Ultimate Full Body Challenge – Home Workout

by Marianne  - February 11, 2011

Hi all,

Yes, it has been while since I posted a real Mammoth workout, so you’ll be glad/mad to see that today’s workout will be a challenge to your strength, endurance, stability, core and your mental ability to KEEP GOING!

I designed this workout to be extremely challenging with 4 sections in total. Each section has 2 rounds of 3 or 4 exercises. There is a mixture of set reps and set times. Each section is basically a mini workout comprising of one strength exercise, one cardio exercise and one core exercise. The whole workout is also a mixture of Kettlebells and Body Weight exercises.

What you should be aiming for and some tips:

  • Control over your movements, especially the strength and core exercises. Please take care on the TGUs as these require full body involvement and a lot of control. If you are new to TGUs use body weight only, or the lightest weight.
  • For the front squats, sumo deadlifts and Rows try to increase the weight (either with a single weight, or double up) – these are great compound exercises with set reps so you should be able to handle more weight. Remember the exercises may seem like they only exercise the legs or back, but you need to think and implement “full body tension” in order to maximise your core stability and total strength.
  • After the Cardio exercise, take a short breather before lying down to do the core exercise, just to let the heart rate and blood pressure settle. Also take your time getting up again.
  • If you don’t have kettlebells but have dumbbells or a sandbag, you can still perform these exercises; A sandbag can be placed on your shoulder for TGUs, across both arms for the front squats, and by its handles (hanging down) during the sumo deadlift and bent over rows; A dumbbell can he held up for TGUs. For front squats, either a single DB can be Goblet held or, double DBs in the Bicep Hammer Curl position (so your palms are facing in towards each other and your thumbs are pointing to your chest, with the flat end of the DB touching your chest). Then for the sumo deadlift and rows the DBs are held like the KBs (technique the same).
  • For the swings, add a modified swing, or replace with an alternative Cardio exercise, like dynamic squats, high knees, mountain climbers, skipping etc.
  • The Russian Twists are best performed with a KB, DB or Medicine Ball. If you only have a sandbag or want another way to perform this, see the modifications round for ideas.
  • Absolute beginners, leave out the jumps and replace with the modifications shown.

Advanced Workout Breakdown

Set your Gymboss Interval Timer for one manual interval of 1 minute to count down your timed exercises. Remember to allow yourself adequate recovery before continuing with the workout. As each section has two rounds, you can think about progressing the weight and lowering the reps slightly in round 2.

Section 1 – Complete 2 rounds before moving on.

  1. Turkish Get Up (right) x 3 reps (12kg, then 16kg)
  2. Turkish Get Up (left) x 3 reps
  3. Two-Handed Kettlebell Swing x 1 min (20kg) (38, 35)
  4. Alternating Shoulder Touch x 1 min

Section 2 – Complete 2 rounds

  1. Double Front Squat x 8 – 12 reps (2x14kg for 12 reps, then 2x16kg for 6 reps)
  2. Side to Side Step Ups x 1 min (60, 59) – 1 rep per second, not bad!!
  3. Diagonal Knee Tucks x 1 min

Section 3 – Complete 2 rounds

  1. Heavy Sumo Deadlift x 8 – 12 reps (2x20kg for 12 reps, then 2x 24kg for 10 reps)
  2. Two-Sumo Jump Burpee x 1 min (14, 12)
  3. Russian Twists x 1 min :/ eek! (Hate these) (about 20ish both rounds with 12kg)

Section 4 – Final 2 rounds!

  1. Double Bent Over Row x 8 – 12 reps (2×16 kg for 14 reps, then 2x20kg for 8 reps) – wish I had 18kg sometimes.
  2. Evil Jumps x 1 min (sorry everyone – remember you like me) (18 – 20 ish?), not sure
  3. Elevated Plank Climbers x 1 min (25, 22)

Finally – Hate meΒ  x forever πŸ˜€

Intermediate Workout Breakdown

Set your timers for 45 seconds instead and also don’t forget adequate recovery. Exercise-wise, there are only a few modifications for this level, as most of it is in the weight used, and the time interval. Remember to choose a challenging but not impossible weight.

Section 1 – Complete 2 rounds before moving on.

