Q and A Aug 24, 2012

challenge workouts

Hi Shawna,Can you tell me what is meant by a cable row and also the reverse DB flies, can’t find them in the exercises



Tracey,I have 2 still shots of the cable row and the rev DB fly (in the picture I’m doing body weight). Hope that helps.


pull up exercises
This is the body weight reverse fly.



Hi Shawna


I am just starting the first phase of the pullup challenge workout but am having huge trouble completing a hanging leg raise with any kind of form, let alone good form.  What can I do or how do I go about getting better at it, let alone the rest of the pullup variation challenges?


Dear KB
Kudos to you for taking on the pull up challenge. You’ll definitely want to start with program one. The hanging leg raise can be a challenge for beginners. We need to work on grip strength and just holding your body unsupported without movement first. This can be difficult at first. Once you can support your body unassisted, that is, hanging freely, then you can start to take on the leg raise. You’ll do this progressively. At first you’ll have a chair or support under one leg/foot and take some weight on it. You’ll work on lifting one knee towards your chest, then alternate, support the body with the other leg and bring the other leg to your chest. As the set progresses, you may need to take more weight on the supporting leg. Eventually you’ll be able to have very little weight on the supporting leg, at this time, you’ll attempt to to the leg raise with both legs at once.


You can increase strength by doing planks along with your modified leg raises. Planks, spider crawls and mountain climbers are all good exercises to strengthen the transverse abdominus and other core muscles that will eventually be used in the pull up.

Stay close to the blog, ask lots of questions and never give up. You will need consistent strength of will to keep at your workouts. They will be hard but you’ll succeed when you put in the effort. I believe in you.





My doctor planned some surgery for me. I’m having carpal tunnel surgery on both hands in September, so, I’m curious as to what I can do while I’m recovering, hence the email.  Obviously burpees and pushups aren’t possible. What can I do?


Dear NB,We can modify for your wrists. Ask your doctor if you can do things with a ‘neutral’ wrist. That is, could you do push ups etc with the hands on dumb bells so there is no extension at the wrist? Many people are able to tolerate this with no adverse effects.If not, we’ll eliminate those exercises that cause trouble and substitute other exercises like a lying chest press, full body extension etc. Lots of my clients have similiar issues, so you’re in good company.

Here’s an example of a push up with a neutral wrist:
challenge workouts

Many people are able to tolerate this with no adverse effects. You can do exercises like a lying chest press or fly instead of a push up or full body extension etc. instead of burpees.

Lots of my clients have similar issues in my fitness boot camp, so you’re in good company. We’ve managed quite well with substitutions.

Pain at the joint is NEVER good, ensure you listen to your body and don’t do too much too soon.

Feel free to send me your questions and comments, I’m happy to help you out. You’d be surprised how asking your question will likely help others out too.