We are Lifting MORE than Kettlebells HERE!

by Marianne  - November 10, 2010

Hi everyone,

A strange workout title I know, but I want to share the message that this site is about more than just the workouts, it about the community and support that we give each other. Hopefully I provide some small motivation along the way to help lift spirits and confidence with these workouts and your fitness, so you will see improvements and keep making progress.

This workout is again a straight forward bunch of Kettlebell exercises where the focus is endurance again. There are 3 rounds of 7 exercises. Set your Gymboss Interval Timer for 21 cycles of 20 seconds recovery and 1 minute effort. This is moderate intensity Interval training, so pace yourself to last the full minute. Chose a weight/tempo that will challenge, but not pre-exhaust you. You will build a sweat so believe me when I say, not every workout has to be high intensity!

The exercises are :

  1. KB Goblet Squat to Diagonal Press (15,13,12)
  2. Two-Handed KB Swing (59,60,57)
  3. Double KB Suitcase/dead Lift Burpee (15,14,12)
  4. KB Renegade Row (25,22,19)
  5. KB Thruster (right) (17,17,14)
  6. KB Thruster (left) (18,17,14)
  7. KB Alternating Swing (47,44,40)

Creating balance between muscles and their functions takes more creativity and planning than 12 minutes of body weight HIIT for example (not pointing any fingers of course LOL). Each week, you should try and plan your training to include strength, endurance and speed. You may want to focus a day solely on one type of training some days or, maybe throw in variety mixes for a bit of everything. Keep the body in ship shape for everything. Remembering if you don’t use it – you lose it!

Another important factor when considering your training is creating workouts that have balance! You can’t call it a full body workout if you forget about your back for example (again not pointing any fingers). I am a huge fan of rowing and pulling exercises, and I try and include these in EVERY workout to balance out the dominant pushing exercises.  KB Swings, deadlifts, pullups, suspension cable pulls, KB / Dumbbell rows are all great examples of exercises that will go a long way to providing this “anterior verses posterior” muscular balance in your home workouts. Throwing these exercises in once in a blue moon is not enough, especially if you do push ups in nearly every workout. When planning a workout always think of the opposing muscles, and exercise them too. Also think upper and lower, side to side and rotation.

My workouts are never perfect, but I try and provide you with a good balance. If you have other exercises you do for function, then make room for them too. My workout design is always flexible and is there only as a template. They can be done as they are, or modified – so get creative!! 😀

One thing I’ve learned lately is that people focus on what they can see. You see your abs, your quads, shoulders, chest etc, so it is easy to forget about what’s behind you! Always look over your shoulder so to speak and, never forget those left behind 🙂 And maybe I’m not just talking about muscles here, but the principles are just as relevant no matter what you apply them to!

Enjoy this workout guys, I hope to hear your comments as always!




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  1. I can’t wait to try out this workout, and the one on the 14th. they both look tough, but don’t take alot of time, which is what i need right now, i don’t know how you work full time and do this… raising two kids and working full time sometimes makes it hard to get a workout in sometimes, so the short ones are great.

  2. Hi Marianne,

    off topic. I have just read your comments in Melissa’s site and have just checked the “Buy Z a cup of coffee”. I am totally disgusted. Just how “cheap” can that person be? So vulgar!
    Maybe next year she’ll update it to “Buy Zuzana new boulders”!

    So I would like to suggest something for your blog: how about adding a donation section on Myomytv with “Buy Marianne a kettlebell”? Lol.

    Anyway, have a nice evening.


    1. LOL Bianca 🙂 I would feel so guilty asking for donations. Although running a site has cost me money and the forum will be extra cost, it is all my choice to do so, and I would feel terrible asking for donations :/ Don’t get me wrong, I have thought about it, but i would feel bad – and it bugs me that Zuzana has done it :/

      Thanks for the suggestion though.


      1. Marianne, the point is different: as you correctly wrote in Melissa’s site, Zuzana is ALREADY making a HUGE amount of money through Youtube, ads, the Gymboss thing, etc.

        That’s why I find it so cheap of her to be asking her viewers – who are indirectly responsible for her financial “success” – for even more money.

        But maybe she has a serious financial problem: perhaps she actually would like to move twice a week, not only 5 times a year.
        She would like to find a house in Nebraska from Monday to Wednesday and then to move to Turkey from Thursday to Sunday. And so on.
        Moving is expensive! 🙂
        And of course, as everybody knows, moving at least twice a week is great for your muscles: lifting suitcases, etc, is a great strength and endurance training. Lol.



  3. Hi Marianne,
    Motivation, what keeps me motivatied? Just wanting to be healthy. The desire to feel good outweighs the desire to eat that bacon,doughnut,cheeseburger,etc. I love feeling strong. I am strong. I’m 51 years old and began working out at age 30. My job required that I be strong,healthy and have a good image. I retired a year ago and still workout like I was still working. The only difference is I dont have to get up at the crack of dawn to do so. I would run in the rain,the snow and the cold it didn’t matter. I just wanted to run.I recall feeling like a million bucks when I finished. My co-workers would shake their heads when it was 7 degrees out and I would come into work from my early morning run at 5 am.
    In my opnion doing this jump started my day and set the tone for the rest of the day. Later on after work I would hit the gym and do weights. It wasn’t always easy. Marianne, I really believe the hardest part of any big challenge is just getting started. Once you get past that inital start your good to go. But…… you really have to want that change . That desire has to be there. I also believe you can’t baby yourself. You should always challenge yourself. Go a bit heavier,run a little farther,and a little faster. You can’t be afraid. I’ve run into a few obstacles as I’ve aged. I turned 50 like Gillian and the pounds just seemed to just appear. I’m still working at losing the weight and am so grateful for this blog/forum and all this great information. I’m learning something new everyday. Thank you all so much.