  1. Either, Body weight Turkish Get Up (right) x 3 reps or slightly weighted TGU x 2 reps
  2. As number 1 on the left side
  3. Two-Handed Kettlebell Swing x 45 seconds
  4. Alternating Shoulder Touch (feet wider if needed) x 45 seconds

Section 2 – Complete 2 rounds

  1. Single Front Squat (right) x 8 – 12 reps
  2. Single Front Squat (left) x 8 – 12 reps)
  3. Side to Side Step Ups / Forward Chair Step Ups (Alternating leading leg) x 45 seconds
  4. Diagonal Knee Tucks x 45 seconds

Section 3 – Complete 2 rounds

  1. Heavy (one or two KBs) Sumo Deadlift x 8 – 12 reps
  2. Two-Sumo Jump Burpee (minus push up) x 45 seconds
  3. Russian Twists (feet on floor) xΒ  45 seconds

Section 4 – Final 2 rounds!

  1. Alternating Bent Over Row x 16 – 24 total reps
  2. Dynamic Squats x 45 seconds
  3. Level Plank Climbers x 45 seconds

Beginner Workout Breakdown

Again most of the modifications are in the time, reps and weight used. Set your timer for 30 seconds, and complete 2 rounds of each section.Β  Remember you must not rush through these exercises, so if you need to, take your time. You are still learning the technique, so if you are getting that right, you will benefit from your efforts.

Section 1 – Complete 2 rounds before moving on.

  1. Body weight Turkish Get Up (right) x 3 reps
  2. As number 1 on the left side
  3. Two-Handed Kettlebell Swing x 30 seconds
  4. Alternating Shoulder Touch (feet wider if needed) / Static Hold without shoulder touch x 30 seconds (remember you can also downgrade – so why not start with shoulder touches)

Section 2 – Complete 2 rounds

  1. Goblet Squat x 12 reps
  2. Forward Step Ups on bench / chair (Alternating leading leg) x 30 seconds
  3. Diagonal Knee Tucks / Static Hold x 30 seconds (or a bit of both)

Section 3 – Complete 2 rounds

  1. Weighted Sumo Deadlift x 12 reps / Body Weight Sumo Deadlifts x 15 reps
  2. Two-Squat Burpee (minus push up and jumps) x 30 seconds
  3. Body weight Bicycle (opposite elbow to knee) x 30 seconds

Section 4 – Final 2 rounds!

  1. Single Arm Row (right) x 12 reps
  2. Single Arm Row (left) x 12 reps
  3. Jumping Jacks x 30 seconds
  4. Plank Climbers (wide feet) / Plank Hold x 30 seconds (or a bit of both)

I hope the workout breakdowns are clear enough for all levels. If there are any exercises you are unclear of, please just ask πŸ™‚

I look forward to hearing your reactions. The workout took me about 45 minutes, but I tend to need a lot of recovery between exercises and do tend to futter about – this is why I love my Gymboss so much, because it keeps me focused LOL.

Talk to you all soon




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  1. I agree with you totally. Way too much isolation, bicep, chest etc. guys with wimpy legs and no ass – yuck! Aesthetics aside the main benefit for me in all this, most of my workouts are based on, or very similar to yours, is that I feel 20 years younger and functionally I am 20 years younger. The problem is that my brain thinks I’m 20 years younger as well. The porche is on order and I’m currently dating an 21 year old!

    Thankfully the last bit was in jest (it’s a Lotus) πŸ™‚


    PS Never seem you looking better M – you really do look in top nik

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  3. Nother challenging workout Marianne — you just continue to whip our butts into shape! (Thank you!)

    I didn’t think to time this, but I think it took 39 minutes, because the clock struck just before I started.

    I. 1 TGUs 3 each side 12 Kg (PB on weights)
    2. 2 handed swing 16 Kg 35, 35
    3. Alt SHoulder touch 38, 40

    II. 1. Double Front Squat (14+12 Kg) 8 reps (this was heavy, and about all I could clean)
    2. Side to side step ups 58, 60
    3. Diagonal Knee tucks 53, 54

    iii. 1. Heavy Sum Deadlift (14 + 16Kg) 12 (I could have gone quite a bit heavier on these, but I don’t have any more weight!)
    2. 2 sumo jump burpee 9, 10 (getting really tough)
    3. Russian Twists 12 Kg 82, 84 (counted each side)

    IV. 1. Double Bent Row (12 + 14 Kg) 12 (probably could have gone higher)
    2. Evil Jumps 15, 13.5 ( I’m getting miffed)
    3. Elevated Plank Climbers 17, 15 (these totally wore me out — I have never had to stop before!)

