Two Tier Kettlebell Workout | Strength and Conditioning

by Marianne  - April 13, 2012

Hi everyone,

Finally I have a new workout for you! This week has been a little hectic with me getting ready for my USA trip etc … not long now πŸ˜€

Anyway. This workout was so tough for me today because all week I have been suffering various levels of DOMS from my new hypertrophy-style training. Β For whatever reason (a combination between mindset and change of training), I seem to have gotten a bit leaner over the past few weeks. While it wasn’t a major goal, I am very happy that it’s happened without me needing to focus on it. That said, I am sure it will all be undone as soon as I see the food in Nia’s mum’s house LOL … real Kentucky food πŸ˜›

The Workout

There are two evil sections to this workout. The first consists mostly of Kettlebell skill and strength exercises, with set reps and strict focus on form. The second section is Kettlebell and Body Weight Interval Training for conditioning.

Section 1

Complete 3 rounds of the following 6 exercises with the set repetitions.

  1. Double Kettlebell Clean to Squat to Press x 5 reps (started with 2 x 16kg, then dropped down to 2 x 14kg)
  2. Double Kettlebell Single-Leg Deadlifts (right) x 5 reps (started with 2 x 24kg, then dropped down to 2 x 20kg)
  3. Same on Left
  4. Kettlebell Snatch (right) x 5 reps (16kg)
  5. Same on Left
  6. Pull Ups x 5 reps

Section 2

Set your Gymboss Interval Timer for 18 cycles of 15 seconds rest and 45 effort. Then complete 3 rounds of the following 6 exercises. My weights and reps per exercises are recorded below.

  1. Two-Handed Kettlebell Swing (24kg) (30, 29, 30)
  2. Burpees (13, 12, 11)
  3. Renegade Row (2 x 16kg) (18, 17, 17)
  4. Stand-Kneel-Stand (sorry Mickela) (right) (20kg) (13, 14, 13)
  5. Same on Left (13, 13, 13)
  6. Vertical Pull Burpee (20kg) (11, 12, 11)

Although I really enjoyed this workout, I was a little annoyed that my SI Joint was bothering me in the single-leg Deadlifts. It has flared up a bit in the last week, so I need to go a little easier until the pain subsides.

It was still fun though because the first section was a bit different from the “norm”… even with the snatches πŸ˜‰

Hope you all enjoy it too.



PS- Next video will be from USA πŸ˜€


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  1. Great workout! I’m new to kettlebells–I don’t workout with them all the time, but when I do, I like to do your workouts. I couldn’t do the snatches (I bang myself up), so I did a clean and then a push press. Still banged myself up, but it felt more controlled. I did another of your workouts on Wednesday (Monster WO), which had stand-kneel-stand in it, so instead of those this time I did front squat and back lunge. Really, really wonderful workout! Got a great sweat on. Vertical swings are my favorite. Thanks, Marianne. πŸ™‚

  2. Did you paint your kettlebells different colors, I have the competition ones and have never seen a white bell before. Just asking. Great workout, I love your workout combinations for kettlebells and you look amazing in this video, way to go. I hope to look like that soon.

  3. I can sympathise with the SI joint problems, a bloody nuisance, just when the pace is improving. But we can trust the kettlebell routines to keep us humble, and set our limits.
    Thank you for these informative, and motivating workouts. First class indeed.

    kind regards, harry.

  4. Hi! I’ve recently discovered your site and am very impressed with the workouts I’ve seen here! I don’t know if it’s been asked before (I didn’t read through all the comments), but I’d like to know if there is a move I can substitute for the stand-kneel-stand? I have a knee injury and am simply not able to go down on one knee at a time, not even with my bodyweight only.

    Thanks in advance, and thanks for all the work you put into this brilliant site – I’m already hooked! πŸ™‚

  5. Hey Marianne, I hear you talk about your SI joint flaring up and I have issues with mine (it’s hurt almost incessantly for six years, ever since volleyball in high school, and I’ve been to every kind of doctor/therapist out there). I was wondering if you have any advice for exercises that might help with the problem and/or exercises you avoid because of it. I find one leg exercises very difficult and painful… but I have a habit of ignoring the pain because I don’t want it to hold me back. Anyways, any insight you have would be appreciated!

    1. Hey Jackie,

      Single leg exercises hurt me too sometimes, especially Single-Leg Deadlifts! I avoid anything that REALLY hurts – like when it is very flared up (as it is now), I am doing nothing but walking, stretching my hip flexors, trying to posteriorly tilt my pelvis (doing RKC Planks) and working on the glute knots with a tennis ball all help. Plus some Ibprofen.

