One Kettlebell Wonder | Home Fitness Workout

by Marianne  - December 14, 2011

Hi everyone,

My ultimate goal is to make these workouts as effective, fun and doable as possible. With so many fitness levels, experiences and preferences, it’s difficult for me to please everyone. So I try my best to come up with designs I think will tick all the boxes. Sometimes though I do get it wrong.

The other day I was asked to do a workout with just a single KB and no bench. So that’s what I have done for you today. While I am still using different weights, each exercise only needs one KB. If you have more than one weight available then use it. If not, then you can make some exercises harder by playing about with the interval time, tempo and/or by making exercise combos! You’ll see what I mean below.

Before I start into the workout breakdown, I was also asked to re-index each post to make them easier to find. What I want to know from you is what would help you the most to find what you are looking for? For example, would having “Strength Workouts” and “Conditioning Workouts” be enough, or would you need it more refined than that? Please remember that to go through over 200 posts is a lot of time consuming work for me – so I want to know which is the MOST useful change/changes I could make – because I don’t fancy going back to do it again! LOL

The Workout

Set your Gymboss Interval Timer for 30 seconds recovery and 1 min effort. Aim to complete 3 rounds of the following 7 exercises. Work at a pace and with a weight that you feel you can endure the whole interval. If you find you are stopping and starting loads, then slow it down. If you are not getting enough from it, then either increase your pace, reduce the rest interval or think about investing in a heavier weight πŸ™‚

My reps etc are in brackets below.

  1. Thruster into Reverse Lunge (right) (mostly 14kg, attempted a bit with 16kg) (9, 7.5, 7)
  2. Same on Left (8.5, 8, 6.5)
  3. Two-Handed KB Swing (20kg) (36, 35, 36)
  4. Two Sumo Squat Jump Burpee (11, 10, 8 )
  5. Bent Over Alternating Row (16kg) (19, 18, 16) – made sure I got an even number
  6. Super Plank Climber (13, 12, 10)
  7. Alternating Swing (20kg then 16kg) (31, 29, 29) – I hate these! I just grip too hard :-/

There you go everyone, I hope that those of you who have 1 KB (like my sister) will feel good about this workout.

Even if I can’t please everyone I sure as hell want to try to please most, so feedback is always appreciated. How else will I make the site the best it can be πŸ˜€




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  1. Thank you for helping a workout noob like me. I have no clue what a good workout “routine” is. These workouts have helped me so much!

  2. Hey Marianne.

    Thought I’d try this workout today. I am going away to my parents over Christmas and am only going to bring one KB with me which will be a 16. So this kind of thing will be ideal πŸ™‚

    If I want to do any strength work at all while I am away I can just concentrate on doing some slow negatives work. Did that with my personal trainer last week and kicked my ass with weights much lighter than I can usually lift.

    It’s funny how some exercise some people like and others hate. I love the alternating swing and do that variation most of the time when swinging. I tend to have a pretty loose grip, almost just cupping my fingers round the handle, it’s almost like my thumb just happens to be there and I don’t really grip with it at all. You may find it much more comfortable that way.

    Oh did you ever try the outside the legs swing I mentioned before? It is pretty different and has different emphasis on different areas compared to the standard swing. It’s worth a look at,but you may just find it’s not one that really works for you.

    Well I hope you have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!


    1. Never tried that swing yet Steve :-/

      Must try that grip. I think I do that anyway – it’s a bit like a false-grip? I do that on my bent over rows, cleans and I think my Alt swing to save my forearm – but I lust still get the thumb in somehow on the swing. Just can’t go heavy for very long on the single swings.

      Have a great Christmas at your Parents! Is that over here?


  3. Regarding the indexing I donΒ΄t really care as long as you write explicitly in the text wether itΒ΄s conditioning or strength (or both) and what you can do to change it (like use heavier weights and go for reps instead of a circle). Just like you already are! I like watching the videos and adapt to my equipment and what I can do and as long as you educate us in every post, thatΒ΄s fine with me.

    One thing you could do is bring back to life your old favourites. You gave me a tip about an old workout and since I havenΒ΄t been able to look at everything on the site, that was very helpful. So every once in a while, do a “bringing back the oldieΒ΄s” and link to favourite workouts of the past.