  4. WOW!!! I can’t even read all the comments, your FB question makes complete sense now, lol!!! 😀 😀 😀

    Have I already told you how excited I am for you? I AM SO EXCITED FOR YOU! You are doing it the real way: educating yourself, sharing your knowledge, building a name for yourself without compromising your integrity to get you there. I am so proud of you!


  5. I did this workout last night, even though I had planed on stretching and doing a low key workout.
    I had to change some of the exercises due to just having one KB as well as the fact that I just started working out with KBs and don’t want to over do it.
    goblet squat with diag. press 11 9 8 these hurt my bum 🙂
    2 handed KB swings 28 23 18 I felt these in my abs and legs and bum a bit on the arms too
    KB halo 16 then switched to DB and did presses
    KB renegade row l 17 18 17
    r 15 17 19
    side crunch with KB 14 14 15 I like this one
    alternate swing 32 32 32
    then 10 step ups with calf raise

    It was a tough workout I struggled a lot and had to focus on breathing and form.
    I consider this workout a resistance workout, not enough cardio, but that is just me, and yes I feel like I got a good back workout, I am sore but not in pain.


    1. Good job, I am glad you felt it a good workout. It’s not always about cardio, I favour resistance over cardio any day – but that’s just me.

      Hope you don’t have DOMS tomorrow 🙂


  6. Sara you are making me laugh. Generally I eat extremely healthy, but I have been doing this my whole life.

    I do sometimes go a little crazy especially with wine and meats, I love sausage and cured meats and cheeses.

    I do a similar thing like you (IF) Marianne, but I hadn’t heard about it being something that keeps you from gaining fat I’m approx 18% maybe less now,cause my girls left me, but makes it easier to hoist sails :).
    I eat from morning till around 5 and then I don’t eat so I am basically fasting for about 14 hours, guess that is why my cat and I are ravenous in the morning.
    loving this rant, but I must get busy now.
    good night.

    P.s I’ve been checking the marmalade video and getting tips.

  7. Hi again Marianne
    In terms of working the back, it would be nice if you demonstrated some examples. I know pull ups and chin ups are up there in the top list. I do this often, but am still not able to do more than 5, I think with the kettlebell exercises I will improve

    I tend to do lower back workouts, which are more like yoga stretches after my workouts. Maybe we can all contribute ideas and so that they could be incorporated into our current routines.

    I will have to modify this workout a bit because I only have one kettlebell and I need to build strength.

    I have been following missfit tv challenge. I think it’s great that she is doing that and i can’t wait to see how it works for her. I have some of the crazy diet approaches on the other blog and I was not happy the no carb thing especially in the morning was really hard on my body, and it was really hard to concentrate at work and to keep up with my crazy life.

    I eat about 5 small portions a day but they contain everything, if for some reason I feel like it is not enough I make the portions larger. I will see how that works out when I start working out with heavier kettle bells. I know I’ll have to add more calories at the beginning.

    Short workouts on 1000 cal work if that is all you do all day.
    If you have a busy life and workout as well it is a recipe for disaster to eat only yogurt and fruit and salads. no earn my carbs for me, I love my steel cut oatmeal in the morning.

    1. Hi Mickela, I would love to make a series of tutorial videos and have like an exercise library for people to refer to. And I will make one for my “core” KB exercises soon. Once we get settled in our new house I will put my mind to helping beginners more. In the Lady Marmalade Workout I do a single arm KB Row, which is great if you only have 1 KB and want to work your upper back and rear deltoids etc. The Vertical Swing and even an upright row with a KB will work across the top of the back, traps and rear delts. Swings are a great all rounder for the entire back, because you need to pull your shoulders back and down using the Lats. and the lower back and hamstrings get a good workout too 🙂

      I will plan a demo video very soon 🙂


    2. I can’t help answering this comment. Hi Mickela, the “earn your carbs” thing – very popular in “another blog” – is the silliest thing I have ever heard in terms of nutrition. For my work, I write about nutrition and I very often interview nutritionists and dietologists, read congress papers, etc.
      According to my knowledge, eating cereals at breakfast – especially if it’s raw cereals – is good for your health: many scientific studies have actually proved that eating a portion of raw cereals at breakfast every day can actually help you stay in shape, rather than gaining fat.

      Complex carbs (grains, etc) is the energy that our body needs to face everyday life and in a balanced diet it should actually represent about 40-45% of your daily calories’ intake. That’s why I was really angry when I heard about the “other blog’s” new diet strategy.
      It’s okay to eat 5 meals a day (breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner), it’s okay to check your portions if you want to get in shape, but everything else there was complete nonsense. Including the fact that we should eat proteins 5 times a day: a huge and unhealthy extra-work for our kidneys.

      I think people may talk about their own eating experiences, but speaking about them as if they were general rules and actually encouraging all viewers to follow them is absolute nonsense. Especially if the person in question is not a doctor.



      1. Diet and nutrition is always a contentious topic as everyone has their opinions and, what works for some doesn’t for others. As you all know I follow leangains Intermittent Fasting, and it makes total sense to me. It has however caused masses of argument and debate over at bodybuilding.com’s forums as no-one wants to hear that what they believe to be true isn’t necessarily the case.

