Ultimate Conditioning Circuit – Time Challenge Workout

by Marianne  - May 2, 2011

Hi everyone,

Right now I am sitting out in my back garden typing up and editing this workout in the beautiful sunshine 🙂 At the end of the video there is a wee clip of my handy set-up using my 2 benches as a work station for my laptop 😀 Well I am always telling YOU to get creative …

This workout was again inspired by one on Allie McKee’s Blog (which is well worth checking out btw). To see the version of this workout that Allie did, follow the link. I decided to change it about a little, by using Kettlebells, but also by changing the skipping to the KB Swing as I wanted to draw more focus to glutes, hammies and posterior chain (as it is clearly my obsession).

Not only is this workout a cardio and endurance challenge, also burning calories and sparking some competition in you, but it still works on strength, win win for me 🙂

Set your Gymboss Interval Timer for stop watch mode and time yourself complete 5 rounds of the following sequence of exercises:

  1. Burpee to Pull Up (Max reps to failure) (7, 5, 5, 4, 5)
  2. Double Kettlebell Thruster x 8 – 10 reps
  3. Two-Handed Kettlebell Swing x 15 reps

I completed this workout in 13 min 53 seconds – it was TOUGH!!!

The circuit is a push/pull routine, but if you do not have a pull up bar, then it’s ok to leave them out and go for a real cardio blast.

I hope you all enjoy this one, I sure did – plus it was all outside 😀




Get the free guide just for you!


21 Minute Interval Conditioning Workout - Let's GO!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

  1. Pheeeyeeew!

    This took me 19:57 and it was tough!

    Burpee/Pull ups 10,11,10,10,10
    Thrusters (2x16kg) 10,10,8,8,8
    Double Swings (25kg) all x 15

    Awesome workout as always! Cheers! 🙂

    1. I would just do burpees with a push up if you can manage it. If you are unable to do push ups, then a burpee without will do. This challenge is not about building strength, but building endurance 🙂

  2. Pingback: KB Warrior
  3. I just did it! I used 16 kg for thruster and 24 kg for swing:
    1)Burpee to Pull Up (Max reps to failure) (8, 6, 6, 5, 5)
    2)Double Kettlebell Thruster x 8 – 10 reps (8, 8, 8, 8, 8)
    3)Two-Handed Kettlebell Swing x 15 reps
    I completed in 9:57 min.
    It was very hard!

  4. I think that was the toughest workout yet! I found it really a mental challenge to move from burpees to pullups — something about the directional change really got to me. The thrusters right after the pullups were so hard, zi couldn’t believe it! The swings were a ‘rest period!’ I probably could have done more pullups but then I would not have been able to finish the thrusters. Also, I did not jump into the pullups as that is sort of cheating in my mind — also, I don’t want to pull my door frame apart!

    Pullups 13, 8, 8, 8, 8
    Double thrusters 10 Kgs, sets of 8
    2 Arm Swings 20 Kg
    Time: 15:05

    Short, but as hard as anything I have ever done! Please don’t make us do something like this again! (Now I know you will — seriously, there is some sort of brain interaction on this that is way different than on any of the other workout routines.)

    ~ Gillian

    1. 13 pull up burpees!!!!!!! wow, nice one! It nearly killed me to do 7 or whatever. And I know what you mean about the mental challenge going from those burpees to thrusters – eek!

      Nice work Gillian. I think it will be a while before I want to do anything like that again too, so don’t worry haha

  5. Hi Marianne,
    I like this one and I think its something I am now capable of doing, as long as I start with low KB weights (my squats no where near yours lol)and slow it down a bit.
    Things are getting close to normal. I am still having problems with the burpees, core is still a bit weak and the burpees REALLY take a toll on me. Also I still can’t do a pull up (working on that as a new goal for end of summer).

    So I was thinking taking my time with the burpees and replacing the pull up with a push up (which I am back to being able to do again). Any other suggestions to either replacing the burpees or modifying them a bit till I am able to do them with more ease?
    Thanks, Fran
    BTW…jealous I would love to be able to do this outside, NJ is still not there weather wise!

    1. Hi Fran, Glad you are able to do lots more 🙂 and are well on the road to a full recovery. Not many other exercises compare to burpees, I guess my advice is to regress the burpee back to stage 1 (no push up, no jump) and begin to progress it again.