    1. Good idea Beata. I also think a post in “where to start” or “how this site works” will help people.

      Yes the “oldies” mmm – I will consider it πŸ™‚ I actually want to get a little widget in the side bar of “top 5 conditioning workouts” and same for “strength”. Or “MUST READS”. Oooh so many ideas in this head!!


  4. I’m glad it’s not just me, lol Thnx for the advice

    And did you ever find your article where bret C. is asking for your opinion on the best glute excersices? I should have saved it or printed out.

    Also wanted to tell you I got this new position, it involves a lot of sitting down cuz it’s a desk job…well I was wondering if you have any tips for me on stretches I can on my break. I get up as much I can so I wont be sitting down for 8 straight hrs, and I’m also more consious about my form (thnx 2 u) when i’m sitting down,
    pelvis forward & abs tight….I even do this when I’m driving lol. IT’s just stuck in my head now πŸ™‚

    Anyway that’s it for now, have a good weekend! I’m off for my walk @ the lake (I call this spiritual training lol)

  5. Wow, you are such a beast girl:) I meant to do this one yesterday but since I am reconditioning myself I had way more soreness than I thought I would. So basicly I spent the day lounging watching workout vids.
    Thruster 20lbs: 8 7 7 and same on both sides
    swings 35lbs: 25 20 20
    squat jump burpee: 7 6 7
    row 20 lbs:9 9 9 on each side. Wish I had a 25lbs bell, for a little more challenge.
    super plank climber: 5 held the plank on rd2 and since I have severe carpet burns on my elbows from the plank the other day on the last round I did 50 mt climbers
    alternating swing 20lbs: 15 each side
    I’m still fairly new to the site but I like the layout personally. I agree with Steve though about the conditioning vs strenght article. I would find that helpful. I’m studing to become a personal trainer myself, classes start next july, so I try to soak up as much info as I can! Have a great weekend:)

    1. That’s great that you are going to become a PT πŸ™‚ I’m really glad that you are getting back into things. A lounging day is perfectly acceptable after all the effort you put in !!

  6. Hi Marianne, I’m a fitness professional in California. I just want to tell you that you are amazing and doing a great job. I have benn doing this for 30 years, and I still absolutey love it! I understand the trying to please all concept. It’s very hard sometimes. BUT you are wonderful the gifts you give to anyone who logs on to your site, I appreciate it. Keep doing what your doing, with one kettlebell or 50 it’s all good.

    1. Thanks Sherry, I appreciate your comment greatly and glad that I can even offer something to experienced fitness professionals too πŸ™‚ I would love to visit California one day!

      Your words are very kind, thanks!

  7. wassup marianne,

    Just gotta tell you, conditioning days…are my baseball hat days,
    not a pretty sight lol I put a lot of effort during these workouts and I sweat a lot. So the hats help keep my hair out of the way lol. Anyway, this work out really challenged me…especially the thruster into reverse lunge. To me the front loaded reverse lunges (with a bar) is the excersice I feel my quads working hard. I’m knew to those & I gotta tell you it’s hard keeping the bar or in this case KB up while doing the movement. The two sumo squat jump burpee was also a killer….I love anything that I can feel a good burn & that double sumo squat jump you added was crazy (in a good way :))

    Oh and thanx 4 your advice on the swing plus burpee (i think thats what it’s called) you told me to make sure my thumb points towards the ceiling. I tryied it today & I think my form is a lot better, also if I punch up the KB also doesn’t hit my forearm……I would leave the gym with big red circles on my arms…not cute lol

    And I also wantd to comment on your question, I think if you list your workouts as “strength” & “conditioning” is good enough to find the excersice I’m needing. Like if I’m looking for barbell workout I know to look under “strength” listing. Speaking of how to find something…..their was this article you had about brett (glute guy) getting your opinion on the best glute excersices…cant find that one…can u help me out? I looked everwhere

    Thanx again for everthing marianne….best blog out there!!!!!!

    1. Hey Cita – glad to hear the Vertical Swing Burpee felt better. Can I ask though, which side of your forearm was it hitting? Top or bottom?