        Bianca, I used to believe in breakfast and the “need” for complex carbs, I also used to believe I needed protein at every meal. The body is smarter than we take it for and, unless someone has existing renal impairment or inflammation of the nephrons, more protein will not cause damage to healthy kidneys. The body will only take what it needs and poop the rest LOL. But I feel I need to just remind everyone that the debate is endless and all we can do is make as much of an informed decision as we can with the knowledge we have at the time.

        Martin Berkhan has written an excellent article over at Leangains that some might find an interesting read. I never want to force my opinion about nutrition on anyone as there are so many motives for advice these days. Just a little example – “eating breakfast helps you lose weight”, this advice is often reinforced by the cereal companies, who more often than not, are advertising sugary cereals. HUMM???!

        All I am saying is EVERYTHING is highly marketed, especially if someone is saying “if you eat this, you will be healthier – or lose weight” – talk about a marketing strategy – telling people to eat MORE to lose weight.

        Anyway, like I said, the debate is endless and everyone has their view, which is fine. But no-one should claim to be an expert and claim a one size fits all approach, unless they have the research and back it up.


        1. Good point Marianne. I just don’t like the “other blog’s” approach: let’s move from one diet challenge to another, with a “one fits all” idea.
          And I particularly don’t like it as it comes from a person whose present (and past) experience is far from being a nutritionist’s experience.

          I’ll read that article you mention. And I liked your “we poop our extra-proteins” theory. Lol.


          1. Thanks Bianca, thought I’d bring a little crude Irish toilet humour in there 😉

            The community is buzzing here, which is great. My big plan for the site is to start a Forum, but it will take a wee while to get set up. What do you think about a forum here? I will be mentioning it in my next post to see if there is much feedback to see if it’s worth doing. But I think it will open up more discussion and sharing experiences etc 🙂


        2. interesting article,what i basically believe is that we can discuss anything, if we are open honest and most of all everybody THINKS with their own mind!billion of people live on this earth, and we really can’t say that one rule fits all!personally i’m curious about your diet, but that does not mean i will religiously follow it myself!nobody wants can call themself a guru here!i’m happy that you give out healthy advise, and i can totally see way the first rule of a healthy lifestyle if to cut the crap!i moved in the uk in jan 2009, and i must say that getting into tha fast food/ready meals routine made my weight shoot out, and quite frankly made me feel like sh**!i’m italian, from the very south, where you eat lots of fresh food and ready meals are something that would make many old ladies nose turn!so i decided to cut back, cook for myself, try new thing as i can’t find real italian ingredients(not low budget at least :))but still make sure that 80% of what goes in my mouth does not have strange chemical as an additional ingredient!i never been good in counting proprortions of carb protein and all that staff, i keep it simple, so it’s easy for me to stick to it,and if i want to bake myself a nice pizza every once in a while well i have it. if i couldn’t because i haven’t earned it, well shoot me know!life is too short to fuss so much about details, and not being naughty sometimes make life kinda boring!if i stuck to a salad diet and became skinny nobody would want to be near me cause i would be one grumpy cow!
          i want to look good and i know that my workout will help me, but there’s only so much i can sensibly do for it, i have no intention to starve (and a 1000 calories in starvation!) and i have no intention for it to be my only thing in live, let my self-esteem and happiness depend only on how hot and sexy i may look!to please who?pigs that leave filthy comments?
          thank god you do not propose challanges, that is treating people as if they were a flock of sheeps ready to follow mindlessly anyone!there’s a big difference,obviously, between you two and that is way i like posting comments here but have never bothered on bodyrock, here there is discussion, there there is borderline proselytism!
          oh dear i do rant a lot, i better stop before you ban me!
          looking forward to an exercise library,it would be of great help for me! hope that you settle in your new house soon so you can slave around for us a bit more 🙂

          Thank you

          1. Don’t worry, you can rant away, I do 🙂

            Think I prefer focusing on fitness rather than diet as all I can do is the same as everyone and do what works for me through some trial and error. I wouldn’t want to have people changing every time I did something different. How we eat and behave with food changes depending on individual factors like training, work, stress, time of the year, time of the month, our age and GENETICS – too many factors to think about! I would never be arrogant enough to say “do this and you will see X results”, in my humble experience starting a new eating plan, just because someone else has amazing results, will add extra stress which may actually impair your results etc etc.

            I think giving things time and not punishing yourself will let you see better results in the long term.

            Thanks for your input, it’s appreciated 😀


  8. A food dairy would be a great idea from you too! Think so many people get hung up on the whole diet side of getting in shape to the point they eat too little and it becomes unhealthy. As an active person too, I’d love to see an example of what you are fueling your body with because I’m afraid at times I’m eating far too little in fear of getting out of shape! You set a better example than these other fitness ‘gurus’- who look like they good do with a good old fatty Dominos pizza!lol

    Great workout!

    1. I will be ashamed at some of the things I show, because I know they are really bad and I eat far to much in one sitting, but I will show it because I want people to see what I can get away with because I lift heavy, and fast.

      Thanks Criostiona

  9. Hi!

    I loved your pre-workout talk! And I totally agree with you. I was one of the people who got fooled by the “other blog” haha! and I realized that it’s not enough. People need to know that you need muscles for your HIIT to improve and I’ve been mixing HIIT with weight lifting. Something that worked for me and I wanted to share here for others is that I split my daily workouts into 2 parts: 1) HIIT and 2) weight training. For weight training I try to focus on a group of muscles. For example today I did 20 minutes of interval training followed by lower body and back weight lifting. This has worked wonders for me and I have finally gained muscle! which I’ve been struggling with for a while.

