Strength & Conditioning – Extreme Home Workout

by Marianne  - February 28, 2011

Hi all,

This workout was just what I needed after 3 days off from my training. Using my NEW pull up bar 😛 I was able to include more variety into the workout.

This workout will help you work on strength, plyometrics, full body conditioning, abdominals and core. The cardio aspect will also help you burn more calories.

There are 3 sections really, the first is a series of TGUs, for full body recruitment – with a little challenge at the end. Then, we move on to some upper body strength and plyometric work, followed by an 18 minute interval training section to finish.

Workout Breakdown

Section 1

I had planned to do 3 sets of 3 TGUs each side, bit ended up doing 3 sets plus an additional challenge, doing a double Kettlebell Sit Up Get Up.

Set 1 – 3 x 3 TGUs using 16kg

Set 2 – 3 x 3 TGUs using 20kg

Set 3 – 3 x 3 TGUs using 24kg (this was tough)

Set 4 – 3 TGUs using 2 x 12kg (I tried to use 2 x 14kgs for this, but I just couldn’t get myself to sit up, it was quite funny really, even my rage couldn’t help me with this one 🙁 LOL)

Section 2

For this you need a pull up bar. If you don’t have a pull up bar, you can substitute with some type of rowing exercise, or horizontal pull up using 2 chairs and a broom stick (see Steve Cotter demonstrate it here at 1 min 28 seconds).

This section is working on upper body pulling strength and upper body pushing power.

As pull ups are something I am working on AGAIN LOL, I am not working to failure, but keeping the number of reps at a number I know is doable but challenging. As you all know, I tend to just do my own thing rather than follow another protocol (I guess I am stubborn that way) – but there is a very good protocol on the Forum HERE for building up your pull up max.

Right back to the set up:

I completed 3 rounds of:

  1. Pull Up (various grip) x 3 reps
  2. Clapping Push Up x 6 reps.

Boy do I feel this today!

Section 3

This is the conditioning section where I have added more cardio into the picture. Use a moderate weight Kettlebell and aim for higher reps. It is interval training, so set your Gymboss Interval Timer for 18 cycles of 15 seconds rest, and 45 effort. I set mine for 25 seconds “rest” as I was running around like a mad thing moving the camera! But I would not need to do that if I wasn’t filming – so everyone else keep it to 15 seconds (if you want of course 😉 ).  Complete 3 rounds of the following 6 exercises. My reps are in brackets and the weight used is indicated also:

  1. Kettlebell Thruster to Reverse Lunge (right) ~ 16kg (11, 9, 8.5 )
  2. Kettlebell Thruster to Reverse Lunge (left) ~ 16kg (9, 8, 8)
  3. Hanging Leg Raises (as much as possible, downgrade to knee raises as needed) (14, 14, 12)
  4. Two-Handed Kettlebell Swing ~ 20kg (30, 28, 28)
  5. Hanging Side/Oblique Raises (16, 15, 11) (grip was an issue near the end)
  6. Two-Sumo Jump Burpees (14, 12, 12)

After this, I did intend on adding some glute work in, but I was pretty done in from work and this workout, plus, Sunday is breakfast day! So Andrew and I made pancakes, egg and muesli!!

Modification Options

Instead of the usual layout, I will try to illustrate the progression to the above workout here, by showing you how to adapt the exercises, and the intervals to suit your level.

Section 1

TGUs – start with Body Weight and progress to a light weight, as you get more proficient with the movement pattern, then begin to increase the weight and try other more challenging variations like the Double KB Get Up.

Section 2

Pull ups and push ups are two of the most challenging body weight exercises, especially for females:

Pull ups – Modifications begin @ 04:20:

  • Either start by using “negatives” – were by you push or jump up and slowly lower yourself down, then repeat.
  • Use a bench or chair to support your weight and allow your upper body to take some weight – this will get you the benefits of full range of movement – focus on activating your lats this will REALLY help!
  • Use resistance bands to gradually increase the difficulty. As you progress to a thinner band, the more body weight you will have to pull. Thicker band = easier.
  • If you don’t have a pull up bar, perform Rows, or horizontal pull ups instead (follow link to Steve Cotter’s demo video above).

Clapping Push Ups – Modifications begin @ 05:00:

  • Start with partial “normal” push ups from your knees, then progress to full push ups. As you become stronger at these you may try the clapping push up from your knees then progress to your toes again. Ensure that your core remains tight as the explosive nature of the push and the landing can cause the hips to sink.
  • You may also progress from full “normal” push ups to dynamic push ups and these require a faster, more explosive movement.

