Myomy Fitness

Healthy and Strong at Home with Kettlebells

My Go-to Glute Workout

It’s no secret that I love glute training.

In fact, before I started training my glutes specifically, both my training and glutes were kind of “meh” (in my opinion, which is what mattered). When I started learning how to properly engage my glute muscles, I started to move better, build more strength and power in other exercises, and finally add some shape! It gave me so much more confidence in my body because I found that I no longer carried as much fear about lifting heavy. I knew my strong Glutes would help.

This has also been the case for many of my clients. Women love to see their body changing in their preferred way. And glutes are one of the easiest areas to add shape to. With consistent training, and good recovery, most women (and men) will see results within a few weeks. Of course there’s a genetic element that will dictate how much size you can add and what shape they’ll be, but it’s still worth doing simply because you can’t beat the functional benefits.

While aesthetics aren’t my number one priority right now (which I addressed in a recent blog HERE), it certainly was a few years ago, and I got GREAT results (as you’ll see below)! I also know a lot of you want to improve the jean-filling, deadlift-crushing, kettlebell-swinging capacity of your butt, so it would be a sin if I didn’t share that with you 😛

First, a little summary of my own glute journey

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll probably remember a post I did back in 2012 comparing my glutes from before and “after” training them specifically.  I’d like to add an updated “after” (though I’m now going to call all of these “during”, since our training journeys never really end).

While it hardly matters what I look like, I do want you to see that it’s still possible to maintain the gains you make even when, like me, training consistently becomes more difficult or you gain body fat. It shows that muscle sticks around quite a while if you continue to feed it and stress it from time to time. This fact was super reassuring to me, since I have been struggling to training as much. Turns out, I don’t have to train as much as I thought.

The photo on the left was me in 2010 my hips measured about 34 inches and I weighed about 121lbs (I’m 5’5″ in height). The photo on the right was about a year or more later and my hips measured 36 inches at a body weight of 130lbs (I believe I also gained a inch on my chest and 2 inches on my waist, but looked so much stronger). About another half year later, my hips were up to 37 inches and I was leaner at 126/127lbs.

The next two images are of me within the last year. My hips measure 38-39 inches, and my body weight was anywhere from 136-140lbs. So I carry more body fat and less muscle, but my Glutes still retain their shape.

Of course, as you can see in this next photo from today, this is all changing again now that I’m pregnant (18 weeks):

Finally, I think it’s always worth remembering that regardless of how much body fat you carry at various points through your life, you can still build and maintain a strong, amazing butt 😀 It’s not the main marker of training “success”, and certainly not your point of value in the world, but it’s still a great area to focus some training on. When you enjoy strength training, performance goals, and feeling great in your skin, then glute training really helps tick those boxes.

[Edit from Jan 2018]

Now at 30 weeks pregnant, I still include plenty of my favourite Glute-friendly exercises in my workouts:

Which leads me to my gift for you

Since I’ve become a bit of a master of maintenance, here are five of my go-to glute exercises organised into a bonus workout download with access to tutorials on each exercise. This is a workout I frequently do, and love the simplicity. I think you’ll enjoy it too!

You can do this workout on its own, or as a finisher to another workout.

Simply enter your email below and I’ll send over the confirmation link so you can access your workout:


Get Glutes (2.0) is Coming Soon

Enter your name and email below to be notified first for the best discount.

21 Minutes to Go! Kettlebell Full Body Workout

Hey everyone,

Today’s workout felt great … afterwards of course. It’s only 21 minutes long and there was a lot of sweat!  Great for full body conditioning and a quick workout when your are short for time.

Other news: I have now launched the FULL array of my Online Coaching Services.  While I was away in the US, many of you will know I got to spend some invaluable time with Bret Contreras who taught me his Programming System. So I am very privileged to have this knowledge to apply to my programs. Anyway, feel free to check it out and ask any questions.

The Workout

Set your Gymboss miniMAX Interval Timer for 21 cycles of 15 seconds rest and 45 seconds effort and complete 3 rounds of the following 7 exercises. Remember there is no pressure to do the same as me. You can split the rounds up and have a longer break in between, or you can increase the rest interval to 20, or even 30 seconds if you need to. We are all different and we need to tailor our training to reflect that!

As usual my reps per exercise and weights used are noted inn brackets.

