Challenge Complex Q n A


challenge workouts

Question: I am really interested in your new Challenge Complexes but I have a question first.  All I have is an EZ Bar that I bought three or four years ago.  Can I use the EZ Bar in place of a barbell?  I can’t really afford to go out and buy a bar – especially at Christmas time. I hope you’re staying warm.  And I loved your photo of Sev in his sweater.  But I have to say, I don’t like winter, I hate the cold!  Anyway, stay warm.  Thank you for all you do for us! Rebekah

Answer: Yes, you could easily use an EZ bar with Challenge Complexes and you prob already have a set of DB’s. There are also 8 KB complexes if you have a KB.

PS. I’m sick of winter already and it’s only the start. It’s been about -20C to -40C for a week, today it’s a bit warmer but snowing and blowing. Wow, you’d think I’d get used to this. Sev isn’t impressed, but Hannah and I keep reminding him that it’s much better here than in the ditch he was in last year. He agrees 😉


Question: I think your Total Body Barbell Challenge Complexes are awesome. I was showing the video to my wife this morning. She would like to know how much weight you were lifting in the video? I couldn’t answer that. I told my wife she should go through the routine using a broomstick or steel pipe. Start light, you don’t want to get hurt. (She is 58) Mitch

Answer: Thanks for your question, I don’t want to intimidate anyone. A broomstick or steel pipe is a great start for beginners. Since I did several videos on filming days (15+) I needed to keep the weight light, that bar is only 35lbs. I love the rubber bumper plates because they don’t damage the floor. All the best to you and your wife with Challenge Complexes.


Question: I want to use your Challenge Complexes. I have the DB, no problem, and I can purchase a kettleball – but what weight would be good to start?  12-15?

And then onto the Barbell, I do not have one and I am assuming if I get a barbell, I will also need weights. I have a limited space at home and so many DB that I don’t really want to purchase a bar and all the weights. So, do I need the barbell and weights, just a barbell or can I do the exercises by subbing DB when it calls for barbell???  Thanks.

Answer: The weight you should use for your dumb bells should be what you can lift overhead for 10 reps (10th rep can be a challenge). I’d probaby get a 15-20 lb kb to start (for a woman), 25-30 lb (for a man).

I checked the BB complexes and you can use DB’s for everything except the following and you will make these substitutions:

  • ab roll out – stability ball roll out or plank reach
  • inverted row – bent over row
  • Back squat – do a goblet squat
  • prone windshield wiper – hanging windshield wiper or spider crawl


Question: I’ve just bought Challenge Complexes, which I want to put to good use.  I only have the opportunity to do workouts Monday to Friday, due to having a 3 year old who hangs off me all the time, so weekends are out.

Could I use a dumb bell for the kettle bell challengers and I don’t have kettle bells? I don’t own a barbell, so can only do the dumb bell challengers and the anti-aging workouts.  Can I put these two workout together and do them for 5 days in a row? If so, how should I go about it eg what order? Tracy

Answer: I wouldn’t suggest that you use a DB with the KB workouts, you have 27 complexes to use your DB’s with. I’ve assessed the BB complexes and noticed that you can swap out all the BB exercises with DB ones (see above answer). When you get a KB you’ll have some cool workouts to do and Chris provides excellent instruction to beginners too.

I would do one of the workouts daily, keep your workouts to 30 min or less. If you want to combine a complex and an anti aging workout, you can, but I’d suggest going harder at one or the other, increase the sets or rounds to make a 30 min workout (if you’re set on a longer workout since most are <20 min).

Taking the weekends off is totally fine, especially since you won’t be lounging around with a 3 year old to chase.