      Is it still cold over there? Don’t worry Belfast is nice for like 2 weeks in the spring, then basically that is our summer LOL, bar maybe the odd day in June or August. July is usually a wash-out 🙁

    2. NJ is still between 50 and 65 degrees F (about 8 to 17C) so still kind of chilly, nice running and biking weather though 🙂
      I will try the simplified burpees, adding the jumps, it is very surprising how much energy it takes. By the end I am barely picking my feet off the ground. On the other hand the push ups are coming along well. Thanks for all your help and I love the focus you have been giving lately on the glutes…I am very obsessed with that these days! 🙂

      1. Still pretty nippy then. I guess it’s not far off that here too. Today was really cold 🙁

        Focusing on the glutes is one of the best things I have done. All my exercises improve just by engaging the glutes properly 🙂

  6. This was a fun workout:) I had planed to add it onto the end of my strenght training session but 3/4 of the way through I was worried I would have nothing left in me to complete this so I threw this in then completed the rest of my strenght training after. A little speratic but mixing it up is good…right? lol
    I did:
    Burpee to Pull Up (Max reps to failure) (4 all rounds)
    Double Kettlebell Thruster x 10 reps (R 1&2-2x20lb R3,4,5 2X15lb KB)
    Two-Handed Kettlebell Swing x 15 reps 16kg

    My time was 9:09. I still struggle with the KB Thruster, I don’t go as low as I would like with my squats but Im trying to be safe while working on form.
    Marianne I am in awe of your form! I really appreciate the effort and time you put into this site. Being able to watch you do the workouts always give’s me motivation to workout harder and focus on form. You have made a huge difference in my training…THANK YOU!

    1. Great time Rashelle!! 😀 If my workouts are helping anyone out there then it is all worth while, I am glad that you are seeing progress in your training – that’s what it is all about. I am only glad to be a part of it!

  7. Hi marianne,
    Tried this one today, we have the same set-up as in the video in the link you provided, so it worked out well. I didn’t time myself this time, I wanted better reps than the last time i timed myself. I figure it took me about 18 minutes give or take.
    I did well on the burpee-pullups..the jump helped some. I got 17,17,16,15,15 and 13. I didn’t have access to a matching pair of KB’s so I substituted a goblet squat to press for the thrusters. I was able to get 10 each of the first 4, 8 the last. Swings 15 each. I used a 24kg KB. I did begin to tighten up some towards the end of the 4th round, and took about 2-3 minutes in betwen rds. 4 and 5. Perhaps I was getting a bit lazy on my swings, technique-wise. I gotta watch that…
    great workout as always..thanks!

    1. Thank you Kellie 🙂 This was super tough – Allie Mckee is a machine I think. I’ll have to up my game around here haha!

      Sure Kellie, it was you who inspired and motivated me to start deadlifting again. Once I saw you DL 275lb – I had to make that my goal. So far I’m at 253lb for 1 rep, need to work on some form issues with the heavier lifts, so I am reeling it down to work on slightly lower weights, higher reps (8-12) and good form to make it stick for the max lifts. You totally blew me away with yours 😀

      1. Serious respect to both of you ladies on your dead lift figures. 115kg and 125kg are seriously good numbers.

  8. I say the same thing about the mini-marathon I did 6 years ago – I did it once and THAT’S ENOUGH FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE! :o)

    That is a really excellent time. I can’t wait to be able to do these workouts again 🙁

    Love and hugs

  9. I really like this one except my pull up bar is in the bathroom and there is no way I can do a burpee and then jump in there. have to figure something out. I love skipping rope, but I’ll spare the neighbor and do the swimgs. Today am off of the workouts, even though I did 10 hanging leg raises, 2 one leg squats and 15 push ups.
    I really enjoy these sort of workouts, they get me in great spirits.

    1. Have you changed your name?

      Ah you are giving in to the pressure now from the neighbour lol. I thought you would like this one, it’s right up your crazy-cardio street 😛 They do make you feel great – but only after it’s all over!

      1. I was typing too fast.
        I realized that if I were to do the above workout I have to go to the park for the burpee pull up, and that means I would have to do a farmers walk there with the kettlebells.

