Crazy Conditioning Circuit | Kettlebell Workout

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Hi everyone,

I am glad to be back with a new workout and what a great day it was too! Yesterday I had great day of adventure and explored around some of the caves and beaches in a place called Island Magee.  This place holds many memories for me as my dad’s family are from there and my family spent many a Sunday afternoon down at the beach or getting Ice-Cream at the famous “Rhinka” – best ice-cream ever!!

So I was glad I had a day of fun yesterday, because I am doing some odd shifts the rest of the week to make up for me going to Dublin this weekend to the IKFF Workshops, with Steve Cotter 😀 😀 😀 Can’t wait!!

Here some pictures from yesterday.

What beautiful weather! Then I went to a BBQ and had an amazing night, with great company and the most delicious Venison and Cider – odd combo I know 😉

The Workout

I felt like a conditioning challenge today as I need to work on my overall fitness again. Because I am no longer attending the classes, I need to maintain my condition as it can easily start to slip and I am happy with the way I look and feel right now, so just need to keep it that way.

However, this is a great workout for anyone wanting to lose fat, build strength and work on stability, mobility and co-ordination.

Set your Gymboss Interval Timer for 24 cycles of 15 seconds rest and 45 seconds effort and complete 3 rounds of the following 8 exercises. My reps and weight are noted in brackets:

  1. Kettlebell Vertical Swing Burpee (20kg) (11, 10, 9.5)
  2. Plank Climber (24, 25, 23)
  3. Contralateral Reverse Lunge (left leg) (round 1 – 16kg, rounds 2&3 – 20kg) (16, 13, 12)
  4. Contralateral Reverse Lunge (right leg) (as above)
  5. Two-Handed Kettlebell Swing (20kg) (30, 30, 29)
  6. Renegade Rows (2 x 16kg) (19, 17, 14) (was getting way too hot)
  7. Stand-Kneel-Stand (left) (round 1 – 16kg then 20kg) (16, 13, 11)
  8. Stand-Kneel-Stand (right) (round 1 – 16kg then 20kg) (16, 14, 11)

This was really tough today, maybe it was the cider last night, but I was toast!

Beginners

  • Break up the rounds and adjust the interval times to suit your fitness level. For example: 30/30 or 20/40
  • If the vertical swing burpee is too difficult then just do the vertical swing on its own
  • Try Body Weight Reverse Lunges instead of the weighted ones
  • Bent over rows instead of renegade rows
  • You can try stand-kneel-stands with Body Weight only, or a lighter weight.

I hope to be back with a workout before I go to Dublin, then hopefully I will get some footage from the workshops if Steve doesn’t mind. I can’t believe I am getting to meet Steve Cotter!!! 😛

Until next time, take care.

Marianne

PS – thank you everyone for your amazing responses to my last post “Seeing the Silver Lining“, it was very much appreciated and I know we have helped each other on that one 😀


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51 Responses

  1. Christine says:

    I did this workout today. It was fantastic! Do you do any other cardiovascular conditioning? THANK YOU for the fantastic information and workouts.

    • Marianne says:

      Hey Christine! Thanks for your feedback 🙂

      Check out my recent article on My Training Week. It will answer your question. It is in my FAQ section which I am building for these commonly asked questions 😉

      Hope it helps!

      • Christine says:

        Thank you! Going there now. BTW I went out to get myself some heavier kettlebells today. Your comments on lifting heavy really inspired me. I used to lift heavy at the gym, but have not challenged myself in a long time. I wish they sold your Reebok bench here in the states. BOOHOO Any suggestions of an alternative.

        • Marianne says:

          Aw boo hoo! I wish I knew where you could get something similar in the US. Perhaps someone else will help? You can always post in the forum too, and someone might help you out there too! I love that step because it’s so sturdy and clips in and out of the high and low position. They must do them in the US! Did you search for Reebok Deck?

  2. Hilarie says:

    Just wanted to say that I did this workout last night, and it was great! Thanks for posting these workouts.

  3. Mike says:

    This was a great workout. I worked up a great sweat an will be doing this one again

  4. Kim Rapp says:

    Marianne,
    I am a 57 year old guy and just finished your 500-rep routine. Got through it except had to stop for about 3 OMG! moments. Used 35lb KB. I am training for “Tough Mudder” competition in October. Been looking at interval KB training. Do you have this training for single KB? You are inspiring! KIM

    • Marianne says:

      Hey Kim,

      Tough, ain’t it 😛 Good for you though for making it through this! What is “Tough Mudder”?