    As for the other blog, from my experience 12 minutes DON’T WORK!!! but she’s creative with them and sometimes I’ll do 2 of her 12 minute workouts followed by weight lifting. But I have noticed how much strength she has lost overtime. And I totally agree about the silly diet challenges and all the “rules”.

    Thank you for your awesome website Marianne! You should have more pre-workout talks, just don’t call them coffee talks 😉


    1. Thanks Salma for sharing your routine, sounds like you really have made some real gains! Have you ever considered reversing the order of the HIIT and weights? Sometimes cardio before weights can pre-exhaust your glycogen stores and can make it harder on your weights session. If you have no issues here, never worry – just a wee suggestion 🙂

      I intend on sharing a little more of my opinions and knowledge (NOT coffee talks lol), but I don’t want it to take away from the workout, so I may actually be doing a series of videos about subjects relating to training – and there’ll be no FASHION HAULS either 😉

      I hope everyone will read about how you took control of your training when you realised that other approach didn’t work.

      Melissa over at MissFit.TV is doing an experiment for the next 4 weeks to see if BodyRock’s workouts will work for her – we’ll see 🙂


      1. Hi Marianne,

        I am so disappointed: really? No Fashion Hauls with Andrew peeping in with the camera? Such a shame!

        A peep-show Fashion Haul is absolutely a must for any real fitness expert. Lol.

        Anyway, thanks for all these great ideas you are coming up with: the community thing (I’m so curious) and the two types of videos (the workout ones and the “talks without coffee” ones).


        Have a lovely day.


      2. what’s the miss fit website? I tried to find it but couldn’t…

        Usually on my heavy weight lifting days I opt for doing cardio after like you said. Lately, I’ve been using the HIIT training as a warm-up and for some reason I end up lifting better and feel stronger when I do the HIIT training before my weight lifting. But I will try to switch up for the next couple of weeks to see if it makes a difference. Thanks for the advice! I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂


        1. Hey Salma, Fitmiss.tv is run by Melissa or the BareFootWarrior (on YouTube), it is a similar blog to mine, only she is the American version LOL, plus she is even more impressive as, after 3 kids, she is in great shape – which I find so impressive! We have been friends now for about 6 months or so and we share a lot of the same passions. At the minute she is doing a challenge by reviewing the effects of BodyRock’s workouts. Check her site out by following the link HERE or check out my links page 🙂

          If what you are doing is working for you, I don’t mean to make you change. I just know that I used to do my training that way and Andrew told me to reverse it, and I saw better results. But it may be a personal preference thing. I am looking at everything these days more objectively, as I am finding nothing is absolute 😉


  10. Looking forward to the online community – I’ve become quite hooked on the workouts you’ve listed here, and always look forward to trying them out in the gym!

    It’s been quite the journey in the last 12 months, learning about the true difference between burning fat and just losing weight. Thanks to your site, exercises and ideas, this has really helped me to ramp up my intensity and feel the benefits almost immediately!

    It’s great to see others working through the exercises as well, and what they might do on their own to push themselves even further.

    Thanks for the workouts!

    1. Thanks for commenting Marty – I am glad you are making progress and I hope you will continue to visit and contribute to the discussions I hope will happen around here soon 😀

      Stay tuned.


  11. Hi Marianne,
    Wow this looks like a great workout,won’t be doing it until Saturday morning as tomorrow is my cardio day and Friday is an off day. Can’t wait to try it. Whew… no plank climbers! Thanks for that one. I’m excited about a possible meet up one day. What a great idea. Talk to you soon.
    Enjoy the day!!!!!

    1. I thought i’d give everyone a break from the plank climbers – but maybe I’ll put the elevated ones in my next workout LOL 😉 Enjoy your day off on Fri!

      Talk soon

  12. Hi Marianne,
    I must tell you that you provide your community with so much motivation and inspiration . What with workouts, recipes, advice and the like. I can’t thank you enough, well sometimes I’m Luke she’s nuts, she’s killing me , all as I push for another rep , jump, or pull. Lol!!!!! I did the Feisty workout two days in a row. I’m sore. Whew! Thanks.

    1. Two days in a row!! Nice! I am really hoping to get the community thing off the ground more as I want you guys to be able to talk to each other and share your stories and opinions in a more open way. So I am working on making that happen SOON 😉

      In the meantime I hope my rants don’t annoy anyone, it’s just what I think – I’m no expert by any means but I know when I smell a fox!

      Keep lifting and keep pulling 😉


  13. i will confess, i follow different fitness sites because i like adding a little bit of variety to keep away boredom.
    about the miracle 12 minutes miracle workouts, well i do them from time to time, but i can’t really believe that that is all it takes!i will confess i am out of shape, i’m working on it and want to improve, but i am doing it by mixing bodyweight exercises, weights and kettlebell!
    if somebody can manage to get in top shape in just 12 minutes 3 times a week, well lucky them!but i do wonder, does the extreme diet challanges have a part in this miracle?seriously, no carbs?oh yes you can earn them but it does seem a little unpracticable.
    first most people work, and even though that is no excuse to give in fatty food, you can not always eat at set times just beacauseyou have to!(she did suggest using the gym boss to organize your meals so you can have them every 3 hours)i’m a carer, and if my manager ever saw me neglecting my residents because three hours have past and i need my snack, well, let’s say i can’t imagine her being pleased!
    and i won’t start ranting on the “allowed” portions, but sorry i want to lose weight the slow healthy way, cutting out the crap, not cutting down my food!my body does need enough fuel to get me through my shift and workouts!
    i just don’t believe in miracles!yes i know they should be really intensive 12 minutes, but seriously, only 12 minutes?
    if something sounds too good to be true, well….
    ops sorry Marianne i talked too much, again!
    great workout, thanks for reminding me about the pulling, i’m afraid i was concentrating too much on the pushing exercises lately, i do admit i need a lot of guidance!
    Thanks for all the help

    1. I don’t know where this silly timing business came from (maybe it’s to get more Gymboss sales), but did Zuzana not always advocate “listening to your body” – she can be so full of it sometimes, changing her mind, starting silly challenges. Yes challenges get people motivated at the time, but what about after it’s over – most people, who have a hard time sticking to a healthy diet, will yo-yo back to their old habits. Until the next challenge anyway! It angers me so much. Someone gets an online nutrition cert, and thinks they’re an expert!

