All the Kettlebell Workouts You'll Ever Need to Stay Strong and Capable for Life
(with peace of mind that you're doing enough)
Every month I hear from people who just want to feel like they're doing enough to be fit for life.
The problem is, there's a disconnect between what we think we *should* be doing and what we actually *need* to do.
There's actually a lot of confusion. And it's not your fault.
You see, I believe the fitness industry is built on a false premise:
"you're broken, and fitness will fix you".
Or put another way:
"you can't be strong/lean/functional/content enough UNTIL ______".
Outcomes are what matter most, with the ultimate result being contentment.
If you think about it:
Most people start their fitness journey not being enough.
Based on that, it follows that most fitness communities are totally results-focused. Get the desired outcome so you'll no longer feel broken, and all will be well, right? Sure, sometimes people will happily walk that path and enjoy chasing the next thing.
But for others - especially under certain circumstances, outlined below - this entire system can actually impede progress, block satisfaction, and fuel a perpetual cycle of failure (or at least in a belief cycle of failure), which can seep into every corner of life.
Self-hatred within fitness groups is rife, and all because of a perceived lack of results (or good enough results).
Hi, I'm Marianne Kane
And after a decade in the fitness industry seeing the damage this undercurrent causes, I now coach and serve my home kettlebell workout community in a totally different way...
Are You Saying Results Don't Matter?
No, I think results (physical) do matter, but they shouldn't be the only measure of success!
A lot of people (including well-respected coaches) are trapped in thinking results are the most important thing, but I completely reject that. In fact, I have found a subset of people who are actually impeded by the results-driven (or results-obsessed) culture of the fitness world.
It's like the fitness world is geared toward helping a certain kind of person, which leaves everyone else feeling on the sidelines and like they are broken and ill-equipped for fitness to ever work for them.
It's for these people I created Equipped with Strength.
So far, I have identified 3 sets of circumstances in which I believe a shift toward being journey-oriented would serve both meaningful progress AND contentment for the people affected by them:
Who the results-driven culture hurts most:
- You feel like you've"lost your fitness mojo"
- You often compare yourself to your past self, or to others who represent what you used to be
- You say things like "I'll never be ___" or "yeah, but I only did ___".
- You find your recovery is suffering, you're more "beat up" by your workouts compared to the past.
The Burden of Brokenness
I got into fitness when I was 26. It was my final year in nursing school, and I had just been diagnosed with an autoimmune pain condition (ankylosing spondylitis). What a relief to know what had been causing my pain!
But then the doctor said:
"You need to exercise, because if you don't, your pain will continue and your spine could permanently fuse"
I already thought my body had let me down, and then I had to make sure I was always doing enough to prevent it getting worse.
Over the decade that followed, I was in "body problem solving mode" trying to:
- Improve weaknesses and imbalances that I thought could be creating more pain
- Lose body fat because fat is a "problem"
- Nit-pick my exercise technique our of fear of injury and a belief that anything other than perfect didn't count
- Find my fit-self again after pregnancy pain, depression, and weight gain had me so overwhelmed, I just wanted to hide
- Find contentment and self-love by fixing my body, or fixing how I saw my body
For as long as I can remember (starting as a teen), my body has been a problem to solve. Is it any wonder I never felt at peace in my own skin, regardless of how fit, strong, or lean I was.
The issue has never been my brokenness, it's been my belief that I'm broken at all.
The burden of feeling broken, and then having that belief reinforced by results-focused promises will never create a sense of wholeness.
Take a moment to think about all the beliefs you hold about your body. Not the "I'm trying to force-love my body", but the feelings you get when you see someone with a body or a life that you desire (and this could be you from 20 years ago)...
Are they about fixing something?
Do you exercise out of fear about something?
Do you look at yourself and think "I need to do more"
When I ask people why they want to be fit and strong, they often tell me it's because it makes them feel good. But they often act and think like it's actually because NOT being fit and strong makes them feel less-than.
Meaning, they believe if they don't do what they think they should be doing to get fit and strong (chasing performance, function, or body composition goals, aiming for 4+ workouts a week, endlessly tweaking their workouts and/or diet) their worst fears will come true (like becoming a burden, or getting fat).
I'm not saying that fear of negative consequences is wrong, because the reality is exercise does improve health and reduce the severity of conditions. I'm more concerned about how the beliefs we hold about ourselves before we "get there" impact our well-being along the way.