      There are plenty of single KB workouts, but I am sorry you’ll have to go searching as I don’t know where they all are. Besides, you can perform any of the double exercises in my workouts as singles. All you need to do is instead of for example 3 double KB exercises (db front squat, double bent over row, double military press), you would do 6 exercises (so front squat right and left, rows right and left and presses right and left). My workouts can always be adpated to suit you.

      Here is a workout that will show you the double to single adaptation. If you follow the intermediate level, you’ll see it only uses one KB.

      Summer Fitness Circuit

      Hope this helps 🙂

  5. tempest says:

    wowzee, i just did this workout, minus one round, so i did two rounds because i had done one round of a workout date june 20th 2010. i couldn’t find that old workout on the site, but i had it written down. i had done 20 reps of each movement on the june 20th workout.

    one the second round of the workout posted below, i thought iwas going to die on the second set of stand and kneel, i won’t lie, i could only finish 9 reps on the second last left leg.. those are killer, but i’m thinking probably very effective if done on a regular basis.

  6. Brian says:

    Hi Marianne,

    I just came across your site the other day and like the kettlebell workouts you have put together. Excuse me if this is posted somewhere on the site already, but how long would you recommend we stay with a particular workout/program before switching up? I define a set of workouts that target all your muscle groups as a “program”.

    Changing workouts is needed in order to provide a level of confusion for the muscles and promote growth, but doing it at a high frequency doesn’t allow for the muscles to reach their peak performance/benefit.

    Curious what your thoughts are on that and how you would approach it.

    Thanks…..Brian

    • Marianne says:

      Hey Brian. You are indeed correct that changing the types of exercises, the order of exercise and the intensity of your workouts/programme will help to keep your body adapting and getting stronger.

      As for my recommendations, I have been training this way (with 2 of my workouts and 1 or 2 heavy training days per week) for over a year and a half now and I am continuing to see changes. Normally it is recommended that you can stick with a certain programme for 6-8 weeks, then you change something. But the changes don’t need to be dramatic to see changes. You may only need to do your programme in reverse a couple of times per month or add in an extra heavy day, or take one out and replace it with more HIIT training for a while. It doesn’t take much to mix things up. I think that’s why my workouts are so good. They are never the same pace, never the for the same thing and always keep the body guessing.

      It’s easy to stick to, because you just pick and choose the workouts you WANT to do. I don’t like following rules for programmes, so this suits my instinctive training methods. Use my workouts as add-ons, supplements or for your main programme, either way, it will work – as long as you keep your effort consistant 🙂

  7. Sarah says:

    Whew, just did this one this morning. After the first round I seriously considered just getting on the treadmill. But I hung in there and feel great, albeit very, very sweaty! The very last round I just did body weight “stand kneel stands” after 2 rounds with kettlebells. For the last month I’ve been battling a sore elbow and holding the KB was bothering it a bit by the very end. Another great challenge that makes you feel so good to finish! Thanks!!

  8. tempest says:

    wow, all this looks great, until i get to the stand kneel , stand, looks like a very tough workout indeed,i miss this short but effective workouts. As soon as i get done with myh p90x /insanity hybrid- i think i will change it up again…. thanks again, and who is the girl again who is inspiring you who is amazingly fit, angie or something? some plog you follow, can you send me that link please.

  9. Dawn says:

    I did this workout this morning, though not the kind of weight you do!! haha! I also did not do the vertical swing on the burpee, I did a high pull. I’ve had neck surgery so I’m careful with overhead stuff. This was a fabulous workout, it kicked my butt. Thanks!!! I’m so glad to have found your site, your instructional videos are awesome and the workouts are great for me since I like a shorter hard core conditioning workout in the morning!!

    • Marianne says:

      You’re welcome Dawn, glad you had fun with it and are able to adapt it – i like to hear that people do this and are able to work around injuries etc.

      Cheers
      Marianne

  10. Tom B says:

    Marianne — quick question, what is a “contralateral reverse lunge”? How does it differ from a “regular” reverse lunge? Sorry if it’s dumb question, but never heard that term before.

    Thanks,
    Tom

    PS — Check out my women’s world cup challenge in the forum if you get a chance 🙂

    • Marianne says:

      Hi Tom, I will check it out 🙂 But it will have to wait til Monday – Coz I’m away in Dublin 😀

      The “contralateral” just means you hold the weight on the opposite side to your working side. This apprach activates the core more as it needs to stabilise the pull of the KB to that side.

