Sweat is Sexy | Kettlebell Conditioning Workout

by Marianne  - September 8, 2011

Hello everyone,

First of all, I want to send a HUGE thank you to those people who have very kindly donated to the site! It is very generous and I appreciate it very muchΒ  πŸ™‚

Secondly, I want to say that I am very pleased with the response to my last post on My Diet Update, because it was great to hear that many of you have also reached similar conclusions from your own experience of “dieting”.

Now for today’s workout. It’s Kettlebells and Body Weight, it’s Conditioning, it’s couplets and, it’s a killer!

The Workout

In case you haven’t noticed, I love couplets or, having shorter sections of intervals/groups of exercises completed back to back for so many rounds. Then a rest. The reason this style works so well, is that you can really put your mind into designing a well balanced workout. Grouping the exercises together with thought and planning to what works well together. I love doing this, it’s like a little challenge all on its own. Then, when complete, each workout is a little master-piece !! Ok, so a little dramatic maybe, but why can’t I take as much pride in designing my workouts than Michelangelo took of his paintings. In my eyes movement in any form is an art!

Don’t know where that came from …

Anywho, needless to say the workout today is made up of couplets – four couplets to be exact. Complete 3 rounds of each couplet before moving on to the bridging exercise, which is pull ups (or some other type of pulling exercise such as rows).

Each couplet is a short interval training workout in itself and I set my Gymboss Interval Timer for 6 cycles of 15 seconds rest and 45 seconds effort.

When I originally planned this workout I had intended the first exercise of couplet 1 to be Alternating Kettlebell Thrusters, but when I started them, I had some pain in my right elbow and triceps, so I had to stop and change the exercise to goblet squats. I was having difficulty with all upper body pushing exercises so I had to cut the push up out of the burpees in rounds 2 and 3 of couplet 2.Β  For everyone else, feel free to try my original plan and see what you think. Beginners, stick to what I did.

My reps/weights per exercise are noted in brackets below:

Couplet 1

  1. Goblet Squat (24kg) (17, 13, 11)
  2. Renegade Row (2x16kg) (18, 16, 16)
  • Pull Ups (slow) x 3 reps

Couplet 2

  1. Burpees (14, 18, 17)
  2. Side to Side Step Ups (47, 45, 44)
  • Pull Ups (Slow) x 3 reps

Couplet 3

  1. Vertical Swing Burpee (20kg) (10, 9, 7.5 )
  2. Two-Handed KB Swing (24kg) (27, 26, 27)
  • Pull Ups (Slow) x 3 reps

Couplet 4

  1. Alternating High Deficit Reverse Lunge (20kg for round 1 then 16kg) (12, 15, 14)
  2. Dynamic Squats (35, 33, 31)

No more pull ups!! LOL Was too tired.

That’s it for today everyone. I hope you enjoy this workout and will leave your feedback below.




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  1. Hey- I know this a KettleB site…but my problem is I can’t FIND kettleBs yet in the area I live in…ENGLAND. I KNOW there’s some somewhere in the UK- but until I can locate them…is there some household items I can fashion into a makeshift temporary set til I can find them over here???
    So far on my weight loss journey- I’ve lost 80 pounds- but I still have 80 to go and my weight loss has slowed right down!!!! I know from previous experience that the slowdown is normal…but I also know I need to UP the ante when it comes to excersize to keep it going. I already walk/run(depending on the day) 3.7 miles a day- and I’m upping it this week to an even 4.0 miles a day and see how that goes. I also live in a two story flat and go up and down the stairs about twenty times a day. Suggestions?
    LOVE LOVE LOVE the website!!!! TY for any help!!!

    1. Hey Sunny! What great progress you are making. It is normal for things to slow down, so the most important thing is not to do anything drastic out of panic. By adding in some resistance training you should see your fat loss pick up again. Always remember that the closer you are to your target weight, the longer it takes to lose each pound.

      I honestly wouldn’t recommend trying to make your own KBs as they need to have proper dimensions, but I have bought all of mine from Wolverson-Fitness.co.uk. Take a look and see πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you Jac, it’s amazing when you can look back over a bunch of videos spanning nearly 2 years and see the progressions. Even before that, I can remember how difficult I found it to get my head and my body around “doing a body weight squat”! I am so grateful that I STUCK with it πŸ˜€


  2. Pingback: Sexy Sweat WorkOut « fitkatieb
  3. Ok~ This routine was like opening a can of whoop *ss on me! I thought I was going to die. Altho I would have liked to, I didn’t quit. I pushed through to the end and felt great at the end. I managed to get in 4 pullups after each couplet and 5 to finish it off. I probably could have done more, but didn’t want to show up the guy doing his assited pull-ups. haha Thanks for another good one! Have a good nite!

