Q and A March 1st, 2013


Challenge workouts

Question: I can not do the hanging leg raises because I have no grip strength at all, what do you suggest?

Answer: You can do these with a band too. Use the band to take some of your body weight. Don’t worry about doing the leg raise yet, work on taking your body weight for increasing amounts of time.

When you can hold your body weight for up to 30 sec, then you can start to work on the leg raise. If you have no band, put a bench or chair under your bar and take some weight on your feet. Work at taking less weight with your feet and more with your hands.

Eventually you’ll be able to hold your body weight, give yourself some time, you can work on this daily as it doesn’t take long.


I was recently talking with my good friend Tyler Bramlett, creator of the R.E.A.L. Functional Training Movement and the PM3 Method and decided I wanted to share with you some of the things we talked about. Here’s a quick interview I did, have a read and you’ll learn a lot. Tyler is a cool cat 😉

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Shawna: Tyler can you remind us of your qualifications?

Tyler: Sure thing, Shawna. I am an RKC, USAW, CK-FMS and Crossfit Level 1 Certified trainer. But here’s the real kicker… Those letters don’t really mean anything. As much as I wished everyone who had a certain combo of letters after their name was a great coach it simply isn’t true.

99% of the things I learned were through making mistakes (lots of them), reading endless amounts of books and through traveling to meet and train with some of the worlds top movement experts, hardcore trainers, professional strongmen and even acrobats.

All in all I have spent well over $20,000 on coaching from people who specialized in a field I was interested and I plan on spending a lot more as the years go on 🙂

Shawna: You always talk about movement progressions in your programs. In a nutshell, what are they?

Tyler: Movement progressions are the way life was meant to be. They are EVERYTHING! The simplest way to describe a movement progression is to think about the way a baby goes from being born to being able to walk.

At first the baby spends most of it’s time in a reclined position, as they begin to gain control over their core muscles they are able to then roll over onto their stomachs and hold their head up, eventually this ‘tummy time” turns into pushing up and crawling followed by lifting the body in the air and holding a standing position with support. Once they are confident in holding a standing position with support they start their new journey of learning to move on 2 legs.

What does this mean for a workout?

It means… As soon as you master a movement, make it harder. Think about the gymnast who goes from doing horizontal rows as a beginner all the way to holding an iron cross on the rings. He got there by following a planned set of movement progressions.

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Shawna: How did you discover movement progressions as a means to increase your fitness level?

Tyler: It all started when I was a kid and went to my first gymnastics class. These kids were literally superhuman compared to me and I knew there had to be something to their training.

I wish I could say that I stuck with gymnastics and learned everything through years of dedicated work as a kid. But the truth be told I quit gymnastics as a kid after 6 months and slowly over the years gained a bunch of weight and started getting into trouble.

By time I was 17 years old I was fed up with looking bad and feeling even worse. I decided that I had to change. I spent the last decade studying, making mistakes and learning from everyone I considered to be a master of movement and each and every one of them used a progression in one way or another.

All I did was identify the most productive exercises and their respective movement progressions and start teaching them to people. When the results started pouring in I knew I had something real special on my hands.

Shawna: Why did you decide to do the upper body and lower body programs? Is it best to split the body up when training or do a full body workout?

Tyler: The reason I split the upper and lower body programs is because I wanted people to focus on mastering one thing at a time. The reality is that each of the programs overlap each other but each has it’s own focus.

The lower body program is designed to teach you to master the fundamental movement patterns of the lower body and then use this foundation as a way to slingshot your lower body training into overdrive.

The upper body program is designed to teach you the foundational movement patterns of the upper body and to use these exercises and progressions to skyrocket the results you get from your upper body training.

The cool thing is now that both programs are out, you can take 2 of the workouts and combined them into an awesomely functional workout that torches the whole body but still honors the principals outlined in my PM-3 philosophy.

Shawna: What’s your favorite movement progression?