      Hope this helps
      Cheers

  11. Sarah says:

    Hi Marianne, love the layout of this workout and the short video. I hope to see more of this type of workouts. I have been overwhelmed with some of your other posts and a little confused on the workouts and how long they are and what to do. Anyway, I love your blog and I think this will be my first workout that I do of yours!!

    Keep working hard 🙂

    • Marianne says:

      Sarah, that’s great that you will be trying this workout. I’m glad that this layout suits you. Many of my older workouts had a similar layout to this one, so there is plenty here for everyone’s tastes 🙂

      • Sarah says:

        Thanks Marianne, I just did this workout this morning and it was a killer. I was only able to do two rounds of it and I am a puddle 🙂 Thanks for all you do, I will have to go back and look at some of your older routines!!

  12. Aimee says:

    I loved this workout!!! At the end the Stand/Kneel/Stand I’ve actually done before on a Jackie Warner tape and she calls them UFCs but without the kettlebell, wow!! What an effective move that is. This one is definitely going to be one I will be able to work into my routine. Thanks chicky! Looking forward to hear about your weekend with Steve!

    • Marianne says:

      It’s great isn’t it. Glad you made it through ok and you can repeat it – if you dare LOL.

      Can’t wait to meet him – the adrenaline will help keep me going, because by Saturday at 6pm (after the course) I will have been awake for nearly 36 hours haha!! Then I plan on heading out! I will be a Zombie …

  13. Sheila says:

    Hi Marianne

    Firstly, loving the ramped up workouts! Cannot wait to see what you add after your weekend in Ireland, Steve Cotter OMG!!
    Anyways, I was hoping you could give me some advice on grip strength during deadlifts. I have been trying to up the anti on my lifts and am finding that my grip strength is really bad. I am not lifting the weight I know I could because of this. Have you ever had any trouble?. My goal is to reach the weights that you are lifting! (Slowly, slowly) but fear this will hold me back.
    Any advice would be appreciated!!

    • Marianne says:

      Hey Sheila, thank you for your comment and this question. I cannot wait until the weekend!! 😀

      The grip strength thing, is a major limiting factor (as you have noticed), but there are a few things you can do to help improve it:

      Check out this article http://stronglifts.com/7-ways-increase-deadlift-grip-strength/

      Farmers walks are great for building grip strength.

      Hook grip is uncomfortable but a very strong hold. I use mixed grip in my heavy sets as my grip would otherwise fatigue first.

      Hope this helps.

      • Sheila says:

        Some valuable tips, thanks for the link. I will do some research into hook grips and mixed grips and see if this helps me and will take your advice and try adding some farmer’s walks to my workouts. Thanks for taking the time to reply. Really appreciate it!

        • Marianne says:

          No problem Sheila. Another great exercise (which I just learned on my weekend workshop with Steve Cotter), is timed static bar hangs. So you hang from a pull up bar for a set period of time for say 3 sets. EG – 45 secs, 1 min, 1 min 15 secs etc. It’s a reall killer but will soon sort out any issues. Steve recommended doing 1 different grip strength endurance exercise 3 times per week. So for example: Mon – Static Hangs, Wed – Farmers Walks, Fri – Heavy Single Arm KB Swings.

          Cheers
          Marianne

  14. Cindy Beverly says:

    Girl,

    I just finished this today and what a sweat puddle it left me in. I think this is my favorite workout. Super Intense just the way I like it!

  15. Jose Manuel says:

    Great effort in this routine, thanks. And very nice pictures, is a place shrouded in much historical nostalgia. Greetings.

  16. Aimee says:

    Gonna try this today Marianne, I’m bummed because my shoulder isn’t healed but yet I haven’t stopped with the kettlebells cuz I’m too much of a nut (addicted) so I can’t press on my left side but I can still do a lot of the exercises without pain but it’s not helping the healing process. Tried running 3 miles a day for 3 weeks but it wasn’t burning anywhere close to the calories kettlebell workouts do so I’ve put on a couple pounds that I don’t want:( because I’m used to eating like a beast. I’ll let you know how it goes:)

    • Marianne says:

      Aimee, sorry to hear that you are still “resting” your shoulder *tut tut*! Hope you are able to workout around it and still get something from these workouts 🙂

  17. bianca says:

    Hi Marianne,

    great workout and it’s very good to hear that you are going to actually meet Steve Cotter. What exactly are you going to be doing in Dublin?

    Ciao
    Bianca

    • Marianne says:

      Thanks Bianca.