Section 3

In the final section, there is a choice of time intervals or set reps:

Beginners – either use the set reps suggested below in the 3 rounds or set your timer for 30/30 (3 continuous rounds or 3 separate rounds with more rest in between). Use the first exercise suggested in the list below. Modifations begin @ 06:10

Intermediates – Either use 18 cycles of 20/40 or 6 cycles 3 times. Use the second exercise suggested below. Modifications begin @ 05:19

  1. Either Body Weight Squat to Reverse Lunge (right) X 10 reps or, Kettlebell Thruster (right)
  2. Either Body Weight Squat to Reverse Lunge (leftt) X 10 reps or, Kettlebell Thruster (left)
  3. Either Lying Leg Raises/lifts X 12 – 15 reps or, Hanging Knee Raises
  4. Two-Handed Kettlebell Swing X 20 reps
  5. Either Lying Bicycles X 20 reps (total) or, Hanging Side/Oblique Raises
  6. Either Two-Squat into (stage 1) Burpee X 12 reps or, Two-Sumo Jump (stage 2) Burpee

I found the first 2 sections fun and challenging because of the strength factor, then I enjoyed section 3 for getting the heart rate elevated and the abs working again! I can feel that today too. Think I could have added more lower body exercises in, but I guess I was pre-occupied with my new toy 😉

I hope this layout is clear for beginners and intermediates, as I am trying to become more efficient at writing the workouts up, so my time can be more focused on other content too. Let me know what you think of this, and how you get on with the workout.




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  1. Hi Marianne,

    Finally got around to doing this one this morning, kinda! I had to stop halfway through because the only door that will take my pullup bar is the bathroom and I couldn’t exactly be swinging in the door while it was occupied lol.

    I have serious respect for you doing TGUs with at 24kg!!!!! I did the last set with my 16kg and I found it damn hard to get up to the sitted position, the rest wasn’t too bad but I had to change to my 12kg for the thrusters.

    Feel like I’m getting closer to a full chinup/pullup, hopefully! Do you find chinups a lot easier than pullups?


    1. Good for you, glad you are noticing the improvements, especially the TGUs!! I honestly prefer chin ups to pull ups. My forearms hate the pull up grip. I also think that chin ups are better (though I could just be saying that to myself LOL). Pull ups are limited (for me) by the grip issues, so I can get a better range of movement with chin ups. Plus they target more of the biceps 😉 Not that my biceps need anymore excuse to grow, as they are pretty huge as it is, don’t want to be a hulk LOL – don’t worry, it’s because of my feeding frenzies that this happens 😛

      Keep practicing 😀

  2. Hi Marianne

    Can i be cheeky and ask what you would recommend for a half hour workout in the morning before work.
    I currently go on treadmill once a week for half hour and Sunday and Mondays i do a cliff jog/walk and on a Fri i do a Kettlebell workout DVD which i want to work up to doing twice a week.
    I own a 4,8 and 12kg kettlebell. At mo i do not use 12kg as i need work my way up to that one!!!
    I also have a skipping rope and treadmill, any chance you would mind telling me what i can do do get the best half hour workout before work?

    Thank you for your time


    1. Hi Louise, the best type of training would be one day High Intensity Interval Training, and maybe another Kettlebell and Body Weight workout. Something like the Spartacus workout. I would change it about a bit and have the intervals as 15 or 20 seconds rest and 40 – 45 seconds effort. This means it’s 30 exactly. You get resistance work and cardio all in one workout. It is a tough workout. I would change both the Double Bent Over Rows and Renegade Rows to Bent Over Alternating Rows. The single arm swing to Two-Handed Swings. Then, instead of the Side Lunge Touch, split the Double Push Press to Singles. The workout Would then look like this: 3 Rounds of 10 exercises –

      1. KB Goblet Squats (24,21,20)
      2. Mountain Climbers (96,82,79)
      3. Two-Handed KB Swings
      4. T-Push Ups
      5. Lunge Jumps
      6. Bent Over Alternating KB Rows
      7. Forward Lunge +/- Rotate (with KB)
      8. Bent Over Alternating KB Rows
      9. KB Push Press (right)
      10.KB Push Press (left)

      For the Mountain Climber or Lunge Jumps you can play about with it and add in skipping instead. This sort of layout is very flexible. The other thing you could do, is 2 rounds of the workout and then finish with 10 minutes on the treadmill. Or, choose another body weight, kettlebell or mix n match workout from the archives.

      Does this help in any way?


      1. Hi Marianne

        This helps loads, thank you so much for taking the time to do this for me, i do really appreciate it and will be giving this a bash tomorrow morning.

        I’m not to sure what no. 2,7,9 and 10 are but i will now look at your spartacus workout again to make sure i know what i’m doing. I unfortunately do not have an interval timer yet but next pay day i will be investing in one, so instead of seconds ill have to do reps.

        If you ever move to Guernsey let me know as i would love to have you as my PT, lol.

        Thanks again


  3. Hi Marianne, i love, love this work out that you showed us. I’ve always wanted to be able to do the pull ups but don’t quite know where to start. I currently don’t have enough strength to pull myself up 🙁 Then, I noticed you gave some modifications to it with of course progressing to a full blown pull up. I got excited! I thought, “ok now i can at least do that!” The way I do pull ups at the moment is my hubby holds my feet up then I pull. Lol!
    Also, got a question on the gymboss (i think you use this when you workout, right?) I was reading the instructions online and noticed there’s no instruction for setting up rest periods. Would you mind sharing how you set up yours?
    Thanks so much for this! The work out video’s great! 🙂


    1. Hi Geny, Firstly, thanks 🙂 Secondly, having someone support some of your weight to assist your pull ups is a proper modification. Andrew used to help me like this in the gym with pull ups and dips, so that’s grand 😀 Also you can do the negatives too.

