NEW *Remember the Love* 500 Rep Kettlebell Challenge!

by Marianne  - February 15, 2012

I am hoping that because it’s Valentine’s Day that you’ll be incapable of hating me for this New 500 Rep Kettlebell Challenge …

The other night I was sifting through my old videos and I was mostly horrified at my form, to the point I want to remove the evidence that I was ever that bad! But I won’t. It is a perfect illustration of progression; if you want a glimpse of how far you have come – look back!

For now I can direct you back in time to my Ultimate 500 Rep Kettlebell Workout (from Feb 2010) and my NEW Sexy 500 Rep Kettlebell Workout (Sept 2010). Feel free to try these older workouts again!

Without further ado, here is the NEW NEW 500 Rep Kettlebell Challenge:

The Workout

Set your Gymboss Interval Timer to Stopwatch mode and time how long it takes you to complete this evil torture. Β The goal is to do one round of the following 10 exercises. Β Because I am a stickler for good form these days, then you are allowed to rest when you need to, but try and complete all reps for each exercise before moving on to the next. You are also allowed to change the weight if you need to.

  1. Goblet Squat x 50 Reps (20kg all the way with 1 set of 20 and 3 sets of 10 reps – yippee!)
  2. Two-Handed Swing x 50 Reps (24kg) (Managed 35 before I needed a break)
  3. Alternating Reverse Lunge x 50 Reps (total) (2x14kg) (5 sets of 10)
  4. Snatch x 50 Reps (work sets of 5-10 reps each side to delay fatigue and breakdown of form) – I changed to the Dead Snatch after my delicate hands gave out.
  5. Alternating Single-Leg Hip Thrust / Glute Bridges x 50 Reps (total) Β (butt on fire after first 25 reps. Had a break and killed the rest)
  6. Kettlebell Row (Renegade, Bent Over or Single Arm) x 50 Reps (25 each side) (Renegade Rows with 2x16kg) (1 set of 20 reps and 3 sets of 10 reps)
  7. Single-Leg Deadlift x 50 Reps (25 each side) (2x16kg) (1 set of 15 reps each side, then a set of 10 reps)
  8. Clean (optional) + Press/Push Press x 50 Reps (25 each side) (1 set of 15 reps each side, then 2 sets of 5) – I left out the Cleans because my hands were busted!
  9. Stand-Kneel-Stand x 50 Reps (25 each leg) (16kg) (1 set of 15 reps each side, then a set of 10)
  10. BURPEES X 50 REPS – sorry!! LOL (1 set of 20 reps then 3 sets of 10 – eek!)

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Remember the love πŸ˜‰ x


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  1. great session, you’ve inspired me to ditch my heavy lower body workout tomorrow in favour of a 500 rep total body session.

    I will probably die

  2. I did this workout with one of my gym members yesterday. We did 50 box jumps instead of the snatches because he has not had enough experience with those yet. What a great workout! We are both pretty sore today πŸ™‚ Very satisfying! Thanks for all the work you do to put up these videos!

  3. Thanks Maryanne very helpful , I’ve been following your site for the last 10 months using your routines as I am not very creative ,so much appreciated

    1. Tough question James. There are many metabolic and hormonal benefits to doing Tabata which help you store glucose in the muscles rather than as fat. It may also help burn some existing fat stores, but I think this depends on your calorie consumption. A 500 rep workout will likely burn more calories (at the time and after), and it will also carry some benefits of resistance training. Both weight training and Tabata are anaerobic exercise, but weights will help build strength, stability, and improve functional performance, were as Tabata is a metabolic conditioning system and will not have these additional benefits.

      In order to burn fat, you need to ensure that your muscle is protected by eating enough calories to maintain it, and include resistance training in your program (so your body knows you still need it). I would advise a different resistance training workout to one with 500 reps. This sort of challenge is fine once in a while, but high reps like that could set you up for injury if repeated too often. I am a fan of variety. Keep the body guessing by strength training, Met-Con, and cycling calories, by Intermittent Fasting or by just eating less on rest days.

      Burning fat requires you to be in a slight calorie deficit. But you can prevent added fat gain by remaining at “normal” calorie intake (provided it’s not a huge surplus). When calories are at your recommended amount, then it will boil down to your training as to whether you gain more fat. After you build more lean muscle, you could possibly burn a little more fat at the same calorie intake.

      I don’t think you can say it’s the type of workout you do to burn fat, if your diet is not in check. It’s hard to explain, because once I believed that a workout could be fat-burning, but now I realise, it can only be fat-burning if you are in a calorie deficit. There are factors too, but if you want significant fat loss, then you need to eat less than you burn.

      Does this help?

  4. Marianne,

    Thanks for the workouts. I’ve did the 15 minute workout yesterday and the 500 rep workout twice now. I’ve never met you but you keep kicking my butt! Thank you for bringing the fun back to my workouts.