Especially when combined with another problem within the fitness world: the "all or nothing" mindset. If we can't get it "right", there's no point.
While results feel good, there are so many people who don't feel good even when they get the outcome.
Because it's never enough.
Therefore, we have to create our own premise. One that cultivates a sense of value, appreciation, and capability from the get-go.
"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are" ~ Teddy Roosevelt
This quote sums it up: It says you come equipped.
It says you have exactly enough to take the next step on your journey, and the journey doesn't add to your value, because it's your belief in your worth that makes you take the next step.
It implies wholeness. And it inspires perseverance.
Exercise, then, becomes an expression of your value, rather than an attempt to earn it. You honor your body because it's beautifully made.
This is how I approach my own fitness, and how I coach others. Your efforts, even the smallest ones are enough. Let's just keep going.
It's the fitness industry, not you, that's ill-equipped.
If 2020 Has Taught Us Anything ...
... it's that time and energy (mental and physical) are our most precious resources. How we use them matters, and what we spend time chasing is either serving us, or hindering us. This means, if you believe you're here for a purpose greater than yourself, you can't afford to keep playing the "not enough" fitness-world game any more.
At Equipped with Strength we value feeling strong, being independent, but also knowing when to say "enough". We don't want you wasting time and energy on things that don't matter that much in the big picture.
If you like the sound of that, you may have found your new fitness family.
Fitness needs to work for us and fit easily into our lives so we don't drain those precious resources. It has to leave us feeling GOOD.
Finally, we value PERSEVERANCE.
Because LIFE HAPPENS sometimes.
So, even when you:
=> Fall short of your goals or are sick of having goals,
=> Start and stop (going all-in or nothing at all),
=> Feel like you'll never be as fit and strong as you were in the past,
=> Are unsure if what you're doing is enough or the "right stuff" to make progress,
=> Disqualify your efforts because you didn't do everything you planned to do,
...Somehow, you never stop trying!
You see, being equipped with strength does NOT necessarily mean you always believe in yourself, or that you even feel like you're strong. It often means getting back up when you feel at your weakest or lowest point.
It's the kind of strength that is expressed when no one is looking. It's the kind of strength that allows you to still work out, even when you feel totally out of shape and may even be ashamed at how you look.
The stops don't define you, so long as you keep STARTING.
With all that in mind, I'd like to introduce you to Equipped with Strength....
A Clear & Sustainable Fitness Journey that Nurtures Consistency & Contentment
Our workouts are designed to be flexible and scalable, making them easier to do consistently, with various ways to meet yourself where you're at each step along your journey. The workouts are challenging, and will still "get you results", but *how* we approach things is totally different. For one thing, your coach knows what it's like to feel like you don't belong in the fitness world anymore.
Here’s Why I Think You'll Love Equipped with Strength
There's too much noise and too much to do. You won't have that feeling here. We obsess about getting you to value your effort. In fact, our whole approach is focused on engineering your success. First step: workouts you'll actually do, and permission to do less (coz it's okay).
We give you enough to keep you consistent. We design your workouts, and give you super time-saving ways to do them. Because they are workouts you'll be able to do, you'll naturally feel become more consistent. It's less about the details and more about "does it stick".
Peace of Mind
Doing what you can, even if it's less than what you want to do, is enough. We believe, even the smallest effort is valuable, because otherwise we live in a constant state of failure. We only really have control over effort, so that's what we celebrate. Ultimately, it all adds up.
Here’s what people are saying our approach
Less is More
When I started a full-time PhD program, my gym availability dwindled, sometimes only getting in 1 or 2 workouts per week. When looked at my training logs, I realized that somehow, I was still managing to get stronger, even though I wasn’t working out as often. I also feel great and am not nearly as beaten down physically and psychologically as I was when I trained all the time. I think this goes to show that a consistent little bit is way better than nothing at all.
No More Stressing
I was constantly getting myself stressed to the hilt about not making my 3-4 workouts a week, especially since getting a new job that required longer commutes. So now I aim for one main workout a week, and maybe a small workout during the week. Since I've been doing that, it's been much better.
And, with the live classes, I'm more consistent than ever!
Finance Manager (and member)
Time for Myself
I didn’t workout when my children were young because I could never find time. When I was 40, I discovered KBs and Marianne, and fell in love with the physical results and the strength I gained. I stopped again for a few years because I had some health issues...it was frustrating.
