Up YOUR Game Today – Kettlebells and Body Weight Workout

by Marianne  - December 28, 2010

Hello everyone,

Today I thought I would do a really tough Conditioning workout to bring together all elements of my training. Oh and right after this workout, I joined Andrew in the gym for a spin class that he was covering, which nearly killed me LOL! It must be about a year since I did a spin class!

I hope you all had a great Christmas too btw.

The Workout

There are 3 sections in the workout and within each section there are 2 couplets. The plan is to complete 2 rounds of each couplet.  The 3 sections are each described individually below:

Strength Section – Has heavier weights, set lower reps, slow tempo and lower heart rate. Remember longer recovery for strength training. Complete 2 rounds of each couplet before moving to the next one.

  1. Kettlebell Sumo Deadlift x 10 reps
  2. Double KB Military Press x 5 reps
  1. Double KB Front Squat x 5 – 10 reps (I did 10 reps with 2x 16kg and then 5 reps with 2 x 20kg in R2 )
  2. Close Push Up x 10 reps

Resistance Section – Focus moves to lighter weight enabling higher reps, higher tempo and heart rate. This section I used my Gymboss Interval Timer to set 4 cycles of 20 seconds recovery and 40 seconds effort. Aim for max reps. The weight you choose should allow you to do around 15 reps, but definitlely no more than 18, or your weight is too light. Again complete each couplet twice before moving on. Take an extra breather between couplets. My reps are in brackets:

  1. KB Vertical Swing (15, 14)
  2. KB Renegade Row (16,15)
  1. KB Reverse Passing Lunge (right) (16,16)
  2. KB Reverse Passing Lunge (left) (17,16)

Cardio Section – Now we want higher intensity by increasing the pace even more. You want higher reps, higher tempo, higher heart rate for cardio. Recovery should allow you to maintain activity for the entire effort interval.  I set my Gymboss Interval Timer for 4 cycles of 30 seconds recovery and 1 min effort. Aim for max reps, but keep your pace as it’s 1 minute remember.I took a longer recovery between couplets. Complete 2 rounds of each couplet before you start the next one. My reps are in brackets:

  1. Burpees (19, 18.5) (killer)
  2. Side to Side Step Ups (54, 50)
  1. Two-Handed Kettlebell Swing (38, 36)
  2. Bench Jump Overs (53, 48)

If you are without a bench, then substitute these exercises with skipping, jumping jacks, mountain climbers for example, something that doesn’t involve complicated technique but will send the heart rate sky high. If the exercise is over-complicated you run the risk of injury or wasting time doing something more technical than you need.

I really enjoyed this today, especially the strength and cardio sections. I am loving the side to side step ups, they are great for the legs and heart rate 😀

Anyway, I hope you will let me know how you all get on with this workout, I hope you all enjoy it as much as me.




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  1. Hi Marianne,
    I just realized I meant to write that
    I used both kettlebells for more of a challenge
    When doing the deadlifts. Taking great care when picking them up
    And when placing them down when I was finished. The squats 12kg was fine. Just wanted to clear that.
    Thanks again,

  2. Hi Marianne,
    I’ve done this workout twice.
    I recorded my reps once. I’m writing this from my iPhone,
    My workout log is at home. But I must say it’s become one of my favorites. During first part I used both kettlebells holding them together as neither is challenging enough by themselves. ( 8kg & 12kg) the resistance and cardio is when it becomes interesting for me. The cardio is a killer! I’m finished in about 24 minutes if I recall. I have to make modifications on some exercises. Let me tell you I’m dripping jn sweat and my heart rate is up threre. Thank you for this one , I love it.
    Cheers ,

  3. Well, I really underestimated this workout: I thought since it did not have many exercises or take much time, it would be easy! Yeah, right!

