Summer Fitness Circuit – Kettlebell | Body Weight Workout

by Marianne  - March 23, 2011

Hi all,

I know it’s not exactly summer but in Ireland we get very excited at the first sign of summer and tend to all rush outside in our T-Shirts and shorts out of fear the sunshine will disappear (as it often does) – so I wanted to make the most of the warmest day of the year so far 😀

This workout is great for conditioning, some strength development, core, cardio and fun. It is a circuit of about 3 rounds of 10 exercises, mixing kettlebells, body weight, set reps and set times. You can add a bonus set of Pull Ups to the end of each round, if you want to work on your vertical pulling strength.

As I am aware that my usual workouts tend to focus on progressive overload for building strength, I thought I would show you how to use set reps with the same weight for several sets or rounds. Remember that the body loves to be challenged and if you play with tempo and reps, you can still achieve great changed to your performance level and your physique. A circuit like this one is a great addition to your weekly training routine and, depending on your goals, you can use this set-up once, twice or even 3 times per week, for full body conditioning and fat loss (depending on your diet of course).

This workout is a good one to start with if you are a beginner, or new to the site 🙂

Anyway, the Table below is a combination of all 3 levels (Advanced, Intermediate and Beginner). In each column you will see a recommended rep range and set time for each exercise. These are only a guide and may either be too easy or too difficult, depending on the weights you have available. So, either increase the reps you do, or decrease the tempo. Alternatively you can play about and see what challenges you the most (while maintaining good form).

[table id=26 /]

I know this table layout won’t go down well for those who print them out … hands up – I was being lazy 🙁
I also only did 2 rounds of this workout as I have some DOMS from my heavy weights yesterday, But, I am attending the KB class tonight, as my sister is coming for her first time – so want to be there for moral support 😀

Anyway, I hope you all enjoy this workout, and it really in good to be back. Let me know how you get on.



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  1. Pingback: Julie Goes Healthy
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  3. I forgot to post on this — I did this on 3/28 Monday, before I went on the road.
    My back had been hurting me from… windmills and extended squats that I did several days before. So I was a little ailing before I started on this. The 1 minute cardio really made me sweat a lot, so that is a real plus in my mind. My numbers were just OK.

    1. Double front squat: (10+12Kg) x 8, 8, 8
    2. burpees 1 min 12, 12, 12
    3. double SLDL (14+16 Kg) 10, 10, 10 each side
    4. Skipping — subbed high knees 1 min
    5. Double bent over row (30#s x2) 10, 10, 10
    6. Plank climber 1 min 34, 32, 35
    7. KB Push press 12Kg R 10, 8, 8
    L 10, 4 + 7 assisted, 8
    8. Alt Swing 14 Kg 34, 32, 35
    9 Pullups — 4, 4, 3 + 2 chinups (tired)

    3 rounds.

    It was a good thing that I did this, b/c it turned out that I could not/did not work out for several days afterwards.

    ~ Gillian

  4. Hi Marianne,
    Just wanted to say hi as I have been following your fab blog for a while now. I did 3 rounds of this workout the other day with 2 16Ks (1 16 for push presses and alternating swing). The only thing I changed was to substitute the burpees for sumo burpees. I’m fine with sumos, but for some reason I find normal burpees totally exhausting. I guess they’re my nemesis.
    As for making use of the swing set for your workouts. There is actually an exercise that uses a swing in this month’s Women’s Fitness. You put your hands on the ground and feet on the swing and do a pike jacknife as you would with a swiss ball. Might be an idea for the next sunny day! : )
    Thank you for all your hard work and inspiration. Your blog is brilliant!

    1. OOH I will definitely have to try that one 😀

      Nice job with the workout btw, and I am glad you left a comment, cheers Emma – nice to hear from you 🙂

  5. Hey Marianne! Been following you for a while, and did quite a few of your body weight/interval workouts last summer. Haven’t been able to do much of them since August when I got a broken foot. My foot is fully recovered and looking to get back in the swing of things. I was wondering if it would be an okay solution for building up to start at your Beginner-level workout, do it for about 3-4 weeks, then do the Intermediate one for it, again 3-4 weeks, and then finish off with the Advanced one for 3-4 weeks? For me this would be ideal since it’s hard for me to always get on-line and see new workouts posted. BUt also from the perspective of getting used to the movements. Let me know what you think. I think they are varied enough, but not sure if it’s SMART.

    1. Hi Cherie, thanks for your message. I think your plan is a good idea, but remember to gaige the level of each exercise separately, as you may progress in some faster than others. After the initial 4 weeks or so, assess which exercise you can add resistance to. Perfecting your form and building sufficient levels of strength, flexibility, mobility, stability will tell you if you are ready to progress.

      Remember take down a few workouts with different layouts to keep things fresh 🙂

  6. I finally tried this awesome workout with variations to fit it in with the work I get from my trainer. Kinda feels like I have 2 trainers. Never a boring moment when it comes to these workouts
    I did 2 rounds of the following sequence:
    KB front squat 2 8KG Kb 8 rounds

    Burpees 10

    single leg deadlift L 8 2 12KG Kb 8
    R same as above

    hanging leg lift 12

    bent over row with 2 12kg KB 1o

    plank climber 15

    then I did a long cycle (clean,push press) interval 20 sec rest 1 min effort 6x each side with 8KG Kettlebell focusing on form breath and staying chill.

    to finish off I did 5 overhead swings
    then a cool down. nice workout over all, felt great afterwards.