      Normally, I can train as normal through some pain, but this time I can’t πŸ™

      I’m sorry to hear about your problems, I can literally feel your pain!!

  6. Pingback: - | Kettlebell Training HQ
  7. great photo and that workout was an evil one, but it brought me back, I was slacking for a bit, doing yoga and doing short runs.
    I warmed up, then did a fast rope skip, around 100 skips.

    The first part I did exactly as you posted. The single leg deadliest I managed with 2 16kg, my balance is is so much better, so that made me quite happy
    for the snatch I did 10 each side with the 12kg just to be badass, I am so close to getting there with the 16kg.
    all my pull ups were assisted, I found a better place to put my pull up bar and I am hoping this will encourage me to really get good at these.

    The second part was brutal as heck. There is no way I am ever doing those nasty stand kneel stands

    I replaced them with jump lunges then swing clean alternating sides with the 16kg.
    that was a real challenge, but my energy levels are really high in a very good way.

    bring it on Marianne. πŸ™‚

  8. Hi Marianne,
    You look fantastic in that picture!! love it!
    for some reason i found this workout really hard – not sure if it was just that Monday feeling but i struggled!! got through it though so thanks very much!

    1. You’re likely not punching through at the top. And you are maybe swinging the bell in a horizontal direction. Remember the snatch needs to go more vertically. If you swing it with out the front, then try and snatch it the KB will have way too much energy and will just flip over at the top, bashing up your wrist.

  9. Awesome workout and you look amazing! I may have missed it but what are you doing different with reference to your training? You mentioned that you have changed your mindset and training.

    1. Hey, I have changed my mind set to only expecting good body composition instead of focusing on what I don’t like. I will only let myself see what I do like. And I am seeing more things I like as a result πŸ™‚ Training-wise, I have started doing higher reps and more sets, just for a change. Rather than always doing heavy and low reps stuff. I think it’s good to change things up every so often.

  10. OMG, what a few weeks away does to one’s endurance: I thought I was going to die! Or quit, neither of which I did, but I seriously thought about it. Even the untimed section was tough! I went down in weights on everything!

    I’ll post my actual numbers on the forum, but I am sure you’ll like this:
    HR: 1.75 sweat: 2 face: bright red

    I mean, sweat was just pouring off me. I tried opening an outside door to get some cod air, but I didn’t have much time between rounds!. The strength section with the squats got me started sweating, so I was primed when the conditioning part came.

    Thanks for another killer workout Marianne! And you look awesome!

    ~ Gillian

  11. Marianne – I need your direction and advice! First – do you ever specifically work on your arms? Three years I started doing HIIT then 2 years ago found your site, and essentially continued with the HIIT, adding more resistance …etc. As I followed your workouts, my legs got incredibly firmer, stronger and leaner; my arms got leaner – not necessarily more muscles, but the leanness “enhanced” the muscles there. Six months or so ago, while continuing to follow you, I started following a site that focused on lifting for legs and arms/back/chest. At first, I liked that my arms, back and chest were getting stronger, BUT now I feel like my arms are just “thick”. They don’t seem as lean, even though my legs are even stronger and leaner looking, but I don’t like how my arms look. My body type gets thin, but not cut – although my legs are more cut than before. Lately, I’ve noticed your arms are getting more and more cut. SO, the question is – what are you doing for your arms, or are your shapely arms primarily from military presses, push ups, pull up, vertical pulls…etc from the workouts you post for us??? Thank you so much! Appreciate your feedback!
    Sincerely – Michele πŸ˜‰

    1. Hey Michele. I pretty much do all of what you listed. I think the shape on my arms comes mostly from my triceps (which have always been pretty good). Perhaps you just need to change up your training for a while? Since I have done different training, I got a little leaner. It really will be a leanness thing if you want definition – as it sounds like you have good development underneath. This might sound silly, but try not to focus on what you don’t like about your arms. Try focusing on what you do like (even just one small thing). Feel good about your arms and I believe you will start to see a difference. Don’t knock it, til you try it πŸ˜€

  12. Awesome! You look amazing! I’m glad your feeling better menatlly. A change is as good as a rest they say. Have a safe trip. I can’t wait to see what you get up too! btw.. love Nia’s latest post on mindful eating. Enjoy your visit!

    1. Hey Devina, I don’t actually follow any diet. So neither. I just eat everything lol! Just kidding. I don’t eat much bread or processed carbs or many starches, but that’s because I LOVE root veges as my carb source. Apart from that, I don’t restrict or leave out any foods. I do Intermittent fasting though, which helps keep me leaner.