Tyler: Right now, my favorite progression is the muscle up progression I am currently working on. I can do a super slow strict muscle up on a pair of rings with an added 15lbs of weight and I am trying to get to 20lbs before I sophisticate the movement and start working on front rolls and back rolls to support. I pretty much love the gymnastic rings even though at 6’1” and 210lbs I’m not exactly built for them.

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Shawna: What’s next for Tyler? You have a lot of cool ideas, what can we look forward to?

Tyler: Ohh, there’s quite a few things in the works. I plan to redesign and relaunch my Warrior Warm Up system and make it literally twice as comprehensive. I basically want people who do any type of functional training to say warm up and think The Warrior Warm Up.

I have been toying with the idea of making a park workout program for people who want to know how to go hit the playground and get a bad to the bone workout while their hanging with their kids.

I have a Top Secret project that I can’t talk about yet but should be one of the coolest programs of 2013 and I am planning on expanding my group training program and helping others learn how to teach my system of exercise.

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Shawna: Anything happening personally for you that’s exciting?

Tyler: I had a feeling you’d ask. Yes, in about 8 weeks I will be a brand new father and I can’t wait! My wife thinks I’m crazy but I am already planning out lessons that I want to teach him/her to help them in their life. Things that I was never taught and that I feel can really help them live the life of their dreams.

Shawna: Anything else you want to share with the Challenge Workouts community before you go?

Tyler: You know, the only thing I want to share with your readers is that I hope they join me in spreading the word about R.E.A.L. Functional Training. I am trying to make a change in the fitness industry to get people to understand that it’s not just about intensity or variety but that it’s about movement.

R.E.A.L. Functional Training stands for:

Realistic Exercises

Executed With Perfect Form

At A High Intensity

Leaving You With A Body That Looks Good And Performs Even Better!

If this rings a bell with you, then I welcome you to join the fight against the fitness B.S. we are being exposed to and help spread the movement!


Tyler Bramlett is the creator of the R.E.A.L. Functional Training Movement and the PM-3 Method both designed to help people build functional, beautiful bodies that look great and perform even better.

If you want a 100% foolproof system that will show you how to go from struggling with kneeling pushups to easily doing handstand pushups, one arm pushups, 20 pullups, one arm pullups and more check out my brand new Warrior Upper Body System.

Click Here ==> To See How You Can Build An Upper Body That Looks Great And Performs Even Better


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This week I was supposed to head back to Michigan to film with Mike Whitfield, and Brian Kalakay for Mikey’s Workout Finishers 2.0.

I didn’t get far. Snow in Toronto shut every me out. I tried other routes, but the weather said, ‘No finishers, no pancakes for you, Shawna K.’ 🙁

Since I couldn’t share a heap of traditional pancakes with two of my fav fitness dudes in the biz, I decided to make my own. I didn’t do two days of non-stop filming, so I thought it best to try a little more healthy choice from the Gluten Warrior, Peter Osborne:

Gluten Free Paleo Approved Pancakes


3 bananas

3 eggs

½ cup almond butter

1 Tablespoon cinnamon

Sea salt to taste


Blend ingredients in food processor.  Heat a saucepan with coconut oil.  Pour pancake batter into pan in small pancakes.  Sauté on each side for approximately 2 minutes.  Top with your favorite topping and ENJOY!  You can substitute the almond butter for other nut butters if you have allergy or prefer a different flavor.

Comments from the non-cooker (me):

-a hand blender worked fine to mix

-pancakes were pretty thin and flat so flipping was tricky and I got impatient at the end so they weren’t very pretty

-they were plenty sweet, no need for syrup. Greek yogurt upped the protein content 😉

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Sam’s verdict: Like a good mom, I sent Sam to school and he had them cold after school. ‘Edible’ was the best I could hope for from this pancake connoisseur.

Hannah’s verdict: ‘Not bad for your first try Mom’ (honestly, I don’t know if my gluten free pancakes will get better tasting, although they may get better looking from better flippin’)

If you like this recipe and want more info on going gluten free, check out Dr Peter’s site. Peter is a good friend of mine and I can tell you he enjoys his food so you won’t find bad tasting, bland food there 😉