      Now to the gymboss – There should be an option to select 2 intervals to come up (2 clocks appear one beneath the other) – when you get this on the screen, you set the top one as your rest interval and the bottom as your effort. It sound like you have it set to one interval, so only one clock on the screen? How you set it up I think has changed since I got my gymboss last year. Andrew got a new one for xmas, and I still haven’t worked it out yet :/

      Hope you figure it out. You could do a search on YouTube for an instructional video too 🙂


      1. Oh I see! I have seen the two clocks. I just didn’t realize the top one was for rest. Awesome! Thanks much and have a great day, Marianne! 🙂

  4. Phew, that was a challenge. My times slow and numbers low, as I got tired very early on.

    1. TGUs 3 sets of 3 each side with 12 Kg. 3 reps with two bells (10 Kg and 15 lb) — first time for double TGUs… that was an experience. Really had to rest between rounds.

    2. Pullups 4, 4, 4
    Pushups 20, 20, 20 I tried the clapping a couple of times and shifted my mats and couldn’t get the clap completed, so I just went for higher reps.

    Time to here: 25 minutes with rest

    3. 18 x 15/45
    1. KB Thruster to reverse lunge R 12 Kg x 6, 10 Kg X 6, 12 Kg x 6
    2. Left same— these were hard, then I realized I did the first round with the KB in the air after the thruster! Then I went down in wt and realized what I had done, so I went for low and proper form instead. I’m not sure I could have gone much faster anyway!
    3. Hanging leg raises 18, 17, 17 — arms got tired — had to stop in 2nd & 3rd round.
    4. 2 handed swing 14 Kg, 27, 27, 27
    5. Hanging oblique raises 18,17, 19 arms were tired — had to stop in 2nd & 3rd round.
    6. 2 sumo jump burpee 8, 7.5, 7 (how does M do so many???)

    Total time: 43 minutes I don’t know how Aimee did it in 28 minutes… she must be superwoman!

    I also had to do my VO2Max snatches, so after the above, I did 54 rounds of 15/15 snatches 7 reps with the 10Kg bell.

    I was tired, but not destroyed.

    ~ Gillian

    1. Just realised that I didn’t post my time. It was similar to yours Gillian. The heavy TGUs need more recovery for me, didn’t time it exactly though!

      Even after all that with the VO2Max, you weren’t destroyed? Looks like Aimee has some competition 😛

  5. I had to do a condensed version of this workout, I was short on time but didn’t want to skip a workout.

    The workout took me 29:00
    I did things slightly differently but tried to stick to the format as much as possible
    TGU 5 each side 1 set with 8KG
    3 each side 1 set with 10kg
    2 each side 1 set with 12kg I felt like I could do more, but didn’t want to push it.
    4 pull ups 3 assisted
    10 elevated push ups
    deadlift with 20kg

    then I did the following X2

    hanging leg raises 10
    reverse lunge with 12kg 20
    russian twist 20 kg

    I was out of time so I had to stop at 2 rounds and shower and run out the door.

    I feel like on the deadlifts and lunges, I can go a lot higher with the weight. I will try this at the gym tomorrow before my swim.
    no doms today, so I know I can push this a bit further.
    missing my crazy cardio.


  6. Nice workout, looks very tough!

    where did you get your pull up bar? like how its bolted to the wall, looks more secure. Im awful at pull ups though lol

    1. Hey, You can get this bar on Amazon HERE, but I got mine second-hand in a shop in Belfast, because postage is so expensive to Northern Ireland. It’s dead-bolted to the wall, because it has to hold Andrew LOL! The only way to get better at pull ups, is do keep doing pull ups, you’ll see – keep it up 😀

  7. Good Grief!!! That was stupid tough after doing all the TGUs! I’m spent and it took me 27:58 to get through it. I used my 16kg for the TGUs and I used double 8kgs for the 4th round and did 3 TGU sit ups. It was a great combination though of everything! I’m trying to work up my pull ups as well so this was a really good workout for that.

    1. Yeah, got a bit carried away with the TGUs 😛 Starting to really like them. Worth the wait?

      Don’t give up on the pull ups, I will have more in my workouts now, because I have my bar now 😀 whoopeee

      1. Good Grief is right!! Marianne…YOU ARE A MACHINE. I just got my 22kg in the mail today and I had to carry it up the stairs slowly while tightly clutching it to my abdomen with both arms! And you’re putting a 24kg over your head while doing a TGU? Dang. *

  8. This is a great combination of challenges. I love the pull up and push up combo. I think I will try this a the gym tonight before my swim. This is just what we all need to get our gears up for the Spring. The warmer weeather is giving me more energy, I am glad you have upped the challenges.

    yeah! 🙂

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