Release Your Inner Badass – Kettlebell and Body Weight Workout

by Marianne  - August 9, 2011

Hey everyone,

Firstly I have to apologise for my absence. With work and my injury PLUS getting things organised for my trip, I have just been so busy to get much blogging done. This is the only chance I have had to do a workout! It’s a bit crazy around here. So I hope you can keep yourselves occupied with older workouts for a while.

I do intend on posting updates and I hope the odd workout while I’m away, as that is kinda what it’s all about (plus socialising of course 😉 ).

After work I had just enough energy to do 2 rounds of this intense full body workout. Because it’s a conditioning workout, it is great making you feel like you’ve really made an effort. The intervals keep you motivated and the pace it just right for breaking a sweat 😀

The Workout

Set your Gymboss Interval Timer for 8 cycles of 15 seconds rest and 45 seconds effort. Complete 2-3 rounds of the following 8 exercises and perform either pull ups or horizontal pull ups in between rounds:

My reps and weights per exercise are in brackets as usual.

  1. Kettlebell Thruster (right) (16kg) (12, 11)
  2. Kettlebell Thruster (left) (11, 11)
  3. Two-Handed Kettlebell Swing (20kg) (30, 30 )
  4. Dynamic Squats (33, 32)
  5. Kettlebell Vertical Swing Burpee (20kg) (11, 11)
  6. Alternating Single-leg Hip Thrust (22, 20)
  7. Renegade Row (2 x 16kg) (17, 16)
  8. Alternating High Deficit Reverse Lunge (20kg) (13, 12)

Pull Ups x 5 after each round (found these tough again, need to start doing more pull ups again).


  • You can try the thrusters as they are in the video, or replace them with Goblet-Hold Thrusters. This is the same movement but you hold one KB with both hands.
  • You can do Vertical Swings minus the Burpee part, or do body weight burpees here instead.
  • Choose the appropriate Glute Bridge/Hip Thrust variation according to your ability level, keeping in mind the importance of regression as explained in my Glute Bride to Hip Thrust post.
  • Either do Alternating Kettlebell Reverse Lunges from the floor, or Body Weight High Deficit Reverse Lunges.
  • Change the intervals to have a longer rest and/or shorter effort period if needed.

I hope you all enjoy this torture and I REALLY hope to have time for another workout before I go on Friday morning.

Talk to you all soon



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  1. Just finished this one after 4 days off, bad (good? LOL) food and drink and boy does it show. It was a tough day and I did my workout in the barn as usual which was freezing cold but I’m just making excuses! 🙂

    On serious note, I think I’ve decided to bite the bullet and join a gym again because I think a day a week of proper strength training with heavy dead lifts etc like you do will help me improve in these workouts. Would a day a week doing this be off benefit?

    Thanks as always,


    1. I definitely think so Niko. One or Two days pure strength training in the gym will see big gains for you. Since you are enjoying the progressive overload so much, I would say you’ll take to it and LOVE IT! 😀 This is what I do and nothing before has worked better for me than combining my workouts with my gym days. I say go for it!

  2. I’m having an issue I hope you can help me with. I have been doing Kettlebells to various DVDs and youtube videos for about 2 years now. I love working with kettlebells, but it seems that sometimes I experience pain in my lower back after a kettlebell workout. Do you think it’s that maybe I’m not snapping my hips enough with the two handed swing? It happened after I did the badass workout and I’m trying to figure out what set it off. Any helpful info would be appreciated. Thank you for your great workouts!

    1. Hey Amy, It could well be a technique issue or an underlying muscular imbalance that you have. It could in fact be a number of things that I would never be able to know from reading this alone. I don’t want to even hazard a guess as I cannot see your form or assess you. My advice would be to try and pin-point what exercise or movement sets it off. And then I would advise you to seek the expertise of a physio, or a Certified KB instructor to assess your form. Sorry I can’t be of better help, but I don’t want to blindly guess what could be causing you pain.

      I do hope that you get to the bottom of the problem though.

      1. Marianne,

        Thank you so much for taking the time to answer me. I know it’s hard to say what could be wrong without seeing my form. I thought maybe lower back pain might be a common indicator of doing something wrong with the kettlebells. I think I’ll try to find a KB instructor in my area to help. Thank you again and keep up the great work!

        1. Amy May, the only additional advice I would give you that will not do your back any harm is to add more glute activation to your warm up. Doing glute bridges is a great exercise. Also more stretches for your hip flexors and hamstrings, in addition to strengthening your back will go a long way to making it a healthier back. And, it may even solve your problem. I hope it is a temporary problem. A KB instructor will be able to assess your form and tell you whether it is likely causing some issues with your back. 🙂

  3. HiMarianne!…Just a doubt, what exercise do you recommend as substitute of pull ups?…I dont have the equipment to perform them 🙁

    1. Hey Kelly, I recommend, some sort of Row or Horizontal pull up. For the later you can use 2 chairs + a broom stick, but make sure the chairs don’t tip over on you … eek!! But rows are adequate too. They don’t work exactly the same muscles, but the point is to include more pulling exercises in our workouts as it’s easy to get carried away with pushing exercises.

      Hope this helps 🙂

  4. Hi Marianne,

    Loving your workouts!

    One quick question, what can I substitute the pull ups with as I don’t have the equipment to perform them?


    1. I seem to get asked this question a lot these days. I apologise for not offering an alternative in the post. The horizontal pull up, or other type of row are probably the most realistic subs. So for the horizontal pull up it looks like THIS. You can use two chairs and a broom stick for the apparatus, if you workout at home. Just be sure the chairs don’t tip over by holding the broom stick close to the chairs.

    2. Thank you!
      I use to belong to a gym but since having kids…..the only place to get a workout is at home.

      My boys like to ‘join’ in and think I should be getting them their kettlebells!

  5. i was just wondering if your benches were the same size, or if one was lower than the other. I have one bench, but i will have to do a makeshift of another.

    1. Hey the Reebok Deck is slightly smaller in height. But it doesn’t matter if they are the same size, you can still do the hip thrusts. Besides, you should be starting this exercise off with both feet and shoulders on the floor, then progress to using the benches. If you click on the Glute Bridge to Hip Thrust link in the beginner’s list, then that post should explain the importance of choosing the correct variation for you.


        1. ok i just realized that i don’t think i have been going down far enough in my squats with the thrusteres….. i bet that will be a big difference in my workouts. ha ha

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