Kettlebells – Make Me Lean!

by Marianne  - May 12, 2010

Hi everyone,

Firstly, I have a confession to make … and Melissa, you think you’re addicted to sugar? Well you know how I made 8 chocolate brownies yesterday, well, I have so far eaten 7!! And the remaining one is calling me as I type! Seriously, what is wrong with me? Andrew totally put me to shame when he didn’t have any. I just want to point out that this behaviour, although human (I think), is not helping me achieve my goal and it needs to stop, now! I was being pure greedy and that is all there is to it. So much for one square of chocolate per day.

Anyway, what’s done is done, so now all I have to do is make up for it … hence the killer workout today.

The Workout

This workout consists of 8 exercises per round and 2 rounds. Then a 4 minute bodyweight Tabata workout at the end. The 2 round are made up of a mixture of resistance and cardio Kettlebell exercises (to maximise fat burning), and then brutal interval training at the end.

The 8 Kettlebell exercises are:

  1. Double KB Deadlifts x 15 reps
  2. Alternating Double KB Reverse Lunges x 16 reps
  3. Double KB Push Presses x 12 – 15 reps
  4. Alternating KB Swings x 40 reps
  5. KB Windmill (right/left) x 10 – 12 reps
  6. Mixture of Double and Single KB Snatches x upto 15 reps
  7. KB Push Ups into Renegade Rows x 10 reps (time consuming)
  8. Double KB High Pulls x 15 reps

The first section took me 32 minutes 28 seconds to complete.  Double Snatches, Windmills and Renegade Rows take up time due to taking time for technique – no need to rush!

Now the Tabata.  I was totally done by the end of this, I could hardly even talk. I set my Gymboss Interval Timer for 8 cycles of 10 seconds rest and 20 seconds MAX effort and completed the following bodyweight exercises.

  1. Dynamic Squats x 2 sets
  2. Mountain Climbers x 2 sets
  3. “Evil” Squat Jumps x 2 sets
  4. Push-ups into Knee Tucks x 1 set
  5. Push-ups into Half Burpees x 1 set

I hope this have gone some way to undoing my weakness with the brownies 😉 It was certainly a challenge.  I go back to work this Friday night 🙁 but I hope to have a new workout up before that.  I will do my best to have regular update while I’m back at work, as this site and my fitness are very important to me.

See you next time.



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  1. Hi Marianne I have one quastion for you.

    I’ve noticed that you do your cardio exercises after the resistance training. Here you do the Tabata by the end and in other post you do 20mins of running after your gym workout. Is it better to do it this way? I mean, I run before my workout (45 mins) – It’s like a “starter” for me, exercising after seems easier. Should I run after to make the fat burning more efective?

    Thank you for this website and the work you are doing.

    1. Hi BoraBora,
      You need more energy from glycogen for resistance exercises (carbs stored in muscles), so if you do all your cardio first you will have less reserves left to do as an effective workout as you would if you did cardio last. Plus after you use up gylcogen stores, your body is more likely to chip into fat reserves for the cardio. Save your energy for the heavier work and the lighter stuff shoulde follow. The same principle applies when choosing the exercise order of a workout, do the most compound and energy demanding exercises first like deadlifts, squats, pull ups etc, then lighter stuff like abs, shoulders – don’t fatigue the smaller, synergist muscles before you do the compound exercises.

      I hope this all makes sense 🙂


    1. Thanks Frank. Well, I guess that makes sense. I suppose it’s just personal preference. I keep meaning to try the barefoot thing as suggested by Melissa at FitMiss.TV she always works out barefoot.

  2. I notice that you always wear gloves, do you wear them to prevent slipping or to prevent calluses? I was told that you shouldn’t wear gloves, but I am finding the kb to get a bit slippery during my workouts. Just wondering about your thoughts on them. Thanks

    1. Hi Frank, I like to keep my hands soft, so I wear them to prevent calluses, yes 🙂 Personally, I don’t see what the issue is with wearing gloves.

      What’s the reason for not wearing gloves?


  3. I am trying to find the KB hell workout, can you tell me what date its on? i have tried to find it on youtube too, and can’t find it.