  1. Goblet Squat to Press (20kg) (11, 10, 11) – I did this variation to reduce stress on my low back and pelvis, as other variations would be more increase the need for stability.
  2. Renegade Row (2 x16kg) (18, 17, 18 )
  3. Roundabout Swing (changed to 2H Swing in 3rd round, due to blood blister on my hand) (20kg) (29, 29, 31)
  4. 2 Jump Squat Burpee (11, 10, 10)
  5. Stand-Kneel-Stand (right) (16kg) (13, 11, 10) – took my time with these, due to a little pain 🙁
  6. S-K-S (left) (16kg) (12, 10, 10)
  7. Vertical Pull Burpee (20kg) (11.5, 11, 10) – these felt good!

The I did 2 sets of RKC Planks – SET 1: x about 30 seconds, SET 2: 40 seconds (below is a tutorial from Bret).

The only slight difference that has evolved from this variation is that Bret taught me to bend my knees slightly, rather than squeeze the legs together, to allow for greater contraction of the glutes and creating more of a posterior pelvic tilt … which is what I need. Give it a try, and remember to stop once your form starts to suck. The handy thing about this exercise is that you get a really great assessment of just how active your glutes really are. They should be solid and switched on throughout. You might feel one or both glutes starting to twitch or tremble as you try to contract it or as they tire. This is a sign you need to do more glute activation/strengthening drills, Hip mobility drills and more importantly – THINK ABOUT CONTRACTING YOUR GLUTES. Get your mind linked to those muscles and really focus on that movement. Once you do that, your RKC Plank endurance and lumbopelvic stability will sky-rocket!

Hope you enjoy today’s workout and will leave your feedback below.

PS – If you buy a gymboss through text or banner links on my pages, I will earn a wee bit of money for that. I have been a gymboss affiliate since 2010 because I loved them then and I love them now. Especially because it one more thing I can operate that’s not on my phone.

Gymboss miniMAX

My Beating Heart! Cardio / Conditioning Workout

Hello everyone,

Sometimes after a tough shift at work it’s good to de-stress with a workout. However depending on how tired you are, you need to be careful with how you use your energy.  There are times I come home from a shift full of beans and ready to shift some serious weights. Others like today, I need to think of something more appropriate so as I do not over-stress my body. These are the times I enjoy cardio the most. Cardio doesn’t have to be boring, it can include many different types of exercises, times and even a little craziness!

Today’s workout is about blowing off some steam and lifting the mood. Before I started this workout I was tired, cold and contemplating just going to lie in bed. I designed the workout to involve very few technical exercises but ones I know are cardiovascularly challenging. After the workout I felt great; revived, warm and happy! SUCCESS!!

The Workout

Interval Training today, lasting 21 minutes. Mixing mostly Body Weight exercises with a couple of Kettlebell exercises – set your Gymboss Interval Timer for 21 cycles of 15 seconds recovery and 45 seconds effort. Complete 3 continuous rounds of the following classic 7 exercises:

My reps per exercise are in brackets as always!

  1. Side to Side Step Ups (45, 47, 43)
  2. Kettlebell Vertical Swing Burpee (20kg) (10.5, 10.5, 10) – Sub this with Burpee (no push up)
  3. Jump Rope (variable) (115, 111, 120)
  4. Two-Handed Kettlebell Swing (20kg) ( 31, 31, 31)
  5. Burpee with push-up (11.5, 12, 11)
  6. Diagonal Touch Dynamic Squats (33, 31, 29)
  7. Bench Jump-Overs (98, 90, 97)

Sweat Bath! Loved it!

Have fun everyone and I’ll be back soon with a new one 😀



Back to the Barbell | Strength and Conditioning

Hey everyone,

I decided it was time for another Barbell and Kettlebell Combo “Workout” and I loosely designed what looked like a great Strength and Conditioning Training session on me wee note pad. All I had to do was just go and do it!  Now it’s time for a little story + a lesson.

It was Monday morning and I was just out of work after doing a single night shift on Sunday.  This meant I had been awake for over 24 hours by the time I had replied to my emails/comments for that morning, got my camera, my bench, my change of clothes and driven 30 minutes to get to Performance Physio Studio! My back had been giving me a little niggle during the night and I had felt a little under the weather during my shift. I would like to say I braved it but I moaned constantly to my colleagues during my shift and got ZERO sympathy – caring profession my arse 😉

Anyway, after the drive down, I was exhausted and found it really difficult to even motivate myself to set up for the training ahead. But I pushed through and got warmed up anyway because I had already had 2 days off.