  13. You are looking LEAN girl!! WOW. You look fantastic!

    Doing this workout today and adding in some more conditioning with my battle ropes. I could stick with your theme and call them evil battle ropes. lol. My husband put in a make shift pull up bar in the garage so I can practice. I still use bands because I still have yet to get one on my own. I am trying to get there. Pulls ups are so tough for me!

    Have a blast on your visit here!

  14. Marianne–
    I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and really enjoy your workouts! This one looks like another winner πŸ™‚ I don’t know what your travel plans are, but I’m sure you would love Colorado! I hope you have a wonderful trip and safe travels.

  15. Hi Marianne, this looks great, is there a reason why more strength based before more cardio based? I’ve heard different things and wondered if this was deliberate?


    1. It usually better to do your more demanding exercises first because you have more energy. However I guess I you do it the other way round, it might get the nervous system more fired up. A couple of years ago, I would have said only do cardio after, but these days, I reckon anything goes. As long as you are well warmed up etc. I don’t see any real issue with doing it in whatever order you feel like. There are way too many “rules” in fitness … I say it’s high time we broke a few πŸ˜‰

  16. Marianne,

    Here he is again… Short time ago I replied on one of your latest post.. with the question if you had read some words of the aproach of Doug mcGuff on exercise for health and body-composition… On his website.. or book “Bodybyscience”.. You can even listen to one of his talks on youtube…

    Because I mentioned something like.. People can wear themselfses out in their ongoing attempts to look good (naked!!). I questioned( I dared) your intense efforts for you are such a nice person and beautifull,.. you would not need to do more and more and more. You could even do nothing than walk or bike to your work. It’s the question for everybody’s ongoing progressing life for many years and years what people can force themself to in the longterm… Everything becomes boring… Even swinging kettlebells. Or for others especially swinging kettlebells..

    Why not just do something that’s is everytime the same, maybe very boring in itselfs but very straightforward…. having 80 % for almost nothing… Demanding no time and leaving all time for anything of pleasure of that time in your life what will change in time…

    Because I think…. On the subcounscious or burning like a fire in the back of your knowing…in front of your thinking eyes.. All you want wat drives you is to be liked !! By means of being beatifull and sexy…

    Because if exercise made you fat… you wouldn’t be doing it.. You would stay away from it… And we know that being slim is 80 % diet.

    I hope you liked this reply Marianne. I really like you. Would really like to go on a hike with you. Oohh comes right into my mind… Hope we don’t take the kettlebells with us !! haha Walking uphill,…. quite a challence for somebody from the Neteherlands

    Bye and have fun with your passion.

  17. Also where do you get your energy from for all the workouts? I work really long hours some days 5 days a week and I am wrecked by the time I get through the door!

    1. I don’t know sometimes LOL! I am a very good sleeper, so that helps a lot. Plus I only work 3 nights per week, so I can’t really complain that much about work. Although I have a feeling that is all going to change very soon.

  18. Marianne

    You are looking class- seriously- as much as your stomach is looking super defined here- I cant get over the cut of your arms- super strong!

    I really havent been training at all with a new job and have been letting eating slide and bam feeling a little crap and skinnys looking a little too skinny lol!

    So going to start personal training again though this time an 8 week intensive at fitspace with a trainer as I’m not really wanting to lose major weight but gain muscle but I need a little direction again.

    I read all your blogs and I am loving your new mind set. Having been consumed and still am to a degree by calories and stupid scales- its made me miserable at times. I just really want to be strong.

    Even at a tiny weight I didnt feel as happy as I did when I was slightly heavier- in fact probably the most unhappiest. As I felt I looked weak and just plain skinny- lost my curves and gained some bones lol!

    So now I’m just purely wanting to gain muscle particular my upper half as I do so easily on my legs! I’m fed up feeling out of proportion.

    Got a question for you Do you consume a hell of a lot of protein and shakes to suplement the increase in your weight training??

    Looking class Marianne- a strong yet feminine body πŸ™‚



    1. Hey Chrisy! Which trainer in FitSpace? I train in there some days, so we might cross paths πŸ™‚ I think you’re doing the right thing getting back into the strength training. Once you set some strength and performance goals, you’ll leave that pesky mind-set behind!

      I don’t actually eat that much protein. About 70g per day at a estimate. I eat a lot of chick legs LOL … my favorite πŸ˜›

      Thank you for the compliments!

      1. No worries you’re looking amazing. Very inspirational!

        Niall I think you call him going to start end of month and go before work! So applying forward to getting back into marianne feel so sluggish without it and I’m letting old habits creep in! This time though I want muscle gain I just want to feel strong n wobble free lol

        Def say hello to me then!

