My Beating Heart! Cardio / Conditioning Workout

by Marianne  - October 18, 2011

Hello everyone,

Sometimes after a tough shift at work it’s good to de-stress with a workout. However depending on how tired you are, you need to be careful with how you use your energy.  There are times I come home from a shift full of beans and ready to shift some serious weights. Others like today, I need to think of something more appropriate so as I do not over-stress my body. These are the times I enjoy cardio the most. Cardio doesn’t have to be boring, it can include many different types of exercises, times and even a little craziness!

Today’s workout is about blowing off some steam and lifting the mood. Before I started this workout I was tired, cold and contemplating just going to lie in bed. I designed the workout to involve very few technical exercises but ones I know are cardiovascularly challenging. After the workout I felt great; revived, warm and happy! SUCCESS!!

The Workout

Interval Training today, lasting 21 minutes. Mixing mostly Body Weight exercises with a couple of Kettlebell exercises – set your Gymboss Interval Timer for 21 cycles of 15 seconds recovery and 45 seconds effort. Complete 3 continuous rounds of the following classic 7 exercises:

My reps per exercise are in brackets as always!

  1. Side to Side Step Ups (45, 47, 43)
  2. Kettlebell Vertical Swing Burpee (20kg) (10.5, 10.5, 10) – Sub this with Burpee (no push up)
  3. Jump Rope (variable) (115, 111, 120)
  4. Two-Handed Kettlebell Swing (20kg) ( 31, 31, 31)
  5. Burpee with push-up (11.5, 12, 11)
  6. Diagonal Touch Dynamic Squats (33, 31, 29)
  7. Bench Jump-Overs (98, 90, 97)

Sweat Bath! Loved it!

Have fun everyone and I’ll be back soon with a new one 😀




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  1. Sweat bath indeed – this almost killed me!! (In the best way, of course!) I have tendonitis in my elbow and am trying not to aggravate it so I changed the vertical swing burpees to reptile burpees (instead of a push-up, do two side knee tucks) and the regular burpees had no push-up, but I loved this workout. So hard! My scores:
    1) 45/29/25
    2) 8/7/7 (reptile burpees)
    3) 140/135/138 (hi knees instead of skipping)
    4) 30/30/31 (12 kg KB)
    5) 15/14/15 (no p/u burpees)
    6) 28/24/19
    7) 48/46/47 (just noticed your high numbers on this one, Marianne – you are a machine!!!)

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  4. One more question…how many times a week did you do this work out to get to 21 minutes or how often should I do it a week to work to that time?

    I work out 4-5 days a week about 1 hour a day with a mix of cardio and strength training. I’m trying to reduce my work out time by doing more circuit workouts like your videos 🙂

    I’m so excited!!

    1. Do you have an interval timer? If not, you need one for this type of training. You can get free interval timer apps, or click on a Gymboss link here and get one that you can clip on and set for intervals or stop watch etc. The set-up was 45 secs effort and 15 seconds rest for each exercises. So each exercise took 1 min (effort + rest) to complete. 3 rounds of 7 exercises at 1 min each = 21 mins. If you need more recovery you can play around with the intervals and add more time. 40/20, 30/30, or even 45/30 🙂

      Does this help?

      You can do my workouts as often as you feel is right for you. Recover is also very important 🙂

  5. I did this work out today but it took me 40 minutes and my heart was about to pop out of my chest! How on earth did you work up to getting it done in 21 minutes? Any advise?

    What an amazing work out! Thank you.

    1. Hey Sharon, I’m curious – how did you set this workout up? I was using intervals, so the time of 21 mins was already predetermined. Did you set your repetitions?

  6. What is your heart rate during this type of cardio training? It would be interesting to compare to your running (jogging) heart rate. Clearly it is a very good cardio workout. It is also an awesome way to warm up ones body as we enter into the winter season.

    1. I measured my heart rate in my workouts last year and it was between 170 – 185 bpm. In one half hour workout I burned over 400 kcals! I think this compares pretty well to running, without having to run (which I don’t do).

