Q and A Sept 14, 2012

pull up workouts

Hi Shawna, I am a real fan of yours, Craig & Mike and have just started doing your pull up push up challenge program. Have already done some of Craig’s programs and plenty of Mike’s finishers. My question is a simple one … you had a post recently about doing 10 hill runs with 10 burpees in between. What i would like to know is did you do the burpees at the top after sprinting up or at the bottom before sprinting up the hill??? Cheers and thanks for all your great stuff. Kerry

Hey Kerry,
I did the burpees at the bottom of the hill, but that was because the top of my hill didn’t have very good footing, it was sort of sloped.

You could do it in either spot (or both!), I usually use the time going down the hill as my active recovery since it’s tough on my knees to run it.

Let me know if you have any other questions, I’ve started a Q and A on my blog and it’s been a great way to connect with people and help them out. Thanks for your question,



What’s an ab roller?



Here’s a description and picture for you, as well, the ab exercises in the Ab Challenge program have now been added to the download for that program. They’ve always been within the main program’s exercise library as well.

Ab Roll Out
•    Kneel on a mat with your hands on the ab wheel or elbows on a stability ball.
•    Keep your body in a straight line, brace your abs, and keep your low back tensed.
•    Slowly roll out as far as is comfortable.
•    Keep your abs braced, and contract them maximally to come back up to the start.
•    Maintain shoulder over hip, over knee position and avoid sticking your butt out behind you.

pull up exercises



Hi Shawna,

I’m looking forward to doing the Challenge Workouts.  I’m especially interested in mastering the pull ups.  I’ve been working on chin ups and can do 6-7 half chin ups (only part the way down before I do my next chin up) and never thought I would ever be able to do one pull up so when I saw you guarantee that everyone that does your program will do not just one pull up but multiple I had to order it.  I wanted to ask you a question about the Ab Challenge exercises.  After looking at the library and video page, I wasn’t able to find a demonstration of the bicycle crunch, ab roller, spider crawl, stability ball plank and your version of mountain climber.  I also wanted to ask which TRX equipment you recommend.  Your demonstration of you using it at the park really helped me because I could never figure out how to install the suspension equipment in my house.  I’m excited about reaching my next level of fitness thanks to your program(s).  
Warm regards,


Thank you for your purchase and feedback. The exercises you mention are in the Lil Black book of Pull Up exercises. To make things easier for you though, these ab exercises have been added to the Ab Challenge download page in a separate document so others don’t have to go searching.

challenge workouts

Congrats on your chin up success so far. The key to strength building for you is going to be working the eccentric (descent), so go SLOW on the way down to almost a full hang (save your elbows and keep them slightly bent). Keep changing up your grip, you’re going to get that pull up in no time, keep me posted.



Hi Shawna,

I just picked up ur pull-up challenge and am looking forward to starting them when I get home from holidays. One question – can third workouts be done using the door mounted pull-up bars? It’s what I was planning on using but I thought I’d check your opinion.

Thanks so much!




Rock that wall mounted bar! I have one in my new house.

pull up bar
pull up bar

It’s not ‘perfect’ since the width is limited and you’re forced to use an overhand or underhand grip, but it’s just fine. An ‘ideal’ bar has a ‘narrow parallel’ option.All the best with those pull ups,

Hello Shawna, I was interested in the burpee and pushup courses. I would also like to see a list of your other courses, if possible. Thanks. Phil
Hey Phil,

Here are some exclusive offers for only those that have purchased my Challenge Workouts:The burpee program is here: http://challengeworkouts.com/bonus-add-on-offer

The push up program is here: http://challengeworkouts.com/pushup-challenge

At the moment these are all my ‘challenging’ programs.

I also have ‘Boot camp Challenges’ that I haven’t launched yet:

My alter ego is ‘Female Fat Loss Over 40 Expert’ and you can find that here:

Here’s my ‘other’ blog: http://www.FemaleFatLossOverForty.com/blog

I also have the Virtual Fat Furnace:

That pretty much wraps it up.

Good luck with your pull ups, keep me posted!