Since joining EWS, I don’t beat myself up if I can’t make it happen. I’m happy with my wins whether it’s increasing weight, losing a pound or just plain feeling well. I think it’s fun and a great way to learn how to make fitness work for you.
I was looking for a way to gradually get back into things after become a new mom. I love not having to think about it, because you get pre-made workouts. You don't need to use up limited energy and brainpower. Now, I've been consistently doing something, which is a lot better than before. And I'm not comparing as much to what I was before
Had I not started EWS, I would've continued to struggle with consistency because I didn't really know what to do to get things going from scratch."
After you sign up, you're taken straight to the Studio Dashboard where you can dive right in to any of the 50+ workouts already available. Then, every Tuesday and Friday (and the occasional Sunday) we do live classes together (replays are always available). You get your new main workout delivered every Thursday and a weekly email to keep you up-to-date. Your workouts come in 4 modes: written, short video, long video, and printable log.
Weekly Plan A/B Workouts (It's Flexible)
At a minimum, you get 1 main new workout each week, but part of the design includes a Plan A, and Plan B:
Plan A - Do the full workout at least once that week
Plan B - "Wee" Workouts as a back-up or add-on
Live Classes (It's Scalable)
One of the best parts of EWS is our live class studio. 2-3 times per week (Tuesdays, Fridays, and some Sundays) we do live workouts together. While more training isn't necessarily better, creating more opportunities to train helps a ton with motivation and consistency. And having a live class to attend just makes it easier to show up.
One thing that plagues the fitness sphere is misinformation. That's why I hope to make things super clear by providing Fitness facts (like training volume, frequency, exercise choices, injury prevention measures, kettlebell skill coaching, what to do when you have pain or an injury) etc. Every month, I answer common questions that create confusion and/or fear about "getting it right".
Structure or Choose Your Own Way
Since some people respond well to plans and schedules, I've created self-contained programs, mini-series, workout packs, and calendars (new) to follow along with. However, since others do not like having a program (since it can create more pressure), you can dip in and out of the workouts as you fancy :) All of these (and any to be added) are available to members for no extra cost.
Bascially, I look after my members. For as long as you're signed up, you get access to all my programs, workout packs, and special live interactive workshops (past, present, and future), and a massive discount off my signature course, Pull-Up Academy, along with 25% off any 1:1 coaching services :) Here are just some of what's currently inside:
Re-establish your fitness routine in the simplest, least time-consuming way.
This beginner-friendly, 8-week workout series is designed to keep things super simple and straight-forward so you can focus on what's most important in your fitness journey right now: being consistent, and knowing what's enough to help you make progress. A little structure goes a long way <3
12-week minimalist program adapted from my course, Pull-Up Academy ...
I have ensured the training fits with both our other workouts AND our ethos that less is more. You'll see that each phase only has 2 Pull-Up focused workouts. This means you can still do EWS weekly workouts along with this program. As an added bonus, you get a discount on the full PUA course :)
Live Kettlebell Workshops
In July 2020, we launched our monthly live kettlebell workshops/open gym sessions.
Every month, we run through Kettlebell fundamentals: squats, deadlifts, swings, cleans, snatch, TGU. These interactive sessions allow members to receive feedback on their technical skillsvia Zoom. It's also an opportunity to ask questions, and get too know your fellow EWS members
About Your Coach
Marianne Kane, RN turned ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, Kettlebell Expert, and mindset coach is Founder of both Equipped with Strength and Myomy Fitness. In the last decade she has been on a mission to encourage others to reach their potential, live with agency and perseverance, instead of giving up on themselves because they can't do enough. Not only did she co-found Girls Gone Strong and Get Glutes, but she was named in Shape's Top 10 YouTube Workout Channels as her short and effective kettlebell workouts reach millions of people around the world. She wants people to stop bowing and bending to every "should" or "have-to" in the fitness world. Fitness doesn't have to consume your life and purpose. There is a way to be strong without it draining your valuable time and energy: Keep it simple and doable, and fluff-free.
"You know who impresses me the most? People who have life happen to them big time, but who still try to make fitness work. But they are the ones who feel like the biggest mess. If I can help them turn that around, imagine the amplified impact they could have on those around them"
What's it Like Working with Marianne?