  7. Hi Marianne

    Im from Sydney Australia. It never gets cold COLD in winter here, but because our summers are long and very hot, any temperature drop can be a real shock to the system…and we don’t like it lol


  8. Hi Marianne. Great workout as always, but disappointed you didn’t somehow use the swing set in the background of your intro lol. What a beautiful day you had. We are heading into winter my side of the world ” blah ” so outside work will soon be over 🙁 Will try really really hard not to have a big exercise fail this winter ( my worst ” can’t be bothered ” season ” ) but hopefully your little community will help keep me on track. 🙂


    1. Hi Sarah, where is it you are from again? It’s easy to forget that not everyone is enjoying the longer days. Our clocks went forward last night, so thing will be even brighter tonight 😀

      That swing is very tempting, I sat on it, and it didn’t break, so maybe next time I could use it for my workout LOL 😛

  9. Hi Marianne,

    In this workout are you doing 3 rounds of each exercise before moving on to the next exercise or are you doing them in a circuit format?


    1. Hi Lori, yes it’s a circuit. But you could try it in 3 sets too. Maybe couple the resistance and cardio exercises together and perform each combo in 3 sets – that would be a killer!


  10. Hey Marianne,

    Tried this workout today, only did one round though, wanted to get out for a run, it was so lovely out. I really liked it, it was nice mixing set reps with time. I actually tried to attempt your last one twice but it was a major fail!! I think I might have been run down or something! But did my first chin up the other day woo!! I couldn’t manage another one for since then so I was starting to think it was a weird fluke or something but I two today with a break in between. I think less is more for me with these. lol I’m so excited that I can actually do it at all, there’s a lot of me to pull lol!

    I’m really glad to hear you’re back on form 🙂


    1. Yipee for your pull up 😀 Don’t worry, you can try it again soon, and you’ll do better 🙂

      Hope the run was a nice run, the weather has been beautiful here too.


    1. OOPs had the table to include the first 10 rows, and pull ups were on row 11. Sorted now. Though, if you can do more, go on ahead, it’s just for a guide 🙂

  11. Love it. I want to squeeze that cat.
    I think the kettlebell swings and lunges to work the glutes, I used to have a small butt and now it has gotten stronger and it has made my running and swimming a lot more efficient, it took about a year for me to see any results, and that was by working hard 5 times a week, so it is not an overnight thing.
    Kettlebells are a great all around workout and they are also a lot of fun.

    Cheers again

    1. She’s very cute, Squirt is a very talkative wee cat 😛

      Good point about it not being a quick thing to happen. However, if you opt for heavier weights, it can happen faster. I think the power needed for KBs really helps too.


  12. Hi Marianne,

    Just wanted to say you are such an inspiration! I did your spartacus workout revisted today after taking 2 weeks off from working out due to septoplasty surgery. Anyways, I don’t know what I was thinking. That workout was a KILLER! I probably shouldn’t have done such an intense workout for my first time back in 2 weeks but I was eager to work out and really challenge myself so I gave it a go. Anyways, I just can’t believe how strong you are and your body and …..sorry but I have to say this, your BUT is amazing! lol Would you say Kettlebell training contributed to this? I just think you truly represent healthy body images for all of those young people starting out and I thank you for that! Keep up the great work and thanks so much for such a great site and all of your expertise! Your the best!



    1. Hi Lori, sorry to hear you haven’t been well, I hope you are feeling totally better soon (especially after the Spartacus workout – eek!).

      As for my butt (lol), I guess I always had a “sticky-out” booty, but it was mostly fat. So genetics helped me there. Now the KBs and the additional training with heavy weights has helped shift the composition to more muscle, so it is A LOT firmer now.

      I read on Bret’s site that walking lunges, deficit reverse lunges (deep weighted lunges in general) are best for growing more glute muscle, as the greatest tension is on the glute while it is stretched. Controlling the eccentric phase of the lunge and really focusing on squeezing the glute in the transition from eccentric (downward/lowering phase) and concentric (upward phase) will assist glute hypertrophy. The hip thrusts on the other hand are great for increasing glute strength, as the most difficult part of that lift is the concentric phase as the glute is under the most tension while the hips are fully extended. I think a combination of both of these types of movement (varying the exercise used), coupled with various other glute drills (to include the glute medius etc), with progressive overload and good form, will result in a very shapely behind.

      Kettlebells can surely help with this. I think the KB swing should be up there with great glute exercises – if only to help people learn how to properly use their hips.

      Thank you for your kind words, I’m glad you are back with us 😀


  13. I love your workouts!! I appreciate you sharing your knowledge with us. As a mother of 4, I was looking for a workout I could do at home that took less time. I am trying to get in shape for my sister’s wedding (yuck!) and this is helping so much! I already have to have my dress altered to the point of near reconstruction, lol. Thanks again!! You’re an inspiration!!

  14. Yay! This workout looks awesome!

    Marianne – you are AMAZING! It amazes me how teeny tiny you are and how POWERFUL and STRONG you are! 😀

    <3 Thanks for keeping it real! <3

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