        Feel much stronger mentally when I feel in control of my training and eating. So I’m looking forward to another challenge and new focus! Will be getting the secret on the go to!

        Do you ever get preoccupied with calories during your feeding window?

        Also I see your teaming up with iron fit is this a gym?

        Thank you


        1. Honestly, I don’t count calories at all anymore. Even in my feeding window. I trust myself not to over-eat now. I focus on the positive behaviours, rather than worry about the negative things I used to think about regarding food. It’s very freeing! Enjoy the taste, texture and fullness that come from eating – then I am grateful for having the luxury of nice food and variety. This has really help me. Hope it will help you too πŸ™‚

          1. I need to get my Secret defintely on the go πŸ™‚ Haven’t done it in a while.

            Is Ironfit a gym or is it an individual trainer? I’m looking for someone who can whip me into a strong shape pretty pronto- need challenges or I get bored!!

            Thank you πŸ™‚


          2. Hey. Ironfit is a little hush hush right now, but if you follow the Facebook page, you will find out more as thing unfold. I hope you understand I can’t spill the beans just yet. But I know you WILL love it!!

          3. Fab workout yet again Marianne, LOVE it!
            I keep saying it but seriously I need to go shopping for some heavier kettlebells! I’ve only got a baby 6kg at home so it’s really beyond time for an upsize. In saying that though I’m happy to be concentrating on getting my form exactly right. πŸ™‚

            I had a personal training session last night and my trainer got me doing one of your workouts (it was a kettlebell blast of sorts). It’s been really nice to have someone to keep an eye on me tackling the heavier kettlebells (12kg) with reverse lunges, snatches, kettlebell clean to squat to press, bent over row & two handed kettlebell swing. I’m really getting hooked on kettlebells and I’ve got you to thank. You’ve been a real inspiration – you’re strong & amazingly lean and always keep me wanting to up my game, so thank you πŸ™‚

            It was actually quite funny when I first mentioned about you to my trainer a couple of months ago. I had been on your blog and the GGS Facebook page prior to my session and was feeling ready to ask him to up my weight training (Hell yes I want to be a girl gone strong!) When I met up with him I mentioned that I had been following Girls Gone Strong and was feeling inspired to try more weight training… He straight away mentioned that he followed one of the girls who did some hard core kettlebell videos. We just grinned and looked at each other and at the same time said “Marianne”! We’ve been kettlebell crazy ever since!

            So that’s enough gushing on my behalf, have a lovely time in the U.S. – going to check out your new vids when they’re out. I’m also following Ironfit ready for the launch… can’t wait!

          4. Great job with your new found love πŸ˜‰ AND your progression. You will never look back!

            And that is so cool that your trainer reads my blog too!!! Super cool! πŸ˜€

            Keep me posted on your training.

  19. You look amazing in that picture! Seriously, you have perfect abs, not too much of a six pack but enough to see that you put some serious work in. Really motivating!

    Hope you have a great trip!

  20. It definately is apparent that you are more lean like you said! Nice work! Thanks for the workout. I’ll add it to my arsenal of Marianne workouts. This will be a good one for tomorrow.

    We welcome you back to the USA! Have a safe trip! Have fun and enjoy the southern food! Look forward to the pictures and videos.
    I anxiously await your visit to the Green Bay, WI area one of these days!

    Safe travels!

    1. Thanks Penny! Hope you enjoy the workout! There will be plenty of picture πŸ˜€

      Think I might be in Minneapolis some time this year… is that near Green Bay?

      1. You are welcome. I did enjoy the workout this morning. My husband was ‘late for class’.. i had to drag him out of bed after I was thru the first round of the section 1. BUT he did make it for the last round and all of Section 2. You know, your workouts are enjoyed by him as well. He said he wouldn’t be in as good of shape as he is if I wouldn’t have came across your site and my drill sergeant attitude. So we thank you.

        Minneapolis is a little over 5.5hrs West in Minnesota πŸ™ (next state over). Green Bay is closer!! only 40 minutes! hint hint

        Take care!

  21. You look great! Can you share some tips to leaning up? No carbs for dinner, no eating after dinner, etc? Thank you for being such an inspiration!

    1. Honestly … I have really just focused on being 58kg! That sounds so ridiculous, but it has made me better with my diet; so not as much rubbish. Plus I have found my fasting is working much better again. I eat my first meal at about 3pm and finish my fed window at about 10pm. Then I am on the go all day too. AND I am happier in myself these days, so it must be doing me good to get rid of all that stress I had. Bye bye cortisol πŸ˜€

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