  5. Thank you for completely kicking my arse to the other side of the moon with this workout. After the first 50 goblet squats my confidence began to waiver as those alone took me almost 5 minutes. Definitely the hardest of all the moves for me! But, from there, the workout moved along “nicely”. Loved how it kind of flip-flopped between upper & lower body. And the burpees at the end….well, let’s just say I took your “sorry” as a warning…LOL! Overall, it took me 42 minutes. My next goal is to get a heavier bell to add to the challenge. I only have a 9, 12, and 14 kg, and I am quickly growing out of them. Until then, I will work on beating my time. Love, love, love all your workouts. You completely kick my butt in less time than the hour-long workouts I used to do! Thank you!!!

  6. This workout made me SWEAT! I was dreading the 50 Burpees, but they ended up being “easy” (wrong word) compared to some of the other exercises… Yikes!

    Thank you for a killer workout today πŸ™‚

      1. I would say the Clean and Push Press… My 30 lb KB is a bit heavy for me and the only other KB I have is a 20#… I used the 30 as much as I could but I had to go down, I’m still feeling it in my shoulders today, tho, lol πŸ™‚

  7. i just did the february old one, although i can’t find it on here, but it was a doozy… my butt is on fire, probably not a good thing to do before i go stand on my feet all night at work.

  8. Oh Marianne,
    You are evil! This workout really snuck up on me. Started out tough and could feel the fatigue in my legs as early as after the lunges, but kept a steady pace and tried not to think about my timer running! By the SKS I was dying, I was so tempted to skip the burpees. But I wanted to say I made it through the whole workout. I’m so glad I did! Finished in 49 minutes, the burpees took a loooong time! As always, thanks for the challenge! Happy Valentine’s Day! Now I can enjoy some chocolate!

  9. Hi Marianne,

    When are you going to release an eBook of your workouts? I’m sure most people would pay for you stuff (I know I would).

    You’re so much better than most of the trainers out there, I also think there is a gap in the market for you kind of workouts.

    I haven’t done this workout, I’m just finishing of a strength program this week, then it’s a weeks rest and some conditioning work (actually a mixture of strength and conditioning!).

    Have a good one,


      1. Hi Marianne,

        Really looking to seeing what you come up with. I’ve got Nia’s Beautiful Badass eBook and have been doing one of the programs since late last year.

        Unfortunately, I’ve been neglecting my conditioning and my Muay Thai instructor thinks my fitness levels are down so I need to work on
        conditioning. I may do a couple of your workouts over the next few weeks.

        Good luck with your new program!


  10. This was tough! I initially though I wouldn’t need a rest… I could just go slower, but I learned fast that that wasn’t the case! Rest periods were between 10 and 30 seconds.
    1. Goblet squat 16 Kg 30, 10, 10
    2. 2 handed swing 20 Kg x 50
    3. alt rev lunge with 2 x 10 Kg bells 15,15, 10, 10 (I have only previously done one KB of 10-12 Kg, so this was a substantial increase.) Really tiring.
    4. Snatch 12 Kg 10+10+10+10+5+5 (no rest, just switching sides — got a blister in left hand as I finished.)
    5. glute bridge (forgot alternating) 25 each side
    6. renegade rows 12 kg x 2 x 50 nonstop
    7. SLDL 12 Kg x 2 10+10, rest, 10+10+5+5 (these were harder than they’ve ever been!)
    8. press 10 Kg x 10+10+10+10+5+5 (no rest, just alternating)
    9 S-K-S 10 Kg 10+10, rest, 10+10+5+5
    10. brupees 10, 10, 10, 10, 10 rest between each set!

    time 36:58:64 the burpees took almost 6 minutes, as I was really tired by then.

    This was really taxing! I’ve done a bunch of challenges with high total numbers like this, and usually the rule is you don’t stop (I guess you lower the weights!) So I underestimated this going into it — maybe a good thing, since I probably pushed a little harder. I am used to snatches, so those weren’t too hard, although its been a while since I’ve done them with 12 Kg. I was surprised to get a blister, as I did not think 25 reps a side would do that! I’ve had worse!

    HR 1.75 sweat 1.5 face red

    This was definitely as much work as I would want to do!

    My hubbie gave me a small box of Godiva chocolates for Valentines (which I nursed over two days), so I feel I have paid my dues with this! I also may not get another workout in until tuesday, so I felt I needed to work as hard as possible this week!

    Thanks Marianne, this is an evil winner. And I don’t hate you one bit!