      And don’t get me started on the 12 minutes!! If you only eat 1000 kcals a day, of course that’s all the energy you’ll be able to muster LOL! I am very cynical about 12 minute workouts with bodyweight only. People need to get LIFTING!

      I know exactly where you are coming from with your work – this is real life we live in, with real jobs! It is impossible to be perfect, and there is no point in beating yourself up if you fall off the wagon. Since I started lifting heavier, my body knows what to do with my calories, I can eat more and not worry about portions! Plus I do Intermittent Fasting. BUT my total calories are the same, if not more than before and my body stores energy as glycogen now, not fat, because insulin is not being released every 3 hours like before!

      I must do a new food diary and show you all, honestly what I eat and the activity I do, so you can see another example 🙂 You don’t need to starve yourselves, you need to feed the muscle 😀

      Thanks for your feedback Sara, I hope nothing here ever seems too good to be true, because it aint always good, that’s for sure – it’s hard work no matter who you are, and noone should hide that fact.


    2. the idea of setting the timer to have meals every three hours is very recent, apparently it’s what they do…it really stuck into my mind because it made me laugh, great idea if you’re at home all day, but in real life???not so much!!
      true about the challanges, i mean lords now how many “diets” me or my friends have tried with poor results, nothing that replace determination and hard work.
      P.S. if you do a food and workout diary, just to give us an idea, i would really appreciate it, i’m curious about how you fit the intermitting fasting in your life, even though i can’t imagine it working for me, i’m too much of a glutton!:)



      1. Will do Sara. I love BIG portions of food, so this is why I love IF, because I can stuff my face after a fast and it has made no negative difference to my bodyfat. Obviously it is inportant to try and do your training fasted, but I will do a little diary for everyone to see and, eek, “judge” my diet :/ LOL


      2. There is good reason to disbelieve that 12 minutes of intense workouts will help the average out-of-shape and overweight person and that is metabolism. You burn more calories with muscle than with fat, so if you have a lower body fat percentage and you expend X amount of energy, you are going to burn more than the same workout done by someone with a higher bodyfat percentage — so one workout will not have the same results for different people. That is why it takes less effort to maintain a body form, than to obtain it in the first place. Zuzana’s students are going to be disappointed that they can never get like her doing just what she purports to do.

        I am getting there, as I am now about 17-18% bodyfat and have been for about 6 months. I am 5’5″ and 117 lbs. I started at 145 lbs two years ago.

        The first thing I did was cut out all fried foods and all processed foods, all milk products, all wheat and refined sugars. I did lots of yoga, including the more demanding hot yoga and variants of that. I lost about 10 lbs over 8 months without much effort. Then I started working out with weights using a paid exercise program called Double-Edge Fat Loss. It was basically an intense hour work-out 4 times a week, changing every week, and increasing in instability over time, to use more peripheral muscles. I then pushed up the intensity with a 2nd afternoon workout and I cycled my diet from a day of fasting, a day of protein shakes, 4 days of increasing carbs and calories (1000 kcal to 1400 kcal, all the veggies I wanted, fruits for treats, and limited starchy carbs) and then one day of splurge. I did that for about two months until I was bored to tears. I was then at 120 lbs, which had been hard to drop and I had not been that weight in twenty years!

        Since then, I use KBs and did ETK routine and now the Rites of Passage routine, mixed up with Marianne’s or Melissa’s ideas. I also strictly follow Marianne’s partial fasting ( eating only within an 8 hour period). I am now about 117 lbs. I fluctuate up and down a couple of pounds depending on if I splurge and then can’t workout. I have heard our bodies need to be at a composition for 5 months to really stay there, so I figure, as long as I keep working out, I probably won’t change much from now on (meaning I won’t gain it all back!)

        I still don’t find Zu’s workouts enough work — if I do any of them, I add them after my KB workout. With warm-up and cool down, my workouts are 60 to 90 minutes.

        I always workout first thing in the morning, then have a green protein smoothie, soon after some oatmeal and fruit. If I am hungry during the day, I will eat fruit or nuts or a rare piece of cheese. Dinner is early and mostly veggies, a little chicken and maybe some starch with a preference for sweet potato or quinoa. Lately I have been buying lots of avocados, so it is not uncommon for me to eat one avo with corn chips while making dinner — I am not holding back!. I also have wine about every other night.

        I haven’t sat down to count calories in a while, but I am guessing I am around 1800 – 2000 now. I eat way more than I used to and I can get really hungry.

        Treats — I believe we need them, so I will eat a date or two, or make up some really good rice pudding with mixed rices, or a raw fudge! I try not to allow any bad stuff in the house and I now shop with cash, so I am less inclined to buy anything I had not planned on.

        –oops, I am half an hour late for working out, since I am sitting here typing! Gotta go fling those bells!