      It is great cardio training 😀

  7. thanks for another fantastic, kick butt workout! I’m drenched in sweat! It’s raining and gloomy out today …felt a little down in the dumps and unmotivated today…did my weight training and then moved on to your cardio workout…feeling refreshed and renewed now! woohoo! My husband and I have our gym set up in the detached garage out back…he told me he can’t go out there with me for a workout because the neighbours would think we’re doing something other than working out 😉 Keep the workouts coming!

  8. ok-that was hard. We only managed two rounds and my numbers weren’t anywhere near yours on the bench jump overs (43 & 35).
    The other’s were comparable, but still under your #s.
    This one is def a love/hate relationship. haha
    BUT I’ll be using this one to torture my friends next week!
    Have a Great Day!

    1. If this is what you do to your friends … 😉 LOL!

      Your numbers on those evil Bench Jumps will improve. In THIS workout a year ago I was doing far less than now! It use to burn my shoulders up so I always had to stop. Not so much now, plus I got faster 😀

      Love/hate … I get it!

  9. Naomi, don’t give Marianne anymore torture ideas…….just kidding 🙂

    Excellent workout. I got tired just previewing. It also shows me that I properly do to much running for cardio, because your workout nearly killed me. Since this cardio type is challenging in a whole different way, I will alternate my running day’s to include more of these I think..shake up the booty and what not.

    I also agree with Mike. You DO look more content these days…awesome !

    x Sarah

  10. KICK butt workout, girl! another great one you would like is straddle squats. You straddle the bench in a wide squat and then jump up onto the bench in a narrow squat then back down into a squat. Another one I like is the burpee–>jump squat. You perform a burpee right at the base of the bench and when you come up, you go right into a jump squat ONTO the bench! try them out! 🙂

  11. Marianne,

    I love this web site! Your tone, character, knowledge base, hard work and total honesty are awesome. And that cat walking about is way cool.

    This is one of the most “real” fitness sites I have ever seen. You do not edit out the footage of when matters do not go as planned. You do not cut away when you get tired. You show how invigorating and strenuous kbell training can be. Your techniques are top notch – you do not cheat on form. The occasional “blue” language when things do not go right is refreshingly honest and funny(who doesn’t feel that way at times?

    I plan to use your YouTube workout footage to train the local high school football team here in Western NY, USA this coming winter and spring.

    Keep up this excellent blog – it is very inspiring, especially after reading about your health obstacles. I am new to kbells and will use this site to slowly gain the knowledge, form, and fitness you routinely display.

    Thanks much, EJ

    1. Hi EJ.

      Welcome to my site, thank you for commenting – what a huge compliment, you are very kind. I am glad that my site is offering you new ideas. If you need any additional pointers or whatever, just leave me a comment 🙂


  12. This was so great, loved every minute of it! You are on this upward spiral of greatness Marianne. Everything just keeps getting better and better. Seriously, I am on the page constantly eager for the next awesome workout, LOL. Thanks for all you do. You are amazing!

  13. I can’t explain it but you seem a little extra happy and you have more bounce in your step the last several videos! I have watched every one of your videos and I have seen such progress……I feel like I watched you grow up…….I am older then you,…….You have been really really happy and it shows in what you are doing…..Keep rock’n the way you do!,,,

  14. this is why I like cardio it lifts the spirit. mixing it up also makes it fun, like being a child again. I am working on my lower body today I really over did it in sailing in heavy breeze my shoulders are killing me.

  15. Had the same situation yesterday. Work has been very stressful lately. I could have easily blown off a workout, but forced myself to go for a jog. It helped clear my mind and to relax. It’s amazing how work related stress can melt away after a “relaxing” workout 🙂

  16. Ok……I absolutely love this cardio workout…especially since today was a cardio day. I did this instead of my treadclimber, and it will fit nicely with my HIIT training later this week. This about killed me but I loved it … usual…..Marianne you rock and don’t ever stop what you do.

    Ps ……I have noticed a little extra in your videos….I like it!!!!

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