    You can see my comments — this seemed to be a consistent drain — in the beginning, there was just enough rest to keep going at a reasonable pac,e but the final superset was brutal. A GREAT workout!

    Now that my knee and shoulder are not as much of a concern, I was getting back into TGUs anyway. I just moved up to 10 Kg last week, but I thought, 3 reps is not so bad, why not try the 12 Kg! It was tough, and my left arm got really tired, but I was pleased to make it through.

    I am really glad I did this. I think this is one of your best workouts!

    ~ Gillian

    1. Wow! Even when I cut your russian twists in half, mine look pathetic in comparison! LOL And, I was counting them the same way as you :/ They are one of my evils though πŸ™‚

      I like how you evaluate your workouts. Why are you getting miffed by the evil jumps? The last round was a killer.

      Nice work πŸ˜€


      1. Well… not miffed.. they’re just getting hard and I am having to push to get through them… Maybe I m little angry at ‘them’ and angry at myself at the same time. Some of these should be getting easier!

        ~ Gillian

        1. Easier depending on the order of exercises I think. This was a nightmare workout for evil jumps and, 1 minute too! They have yet to get easier for me too, so don’t worry πŸ™‚ Why else would I have named them “evil” jumps πŸ˜€ I’m sure you are getting better at a lot of things – we often can’t notice it in ourselves.


  4. You forgot your devil girl horns Marianne. Yikes! today is cardio day for me run 2 miles skip rope 6 minutes. I will try this tomorrow with many quiet modifications
    I found a kettlebell instructor, he has trained with Steve Cotter and Mike Mahler. He seriously corrected my form especially when cleaning the kettlebells and the swings as well. I showed him my journal which has a lot of your workouts, he was impressed.
    We are basically starting all over again. So I have a lot of challenges for the next few months.


    1. Hey, that’s great! He must be really good? It is best to have someone teach you in person, because they can tweek all the little flaws as you go, rather than develop bad habits without even realising it. I’m chuffed for you! πŸ˜€


      1. I am glad to have found him. most the trainers in NYC are full of fluff and keep making comparisons to celebrities. He is OK with going in the park or the roof top and also has a spiritual side which I think is great. and the price is well worth it.
        He really likes the way you organize workouts.

        I am so looking forward to being able to workout outside. soon soon


    1. It’s strange though, because these were tough enough, yet I pumped out about 18 reps with 50kg on a barbell in the gym as a warm up for my Sumo DLs :S Confusing! Why is it that KBs seem harder? πŸ˜€

  5. Hi Marianne,

    I was a mess after and during this!! I pretty much forgot to count my number of reps throughout the whole thing. But I’m delighted with this workout. Seriously I have to thank you sooo much Marianne, I’ve followed your workouts for the last couple of weeks and I’ve seen such amazing difference in my strength. Its actually incredible to me. I couldn’t press or do TGU with 12kg before Christmas and I can do that now! Also swinging with the 16kg is relatively easy (compared with the 24kg) lol I’m easily back to where I was before and stronger than when I did KBs regularly about a year ago!! I have a whole list of improvements I’ve seen and I just can’t believe this has happened in such a short amount of time. You are amazing!!!

    Section 1
    Turkish Get Up – L – 3 reps (12kg) – the 12kg was grand today! Not quite ready for the 16kg though. Marianne that’s totally amazing you did it with a 16kg!!!
    Turkish Get Up – R – 3 reps (12kg)
    Two-handed Swing x 1min (24kg) – the gym didn’t have 20kg so I thought I’d give this a whirl. The 16kg seemed so light compared to this one!
    Alt Shoulder Touch x 1min

    Section 2
    Double Front Squat – 8reps (16kg) – I managed 4 with the two 16kg then I had to just do a single side squat on each side. Totally delighted that I could even do single side squat with the 16kg!
    Side to Side Jumps (without stepper) x 1min (54) (50)
    Diagonal Knee Tuck x 1min

    Section 3
    Heavy Sumo Deadlift 12reps (24kg) – felt like I could have used a heavier one than this but I chickened out. I’ll try it next time.
    Two-sumo Jumps & Burpee x1min – Ahhh sooo evil!
    Russian twists x 1min (12kg) – I couldn’t do many of these but I’m feeling it now!

    Section 4
    Double Bent Over Row – 12reps (2x16kg) – Doubling up really makes it tough!
    Evil Jumps (squat to lunge l&r jumps) x 1min
    Plank Climbers x1min – I was pretty hopeless at these by the end.