        ~ Gillian

        1. You have made great progress Gillian! I am astonished, your determination is very apparent! I started off at 118lb at 5′ 5” about 18 months ago, and I weighed myself yesterday out of curiosity – I am now 136lbs! I can’t believe I have gained more weight. But I don’t think my BF has gone up – I hope not! People are saying I look leaner, but maybe my muscles are just bulkier making them look more defined. I didn’t expect to still be gaining muscle. I would eat about the same total kcal as you (some times more – eek).

          You must be so proud of yourself!

          With regards to Zuzana, it really is down to calories. She had built the muscle about 18 months ago and since, she has drastically reduced her calories and this is why she appears leaner and smaller, she has lost a lot of muscle. Her workouts will contribute very little to her physique now. And they certainly will do very little for someone just starting out, who has higher BF. These people need to build some muscle and get lifting, to burn the fat. I think it’s a pity that so many are sucked in to the fantasy.

          Thanks for sharing Gillian, you are a true inspiration 😀


          1. it’s funny you say that, i was just going through some of her older, and somehow more serious routines and i was just noticing how fitter she looked back then!not only she used to use weights but her routine were more complete.
            well i guess it’s an easier product to sell the product if the package is 12 minutes long, and lately it all seem to be down to jumps and push ups!
            great idea working out in the morning, i wish i could but i swear but my bed just doesn’t let go of me!!!!!
            Marianne i did notice you getting leaner, and fortunately you don’t work out just for the scale!
            which brings me to a little cheeky question, how do you measure your body fat?i tried different websites, putting in my measures and all, but different sites give me different results. My BMI is 24, and one website told me i was severely obese!!!that was a shocker!



          2. Sara, think you got it on one, it is easier to sell a “quick fix” workout than an intense KB or barbell lifting routine. I really must put together a sequence of photos of how I looked as I discovered more complete and varied training. It is quite amazing the difference. Mind you, I would highlight that my arthritis did affect how I looked too. But my training made me stonger.

            Andrew has calipers to measure skin folds. But it is a science in itself learning to use them correctly. I don’t know what my BF is now, it might be still about 19% or so, but I just feel better about how I look now. Although I do, like everyone, get fat days when I hold more water and feel like a flump. Or after my weekly arthritis injection, I retain more water – which I hate! But it’s a small price to pay I guess.

            If you are getting BF measured it is never 100% accurate, but it can help you see a trend, if you get it done the same way, by the same person etc.

            I doubt you are obese! It’s hard to go by some of the online sites. If you really want to know a rough estimate, you may need to pay a professional to do it. But it’s only another number 🙂 When I started this blog I wanted to get to 15%, but I no longer care about that now, I just like feeling better, and getting stronger etc.


          3. Marianne is correct– skinfold tests make more sense when you look at changes over time. This website is pretty good at determining bodyfat percentage: http://bmicalculatorforfemales.com/default.aspx

            Most calipers are expensive and take some time to learn to use accurately, however there are some relatively cheap calipers that you use with only one fold test: mine are called Accu-Measure (about $20US) and you take one fold just above the right hip. After doing this for a few months, you will be able to see if you are changing up or down just by looking in the mirror. I haven’t changed much in three or four months. I am seeing more vascularity in my arms though, so I suspect my numbers are going down just slightly.

            I am happiest that I now have pretty good endurance and I am eating a healthy diet. Everything else is just gravy, though it is harder to find clothes to fit! I am reluctant to get rid of all my old clothes, just in case I grow back into them, but I do really need to clean out my closet!


          4. You lift pretty heavy… I have a little color code pasted next to my computer screen so I can figure out what weights you are lifting. I am lifting between 15 pounds and 12 Kg depending on the exercise. I was going to go up on some things, but after doing 5 ladders of 5 C&P pullup pyramids (from Rites of Passage) I think I will have to stay where I am… I was so pooped with that! You are lifting twice what I lift. I can see from your videos that you are in shape and have some substantial muscle: that weighs more than fat as you know! Your abs are getting more defined, so I suspect you are in the high teens on bodyfat percentage. That shows how much you work at it! I think your numbers are in line with most bodybuilding women of your size.

            As is usually the case, a confluence of things happened to shock me into getting back into shape: I had been looking after two aging parents for years and when my Dad finally died, I realized I had lost the previous TEN YEARS of my life! ( Had I a clue it would take that long, I would have run far away!) At the same time I entered Menopause and gained ten pounds in a couple of months. Then I turned 50 and aches that I had had for years became intolerable. I also took a rifle class (where I am now an instructor) and I found that to be surprisingly difficult physically. I concluded that if I did not do something immediately, I was going to be a useless blob prone to heart disease, so I started making small changes… a simpler diet and yoga first. As I got healthier, I challenged myself more.

            I am lucky in that I work from home, so I have a lot of flexibility with my schedule. Any time I am bored or sleepy, I will do a few handstands or pushups (having stretched a bit first) and I always feel better. I don’t watch much TV, but I am usually stretching if I do have it on — esp. Egoscue (from the book Pain Free), which is easy.

            My downfall is that I did lots of Windsurfing in my 20s when I lived in Hawaii. I never did find a sport to get excited over after that, and I now live on the mainland US. I used to lift weights years and years ago, so it was easy to get back into. If it weren’t for the variety that Kettlebells give, I doubt I would be so excited. The Tabata approach has changed the way we work out, so that now we don’t need to spend nearly the time to get incredible results. I probably work out harder now than I ever used to when I was half the age, but I think I am also in better shape.