  4. Ed,
    Hey i just want to make sure i have that website right.I just went to it seems to be correct. i think i have the move down correctly now. I did the last workout posted here that required two bells, although for the snatch i used only one, and i think i have got it down to a smooth controlled move. However, i’m only using 8lbs, or whats what it says on my KB anyway. But i will check it out. all i need is another website to be “obsessed with”. ha ha thanks so much

  5. Maybe you should be a cave woman. From what I’m reading, a number of paleo followers figured that there wasn’t going to be wooly mammoth available on a daily basis, so they will model that by intermittent fasting followed by a bit of gorging.

  6. Hello Marianne. Still a fan of your site, you’ve really been getting after it in your workouts.

    I’ve read some of your posts lately and I’m about to make a suggestion in response. But first a disclaimer: I’m not as: lean, strong (proportionally), fit, medically trained, flexible, or charming as you. That said, I’m going to offer a nutritional suggestion in two parts that I think would address the brownie type issue as well as your quest for lean (which I’m not second guessing, but again, from what I can see, you are pretty much there.)

    And what I’m about to suggest really just ties together most of what I’ve read on your site regarding nutrition and takes it a little further.

    That is 1) borrow the South Beach Diet book. Only read the info on “Phase One” which is a two week period of very low carb, including no fruit and no alcohol. It does encourage three meals and two snacks (and not worth it dessert.) It also suggests lean proteins, but this is debatable (see below). Follow it.

    I did this and lost eight pounds over two weeks. While it was good weight loss (and most of it was probably water), the really amazing thing, and I think it really is a change in insulin, was the sense of control I had over appetite at the end of the two weeks. I still certainly recognized that I interested in eating at the usual time, I didn’t have any of that “must feed” urgency, even if I was two or three hours late getting to eat and have probably walked away with food still on the plate more in the last month than I have in the last ten years. I don’t mean to be over dramatic, but I really feel like I’m in control of my appetite instead of it being in control of me, and I didn’t really think that was an option. It may be that you can reach the same result without the very strict two week period and that “phase one” is more about getting you to buy-in and succeed, but it really did seem to work for me (whether psychologically or physically.)

    After phase 1, return the South Beach Diet book because I think the rest of it lapses back to too high carb – I had a “low carb” multigrain wrap on day 15 and that old feeling came back.

    So, here is suggested step two: go primal/paleo. Admittedly, I’ve being doing it all of two weeks, but I’ve lost some weight on it despite of eating some calorie dense foods and have been able to keep with it, even eating out, without much problem. There seems to be a bit of a split in the primal/paleo world as to saturated fat, and frankly, some of what I read on blogs is a little alarming (drinking coconut milk, keeping bacon grease on hand to cook everything else in, etc.) given the years of drumbeat messages from the dietary establishment, so I’m sort of walking a line between the two camps – not running to sat. fat but not running away either. Given your view on coconut Oil, it seems like it would not be a deal breaker for you.

    There also seems to be a lot of people staking out views as to whether diary fits in, but happily most seem to include coffee and wine.

    Honestly, primal/paleo first came to my attention because its starting to get a little too trendy here (see “Meet the ‘Cavemen,’ New York’s Most Annoying Hipsters So Far” and normally, I’m pretty skeptical of such trends, but at the same time I’ve been reading a book that I can’t recommend enough: Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes, that make an incredibly compelling argument against grain based carbs and for meat with good saturated fat. The book provides both historical and clinical support for a primal/paleo type diet – although I haven’t finished the book yet, so I’m not sure whether he actually gets to dietary suggestions.

    There are a ton (or is that tonne) of primal blogs and the before and after shots really do show people getting low body fat. So, that’s that. I’m happy to chat about it more if you’d like.

    Three miscellaneous notes:

    1) is there something particularly Irish about “my o my?” I’m a big David Gray fan and you and he are about the only place I’ve heard “my oh my” for a long time.

    2) have you thought about adding (if possible) a forum, it might foster some good exchanges.

    3) If Tempest is reading this, I’d suggest two things. One, the Crossfit website has a lot of videos that breakdown some of the KB movements. Two, obviously I don’t know, but I’d venture a guess that you might be holding the handle too tightly. As Marianne mentioned, you really need to punch up at just about the apex of the snatch – if you are cranked tight on the handle, its not only hard to do, but you can end up whipping the KB towards the wrist, instead of your hand moving up and past it.