      Day 1 is Steve’s Body Weight Methods and Day 2 is Kettlebell Lifting. Hoping to get great ideas, advice and critique from the expert 😀

      Plus I’m hoping to catch up with Sarajane while I’m there too 😛

      • bianca says:

        You have to come to Milan and catch up with me too! (By the way, today I tried my first pull-up and could not lift myself even one inch from the ground. Amazing result!).

        🙂

        • Marianne says:

          I would love to go to Milan! I even considered getting the train from Munich, but it took about 10 hours LOL. But it is possible 🙂

          I’m sorry to do this, as I know you are working really hard on the pull ups, but the way you have written this makes me laugh a bit 🙁 Sorry!!! “Amazing result” – aw Bianca, do not give up! You have already come so far, do not forget that 🙂

          Hope you do not think I was laughing at your attempt, just at how you wrote about it 😉

        • Mickela says:

          Bianca you really make me laugh.

  18. Mickela says:

    Nice workout Marianne. gonna try this on my off sailing days in the next few days.
    I will probably do set reps instead of the intervals,I’ve noticed that when I work heavy with kettlebells and I do intervals, my form gets bad because I am pushing for reps.
    I can’t wait to see what new things you bring back from IKFF. you are meeting Steve Cotter awesome. I am so looking forward to video footage.

    Cheers

    • Marianne says:

      Yeah set reps is good for ensuring you stick to proper form. I have started just working at a steady pace during intervals, rather than all out, which seems to help.

      I hope I can get some good stuff from the Workshops 🙂

    • Ania says:

      Hey Marianne!

      You have an amazing body and stamina!

      Thank you for the workouts! Was just wondering what I can do to achieve learner muscles? I am actually toned in my abdominal part and my legs are OK but I have long arms and it’s hard to see some muscle tone unless i flex my biceps 🙁 i also have problems to make my ‘butt’ into shape (i have flat one) i have been doing a lot of stuff like lunges and squat with barbell but i don’t like how my butt sags a bit 🙁 help please!

      • Ania says:

        sorry i meant leaner loll

      • Marianne says:

        Thank you Ania.

        It’s maybe not that you need to be much leaner, but you just need to do some specific arm work to build some triceps, biceps and some shape to your deltoids. Some body weight exercises that will help are push ups, dips (if you can manage these) and pull ups. If you have dumbbells available then you can add bicep curls, skull crushers and tricep kick-backs with some lateral and front raises. Use a weight that you can just manage about 12 reps in the first set and then progress the weight, finishing with a set of 6-8 reps. Make each rep count and don’t perform them too fast.

        For your butt, I recommend Glute Bridges, Squats, lunges, kettlebell swings, deadlifts, back extensions (focusing on squeezing your butt). For all of these exercises start with body weight and perfect your form, then gradually add more resistance by using Kettlebells/dumbbells/barbell/weighted vest; something that allows you to get progressively stronger by challenging the muscles. This will help the muscles grow and add loads of shape!

        Finally, make sure you are eating enough to promote muscle growth and recovery. Without adequate calories you won’t see the best results. You don’t need to eat loads, but make sure you are not is a chronic calorie deficit. Getting leaner may actually make your muscles to appear more saggy, so focus on building a body to last rather than lean out. You will find with more muscle on your frame, it will be easier to stay lean anyway 🙂

        Hope this helps 🙂

        • Ania says:

          Hey

          Thank you so much!

          I still enjoy your circuits, do you think If I go to the gym 3 times per week and do one training for growth and another two for endurance etc will still achieve what I want? or I must stick to weights for 3 times per week maybe for 3-4 months and then go back to circuits? I still want to build up some nice arms.

          Love you and thank you for your time <3

          Hugs from London xxx

          • Ania says:

            ohhh I can do only one pull up and forget dips, I have ‘fly’ arms loll my legs to heavy hahaha I do reverse pull up to prepare myself for more and triceps is dying for work loll 😉

          • Marianne says:

            Close Push Ups (and various push ups) would do for triceps, until you build more strength. You can also use bands to assist dips. Your one pull up will turn into 2, then 3 etc; just keep working on them 😀 But triceps are harder to work for sure, but I love training triceps, don’t know why 😛

          • Marianne says:

            I think you can still do both but whether you grow much muscle may actually come down to your calorie intake too, so just make sure you are eating enough to support your goal. Basically the program you are describing is a Strength and Conditioning one, which is what I do – so you should get good results 🙂

            All you can do is keep adjusting things every few months until you get the results you want. You will find what works best for your body.

          • Ania says:

            Thank you Marianne 🙂

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