            Of course the internet, and blogs like yours gives me lots of ideas and lots of support and feedback. It is refreshing to find a site with sensible suggestions from someone who seems pretty together and real. I think you are probably more of a positive influence than you are aware, so thank you for providing this forum and for all of your time and energy.


          5. Have you found that the reasons you started your journey are the same now, or have they evolved along the way? I am interested to see what keeps people motivated.I know my goals have changed a lot since starting. Although getting leaner is a nice bonus, I think as long as I don’t gain body fat and I keep getting stronger, I will be happy.

            You have had such an amazing journey, and I want my mum to hear about your story. She needs motivation to keep going, and I see her needing to “re-set” her goals. It sounds as though you have a lot of knowledge too, so i hope that you will be a regular contributor to discussions when I get the planned Forum up and running.

            Thank you also for your kind words of encouragement. I hope that more people will join in the discussions and that we can enjoy each other’s experience, expertise and wisdom.

            Marianne 🙂

          6. Hi Marianne,

            I’m sorry if I am disturbing you again, but – whenever you have time – I would love to know the difference between “being thin” and “being lean”. Or maybe there’s no difference at all.

            Of course I have already checked in my dictionary, but couldn’t figure out an answer: it says “magro” in both cases, which is the Italian word for “the opposite of fat”.


          7. Hi Bianca, to me “being thin” is having little muscle definition and lowish body fat. I have friends who are thin but not lean as their bodyfat is too high to reveil any muscle definition. Being lean is having low body fat. You can be thin and lean at the same time, but often leanness is more apparent when a person has good muscle definition showing. Andrew is lean. Zuzana is lean AND thin. I am lean, but not as lean as some, however, I am not thin. It’s hard to explain. Especially when you’re just out of bed LOL


          8. Okay, let’s just say that having to choose between being “only lean” and “only thin” it’s better to be lean.


            Thanks so much.


          9. I believe there is medical evidence to support that being on the lean side is generally more healthy as it puts less stress on organs and joints. Obviously one can go too far, which I where I think Zuzana is sadly heading. She has talked about having some kind of eating disorder when she was younger, but I have seen some of her earlier more risque videos where she plays on exercise machines in a suggestive manner, and if you ignore the rest and just look at her body (besides the big breasts) she looks gorgeous — slender and curvaceous… even her hair looks good. Now she just looks thin, bordering on ill. The pictures of her in a bikini in Italy looked unhealthy.

            I think perhaps she has a long held body image problem. Her doing exercise videos where she is the guru just supports her impression that she must know what is best for herself since so many people are seeking her advice. I think we are seeing her break down. She must already have a bodyfat level in the low teens to have those abs… if prolonged, that can cause permanent damage. I hope that her husband gets sensible before something irreparable happens.

            On a brighter note, both Marianne and Melissa are infinitely more approachable and real. We have seen both of them honestly share their struggles and they both post challenging and productive exercise routines. Neither advocates anything drastic in the way of diet or health advice, if anything, they highlight precautions more than most. If you look at their posts on food, you will find a nice selection of tasty and healthful things that we can all feel good about making in our own homes.

            We all seem to seek out gurus, so we are lucky to have some sensible ones!

            BTW, Marianne, has working our with weights had any effect on your arthritis? I know that exercise can aggravate it, but moving the joints around also lubricates them with synovial fluid, which should ease the problem. I would think an alkaline diet of fresh fruits and veggies would also have a positive affect.

          10. Thanks again Gillian, I totally agree with you on your insight and observations. I do wonder about how far Zuzana’s body image obsession will lead too.

            As for weights and my arthritis. The type of arthritis I have does not affect the synovial joints, if affects where tendons and ligaments attach to bone and, if not exercised, risk fusing the joints htey are near. Especially the spine and Sacral Illiac joint in the pelvis. With my medication, inlfammation has gone and I have had no negative impact from weights.I believe they have helped provide a stronger, more stable body for all sorts of exercises (except running :/ , which totally disagrees with me).

            Sorry for the rushed response, running late for work as always LOL 😉


          11. ok sorry if i intrude!i think the real difference is between magro and definito, tonico anzi meglio ancora atletico. tipo le ballerine professioniste di danza classica sn atletiche, le definirebbero lean and thin in inghilterra, mentre magro e basta non presume un certo sviluppo muscolare, ma solo una “stazza piccola”.
            lean alla fine significa magro, ma un magro tonico, non mi viene altro termine se nn atletico.ho reso il concetto?
            very sorry about the foreign language intrusion Marianne!!

          12. I have no idea what you said, but no worries LOL 😀

            Off to work now guys and gals. Have to make a living ya know 😉 😉 😉


          13. I will just answer Sara’s comment in Italian.

            Grazie Sara, hai reso il concetto perfettamente. Avevo immaginato una cosa del genere, ma volevo averne la certezza.

            Ciao da Milano.


          14. I had not realized it,but my reasons for working out have evolved!

            At first, I just wanted to lose a little weight. Then slowly, I wanted to get into better shape. For a while I wasn’t thinking about it and then I suddenly noticed I was a lot thinner, so then it became more of a challenge: what CAN I do with my body?

            50 really snuck up on me– it is a shock to realize that I am no longer young! That sounds trite, but it is true…life just keeps plodding along and then all of a sudden, ten years and twenty pounds have come along! We all tend to remember ourselves in our prime of 20s and 30s, and we don’t see the years slipping away and the toll we let those years take!

            Maybe thinking about mortality has something to do about it to — I saw two parents get ill and die with many symptoms that they could have been reversed or reduced. They were good lessons for me in how to live my life from now on. I now consider regular exercise and eating well to be my medical insurance, and I especially believe a high percentage of the world’s health problems are the result of our voluntary behavior.

