Q and A Nov 29th 2012

challenge workouts

Lots of questions for you today….

Question: On page 66 “Workout 3” you indicated 10 weighted pull ups.. What weight should I use and what if I can not do 10 consecutive pull-ups. I can do 8 pull-ups with just my body weight. Should I just do as many as I can. Stop for a few seconds and continue until I eventually get to 10. There are all kinds of “pullups”. Is this a shoulder width grip with palms facing the bar? BTW, what I would find very helpful is if you had a link from the workout sheet to either a picture or a video that shows how to do each exercise.Thanks. Jeff

Answer: Jeff, Good question. When ever I say ‘pull up’ I mean shoulder width grip, palms facing away.

As for weighted pull ups, this is in the advanced program so I assume that by this level many can get their body weight for reps. If I were you, I’d add even 5 lbs (wgt belt with a plate) and get as many reps as you can (you may surprise yourself), drop the weight, get as many reps as you can, rest and then even do assisted pull ups to finish the set. Really work on the eccentric, or lowering phase of the movement, especially when you get tired or when you’re doing the assisted reps. (the assisted reps can be jump pull ups, or step up to the bar and do a slow hang to the bottom).

As well, I’ll get working on hyperlinking the exercises to the videos in the manual. It’s a long process, thank you for the suggestion.  All the best, keep me posted.


Question: Shawna, in workout #3 where can I find an illustration of the exercise named “hyperextension”? Also I could not find “DB rear delt fly”.

Answer:  I was sure I had this picture in the exercise library, dang, it got missed. My apologies. I’ve attached a picture, as well, in the video library you’ll see ‘superman hold’. The hyper is similar, but you do it on a bench. If a bench is unavailable, do the superman hold. Thanks you pointing this out.

Look in the video library: DB rear delt raise.



I appreciate you taking the time to read this. I have spent the last 10 months trying to lose weight and get fitter. I am in the tail end of my 30’s and before I began the routine I am on now, I had not done any type of exercising in about 20 years. sad I know, but am being honest. I have lost nearly 95 pounds and have been with a personal trainer the last couple of months…….its hard and challenging and demanding but have been sticking to it…… starting to slowly see some results of the exercising in certain areas. One area though that I cannot seem to breakthrough on is my Belly….. in particular my lower belly…… its still pretty loose and flabby…… my sides are a lot harder and toned, pretty much gone are those love handles…….. doing things like plank and side plank have really helped that area……… But My front tummy, the gut I guess, still cannot get hard……..what am I doing wrong ? what else can I do that I am not doing ? appreciate any type of insight or help that you could offer in this situation. GC

Answer: GC, First off, congratulations on the effort and progress you’ve made. You’re really an inspiration.

What’s your diet like? I’m sure you’ve made some changes there as well, but once you’re training with intensity, this is where you’re going to have to tighten the screws.

As far as an action plan, I highly recommend my friend Mike Whitfield’s workout finishers. You’ll totally relate to his story. He was about your age when he decided to lose 105 lbs. You can see him in his before/after photos here.

I didn’t know him when he was heavy, but I can tell you he’s in great shape now. Check his program out here. This is his bodyweight version and it’s on sale this week for a crazy price with great bonuses. Look at all you get:

challenge workouts

You can do his finishers AFTER your workout, whether it’s with a trainer or on your own. Many of them are body weight so you can even do them at home or when you travel.

I also want you to know that you MAY not get exactly the six pack abs that you want, but being realistic, you’ll get a great hard healthy body.  Keep in mind that you can’t ‘spot reduce’. Your body will strip away fat where it wants to, not always where you want the fat to come off. Eventually it should come off your belly. As well, I hate to say it, but there’s a certain amount of elasticity  in your skin that may not come back. I have a client that’s lost over 110lbs and in the course of a year, her skin tone is much improved, it’s not to where she’d be super comfortable in a bikini, but it’s coming.

At some point, this one client of mine may consider plastic surgery to take off some of the excess skin, but this will be after a few years of losing and keeping weight off with intense exercise.

I want to be sensitive here, but also realistic. Consider how far you’ve come, how great you feel, the workouts that you do that you probably never thought you’d be able to and the improved health that you’re enjoying. These are important and life saving things. I won’t minimize the issue of some loose skin. For some it’s a huge issue, for others, not so much. You need to find out how you feel about it and take action accordingly. I just don’t want you to think that you’re doing something wrong that some of the skin isn’t tightening up to the point that you want it to.

I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any questions. And seriously, pat yourself on the back for what you’ve accomplished so far.