Question: I would love to try your barbell, kettlebell and dumbbell workouts because I have a genetic disorder that keeps me skinny fat so bodyweight exercises don’t work all that well.  However I have bad knees (not an injury just weak supporting muscles), will it be safe for me to exercise with those weights? Janine

Answer: Janine, Challenge Complexes will be ideal for you. The good thing about complexes are that they are low-impact and that will help your knees. The key is to use appropriate loads. You obviously aren’t going to start with a ton of weight, choose a weight that you can do for 8-10 reps on the weakest link in the complex. So, for example, if your weakest move is a shoulder press, choose a weight that you can do on that move for 8-10 reps. This will be a little light for other moves in the complex, but that’s okay. Due to the nature of the complex, with moves flowing from one to the next, that weight will appear heavier than it really is.

Another thing to be aware of is your squat form. Whether you’re doing a bodyweight squat, prisoner squat, goblet squat, back squat, front squat or over head squat, your form needs to be spot on. The cues for all are the same, take the example for the front squat:

front squat a b

Front squat

  • Stand with legs hip width apart
  • Bar needs to be held high on the chest, weight is NOT held with the hands
  • Elbows held are up high
  • Sit butt down as if sitting in a chair
  • Keep abs tight and eyes up
  • Push off heels to return to standing position

Always load on top of the hips in a squat. Bend at the hip first, then the knee. Don’t let the knees drift over the toes and always try to be able to wiggle the toes to ensure the weight is on the heels.

Modify depth, especially at first. Work within a pain free area and gradually increase depth. It’s safe to go ‘ass to grass’ as many say, but only once you’ve worked into that deep range of motion.

Get a sample workout and free report to learn more about Challenge Complexes here.

You can grab Challenge Complexes here. If you find they aren’t working for you, the best thing is that you have a 60 day money back guarantee.


Question: I just bought Challenge Complexes.  I thought it would be all follow along, telling me exactly what work out to do each day for at least a month. I thought it would have a video showing each exercise. I am in excellent shape but have no time to figure out my program. I want it laid out for me and then I will do it. I don’t have a motivation problem. Can you please help me?

Answer: Have you read the beginning of the program? It lays out how to use the program and it gives you a few options depending on your fitness level, goals and time. If you watch the short coaching video it will show you how to do each exercise and how each workout is laid out. There are a few decisions that you need to make regarding the program, but once you read the intro to the manual it’s quite simple. My goal with my programming is educate and I like my clients to understand what you’re doing and the basic reasons why. As much as I’d like you to be my customer forever, my goal is to give you wings so that you can make some intelligent decisions as to what’s right for you. I hope this helps. The nature of online programs is that you’ll have to read the program and make a few decisions.

Question: I am now getting 4 copies of the e-mails you send… Is there a way to correct that so I only get one? Thanks, Barbara

Answer: Barb, My apologies if this past week you’re getting duplicate emails. If you’ve purchased more than one program from me you’re on more than one registration list. This is helpful when I update specific programs.

Generally when I email you about a blog post or something, my broadcast program will see an email and mail only once to it (even if you’re on more than one list).

Please bear with me this week as I’m doing some testing with emails and subject lines. I’m mailing to individual lists (and you’re probably on more than one). I apologize that you may be getting duplicates because of this. I don’t do this often. You can always unsubscribe from any of the lists by scrolling to the bottom of the email and clicking the unsubscribe link. As long as you stay on one list you’ll get most of my emails.

Thanks for your understanding here, you can always delete the extra’s as long as you read it once as I try to have relevant things in my emails for you.


Challenge Complexes can be done with a variety of equipment including a barbell, DB’s, KB’s or even with suspension straps. Here’s a fun workout to do with a suspension trainer:

Get in the Flow (Ladder set)

Body weight warm up 2 min

Start on the weak side, so the squat jumps, rows and chest presses then do the reps on the strong side. Do 10 reps of each:trx row a b

  • One legged RDL to reverse lunge (use TRX handles for balance)
  • Squat jumps
  • Low Row
  • Chest press
  • One legged RDL to reverse lunge (other side)
  • Squat jumps
  • Low Row
  • Chest press

Do 10 reps, then 8 reps, then 6, then 4, then 2. (Optional: work back up the ladder.)


challenge complex graphic

You’ll want to grab these for only $19 before Friday, December 13th at midnight. At less than 70 cents a workout, you can’t go wrong.