One Heck of a Workout! Full Body Strength and Conditioning

by Marianne  - January 6, 2012

Hi everyone,

Sorry that I have been behind in posting my workouts, but I am back today with a killer to kick 2012 off with a BANG!

My goal for 2012 is to get Gillian (Gryer) to sweat more than +1 πŸ˜‰ hehe! I know it’s winter over there, but I reckon this one will break the sweat barrier – because I was utterly drenched by the end of this. Β It challenged my strength, stability, co-ordination, endurance and my skill – so it was a great test to overall fitness.

If you are unable to attend a gym for heavier Squats and Deadlifts, then a great way to add more of a strength challenge is to perform single leg variations of these exercises. Β For most people the Pistol is a real challenge due to flexibility issues, so standing on a platform (a step or chair) reduces the amount of flexibility and difficulty level – because you can allow your “free” leg to remain bent. Often people lack the hamstring and lower back flexibility to hold that leg out straight.

What I have discovered is that it is not necessary to go much below parallel for the Single-Leg Squat to be effective. You will see even by aiming to reach parallel your Quad strength, balance and control will improve drastically. Even body weight alone will proving most people with a great resistance challenge; so I suggest starting with a gradually increasing range of movement to help your flexibility levels (and stability) build up.

Combining these single leg exercises with your standard Squats and Deadlifts will also help iron out any imbalances that could be hindering your bilateral movements.

Ages ago, when I used to do Pistols, I found my knees were sore and my SI Joint Pain worsened. I realise now that I was going beyond what I should be doing with my Chronic SI Joint problems. Β So now I stick to the single leg squat as shown. And I can tell you, that this was enough to give me DOMS for 2 days!

The Workout

There are two sections to this workout.

Section 1

The first is a mixture of single leg exercises and longer duration cardio-based exercises. The single leg exercises have a set rep range and the cardio exercises are set times. Β The goal is to complete 3 rounds. You don’t have to add weight to the squat, but I have because I feel I am proficient enough at them to at least try.

  1. Single-Leg Squat (Right then Left) x 3 – 8 reps (8, 6, 5) – First round was BW only, then I added 6kg)
  2. Side to Side Step Ups x 1 min (62, 60, 55) – Last round I added 6kg
  3. Single-Leg Hip Thrusts (Right then Left) x 8 – 12 reps (12, 12, 12) – REMEMBER to perform the appropriate variation of this for your current level. See “The Glute Journey” Progression Tutorial for more info.
  4. Two-Handed Kettlebell Swing x 1 min (20kg) (36, 35, 35) – eek!

Section 2

This is when the sweat beads really started to fall! It may not look it, but this is really tough. Or, perhaps I had a few too many days off!! As I said in the video, I put extra effort in too, because SOMEONE told me I had a pot-belly!! lol

Anyway, set your Gymboss Interval Timer for 18 cycles of 15 seconds rest and 45 seconds effort. Perform 3 rounds of the following 6 Kettlebell Exercises. If you are not yet able to recover enough in 15 seconds, then increase that interval to 20, or even 30 seconds. The main thing is that you have recovered enough to keep going through the effort interval. My reps per exercise and weights used are in brackets below.

  1. Double KB Suitcase Deadlift “Burpee” (2x20kg) (11, 11, 10.5)
  2. Kettlebell Clean and Press (right) (16kg) (6, 7, 6.5)
  3. KB C&P (left) (16kg) (6, 6, 5.5)
  4. Renegade Row (2x16kg) (17, 16, 14)
  5. Evil Stand-Kneel-Stand (right) (16kg) (14, 15, 14)
  6. S-K-S (left) (16kg) (14, 15, 13)

Oh I died at during this for some reason!

So, for those of you who only have one KB or feel this is too advanced – DON’T PANIC!

  • Instead of double Suitcase DL, you can put the KB between your feet and do a single KB Deadlift and still be able to add the “burpee” part if you want/can.
  • For the Clean and Presses – you can either do Clean and Push Press, just Presses (or Push Presses) or even just Cleans. Combining the two can be a little tricky, so just take your time and focus on good form for now. Β If you want to get more out of the workout (in a conditioning sense and feel the C&P will slow you down), then practice the C&P later and for now replace it with an exercise you are happier with πŸ™‚
  • Split the Renegade Row interval into 2 and perform Single Rows, right and left. In other words this would mean the workout will be 3 rounds of 7 exercises. So 21 cycles of the 15/45 intervals.
  • Remember that Stand-Kneel-Stands can be done with Body Weight alone – so if the weighted version is too hard, then drop the weight (not on the floor though πŸ˜‰ ).

Hope this helps!

