Kettlebell Strength and Conditioning Workout + Tabata

by Marianne  - May 15, 2011

Hi everyone,

On Friday, my mum and I went away to a lovely hotel to treat ourselves and we had a great time. After eating WAY too much (like I wasn’t going to take full advantage of a buffet), I am ready to work out today! Below are some photos from the hotel break.

Here’s the view from our room:

My mother:

Me all dressed up for our luxury dinner:

Anyway, now let’s get back to the matter at hand…

Mixing Kettlebells, bodyweight, strength, conditioning and, high intensity interval Tabata, I believe many of you will be challenged by this as much as me.  This workout is great for full body fitness and will also help you burn fat, if that is a goal.  More importantly you will be working at improving your performance and feeling good about it 🙂

Today I included a slightly different KB snatch, the Dead Snatch, which will help you work on correct set up (loading of the hamstrings), explosive power (triple extension of the ankles, knees and hips) and the vertical direction of the snatch, while saving your grip.  I love this variation of the snatch, but that is typical of me because it works more on power and speed, rather than endurance.    You can afford to go a little heavier on this one, and I have tried it before with the 20kg, but I stuck with 16kg today as I wanted to do more reps.  The 12kg and 14kg were way too light for me and the KB just went flying, with little control.

Workout Set-up

Complete 3 progressing sets of each exercise combo before completing 1 set of a bridging exercise (pull ups). As there are 3 combos, you will have completed 3 sets of each combo, plus 3 sets of pull ups. Choose your pull up reps based on just below your max (for me this was 5, as my max is 7). This way, you are maintaining your pull up strength without over training these muscles by working to failure every time you practice them.

After completing the above section, then move on to the body weight Tabata to finish the workout.

Section 1

This section mixes set reps (within a range) and set times. So you will need a stop watch or interval timer.

  1. Kettlebell Clean to Front Squat to Military Press (left) x 5 – 12 reps
  2. Kettlebell Clean to Front Squat to Military Press (right) x 5 – 12 reps

(SET 1 – 12kg x 12 reps, SET 2 – 14kg x 8 reps, SET 3 – 16kg x 6 reps, for both sides)

  • Pull Ups x your own maintenance reps (me x 5)
  1. Kettlebell Renegade Row x 45 seconds (SETs 1 & 2 – 2 x 14kg x 18 reps, SET 3 – 2 x 16kg x 15 reps)
  2. Two-Handed Kettlebell Swing x 45 seconds (20kg x 31, 30, 30 reps)
  • Pull Ups x 5 reps
  1. Kettlebell Dead Snatch (left) x 8 – 12 reps (ALL SETS 16kg x 8 reps)
  2. Kettlebell Dead Snatch (right) x 8 – 12 reps (ALL SETS 16kg x 8 reps)
  • Pull Ups x 5 reps

Section 2

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

  1. Dynamic Push Ups
  2. Side to Side Step Ups
  3. Burpee (no push up)
  4. Light Sumo Squat Jump

Now cool down and stretch 🙂

Final note – Loved this workout, really enjoyed the Dead Snatch.  Hip still bothering me and I do think it is my AS flaring up. Well, I had a good run pain free – 18 months! The only exercise I really felt the pain was strangely in the pull ups. The weight of my legs pulling down on the SI joint was probably the reason.  Let’s hope it doesn’t get any worse.

However, if Gillian can work through her aches and pains, then I can grin and bare this. Might need to add more stretches :/




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  1. My legs are jelly after this workout. It was scorching-hot on my veranda, stripped down to loin cloth I sweated like a salted aubergine.

    The full body snatches are magnificent, such a powerful exercise. The tabata, although short, minced me. My final squat jumps were tired and limp affair.

    Thanks you M. I’ve been struggling with motivation lately, very unlike me, this helped get my head back in the game.

    Muchas gracias,


    1. Nice Adam! Glad this helped with the motivation issues, I know how that feels. Loved those Dead Snatches too – will be including them again. It reminded me of the Olympic lifting a bit.

      Wish I had hot enough weather to train outdoors – I’m totally jealous 🙁

    1. You can do the Dumbbell snatch as shown HERE . This variation essentially covers all necessary elements of the dead snatch as it is explosive easier to master with a DB than the “Swing” version.

      Hope this helps


  2. 🙂 very contrasting presentation today, I read the serenity and peace in the first pictures, then read the rigor and passion of a hard workout. This is precisely the discipline, something difficult to conquer. Congratulations, thanks.

    1. LOL, yeah you have to get things going for a workout – but I sure know how to take it easy too! Maybe some people could benefit from that too 🙂

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