Due to the tiredness and because I felt like, well, turd, I decided to take it easier and not go too heavy in any of the barbell exercises. Believe me, this is hard to do, when you are used to adding more weight after each set, but I set higher reps and off I went.

Should I have done the workout at all, or should I have rested? Because of how I felt at the start (being tired and a little sore) I could have easily have made a good case to laze about that day. Instead, I adapted the workout to account for the way I was feeling so that I didn’t end up worse and ensuring I still got benefits from the session. I felt so much better afterward – even my back!

I had to ask myself “is this pain any different to the pain I have had before?”, NO, “is it a dangerous pain” NO, “is it maybe an excuse Marianne?” Wellll…

No, it wasn’t an excuse really, but it wasn’t a new injury (in fact I don’t think it’s an injury at all, but I’m still in denial about that) and I know from experience that I can train through it as long as I don’t go heavy. I also know that I can train when I am tired but a moderate workout feels better – so that’s what I did!

If I had gone all that way and not trained, or had just sat about the house being tired, I would have got more pain from doing nothing and I would not have achieved anything! So I think I did the right thing. Today, I feel great – pain is much improved and I can go about  my daily business and get other things done – boring chores like booking my car in for a service and posting letters etc … yawn!

The lessons:

  • Sometimes we can make obstacles bigger than they have to be.
  • Just because something is sore does not always mean training with pain will be dangerous (although if you are in doubt about any pain or an injury, seek advice from a professional first).
  • Plan the workout, but allow for some flexibility in the intensity/weights/reps/exercises – be adaptable
  • Ask yourself questions and make assessments of your own form, ability etc

The Workout

When I go to the gym, I usually set up a squat rack and a deadlifting platform beside each other and I do super-sets of some sort of squat verses sumo deadlifts back and forth … I’m crazy like that LOL! But yesterday, having only one barbell, I decided to super-set or “couple” the barbell exercise with a KB or bodyweight conditioning exercise.  I also decided to focus the Session on lower body!

I gradually increased the weight with the squats, but I then decided to keep the weight more or less the same for the deadlifts (to work on form) and the glute bridges (as time became an issue).

For the second exercise in each section, set your Gymboss Interval Timer for one interval of 1 minute, or whatever time suits your fitness level. Perform as many reps as you can in that time.

Complete 3 rounds of each couplet:

Section 1

  1. Barbell Box Squats (started with a low box, but raised it as needed) (40kg, 47.5kg, 50kg)  x 10 – 15 reps (15, 15, 10)
  2. Two-Handed Kettlebell Swing (20kg) x 1 minute (35, 35, 35) – should’ve gone heavier!

Section 2

  1. Sumo Deadlift (60kg, 80kg, 80kg) x 10 – 15 reps (15, 12, 10)
  2. Side to Side Step Ups x 1 min (64, 61, 61)

Section 3

  1. Barbell Glute Bridges (80kg) x 10 – 15 reps (15, 15, 13)
  2. Stand-Kneel-Stand (left) (16kg) x 1 min (18, 14, 14)
  3. Stand-Kneel-Stand (right) (16kg) x 1 min (18, 15, 13)

Each section was tough, but from one section to the next I took longer recovery. After the first section was the longest (5 – 7 mins) because I had to drag the heavy duty mats out and set up the bar for Deadlifts.

I was annoyed by my squats and in hindsight I should have done something else. In the gym the box I use is a little lower than the high setting on the Reebok Deck, so I was out of sync with this box because it was too high! Next time I want the box to be below parallel. Plus out of all the exercises the squat annoyed my back a little, but maybe that was more down to that being my first exercise, after a while it was better. Normally my squat feels a lot better than it did this day as I have been working on it every week since I came home from the USA.

I could nit-pic all day, but I won’t – some days you train great and others not so great. This session went fairly well. The KB swing felt great and the stand-kneel-stands are actually getting easier, also the sumo deadlift felt a lot better than before so those are good points to take away.

After the session was over, I went and got some food and chilled out the rest of the day.

Hopefully this workout will give you more of an idea of how you can change things up in the gym. You don’t always have to divide strength and conditioning exercises up and you don’t always have to go all out on MAX strength either. As Ben Bruno said in a recent blog post about measuring progress “Better form is still a form of progression”, which is a great point!

Hope you enjoy!


Sweat is Sexy | Kettlebell Conditioning Workout

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 much  🙂

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.  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.



Myomy Fitness © 2011. Theme Squared created by Rodrigo Ghedin.