Have fun and let me know if you sweated a much as me πŸ˜€




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  1. Excellent routine for me, very much needed the gun, my lower back is damaged from a herniated disk, and uh noticed that with the pistol style squats more relaxed in that position. Very complete routine, thanks.

  2. Marianne,
    Can’t wait to do this today! Do NOT spend one more minute thinking about the potbelly comment – you are strong and beautiful, as well as intelligent and hardworking! Bad on him for even making that untrue statement- whoosh, right out of your mind with it!

  3. Wow, as usual another great killer workout. My legs are dead! I still have @least 30 mins to put in on my spin bike.
    single leg squat with 15lb bell: 8 8 8 used the couch
    side to side step up 40 40 40
    hip thrust 12 12 12
    swings 30 30 30
    deadlift@35lbs 8 8 8
    clean and press (l)@25 8 7 8 these were really hard today for some reason and my form suffered a bit:(
    clean and press (r)@25 8 7 8
    rows @25: 10 each side all rounds
    stand kneel stand (l) 7 7 7 (r) 8 7 7 these are probably my least favorite:) they are tough used 20lbs for round1 and 15lbs for the rest.
    Thanks for the great workout, I was definately sweating like crazy:)

  4. Wow! You have got SO much stamina, it is amazing. I ran into your website by accident the week before New Year’s Eve and I was blown away by how much you can do.

    People have such nerve making comments such as the one you received but there is a belief (by some) that people usually see stuff in others that they like/dislike in themselves…maybe that was it.

    Thank you for putting the videos out.


    1. Thanks Marissa πŸ™‚ I am really glad that you stumbled on my site. It seems I am getting a lot of new visitors, which is great! The more the merrier πŸ˜‰

      Hope you will continue to stick around!


  5. Thanks a million for the instruction video, it definitely helped, i was holding too tight on the handle so the kettle bell landed had on my forearm and it bruised it, but releasing the grip was the key, so the kettle bell just lays softly at the end of the movement. thanks again for the info on the mat, still looking.
    I will be looking forward to your next workout with all its wonderful challenges.

  6. Pot belly???????????!!!!!!!! Unless you you own one of the bacon variety that is:@) Great work outs. I am on a mission as well to get women lifting more weight. I am fairly new to Personal Training so I am constantly trawling the net for informative and correct intelligent advice. I will most definitely be using this as a point of reference and to prove you wont turn into a scary monster if you pick up more than a pretty pink dumbbell!.


  7. Hey just thought I would let you know that I did this today in the lovely Australian summer sun.
    I had to modify some of them, I did One leg deadlifts with double 16kbs and subbed in cossack lunges for the side to side step ups. Had a lot of fun and sweat buckets. Thank you.

  8. Hello marianne,
    Love the workouts, I love working with kettle bells, but find it hard to do the snatch any suggestions? also your blue mat where to buy it ?
    Thanks again for giving me motivation I look forward to your new posts all the time.

    1. Hey Sam,

      Without seeing you perform the snatch, I cannot coach on what you are doing wrong. However, here is a great short tutorial by Pat Flynn (RKC). I like this because it’s broken down into easy steps.

      As for the blue mat, someone gave that to me, so I don’t know where they got it. I know there are PVC type mats available on the web. Google it and see, but I would recommend this PVC type material and a thickness of over 1cm. I have found 1cm to be too thin. And the PVC means you can wash it πŸ™‚

  9. I have to ask, on the Shoulder press w/ KB, then swing. I think you call it: Kettlebell Clean and Press?

    What does that swing do for you? I can tell where the press works your shoulder.

    I’m only just getting the KB into my w/o so curious.

    1. Hey Jenny, the Clean and Press is different from a swing. There is a swing back from the clean (which loads the posterior chain), but the forward part of the movement is a Clean, where you snap the KB into the rack position. I have a Tutorial on the Clean, which will help you perform it better. You can practice it by doing a “Hang Clean” or “Dead Clean” which takes away the swing part. This way you learn how to keep the KB close to the body, without confusing it with the swing.

      The Press part does not just work the shoulder. A Military Press is when you need your whole body to be as engaged (full body tension) as possible to help you lift more weight. You also want to use your lats to “pull” or control the descent of the KB back to the rack position. The Press will work your whole body this way.

      It’s confusing when you’re new to KBs, but I hope this explains it a little better. If not, just let me know πŸ™‚

  10. Great workout as always Marianne. It has been added to the your 2012 kettlebell workbook :).

    I will have to try this one soon but my cold keeps coming and going so I am doing lighter workouts for now.

    I can’t believe someone told you that you had a pot belly. You do not and don’t listen to them.

