hi everyone,

Since moving house, I have had to become super organised and think ahead to what I need to do each day. Having to travel has turned me into a future-thinker, instead of a “take it as it comes” person –> I am not liking it :-/ The upside is that Intermittent Fasting has once again become a closer friend by removing the pressure to prepare and organise meals. ย All week,ย I was trying to think of something different for today’s training and I thought a short pyramid workout might be fun. ย Hopefully, you will all agree.


The Workout

Set your Gymboss Interval Timerย  to Stopwatch mode and aim to achieve the fastest time, while maintaining great form:

  1. Alternating Reverse Lunge (used 20kg in round 1, then ^ to 30kg): x8, x10, x12, x10, x8
  2. Vertical Pull Burpee (20kg): x8, x10, x12, x10, x8
  3. Chin-Ups: x3, x4, x5, x4, x3 (+1 extra to make it 20 total)
  4. Dynamic Push-Ups: x8, x10, x12, x10, x8
  5. Heavy/Double Swings (2x20kg): x6, x8, x10, x8, x6 (+ 2 bonus reps for some reason)
Although the intensity wasn’t high throughout the workout, I really felt great afterward! I love this kind of workout ๐Ÿ™‚
Hope you all have a Happy Valentine’s Day <3 <3 <3



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  1. Two 20kgs! Mother of God you’re strong. I just tried double swings with two 16kgs and I was pulled clean off my feet and had to scamper after the bells to stop from smashing my house up.

    1. Hi Della,

      You set up what ever intervals you need. It’s fairly easy to work out. There are good instructions that come with it and demo vids on Youtube to help ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Marianne,
    I’ve been doing your kettlebell pyramid circuit for a couple of weeks: goblet squats, double military presses, suitcase burpees, pushups, KB bent over rows, and vertical swing pull burpees. (the w/o with the birds chirping in the background) Discovered it on youtube while looking for a kettlebell workout. Terrific for baseline endurance and strength.
    Question: Now that I’ve discovered your site I want to explore other workouts. How many weeks (every other day workouts)should I continue with the KBPC to get its baseline endurance and strength benefits before I select another w/o?

    Naperville Illinois

    1. Tom, I would say, keep a workout in your program for 4-6 weeks before changing things up. This will give you a good time to make progress and then you an start again with other workouts. You could eventually come back to that original workout to test your strength/endurance ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Hey Marianne! Greetings from Chile. I wanted to say thanks for your workouts and exercise explanations, as they are very informative and detailed for someone who is just starting to become VERY interested in KB training.

    Where I live (Copiapรณ, a smallish city in the north of Chile) there is absolutely no way of getting any type of training or equipment when it comes to KBs. I’ve actually thought of making my own with jugs filled with sand, but I don’t want to compromise form with that. I’ll figure it out.

    I also wanted to ask, what type of suspension training system is that you’re using for chin ups? Here we get some imitations of ‘original well-known brands’ and some other brand-less types. Just curious as to which kind you use.

    Thanks again for all the work you put into this site, as I think it’s a very powerful tool, specially for those of us who are just starting out, or have somewhat limited options when it comes to training. Thank you so so so much!


    1. Natalia,

      Thank you for your comment. I hope that you can one day get a KB to use. The suspension trainer is a Jungle Gym XT. It is cheaper, but better (IMO) than a TRX ๐Ÿ™‚

      Wishing you well with your homemade KB experiment.

  4. Hello Marianne,
    I was wondering have you heard of destatsis recti
    and know of corrective exercises for it?

    Thank you

    1. Melissa, yes, I have heard of this. It is a separation of the abdominal wall in the middle – common during pregnancy.

      It usually improves after the child is born with exercise (probably the usual core exercises with full body training). I don’t think it is treated in any other way, so long as it’s not a severe case that may increase the risk of hernias.

      It can take some time to heel and may never full repair. It’s not my expertise, but I would contact your doctor if you are worried about it.

      Hope this helps.

  5. I did a modification of these, it is almost a different workout, but it is definitely inspired by this workout.
    2 min high knee skip
    10 reverse lunges with (2) 8kg KB racked
    1 min skip high knees
    2 chin ups
    2 min skip high knees
    10 elevated push up knee tuck elevating the upper body
    1 min skip high knees
    10 hanging leg raises
    I completed 3 rounds and reduced the skipping to 1 minute for the last round.
    I also used 2 12kg for 5 reps of the last round of lunges.

    I would say the skipping makes every round so much harder, especially the pull ups and push ups.

    1. Hi Mark, in this case, you can sub in a rowing variation. It won’t be a vertical pull like the chin up, but it will still be a pulling exercise, which is better than any other type of exercise. Always sub a pull for a pull or a push for a push. Hope this helps ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Hmm, never seen a Vertical Pull Burpee before. I’d love to know why it’s beneficial (what muscles it works) and how to properly do them:)

    1. Hi Tracey, this exercise is a great pulling exercise that uses the posterior chain to drive the weight overhead (a bit like a modified snatch). I’m in the midst of redoing my tutorial videos and want to update the one that is there, but there is a tutorial in the “Kettlebell Exercises” section.

      The Burpee part is meant to increase the intensity and make it more dynamic and fun ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. awesome I can see the whole workout much better. better lighting and more room. This one is pretty tough looking. I’m jealous wish I had a space like yours.

  8. Just wanted to say, “Thanks!”. I came across your videos on YT three weeks ago while looking for kettlebell routines.
    I’m getting back into shape after baby #5 and your videos have been wondrously helpful! They led me here, which led me to GetGlutes, which led to a membership, which led to being pleasantly sore in muscles I didn’t know existed. ๐Ÿ˜€
    I’ve never had weight issues with the pregnancies (I don’t gain more than 30 lbs and lose it fast), but the physical strain of 5 pregnancies in 7 years, plus the lack of time to go to the gym left me physically drained. People are always complimenting me on how good I look, but just taking the kids out on a quick errand left me totally wiped. I’m only 32, so constantly feeling like something the cat dragged in just isn’t right. :-p
    I said all that to say, I’m not working out to look good, I’m working out so I can take my kids to the park and romp with them, and still get something else done that day! Also, feeling good helps me keep the positive, can-do attitude I like to model for the kids.
    Three weeks after finding you on YT, I’m already much stronger and more energized, and I’m deeply grateful. Thank you and the rest of the GetGlutes team for putting such a great program out there.

    P.S. Adore the lilting brogue. You’re impressive to watch and lovely both to see and hear. *gush over*

  9. Marianne thank you so much for your workouts. I incorporate most of it on my kettlebell routines. Since I enjoy your routines so much I promoted your site to my friends. I like the new gym. Keep up the great work.

  10. I can’t wait to do this one on Friday. Today I did the workout you posted on Feb 7 (Another Day, Another HIIT) and absolutely loved it! (You are much easier to see in this video!) Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

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