        Tonight was not the night to do this. (bad day at work), so I kinda took this idea and created my own
        count down 15 minutes
        renegade rows 10 with 2 12kg
        squat thrust 5 with 2 8kg
        30 sec skip at fast pace (you inspired this one)
        kettlebell alt clean with 12kg 10

        I had some problems, hit my finger with kettlebells (hurts), stepped on the cats tail, slipped on my matt. yikes! so my rounds weren’t great
        3 plus 10 rows and 5 squat presses.

          1. She got a can of yummy kitty tuna and instantly forgave me. My finger is black and blue, but I feel great I am really liking the renegade rows.

          2. Glad you are all forgiven. Maybe the cat had something to do with the finger incident – they always look innocent, but I wouldn’t put it past them – crafty wee critters haha! If I trip or slip, you can guarantee Tim, Cutie or Bug/Squirt/Marmalade will be sitting staring in the background LOL creepy!

            Your poor finger though 🙁

  10. Hi Marianne

    What happened to the BBQ and wine idea? lol

    Another good workout. I had also seen this on Ali’s blog, having followed the link from your last post. If I heard correctly she did it as a conditioning circuit at the end of a workout {{{Shudder}}} Much respect.

    If I ever meet my fairy godmother my wish would be to be able to squat with your form, as it is absolutely great. The depth you get is great. Seriously a$$ to grass 🙂

    I LOL’ed at your coughing up a lung comment, that’s a phrase I often use, and I did a fair bit of it myself today also.

    Hope you enjoyed the rest of your day. You looked quite comfy sitting in the sunshine blogging.

    As always, stay safe, strong and look after you.

    Best Wishes,


    1. I don’t know how Allie did this after the strength workout :/ shudder is right LOL

      What I have recently learned with regard to people squatting is not to be afraid to push the knees out more, to turn the hips out. The hips are designed to open and this lets the pelvis sink deeper. Also, some people just need a wider stance or need their feet pointing out more, it’s a comfort thing. I actually felt a little stiff today, as I did heavy Sumo Deadlifts and Heavy Bulgarian Squats yesterday, so my quads, hammies and erectors are tight today from that.

      The bbq was great, lots of chicken, salad, a little bread and a wee drinky poo 😉

  11. Wow – I’m thinking I might have to jump into my pullups off a burpee to start out! 🙂

    I have a question – I notice, when you’re doing thrusters, for example, that you’re going below parallel before driving back up. What do you do to minimize pressure on your knees? I ask this because I tweaked my knee a bit picking up my son on the weekend, and I wondered if maybe I was doing too much weight on some exercises, or practising poor technique.

    Thanks as always!


    1. Marty, often it is technique issues that cause these aches and pains. Though if you hurt your knee doing something else, it’s likely going to annoy it. Maybe revert to shallower, or box squats.

      For me as long as the weight isn’t really heavy I can still maintain my form at a deep level. That has been from practice and lots of flexibility work over the last year, with my hammies and lower back. Also watch for your knees caving inwards. Although it looks like I just drop into the squat, I do control it, especially the heavier I go. If you don’t control the eccentric movement, you a) won’t benefit from as much muscle growth and b) will risk jarring something on the landing. Plus I tend to stop myself from “bouncing” at the bottom, which I see people do. I often wonder what that does to the joints over time.

      If you think you form is compromised, then taper the weight back to a goblet or single thruster and focus on your squat.

      Hope this helps


    2. What a workout! I loved it and gave me some moves to use with my program. The brupees was the kicker in that round I’ll do that today. Take care and look forward to see more of your workout clip. Take care, stay healthy, Pascual A. From Southern California.

  12. Marrianne, This looks like a great workout for me tommorrow. One thing I like about it is it is easy to remember. I don’t have to print this one out. Of course,I’ll see if I still remember tomorrow what to do. The way you threw that 20kb around for the swings, did you name the kb Andrew? Nice job.

  13. Hi Marianne,

    What weights did you use for the thrusters? And for the swings?

    Thanks for another great workout.

    Jo x

  14. lol..Marianne… this is funny. I checked Allis blog yesterday and found this workout and wanted to try it. After I finished it I saw that you had the same idea 😉 It was really tough especially the burpees to pull ups… I think I have a new love/hate exercise 🙂

    1. Haha, how funny, yeah I wanted to do this one the other day, but the weather wasn’t as good, so I did the KB one instead.

      I agree, love/hate the burpee+Pull up combo 😛

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

You may be interested in