Test Your Mettle – Extreme Kettlebell Conditioning Circuit!

Hi everyone,

This is one heck of a challenge and will test you to the core! It didn’t help that it was so hot today, so the sweat was lashing off me, but I motored through, because that’s is my mettle! Is it yours?

This workout is a KILLER, So prepare yourself for both a physical and mental challenge to get through it!

Some of the design and exercises included have been inspired by Rachel Guy’s conditioning workouts she posted on Facebook lately which looked mighty tough. So if you are wanting a strong and conditioned physique, this is a great workout to include in your weekly arsenal of training – a great variety-day workout!

I am so fired up today it’s unreal!

Yesterday, I was a little hungover from a night out with the girls and I still dragged myself to the gym for a heavy training session. Boy am I glad I did…

  • Improved my Deadlift form (conventional DL) and managed a 1 rep max of 100kg with perfect form (Andrew very kindly gave me feedback) – did not feel any pulling in my lower back AT ALL, and I have no tightness today 😀
  • Then, I did a great run of front squats, ending on a 3 full reps with 55kg, which is an improvement from last week. I am loving the front squat!
  • Improved my chin ups back to 7 and my dips back to 12 🙂
  • Finally, for the first time, I did weighted glute bridges (far easier than I ever thought btw), I actually started way too light and, it was Andrew (who was still nearby) who advised me I could start at 60kg – he was right! My glutes are way stronger now than I thought and, after a few warm-up reps, I had the form right.  Final set of these got me to 90kg x 5 strong (hip hyper-extension) reps. I mentioned on Facebook, that my glutes were so pumped after this, they looked like a shelf LOL!!

Moving on from my great training yesterday, I also booked my flights to USA and, a two day IKFF Workshop (in Dublin) with Steve Cotter himself! Very excited. The workshops will cover Steve Cotter’s Body Weight Methods and Kettlebell Lifting. So I hope to learn from the best and let it be reflected in my workouts here, to improve the quality for all of you 😀

There are so many great teachers and researchers out there and I see myself being like a messenger to bring all of the best bits to our home workouts.  Even without much equipment, you can become extremely skilled at the proper mechanics in many exercises and get the results you want.

The Workout

Inspired by Rachel Guy’s “That Dark Place” – the title alone kind of sets the mood, haha – so funny, yet not :-/

The workout is based on both Intervals and set reps. There are 3 sections of interval training and then the dreaded bridging exercises, which are set reps. Set your Gymboss Interval Timer for 6 cycles of 15 seconds rest and 45 seconds effort and perform 2 rounds of each interval section before moving on to 1 set of the bridging exercises:

My reps and weights are noted below.

Interval Section 1

  1. Thruster (right) (16kg – 15, 13 )
  2. Thruster (left) (16kg – 14, 13 )
  3. Two-Handed Kettlebell Swing (20kg – 31, 29 )

Bridging Combo

  • Pull Ups (not max) – I only did 3 reps, due to yesterday’s pull ups, I felt fatigued.
  • Explosive Jump-Ups x 10 reps
  • Double KB Farmers Walk x 2 circuits (with 2 x 24kg) of my garden (if you don’t have the space outside, you can still do a circuit inside, or even up carry one KB up and down the stairs for time)

Interval Section 2

  1. Vertical Swing Burpee (20kg – 8.5, 8 )
  2. Renegade Rows ( 2 x 16kg – 16, 15 )
  3. Side to Side Step Ups ( 46, 44 )

Bridging Combo (as before)

Interval Section 3

  1. KB Kneel to Stand (lead with right side) (no idea what these are actually called) (16kg – 17, 14 )
  2. KB Kneel to Stand (lead with left side) (16kg – 17, 14)
  3. Burpees (eek! 13, 11)

Bridging Combo (as before)

Now, hate me forever 😉

What a challenge! Test YOUR Mettle …



  • June 26, 2011

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