Killer Cardio – Home Workout

by Marianne  - January 11, 2011

Hi everyone,

I did this workout the other day and I didn’t do my new filming method because I just wanted to get to bed. But I think the exercise are straight forward. Sorry for being a little selfish :/

The focus of this workout is cardiovascular fitness and endurance, so use a moderate weight, we want to aim for max reps without reaching failure too soon. This type of workout is also great for burning fat and adding on the end of a strength workout. It’s also handy when you’re short of time. It’s simple, but effective and straight-forward exercises work best for this type of workout.

Anyway, there are 3 rounds of 6 exercises and the workout lasts 18 minutes in total. I set my Gymboss Interval Timer for 18 cycles of 20 seconds recovery and 40 seconds effort. If you are a beginner, you may use 30/30, intermediates use the same as me (I was tired to I decreased the effort time and increased the rest) or so 15/45, you endurance junkies can do 1 minute effort and play with the rest to suit you own recovery time πŸ™‚ My endurance needs work πŸ™

Here are the exercise I did and the reps I managed:

  1. Kettlebell Vertical Swing Burpee (9, 8, 8)
  2. Two-Handed Kettlebell Swing (25, 25, 24)
  3. Side to Side Step Ups (36, 35, 33)
  4. Full Burpees (14, 12, 11)
  5. Two-Handed Kettlebell Swing (25, 24, 24)
  6. “Evil Jumps” (1 rep = 1 dynamic squat + 1 linge jump each side) (10.5, 9, 8.5)

I was so glad I did this after battling with myself about whether to do anything. Thanks to your comments in the “Barriers to Exercising” article, I pushed though my excuses and did something πŸ˜€

Right beginner’s modifications (feeling bad about being selfish):

  • Those who don’t have a step, instead of Side to side step ups do jumping jacks, body weight squats, or mountain climbers.
  • Burpees – do them either without the push up, without the jump, or without both, just jump back into a pressup position, jump into a squat and stand up.
  • Evil Jumps – leave out the lunge jumps and just to dynamic squats, just to protect you knees, as lunge jumps done too fast can wobble and risk twisting the knees.

I hope this helps, for the kettlebell exercises refer to the tutorials first and then try with a lighter weight. You will get there, it just take time to practice each exercise. Building a mind-body link really helps, so try and think about what your muscles should be doing and how you should look doing these exercises, the mind can do amazing things and it’s all connected!

So that’s it for today. As you gave probably noticed, the Christmas tree keeps appearing LOL, I did these videos a couple of weeks ago and I am only getting them up now. It’s a slow process, so apologies for that. I am getting there though.

Thank you all for you amazing support for me and each other and I hope we can make this site a real source of encouragement and mutual respect for every one’s level, ability, and goals.

Until tomorrow, Happy Cardio πŸ˜€


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  1. I did this workout this morning and found it rather hard!, probably because I had a hard badminton session last night.

    I don’t have a bench that I can use for side to side step ups so I did mountain climbers instead.

    Great workout, thanks Marianne.

    Regards, Peter

  2. Hi Marianne!
    I think you should copyright ‘Evil Jumps’ as your own creation before it’s too late! I used this as a cardio add-on to another workout last night at my gym; one of the trainers was wandering around and was very taken with your workout, particularly ‘Evil Jumps’. He told me he’s stealing them!! πŸ˜›
    Anyway, with my new gymboss timer on board and pencil/ notepad in hand I was able to keep record of my reps:
    (Only managed 2 rounds of this at 40 sec effort, 20 sec recovery as I was exhausted already from the upper body strength workout that preceeded it – lots of pull ups, bent over rows, push ups and military presses!)
    KB Vertical Swing Burpee (12kg) – 11, 10
    2 Handed KB Swing (16kg) – 25, 25
    Side to Side Step Ups – 39, 37
    Full Burpees – 19, 18.5
    2 Handed KB Swings (16kg) 27, 22
    “Evil Jumps” – 13.5, 11

    With my new program based on your advice, I can report an noticeable increase in strength, improved appearance of my upper body and overall fitness improvement – and its only week 3! πŸ™‚

    Thanks again Marianne! Hope you’re well and not struggling too much with this gloomy January weather. I hate winter in the UK πŸ™


    1. The weather really does suck here LOL, it’s blowing a gail today!

      I will have to do a tutorial for the Evil Jumps I think, to put my name to it πŸ˜€ It is a very evil combo, my legs are in bits from yesterday’s workout.

      Great news that you are seeing better results now, sounds like your upper body workout was pretty intense! Right up my street though, good work!! Nice numbers too, especially the burpees!! πŸ˜€

      Keep it up.