  4. Hi Marianne,

    Im a big fan of your workouts. However, I was wondering why you dont incorperate movement in with your kettlebell exercises. For example, forward walking swings.


    1. Thanks Marc, I will consider adding some of these. But, when space is an issue for many people, I like to offer the most efficient exercises. Besides aren’t exercises movement?? πŸ˜‰ I do know what you mean though.


  5. hi πŸ˜€ i’ve got a question: could you do a video/pictures flexing your muscles? ^^” it maybe sounds stupid but it would be very helpfull. we could see the results which we can reach too if we follow your workouts.


    1. Nina, while I love to flex my muscles, lol, I am not sure that a video of this will give the message I want. What I mean is the results are not just the aethetics of the muscle, but the actual improved performance, which is seen every day in my workouts. I know I mess about and pose for the camera sometimes, and I am happy with how I look too, but the fact that you can see definition when I flex is really down to leanness, not actual muscle mass or strength. There are many girls who can out-perform me but don’t look as muscular.

      When I read your comment, my triceps wanted to have their picture taken all tha same πŸ˜‰

    1. I have activated an account that looks like it might be you, but can you clarify your username so I can be sure? Hope I didn’t just activate a SPAM account : /


  6. I will be doing this tomorrow. Yesterday I did Facing my Nemesis | Full Body Kettlebell Workout! so today I was thinking core training. Reverse crunches, side planks, elevated plank climbers and maybe Push Up – Squat Thrust – Diagonal Knee Tuck Combo. Let me know what you think….

    1. Mike, certainly if you have the endurance for the 1 min effort for all these core exercises, but it does seem like a lot in all honesty. By the end of each exercise just be really aware of your form. I think the exercises themselves are good, but you may need to adjust the effort interval to maybe 45 seconds. It depends on your level though. Plus you don’t really need to do core work for 18 + minutes. If your goal is fat loss for example, that time might be better spend doing a KB conditioning workout with some body weight core in it. Remember that all KB exercises are great for the core too. Let me know your thoughts?


  7. you amaze me, i think i’m starting to like the couplets as well. I skipped yesterday as the grief with dad’s passing got me down. But i have been out and about today, and cleaning, getting ready to walk, then i think i might do this workout tonight. i just love kettlebells.

    p.s. i can never do pullups since i don’t have a bar, so i will do the rows i suppose.

    1. I’m sorry Tempest! I guess my advice is try not to be too hard on yourself. Give yourself time to grieve. Keeping busy can be good, but it always catches up with you if you ignore the feelings of loss. I hope you are alright!

      I know a lot of people don’t have pull up bars, but I hope to at least encourage more pulling exercises into people’s training. Rows are a great exercise. Maybe one day you will get a pull up bar πŸ™‚

  8. I really think I wanna do this today my only issue is I can’t do the pull ups with my shoulder issue is there another bridge exercise I can do in place of that. Otherwise I’m really psyched to do this!

    1. Aimee, do Rows bother your shoulder? If all shoulder exercise bother it, then pick a lower body exercise, or core. Such as the evil squat hold thing, plank, diagonal knee tuck, side bridge raises, or plank climbers?? Or glute bridges πŸ™‚ Enjoy!

      1. It’s so weird, rows do not bother my shoulder and I can do tricep push ups but certain ranges of motion (regular pushups, pull ups, presses) still hurt. It bums me out I can’t even do a turkish get up now because I can’t push on my left side in that position. Thank you for the suggestions I will just substitute one of these moves(evil squat hold is sooo evil) but maybe I’ll do it just to be evil:)

        1. Aimee, what advice have you been given regarding exercises to rehab your shoulder? It has been quite a while now since you hurt it, so I am wondering if you have some sort of programme to try and get back to full range of movements?? Hope it is ok πŸ™

          1. I actually did the pull ups without any pain, but truthfully I’m not really supposed to be using any weights or doing any pulling motions it was back at the end of May when I hurt it and it doesn’t give me any pain other than when I do certain moves. My PT told me to work back up to using the weights, I haven’t really listened to that not because I didn’t want to it’s just very hard for me to go that long without using weight. I’m fine I just haven’t been able to really move forward with my strength training I’m at a stand still.

          2. I think you need to find a balance between doing too much and too little and only you can gaige that, if you listen to your body. A stand still is better than a loss. If things get worse, then slow down. It must be very frustrating all the same!

            Hope you had a great Birthday πŸ˜€

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