    This was supposed to be a day off, but since I will be in a car all day tomorrow and monday, I knew I would not work out again until tuesday, so I decided I better do something and this new workout beckoned…

    Sumo Deadlifts: 14 + 16Kg together (I only have one of each KB) 10, 10 felt good.
    Single Military Press 12 Kg x 6 each side (had to help left side), 10 Kg x 6 (had to help last two on the left) (already feeling a bit overwhelmed)

    Double Front Squat (tried 30 lb DBs, but could not curl them into position) 10+12 Kg Kbs, changing sides on 2nd round x 10, 10 (this was a challenging weight!)
    Close Grip Pushups –really close and really slow X 10, 10 (getting tired)

    (total time 13:17 with 1 min rests)

    20/40 x 4 rounds total
    Vertical Swing 14 Kg x7 + 12 Kg x 3, 12 Kg x 11 (had to stop because I could not lift my arms up!)
    Renegade Row 30 lb DBs x 12 (tried Kbs and went to lighter Dbs, so lost some time), 16 (getting really tired)

    Tactical Lunges 12 Kg L 14, 12, R 12, 14 (feeling like I’ve been dragged through the field…)

    4 x 30/60
    Burpees 11, 11 (these have never been so hard! What is wrong with me??)
    Side to side step ups 54, 57

    2 handed swing 14 Kg 38, 37 ( I went slightly lighter, thinking this would be easier!)
    Bench Jump Over 58, 61 ( at least I ended on a high note, managing to speed up near the end!)

    Then some abs… 3 sets of 12 with 1 min rest.
    hollow body rocks
    tight arch rocks (lying on stomach)
    side support lifts (from hands) 12 each side

    Then I collapsed in a sludge on the mat.

    Not super sweaty, but what a drain. Now its been hours later and I can reflect, this was great, but all the strength and resistance really drained me for the cardio. That suggests I should try this again!

    What a way to end the year! I’ve worked hard, so I can now justify a few days off where I just do some stretches and maybe some pushups and handstands!

    Thank you Marianne for another great workout… this one really whipped me!

    Happy New Year everyone!

    ~ Gillian

    1. Thanks Gillian, really liked this mix too. It’s a gradual increase in pace and intensity that makes it challenging and fun 🙂

      Hope you’re not too sore. Have a great time !! 😀

  4. Marianne, I just wanted to say thank you for your great workouts. I am just starting to learn about kettlebell training and your tutorials have helped me with proper form. Happy new year!

  5. Hi Marianne,
    Just want to wish you ,Andrew and all my fellow MyoMyTV followers a very happy, continued healthy and prosperous New Year! I will do this workout as soon as I am finished here. It has been a while since I’ve posted anything but I’m enjoying the holidays . I Remembered to eat , drink and be merry. So I haven’t had the time to write. But……. Throughout it all I have kept up with my workouts. I can be a little fanatical about the workouts. Everything is centered around getting them done. Either get up earlier or get it done later. If I can’t oh well , the universe will still unfold. Gotta go, the kettle bells are calling me from the basement!!!!!
    Happy,Happy New Year! You all are the best.
    P.S. Just want to add that I love reading everyones posts, I feel like I know you guys. Besides having Mariannes help I look forward to all the words of encouragement from my fellow MyOMyTv followers. I thank you all as well for all your help throughout the past year. 🙂

  6. I have read that all this reporting of our workouts and their numbers is incredibly productive! .. we’re not just chatting away and soothing our egos: we are making ourselves accountable. The more times we do this, apparently, the more likely we are to stick with a program and get the results we are looking for. Kinda nice to know as we are all talking about New Years goals! (That is why there are website just to report your workouts.)

    I am sure some of us were reluctant to start posting, but now you realize that it is rewarding. I bet it won’t take long to see substantial improvements in our abilities! I know I could not have done one of Marianne’s routines a year ago and I was reluctant to try because they looked too tough for me. It is so cool to be able to keep up! I am sure everyone else will get there too, and we all know how great it is to have company on this road!

    Take Care everyone!

    ~ Gillian

  7. Marianne I have to congratulate you on this workout. I am in great spirits after this.
    After walking home in slushy dirty New York snow and feeling like crying I just went into it. put on some LL Cool J (I know it’s ghetto but hey…..)
    My numbers
    12:25 total time for the 2 rounds
    I used the 12Kgs for the sumo deadlifts I am ready for heavier weight on this one
    2 8KG for the presses
    the squats I used 2 12Kg and that was challenging
    and I did 15 push ups instead of 10

    vertical swings I used the 12 kilo 17,10
    rows 12 Kilo 10,5
    passing lunges I used the 12 Kilo for the first round 14 each
    second round 8 Kilo 15 each

    burpees 10,9 OMG is all I have to say
    skip rope high knees 106, feet together 77 death was approaching

    Kb swing 12 Kilo 34,34
    hello darlings 59,49

    Hello darlings: lay on the floor as if doing leg raises gross your legs (scissor style) back and forth as fast as possible, if you point your toes like a ballet dancer it is more challenging.

    all I could do after this was a savasana (dead man pose)


    1. It was a good one wasn’t it 😀 The front squats are tough, I though I was about to blow a vein in my head on the last rep LOL!