    Thanks again for everything and another amazing workout!


    1. You were swinging a 24kg!!! WOW good for you! Were your forearms not on fire?? Well done with the Double front squats too! That’s pretty impressive too btw. I was always scared to try the TGU and windmill with 16kg incase I bust my back/shoulders, but it was easier than I thought. One day, you’ll just say “screw it!” and you’ll do it too πŸ™‚

      Sorry about the sumo DLs then the sumo jumps he he (wish i had that wee evil face from the forum here πŸ˜€ ).

      You have really improved – you must be well chuffed.


      1. Yeah completely!! The first round was okay but the second I had to put down the KB for a second to shake out my forearms! Get rid of some of the lactic acid. I don’t know if it actually does, but it helps!! Whats cool is last time I was in the gym and did kettlebells I had to do the same thing with the 16kg.

        That’s exactly how I felt about the 12kg before Christmas. I think when you do more work with heavier weights it really helps.

        Haha yeah I was cursing and all sorts doing them. It was really tough to do them after each other! There were men doing kbs with an instructor near by and they must have thought I was a maniac with all my sound effects.

        I see you have put up very evil WOW……. did we annoy you? πŸ˜› hehe. I think I’ll be a mess after that one too, can’t wait πŸ™‚

        1. Wow, Sarajane, your numbers are awesome! And your improvement sounds amazing! I hope I can make increases like that this year!

          Doesn’t it feel fantastic to be strong? No wimpy women here!

          ~ Gillian

          1. Thanks Gillian πŸ™‚ You definitely will!! Yeah It’s amazing to feel strong, so happy to back doing KBs again!


    1. Cindy, I think he is mis-selling the exercise as an “ab” exercise in the title, as it is more of a core exercise. Ab exercises tend to mean six-pack, wereas core means stability and support. I guess this is a reasonable core exercise, but it won’t define your abs. In order to get a six pack you need to do full body resistance training, HIIT cardio training and have a calorie deficit to burn fat. Yes, I am sure this exercise will “tighten” the core, but I don’t think it is superior to the KB swing for example. After all it is highly dependent on the persons ability to stabilise their torso. This exercise he is demostrating actually looks quite messy and unco-ordinated.

      Think he is trying to gain views to his site with an outrageous claim, rather than have sound advice :/ Sorry πŸ™ πŸ™

      1. Thanks a bunch,Marianne…. I didn’t think so either. I demonstrated it to my husband and we both agreed it just didn’t look right and certainly didn’t feel as if my abs were utilized.

      2. Nick Nilson is a fitness guru in the US (one of many who sells workout e-books), so its interesting that you didn’t think much of him! :-O

        Everyone wants 6-pack abs, so that seems to be the buzz-term right now to sell exercises. I am sick of seeing it as we all know, you must really get your bodyfat numbers down to have those striations show. Most people don’t want to work that hard or restrict their lives enough to accomplish that. Plus 6-packs don’t show that you have any more development at all; they are just about looks, as is vascularity — the real test is in performance, and that is where a lot of bodybuilders fall short as they tend not to have a lot of functional strength unless they have worked out with multiple disciplines.

        ~ Gillian

        1. Guess it was just the selling of this exercise I didn’t like. I am sure, if he is well respected, he has other things to offer. I am fussy, and I don’t like picture instructions for exercises :/

          As you know I am against this “6-pack=fitness” business, so I wish gurus like him would use their position for promoting performance etc instead (maybe he has done though). I have done a few videos on abs, core, “get six-pack abs” etc and they get more views! Not that I am against having a six-pack, I just wish people didn’t want them as their highest achievement πŸ™


          1. Am I the only female individual around who finds that 6-packs abs can be attractive in men but are actually quite unattractive in women?

            I don’t want a 6 packs-abs. And I don’t want to grow a moustache either.


  6. This was a great workout!! I wish I had some heavier bells or at least a double for my 16kg(only have one) so I had to do most of it with my 12kgs. I felt like I could have push for another round which tells me I really need some heavier bells. Crankin out those plank climbers was no joke toward the end.

    1. Yeah sounds like you could go a bit heavier. You know that you can use a 12 and a 16 together and just swap them round half way? Like front squats, deadlifts and rows. This means your core is working more too πŸ™‚ Just to tide you over until you get another one, as I know they are pricey.


  7. Marrianne,
    I was short on time so I did one round of each. It took me 28 min. to finish. I was so happy I was running short on time because this was brutal. I don’t have a step up so I did jumping jacks. Very nice workout.