  3. Started my day out with this workout. I must say it was much harder then I thought it would be…that always seems to happen to me haha. GREAT cardio workout!! My heart was pumping!!

    Here are my numbers:

    KB Vert Swing to burpee 12 Kg: 9, 8, 8.5 (I somehow banged my head with the KB in the second round:( Must work on form some more!)
    KB Swing 14kg: 25, 25, 24
    Side to Side step ups 40, 40, 36
    Burpees 9, 8, 7
    Mountain Climbers: 90,90,82
    Evil Jumps 9, 8, 8.5

    I moved up from a 12kg to 14kg for swings, woo hoo.
    Thanks for another fantastic workout!

    1. Nice work Rashelle! Yeah you need to watch the head lol, I hope you didn’t hit it too hard – still, it didn’t stop you.

      Great job on the swings too btw. I will have a new workout up tomorrow which I’m excited about, I think it will be a good one.

      Keep up the great work, you are really making progress πŸ˜€ Plus you seem really motivated!


      1. Didn’t hit it too hard, just enough to make me concentrate more on my form! lol

        I am lucky that I’ve always been quite motivated but never really knew what I should do in terms of training so it was cardio, cardio, cardio. Finding your website was such a blessing as I now have a guide to follow and different ideas to mix it up and kick it up a notch:)

        Can’t wait for tomorrow’s workout!!

        Have a great night!

        1. Funny you should mention the whole cardio, cardio, cardio “trap” – when I was waiting in the gym for Andrew to finish a PT the other day, I was watching as all these girls came in and headed straight for the cardio machines. It’s always the same girls. Andrew says girls are scared of the weights room (which I used to be), at least, with Kettlebells, body weight, dumbbells or other resistance tools, it is possible to build strength and muscle at home without all the cardio. Or at least learn what else you can do in the gym.


    2. OMW I totally almost did that last night in my second round scared me. I was able to catch myself just as the bell brushed my skin. I was distracted by my hubby needing my phone n so I was all sorts of messed up n not focused lol.

  4. No evil jumps or burpees for me tonight. I changed things up a bit for variety, and to get back into the swing of things. It has been really cold in NYC and it snowed again last night. Maybe the weather and lack of light has something to do with me not being able to go 100%. getting there though.

    1. KB vertical swing burpee 7-6-7

    2. mountain climbers 60-60-50

    3. KB swing with 12 Kilo 25-21-25

    4. knee raises on pull up bar 12-13-11

    5. Bulgarian squat L 10 (8kilo)-10 (same) 7 (12Kilo)
    6 Bulgarian squat R same as above

    I had a really hard time with this workout, but I pushed through.
    I am hoping it is just stress that is making it so hard for me to keep the pace.
    Cheers and I am off to sunny and warm Florida πŸ™‚

  5. Marrianne,
    I am not working out today because I have a cold in my head and can’t breath. I just want to complement you on how much you changed. For all you followers,just go in the workouts and check out a January 8th,2010. it was her first workout that she videoed. Marrianne looks like she has 2 baby rattles for kettlebells. Now look what she is throwing around today, yet her arms are not all big and bulky. This just shows you that anyone can do it if they put their mind to it. It also shows her arms as toned and defined, but not to the point that she looks like Charles Atlas.
    Marrianne, take pride in what you accomplished in one year. Actually a lot less time than that, but I don’t want your head to swell too big. Just kidding. So congratulations on your achievement and keep those workouts coming.
    PS: Your first two workouts didn’t a any replies and look at you now.

    1. Thanks for this Jim, I can’t believe I’ve come so far, back then I was still in good shape, but I was just getting back on track after getting my new “miracle” medication! I had a “thinner” body back then, but now I am muscular but not bulky – but I feel solid and strong, which feels great. I was throwing around 2 8kgs and I think a 12kg for the swings, but I cringe at my form :/ Still, this illustrates my journey and I am grateful for the record of it, I am proud of how far I’ve come and I am achieving more now as I now have the community I was hoping for πŸ˜€

      Thanks for being a part of it Jim.


  6. Hello Marianne!
    So I’m new to this website, just found it today =)
    I was just wondering if your workouts are good for weight loss or are they just for maintaining a healthy body?
    I don’t have a huge amount too much to lose. I defiantly want to tone up and build some muscle! But I really don’t want to become too bulky, I’m really afraid of that.. haha.
    For the past few moths I have been doing workouts from, I have been a little uncomfortable with the uh.. the style of zuzannas workouts. I have read a few of your posts where you discuss your opinions about her workout. I did really liked her workouts because they were challenging, but I am unhappy with the way her and Freddy β€œsell” their whole lifestyle. I’m still fairly young but I am still unhappy with that kind of image being shoved in my face everyday! XD

    Thanks =)

    1. Hi Allie, thanks for stopping by πŸ˜€

      Right, with your goals being a bit of everything really, then my types of workouts should help you. Whether you are losing weight or maintaining, is down to diet.