            I don’t really need to improve at this point, so I work out so as not to lose what I have! Working our is now fun; its a challenge that I look forward to. Some times I resent to days off! When I had low endurance, working out was not fun at all, so that is a nice change to keep in mind.

            I would like to be stronger, as I was when I was younger. I look at people like Jack LaLane who is now 93 and still going strong with vibrancy and I see that age does not have to be any limitation at all as long as one is healthy.

            I have some aches from old injuries that plague me, but I have found that certain stretches and using a foam roller seem to help, so maybe I can reduce those as well!

            Then of course, there is my change in attitude: I feel better about myself, I wear different clothes, people ask my advise about getting into shape! All of that is immensely gratifying.

            I was lucky in that I was never too out of shape or really overweight and I did not have major medical issues. So as long as I am kicking and screaming, (and ranting) I can exercise. And as long as I can do that, I believe I will live a healthy and vibrant life!


          15. you see????we need a forum!just to have a chat and keep each other strong, exchange recipes and just be nosy and see what motivates other people!
            personally i lack experience expertise and who knows knows i certainly lack wisdom, so a forum would be really great!
            personally i must say i am alone on my fitness journey,none of my mates even knew what a kettlebell was until i started talking about them and are always trying to get me to my old chips and chocolates path!!!evil, pure evil!!!
            mind you, i’m sorry that we’re asking so much of you(forum,food diary,workouts) but just become we know you are up to the challange!! (a little butt kissing never huts:))

            Thank you and thanks to gillian, what a great inspiration you girls are!!!

          16. LOL Sara, luck I am a super woman 😉 I wish. It is hard to get all this time, but I really want to try and make this site the best it can be for everyone to enjoy and join in.


  14. Great comments! Apparently many people who workout focus on the front of the body (with Bench presses, etc.) since the chest is a show-off area and that is what we notice. They do so at the expense of working the back for balance. Right now, I am working through a 50 Pull-up challenge to help make up for that. In a similar vein, one-sided exercises are better because we can focus more on equal effort on each side; when we lift one weight with both sides of the body, we do not necessarily work each side equally and that promotes muscle imbalances, which eventually result in torquing the body out of alignment. Thirty years of that, and you’ve developed chronic pain and permanent imbalances.

    I am 51 and broke my left knee as a teenager. The imbalances that created are just beginning to haunt me with pain that I can no longer ignore, so I am having to focus a lot on equalizing my body and get back in balance left and right, front and back, and side to side. Despite that, I think I am still in better shape than most people my age, and that is a shame.


    1. Exactly right Gillian, I was asked about leg strength imbalance too by a viewer and I agree that single sided exercises are a great way to even out these issues. Of course you need everything to work together too, but I recommend single sided exercises for everyone!

      You’re are pretty impressive with your pull-up challenge, you put me to shame 😀 Everyone should at least try to do pull ups, even if they are modified – one of the best compound strength and functional exercises out there. 🙂

      1. I am sure you could make greater gains than me with pullups… when I started, I could do one chinup and about 5 assisted chinups. I did that for about a month and then I found this site: http://www.fiftypullups.com/ I found this after I had already done the 100 pushup challenge, which is at http://www.hundredpushups.com/ (I still can’t do 100, but I can do 65!) Both sites have well planned progressions of increasing reps and decreasing rest to increase strength and endurance. I think there are books associated with the sites, but you don’t have to buy anything and they have a great little printable folding schedule to tuck into your workout log.

        1. Thanks for the links, I’ll check them out. I’m afraid I can just about do 6 unassisted parallel grip pull ups, I really want to be able to do 10 in a row. As for push ups, I probably should work on them too. Can you do 65 in a row?!?


          1. Yes, its tough and I slow down, but all in one go. The goal is eventually 100. I can do 100 in bits with about 20 seconds of rest, but not all at once. The amazing thing is the accomplishments I could make with mixing up the reps and the rest. This stuff works! My how things have changed since I fist went to the gym back in the days of Nautilus machines (late 1970’s.)

            ~ Gillian

      2. Thanks for posting the pullup and pushup links. I’d seen these books online, but hey – free is good! I’ve always wanted to figure out how to properly do pullups, and get my reps up. Much appreciated!

  15. Hi Marianne,

    I loved this little pre-workout talk (I especially loved it as it was without a silly cup of coffee in front of you, lol): you have given us some wise and intelligent advice.
    The only thing though is that I didn’t quite catch what particular blog you were referring to when you said that you were not pointing any finger (just kidding, lol)!

    Anyway, this workout looks great and I am going to try it!

    And what is written in the title of this last video is so so so true: this myomytv is a great community! Let’s organize a meet-up one day. The point is: where???


    1. Thanks Bianca 😉 mmm I wonder where I was referring to?? I don’t mean to come across “bitchy”, but people need to understand that you can’t chnage your body with the same old routine! She looks no different now except skinnier, which is all down to silly diet OCD and portion control!

      As for where the community will meet – I am working on that 😀 …


  16. I totally agree with you Marianne that working the back is important. I think a well developed back that shows those tiny little muscles all around the top is totally hot in a man (I’m sure it is in women as well). I used to be one of those people that neglected the back but since I started focusing on it more and am seeing those muscles develop, I love it!!!! Plus the way I hold/carry myself is a lot different too. My shoulders pull back automatically instead of rounding forward.

    1. This is one of the great benefits of back exercises, plus it looks great to have that definition come through and people see that you understand balance and function over vanity! Great job 🙂

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