      I appreciate all the feedback πŸ™‚

      1. When I do the verticle swing burpees the KB would hit the bottom/inside of my arm….When I do something like the thruster into reverse lunge for example….that shoulder press move (i think that’s what you call it) between the squat & reverse lunge…the KB would hit the the bottom/front of my arm. But it’s getting better, since I’m aware of how my hands need to be positioned. I hope I’m making sence πŸ™‚

  8. I love taking a simple workout and making the slightest change to make it a bit more difficult! I have even found shortening rest or lengthening work time by a mere 5 secs is enough to elicit a greater work response! awesome workout, Marianne!!

    1. I agree Naomi! It’s such a simple and effective way to make the workout a little something extra! One day I even reduced the intervals to 15/30 and it killed me! LOL – just changing the tempo like that is great. We don’t need fancy exercises to spice things up πŸ™‚

  9. Thursday’s workout — yay!
    At first, I thought… oh, this is a lot like the last few workouts… piece of cake. Sure…

    1. Thruster to rev lunge L 12kg: 9.5, 8.5, 8 slow and careful
    2. Thruster to rev lunge,R 12 kg 9, 9, 8
    3. swing 20 kg 37, 37, 36
    4. 2 sumo jump burpee 9.5, 9.5, 9.5
    5. bent over alt rows 14kg 28; 16kg 24, 26
    6. Super plank climber 14, 15, 14
    7. alt swings 16 kg 35, 35, 34

    The longer work load really took this up a notch in toughness, and my heart was racing pretty much the entire time. A nice sneaky way to get pushups in there! I didn’t sweat a whole lot until I was done, so I spent a little more time on cool down stretches.
    HR ++ sweat +1/2 face: red πŸ˜‰

    I was glad it was over too! Marianne, you seem to know just how hard to push!

    ~ Gillian

    1. Hehe – “face: red” πŸ˜›

      When I have been doing my workouts, I have been thinking about your scoring system and I don’t get that sweaty either. It happens more after I stop! Must be the colder weather, coz in the summer I sweat buckets. Even in the gym I hardly sweat – until I do my cardio, but even then it takes me 10 minutes to start!! My heart rate was high too, especially going from the combo to swings – eek!

      Great numbers πŸ˜€

  10. Hey Marianne,

    I suppose for me useful categories would be ‘upper body emphasis’, ‘lower body emphasis’, ‘full body strength’ and ‘conditioning’.

    It is also really good to consider doing workouts with limited equipment like you have done today to as a lot of people may only have a few things. The only other thing I have sometimes thought, is that you don’t seem to have many chest exercises in your workouts. Obviously you do include push-ups quite a bit. Maybe that’s just because I’m a guy so our chests are our beach muscles lol. It doesn’t really matter to me that much though. If I feel I want to do more chest work, then I just add something in. So it’s not a big deal.

    I think an article on the difference between strength and conditioning workouts would be good. And how you can move between one and the other by adjusting the reps or intervals. I mean for people like us who are already reasonably experienced with exercise and working out, we can make whatever adjustments we need to make a workout more suitable for our needs. But I guess people who are less experienced or maybe only just starting out may need a lot more guidance. It seems to be quite a common question that you have been asked over the last couple of years.

    But overall you do an amazing job with this site! Of course you can never please everyone, but you should be able to strike a really good balance that will please most people. And as people become more educated they can get more from what you do.

    Anyway keep up the good work. I don’t comment quite as much as I used to, but I visit this site several times a week. It’s a great resource for anyone wanting to become fitter and healthier.


    1. Hi Steve, I agree with you on your categorization: upper body, lower body, full body strength, and conditioning. It would be nice to have the workouts a little more categorized so you can more easily find something that fits the area you want to work.

      Although Marianne doens’t have to do it at all it’s wonderful that she’s working on it. It could only do good for an already great site.

      I also really like the suggestion of an article on the difference between conditioning and strength workouts would be awesome. I’ve been regularly doing home HIIT and weight workouts for almost two years but I still feel very much a novice when there’s so much info out there. The more you learn the more you realize you don’t know much:-)

      Thanx Marianne!

  11. This is great Marianne! I only have one kb too, so I would love it if you could do one kb workouts some times. Thanks for all you do!

  12. Love it! I only have one KB so this is great! If you can do more one KB routines that would be great! I asked for another one for Christmas πŸ™‚ You look great by the way, looks like you put on quite a bit of muscle! -Salma

    1. Will do Salma! Thanks, but I think I have just “puffed” up with all the food and goodies LOL Fills me out a bit πŸ˜€ Hope you get your 2nd KB for Christmas!

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