      Firstly though you won’t get bulking (unless you’re stuffing your face and doing really heavy heavy training at the same time), especially with Kettlebells as they really will work more on strength, toning and conditioning your body, while burning fat. Of course diet has an important role, but as long as you are not over-eating and making sensible choices with food, you will see changes. Being new to this type of training though, you will likely see some muscle gain, which will reflect on the scales – so ignore them πŸ™‚ You will be doing your body and mind a favour in the long run if you focus on how you feel and what you can do, I promise the rest will happen as a bonus. The less we worry about achieving a goal, the more likely we will achieve it.

      Body Weight workouts will help you most if you are new to exercise and you will see some changes to your tone, strength, endurance and cardio vascular fitness. I use them for variety, ramping up the heart rate more and more explosive training. Adding resistance, such as Kettlebells, will increase the effects and you will burn more calories and stimulate more muscle fibres in the process. Provided you are consistent with your training, you will see good changes, but it can take time, depending on certain factors.

      Can I ask what age you are? And what your current level of fitness is? What training do you do at the minute? Although I am not a qualified nutritionist, can I ask what your diet is like? To give you the best advice, I want to have as much information to base my answer on πŸ™‚


  7. I’ve been having a hard time of it lately… maybe its the remnants of the stomach bug I got, but I have been feeling weak for about a week. So this was a great workout to get me moving, even though I really did not want to, wah, wah

    So here is how I did:

    KB Vert Swing to burpee 12 Kg: 9.5, 8.5, 9
    KB Swing 16 Kg: 23, 22, 23
    Side to Side step ups 38, 40, 40
    Burpees 8, 8, 9
    KB Swing 16 Kg: 22, 22, 24
    Evil Jumps 7, 8, 10

    I think I hate those evil jumps so much that I grit my teeth and work harder! Somehow I seemed to loosen up as I did them! Anyway, I am glad that’s over!

    Thank you Marianne for a great workout: not too long, not too short… just right!

    ~ Gillian

    1. He he “wah wah”, I get that πŸ˜€ LOL

      But you got through it. I need to get caught up on sleep and get back into my workouts, I’ve been really tired myself for over a week now, hope I’m not getting something!

      You’re numbers are good btw Gillian! πŸ™‚


  8. Since yesterday I’m a happy owner of a kettlebels, at last. All of your workouts I did I used dumbells and they were fine, some modifications to the technique where needed thou, but also a compromise as I only had one set of adjustable ones so I had to choose weight that I could control for the upper body exercises (presses mostly) and was often to light for the lower body. Now I have my 12 kg db and 16 kb and I’m super motivated to improve arm/shoulder strenght to be able to use those cute yellow ‘thingies’ for all pressing movements. Funny thing is I didn’t even want to buy any new equipment until I started to consider getting haevier db plates but then I would end up having the same problem, one set of weights. Now I have kettlebells and know they will keep me happy for a very long time.

    I haven’t done this workout yet but will share my numbers when I do latter this week.

  9. All I have to say is OMW I am so hating those EVIL JUMPS lol. This is the first time I actually did them instead of an easier variation. LMAO I was so totally happy when the timer went off saying that was all done time to rest n start over again and knowing I had another 5 exercises before I had to face them again made me hate them even more by the end of the last round. I think I am in a major love hate relationship here with these things. LOL Thank you for putting me through an awesome bit of hell. I needed it the endorphins killed the pain I was dealing with so yay for that. Gotta love those things :-). Have a good one Marianne and everyone else out there. I get to enjoy my greek yogurt and relax for the rest of the night. πŸ™‚

  10. Just finished…I was going to lay about for a while until I watched the vid…if you can man-up after a graveyard shift, then I can get my ass in gear..Thanks Marianne!
    Excellent numbers suck compared to yours,but Im after it nonetheless…squats still difficult but actually getting better (box squats helped, and a tip from that Pavel guy.
    I did modify the burpees a bit, I used perfect pushup handles and changed the squat up a bit, couldnt go that deep yet.
    All in all, a keeper!

  11. This one looks good I will give it a go this evening, that is when I like to workout, then I rest eat, take a shower and go to bed.
    I will post my numbers tonight and hope they are better than last nights.
    I am slowly coming back from my slump, almost like I am waking up from hibernating.
    I will need to make some changes to those box jumps.


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