    Thanks for letting me ramble.


    1. “My o my” Ed, what a comment 😉 Thank you for taking the time to offer some suggestions.

      To be honest, I have done a lot of these diets, and the low carb didn’t work so well for me as I compensated with other calories, like good fats, so I didn’t burn any bodyfat (and I did this for a good 3 months). I did notice that I didn’t feel that same craving for carbs though, so I guess that approach may help me avoid a brownie incident again, but I don’t know about fat loss. I just love food (that’s such a cop-out). I then realised that my portion size was way way too big as I was eating the same as my partner, Andrew, who is 5 stone heavier than me (oops), so that was a big obsticle! I have overcome the portion size thing for my main meals, but I’m also a terrible snacker, although my snacks aren’t usually high carb (bar the squares of chocolate, and the slip up with the brownies). I would like to add that I tend NOT to make such treats too much as I realise my behaviour and try to avoid this by not giving myself any temptations.

      I have been doing a bit of research into finding a way to be more aware of my body and hunger. So I have started doing intermittent fasting, or “Eat Stop Eat” and, I have to say that I feel so energised while fasting. I’m in the early stages, so it is noted that some people have compensatory eating just after a fast (that includes me, wouldn’t you know), but this subsides after a few weeks. I feel less tired, more motivated and more alert while on and following fasts, so I think this lifestyle will suit me. Although it goes against my previous beliefs re: eating every 3-4 hours 🙂 BUT I also like the idea of eating like a caveman 😀

      I don’t think anyone quite gets the name of my blog lol, it just sounded catchy to me. I came up with it because you have “myo” (muscle) “my” (my muscle), then when you put it together, it’s meant to be a reaction to how good you look “myomy” LOL I know it’s cryptic, but unique 😉 Anyway just thought I’d explain my thought pattern, (although that may not be a good idea sometimes lol).

      A forum is a possibility for the future, I will look into that, will be easier for the blog to allow others to offer ideas etc to me and eachother, so that would be a big bonus.

      Good advice about the snatch BTW – it’s really hard to write direction for some exercises!

      Well anyway, thanks again for your input, as always. It’s good to hear from you.

      All the best

  7. one more question sorry. when you do the alternating swings, do you count 20 per arm, or just 40 total swings, those renegade pushups with rows, are killers, i can only do them on my knees, and i could only do ten per round. but i am exhausted. thanks for a good workout. Do you ever just do a ab workout. I only see one on there. as far as with a kettle bell.

    1. Hi Tempest, I just counted 40 total Alt Swings. Renegade rows are a nightmare, but I love them at the same time 😉

      As for abs, funny you should mention that, I am planning a new workout for tomorrow which is purely abs and core. You read my mine.


  8. I was wondering, on the regular workout, before the tabata, do you rest in between exercises? or just keep going?

    1. Hi Tempest, the only rest I take is maybe having a sip of water, but I try to keep going, because generally a different muscle group is being worked each exercise. I did take a longer rest following the double snatches, because they were really tough!


  9. Hey, i’m with ya on the brownnies, i have to have one chocolate bar a day. without fell. I wondered what the deal was with the couple extra squats in between rounds. Looks like a great workout.
    also on the snatches, your form looks really great, it seems as though you have alot of control when the bell goes up, my seems to flip quickly, and yours doesn’t look like it. mine pounds my forearm, and then sometimes it feels as though i just don’t have alot of control

    1. Hey Tempest, Guess we all have our vices – glad I’m not the only one. I’m not sure I know what you mean about the extra squats between rounds??

      As for snatches, they are really hard to get right, and I still don’t get them right all the time. But, I am improving, which is the main thing. The more you practice the better you get. Just try and remember it’s not a swing, it has to be a more vertical movement (although less so with this type of snatch compared to the dead snatch, which is nearly completely vertical). All I can say is remember the clue to not pounding your forearm comes in the name. You want the movement to have a snatch or snap just near the top – like you’re punching upward and allowing the bell to slide down your forearm.

      It is really hard to explain, and like I say, I’m still working on mine. But don’t give up.


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