  11. Cant wait to try this one marianne…..I love anytime you include single leg hip thrust (its a love/hate thing lol).

    Now kind of have to vent a little……the gym I use to go to got bought by another gym ok…fine…I was told the new gym was goin to be bigger anyway…fine…here comes the big BUT…they have no KB’s. The old gym use to have them….so now I’m going to have to buy my own….meantime, do you have any alternatives? I know you have the BW w/o’s…which I do…but I love the KB ones too. Today I did one of your conditioning w/o’s with a weight plate that has handle (dont laugh…ok laugh). I’m telling you doesnt feel the same…when I was doing the two handed KB swing felt little different. Maybe I just need to get use to it. But still I’m working on investing in some.

    Talk to u later

    1. Except for the vertical swing, pretty much everything Marianne does with KBs can be done with DBs. The gym I go to has only DBs, so that’s what I use. As for the vertical swing, Marianne suggested DB snatch (in that case, where she does the vertical swing, you’d end up doing alternating DB snatches).

      I *did* get my first pair of KBs, though! They are only 8kgs, but they were a great price (less than $1/pound)! The mark on them read “RKS” – I don’t know if that’s what Marianne uses, but they look like hers. I’m quite pleased! πŸ™‚

      1. Thanks Wendy πŸ™‚

        Great that you got those KBs for so cheap. Did you get them online? Can you post where you got them – just in case anyone else wants to get some there too.

        1. I live in Canada and I got those KBs from a store called Winners. It’s not a sporting goods store (it sells clothing, housewares, beauty products, etc), and their inventory changes from week to week. Although they have had KBs in stock in their “fitness” section (which is lumped in with their beauty products, so on the receipt the KBs are listed as “Beauty” – funny!), I was surprised to find that kind of KB (the others they’ve had are usually the smaller, 5 -10lb kind for women to do a zillion reps to get “long, lean muscles” πŸ˜› ). So far, I have only seen the 8kg of that particular brand of KB at Winners. I will keep my eyes open for other weights and let you all know (for those who have that store nearby).

          Surrey, BC

  12. Huh? SOMEONE is dead wrong… where would you keep such a thing in all that striated-muscle-awesome-tightness?

    OK, since I’ve been challenged, I HAD to do this ASAP… with dread! I DO think that part of my problem is that my workout room is COLD! My bells are cold and yesterday my hands were icicles doing a BW workout. My room gets to about 65 F when I am done, so it must be in the low 60s at best when I start. And to think, we I was a kidlet, that was considered ‘room temperature!’ My how we have softened.
    OK, I am procrastinating, let’s go…

    Part A 3 rounds:
    single leg partial squat on box 8 each side x 3 sets — balance an issue on the right!
    side to side steps ups with 15 lbs. , 1 min 45, 47, 46
    single leg hip thrusts 12, each side x 3 sets
    swings 20 kg 1 min: 37, 37, 38

    Part B: 18 x 15/45
    1. double suitcase DL burpee w/ 12Kgs (my heaviest pair) 11, 10, 10
    2. C & P L 12 Kg 9, 10, 10
    3. C & P R 12 Kg 9, 10 ,10
    4. renegade rows 12 Kg 18, 18, 18
    5 SKS 10 Kg L 12, 12, 12
    6. SKS 10 KG R 11, 12, 12

    HR +2 (about at my legal max) sweat +1.5 face: bright red.

    My pant legs were sticking and I had to mop my brow several times, but I still did not sweat as much as I have in the summer. My HR was way high, so I consider that the most important judge of how hard I am working.

    Regardless, this was a tough workout! Focussing on legs always gets the pulse up faster and the DL/burpees and SKS so close to each other, were a real challenge. I liked you variation on the single leg squats — I haven’t done any pistol-like practice in a long time, so this was good. I could not get up from a full squat without assistance anyway, so the partials worked me. I also had a balance issue on the right, so it seems my leg strength and balance are better on the left, which surprises me!

    So, great job Marianne… you ALWAYS make me work harder than anyone else.

    ~ Gillian

    1. “SOMEONE” was a man too! You know what men are like … they have a way with words LOL!

      Glad you sweated a little more Gillian. Good point about the HR though – that is more important πŸ™‚

      Great job x

  13. Hi Marianne,
    I’ve been following your site for a few weeks and really love what you are doing!
    I have a question about the single leg squats – if I can’t get to parallel, should I keep working on strength with regular squats, or is there a way to try to progress with the single-leg squats?

    1. Kate, always keep working on regular squats, but you can add in the partial single-leg squats: hold on to a chair or even reverse the movement by trying to stand up from a a chair on one leg. Even do single-leg box squats by sitting down on to a chair and back up on one leg. The stability and strength will improve and you will notice a difference in your over all ability.

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