    ~ Gillian

    1. I knew you would rock the snatches Gillian!

      You certainly earned those amazing chocolates. Though I don’t understand how you managed not to eat them over 2 days!! LOL

  11. Oh, I forgot to mention that I completed this on just over 42 minutes with the following dumbbells:
    goblet squat – 40lbs
    two hand swing – 40lbs
    reverse lunge – 2x30lbs
    snatch – 30lbs
    renegade row – 2x25lbs
    single leg DL – 2x25lbs
    clean + press – 25lbs
    stand-kneel-stand – 35lbs

    Surrey, BC Canada

  12. Wow – that was soooo hard! I nearly died! The grip problem wasn’t any better with dumbbells. πŸ™ My hands are so sore! The title line from Roberta Flack’s “Killing me softly…” kind of goes through my head – maybe the “killing” wasn’t so “soft” in this case! πŸ™‚ Thanks for that awesome workout, though!

    Surrey, BC Canada

  13. Hi Marianne,

    My resolution this year is to lift heavier and to lift more often. I just did this and I am not feeling the love at all. LOL. I am feeling the sweat! I can’t believe I attempted this. I had to drop the weight and just do push presses without the clean. The stand-kneel-stand which I have done a thousand times just drained me. I only managed 20 reps before the murderous burpees which are of the devil. After, I added in a mere 250 reps on my skipping rope before embracing the floor. Thanks for this. You’ve given me something to really strive towards. Oh btw, I never started my gymboss. It was both for fear of a crap time and also knowing that my super competitive self would have tried to push through for a decent time and might have sacrificed form.


    1. Well done Ana. I think you did the right thing by not starting your timer. I understand that feeling of competitiveness! I am sure if you try this again in the future, you will manage more reps and use your heavier KB πŸ™‚

      Nice job!

  14. Girl you are seriously sadistic. Now I have to do this because of my competitive side. yaaargh!
    I know it will hurt, I know it will make me hate you, I know it will make me love you, most of all I bet I will sweat like crazy.
    happy valentines day to you too. πŸ˜›

  15. Hi Marianne
    I just did this workout…my body is still shaking! that..was..awesome! The hardest part is the beginning…getting that first rep in. I always feel so good after finishing one of your workouts! Thank you so much for keeping me motivated!

  16. ah, i just did this, well part anyway… i didn’t do any stand kneels stands, and only 20 burpees, then i realized i did the bridges wrong. i had my feet on the floor bell on lap and alternating thrust with one legs, so needless to say i failed this workout.
    i will do idt again friday since that is my short day to work.

  17. That’s a great workout Marianne. How did you determine what weight to use? Should one start out fairly heavy and then drop down to something lighter to complete the reps or start out with a medium/light weight to finish?


    1. I chose a challenging weight, but one I knew I could do quite a lot of reps with. From your training, you will know what weight will be too easy and what will be too hard. If it gets too hard, then drop down. There’s no rule, just go on how you feel πŸ™‚

  18. wowzee is all i can say on this, going to attempt it very soon, sometime today.Not sure i can handle 50 stand kneel stand, might have to cut that out for now. hey i sent you a message to your FB inbox about my form you critiqued.

  19. Just thinking about doing that many snatches in one session makes my hands hurt. πŸ™‚ Time for a challenge though, so will try Saturday and report back.

  20. Hi Marianne,
    this seems to be a really brutal one! I will try it the other day, but will reduce the number of burpees, they are still too challenging for me πŸ˜‰

  21. mmmm….not sure if it being Valentine’s Day will help you on this one!!! LOL – but the picture above is beautiful – is it you??? Will try this killer tomorrow – I’m afraid I won’t be able to walk for a few days! Happy Valentines Day!

  22. Oooo… good one. I’ll let you know how it goes! I feel the same way about the grip btw. What are your thoughts on wrapping the hand with tape? I have the caluses that hurt too AND I find that my hands get sweaty that I lose my grip due to that too. I don’t like to use the resin either because I feel it causes more friction (on certain moves). Frustrating! What’s your adivce?

    1. I agree Penny, I find that chalk sometimes makes things worse. I have never tried tape, but I see a few avid Kettlebellers do use it. I say give it a try and see how it feels. πŸ™‚

      1. (ok..i meant rosin btw..not
        Well, my husband and I completed the challenge. I completed it just under 47 minutes. I was disappointed in that, but now I have a time to beat. But I’m happy to say I beat my husband by 2 minutes πŸ™‚
        I used the 35# KB for everything except rev. lunge (2×25#db)and DL (2×35#db). We were shaking after all that. But feel good today. Not too sore, but usually it hits me two days later, so we’ll see. [Altho, about an hour before the challenge, I did do ladders of 5x (1,2,3,4,5)for each 3 exercise: DL, weighted hip thrusts and pullups. So maybe I could have been a little faster on the challenge if I wouldn’t have done that.]
        Thanks for challenge! Burpees were a killer!

          1. yeah, I did that before hand. I’m new to the ‘ladder’ technique of training and wanted to give it a try. Then had the afterthought of doing your challenge with Paul, my better half, when he came home from work. What the heck I thought. It was fun. πŸ™‚

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