      WELL DONE with this!! Think I will do this style again.


      1. Please do, more of these workouts Marianne, they are like an elixir.
        I still am in great spirits and I have some soreness but it is the good kind.
        Today I am Juicing lots of vegetable and fruit that otherwise would get spoiled while am away. I am going to yoga to stretch and enjoy the sunshine.

  8. Love love love love love this type of workout!!!!
    Love the mix and match, love how complete it is, strenght resistance and cardio all in one ROCKS!!!!!
    my 2011 resolution are to eat less chocolate, become stronger, and run a 10 km race for life mini marathon!haven’t run in years, but i think that thanks to the kb training i shall manage it, just waiting for the weather to get a little milder to start running in the morning!
    Happy 2011, may you come up with new and tougher ways to “torture” us all!

  9. Glad you posted this workout when you did! I fancied a challenge today after several days off exercise, and I certainly got one!
    My face resembled a bright red, ripe tomato towards the end ;p
    Very fun though.
    My fitness aim for 2011 is to increase my strength / build muscle, particularly in my upper body – at present I’m able to push press 25KG (barbell – similarly I can double push press with 12KG KBs) for only 3-5 reps but I’d love to have the strength to go heavier. My arms don’t tend to look as ‘fit’ as I’d like, also. Do you have any tips, or workouts that would be of benefit to my goal, Marianne?
    Thanking you in advance!

    1. Hi Ruth, LOL / Tomato 😉

      I love the fact that your goals are related to function. If you mix push ups, pull ups and tricep dips, with the KB and barbell strength workouts, plus the cardio and/or variety days, you should see good results is 6 – 8 weeks, as long as you are eating enough calories to build muscle. Pull ups and dips are awesome for strength and they work a whole host of muscles in the process. Remember to work on your pulling exercises, like barbell/KB/cable rows – these will build you an amazing back, both for function and it will look an feel great.

      I hope this helps. My upper body is in great shape because I have done and do all of the above 🙂


      1. Thank you kindly for your great (and prompt!) advice. Think I’ll start on devising a 6-8 week long program incorporating your suggestions and see how I get on – I shall keep you updated 🙂

  10. This is my workout for today, will have to substitute the jump overs for skipping and the side to side step ups for jump lunges or evil jumps.
    I do have to admit that your workouts are really challenging for me, but I think in a month or so I will feel more confident with the kettlebells, I do really enjoy working out with them. I also like how well rounded your workouts are

    I keep forgetting to mention that I am really petite, but working on gaining strength. 5’2″ 108 Lbs. I love feeling strong.

    Will post my results later. I do have one new years eve resolution, and that is to cut down drastically on alcohol (wine) and to workout with heavier weights, also to clean the cat litter more often. 🙂 😀

    Cheers and Happy Happy New Year


    1. LOL The cat litter thing sounds familiar, it’s such a chore, especially when it’s late and you know you have to do it before bed LOL!! And I am with you on the wine thing – having wine every night at the minute :/ But it’s only a glass 😀

      Feeling strong ROCKS!!


  11. Merry x’mas & happy new year. Its a great workout because it have all: strength,muscular endurance & killer cardio. Bravo lady, bravo.
    You will become very fit among other regular gym rats by doing this kind of workout based on my experiences & my client’s. Be prepared to get a lots of praises from people around you about your superb elite type of fitness level.

    Enjoy & gains power to you

  12. Nice workout. I just finished mine, which is an old one of yours with modifications
    2 rounds in 16:47

    2 handed kettlebell swings with 12 KG KB X40 this was not easy for me as I really have to watch my form and it really burns my glutes.

    KB clean 20 reps each side with 8KG the second round I switched to the 12KG

    bent over rows with 2 12KG KB 20, that was too much for me

    over head squat with 8KG KB this was really difficult so I switched to goblet squats after5 reps.

    then I did a tabata
    high knee with skipping rope
    evil jumps (just for you)
    skipping jack
    skater jumps
    I went through that routine twice.
    I am glad you posted this latest workout, I think it will be great practice for me since I tend to want to move fast and the heavy KB workouts really help me with my form and focus.
    I still want to find a certified instructor,so that I am sure that my form is right. but those things are so expensive in NYC.


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