As a 47 year old mom of 5 young kids, I had never believed it was in the cards for me to do a pull-up. The goal was more just to get a structured program so that I could be sure I was getting the most from my at-home training. Well, I got all that and more. I yielded remarkable improvements in strength, I benefited from the encouragement of the community, and we constantly got motivation and mindset help from Marianne. Looking back I see that I gained a belief that I am strong – with physical gains that prove it.
Pull-Up Academy Alumni
I've met a fair few trainers and coaches over the years, and I can say hand on heart, there is no one who shares the same passion and cares for her clients as much as Marianne does. Even in a group, she understands the needs of each individual and is very intuitive in her training methods.
Online Client & Pull-Up Academy Alumni
Coach Marianne has been training me for years. She took a banged up 50 yr old and made him feel younger and more confident. She is also a genuine, caring person, and a true asset to the fitness industry.
Marianne really listens and understands the challenges we face with balancing working out and having a life. She creates awesome training plans from which I have gotten stronger! And I feel so much happier and satisfied with where I'm at. She is a truly great coach and mentor.
Imagine: 80% of the results with 20% effort
(doing what actually matters)
Wherever you are on your fitness journey, the answer is the same: achievable, bite sized actions that are clear and easy to follow, and that give you the peace of mind that you're doing enough.
You don't deserve to feel bad because you fell short of some standard that's actually pretty meaningless. Here at Equipped with Strength, we believe everyone should try to find their minimal effective dose, with room for growth (as life allows).
Now think about what the rest of the fitness world offers: confusion, pressure, arbitrary things to do feeding off fears about not doing enough, being broken, or chasing the latest trend. We don't do that.
What you get to do here is let go of all the things that don't move the needle that much anyway, so you have more bandwidth to enjoy the journey.
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30 Day No Questions Asked Money-Back Guarantee
No matter what plan you're on, you are fully protected by our 30 day 100% Satisfaction-Guarantee. If you don't enjoy your time at Equipped with Strength over the next 30 days, just let us know, and we'll send you a prompt refund (30 days begins from initial registration).
Lori Was Tired of Chasing Goals & Never Feeling Enough
EWS Pilot Member
Frequently Asked Questions
How long are the workouts?
Some workouts will be shorter than others, but we try to keep them under 30 minutes. Our workouts have a nice mix of strength and cardio training, and a good pace so there's no need to drag it out.
What fitness level are the workouts for?
We mainly cater to people who have past experience with weight training. However, since some members have been out of training for a while, there are plenty of exercise and intensity modifications shown or suggested in the workout content. We also have a series of workouts more suited for beginners, and some for more advanced people. And there's always support in the community and live videos to help tailor your workouts to your current needs.
Are workouts available right?
As soon as you register you'll have full access to everything that's been released since October 2019 (workouts, mini-series, packs and programs) and then you'll get all new weekly content for as long as you're a member (2-3 live workout with at least 1 brand new one).
What equipment do I need?
At a minimum, 1 or 2 Kettlebells (one heavier for lower body, and one lighter for upper body) is enough. Dumbbells can be used instead with some modifications to get you started (however KBs are best for this kind of training). We will also frequently use an elevated surface, like a step/bench/plyo box, bands, and sometimes a Swiss ball. When anything more than KBs are used, we offer substitute exercises that often require only body weight.
Are there follow-along videos?
YES, almost all of the workouts have follow-along videos! And there are several other ways to consume the workout material: workout summary videos (lasting 60-90 seconds) so you can see what the workout looks like; full written breakdowns with pop-up exercise tutorials so you never have to leave the page (a major time-saver!); and printable training logs to keep in a binder to return to (like Lori does in the video above).
Why pay for something I can get for free?
That's a great question, but one that's very personal to each person. Nothing under the sun is new, and in the day of the internet, anything can be founds for free. The question is more about what value it offers you. Usually we buy things because we believe it will help us more than we could by going it alone. Do you feel this approach will help you move beyond the things that currently hold you back? Only you know that, and you're welcome to come and try it for 30 days to find out if it's good fit.
Is this your new fitness family?
A personal note
Whether I realized it or not, I spent years chasing perfection. Being badass and strong were a way for me to feel worthy. But I soon burned out, because no amount of external validation was going to satisfy my real need or my underlying goal: contentment with myself.
Contentment means you value the here and now as a kind of enoughness. I created EWS to be a refuge for others who are just tired of chasing. It's the best, most "me thing" I've ever done. I hope you'll join our wonderful community.