  8. Great workout, as advertised ! End of round one…prevailing thought…what the hell am I doing?..My first attempt at TGU with a kettlebell, I’ve been doing lots of them with the sandbag..rough sledding at first, and in no danger of being compared to Marianne’s form, but got them done..I followed the advanced workout with the exception of the evil jumps. I am still having difficulty with the rear lunge movement..more practice needed..I replaced them with another go round of side steps. The plank climbers at the end were the perfect finish. All in all, better in some areas that I didnt think I’d be, and lacking still in the rear lunge movement..This ones a keeper..nice, Marianne!

    1. Glad you enjoyed it John! The lunges will improve, but you are doing the right thing, waiting until you can master the reverse lunge before adding a jump to it! Although, you could practice jumping scissors, then legs hardly bend, but it is the same movement. Guess I should do tutorials on Lunge jumps, dynamic squats and evil jumps, eh ? πŸ™‚

  9. That was a much tougher workout than I anticipated. I did everything with the heaviest weights that I had available to me, a pair of 24kg bells.

    The worst parts (i.e., parts where I felt compelled to curse) were the double KB swings and the elevated plank climbers. That was the heaviest I’ve ever swung! Felt like I wanted to die at the end of that minute.

    Good workout!

  10. Hey Marianne!

    Before I started this workout I tried to think of a single reason why I could possibly hate you. I couldn’t think of one.

    After I finished it, hmmmmmmmm………. I still can’t, but it was a close run thing lol!

    That was the toughest workout you have put up in a while! The 2 sumo-jump burpees were a killer. The only modification was dynamic squats instead of the side-to-side step-ups as I don’t yet have a step-up bench.

    I am so glad I bought the Wolverson KBs, they really do make a difference. And the double KB exercises really take it up a notch!

    Oh and the Kettlebell backpack I told you about is really good. The other day I put 2 16s on my back and went for a 5 mile walk. That was a killer, and there are lots more things you can do with it to.

    Well I am off for a soak in the bath πŸ™‚



      1. Yeah i got it from mbodystrength.com,


        I will warn you that the postage is nearly as much as the backpack itself and I had to pay about Β£30 duty when i collected it to. Not sure if there is somethinf similar availabe in the UK.

        But I have used it for weighted press-ups and also used it whilst practising my martial arts forms with lots of parallel stances are a real leg burner!


          1. After yesterday evenings workout I have that satisfying low level achey fatigued feeling that means I must have done some work….Love it πŸ™‚

            Oh and I have found a personal trainer that runs kettlebell classes about 30 miles from me. Although his classes clash with my martial arts I am going to have a few one on one sessions to iron out any technique floors. So looking forward to that!

    1. Hiya Shay, Thanks for commenting. Oh I meant to reply to ya on FB. The course I am doing is with Optimal Life Fitness. I did their KB course back in November and was very impressed. I am sure there are also great trainers in Dublin, I guess I just don’t have many contacts.

      Take care. Hope you will stop by again.


    1. LOL YES it is πŸ˜€ I finally got my hair done! It’s been a while. That’s why I was so late getting the video done etc It was a Christmas voucher I was using up.

      Cheers Marianne

    1. Thanks Bianca, I guess I am not as bad at them as I thought. My shoulders are A LOT stronger now! an’t believe I used a 16kg too πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ Will be doing my tutorial tomorrow for them πŸ™‚

  11. Can’t wait to try this workout! However, I seemed to have injured my right thumb. It has been hurting for about a month now. I got it xray’d. No fracture. I think I may have just strained it working out. I know I should take some time off. Do you have any suggestions for me as to what kind of exercises I could continue with until my thumb gets better. I am right handed and I use my thumb for everything! I am so bummed. I hate not being able to work out. πŸ™

    1. That’s terrible Lori :/ Glad it’s not broken though! I guess just make sure your not gripping anything for a while. You can still do bodyweight exercises. You don’t have a weighted vest do you? That would add some resistance at least. Guess you’ll be working legs and abs for a while πŸ˜€

      1. I stumbled upon your website and Im glad I did, its just what Im looking for! Just wondering how often should I be doing these workouts. Is it ok to do one every day or should I rest between workouts?

        1. Hey Janine!

          I would recommend you go on how rested you feel. Some weeks, you might be ok training on consecutive days, while other weeks, you’ll maybe feel more tired, or sore. There’s no 1 right way, just trial and error πŸ™‚

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