Cuz You Asked…

It’s only a few sleeps till Christmas….a big day with huge expectations…and some disappointments for many.gratitude

Now, I’m the last person to be negative, but over the years, there’s something that I’ve learned about these sorts of things. I’d prefer to remind myself that Christmas (or any holiday for that matter) is just one day. If everything doesn’t go swimmingly as planned, or if my life, family or celebrations aren’t perfect, it’s okay. I need to be grateful for the day anyway, just like any other day.

As a rule, I wake up every day and go through a mental check list of all the good things in my life. I go to bed doing the same. I focus on all the things ‘I have’ and don’t think about the things I don’t ‘have’. Practicing gratitude has been the key to the overall quality of life I experience day in and day out. Of course there are some days when being grateful is a real chore, but these are the times that I need to focus even more on appreciating things.

So, if Christmas and the holidays gets overwhelming, give my strategy of being grateful a try. It really helps me.

PS. I’m really grateful for YOU. Thank you for allowing me into your life. I really appreciate the opportunity to share my fitness stuff with you to help you reach your goals 🙂


Okay, onto the Q Challenge workoutsn A for the week…lots of questions about the Challenge Complexes program. Be sure to use the Challenge Workouts Facebook page to get a quick answer to your question that everyone can benefit from too.

Question: Do you have any Challenge Complexes using suspension straps?

Answer: Thanks for your question. I don’t have a program to be used with suspension straps but click here for a cool workout. (scroll to the bottom of that post). My friend Dan has a great TRX prgm that you can check out here.


Question: I have a small workout space in my home, what’s the best equipment to get? I don’t have a ton of money or space. Matt

Answer: Matt, you’re in luck because I have the perfect combination of equipment that will cover all your workout needs. First of all, I suggest getting two sets of dumb bells, one KB and a suspension trainer. You’ll need an overhead beam, wall mount or over the door mount for the suspension trainer. The beauty of the suspension trainer (I have a TRX), is that when you travel it can go with you. You can use my Challenge Complexes program with the DB’s and KB. You can swap out the BB exercises for DB ones if you don’t want to get a BB. Check out this post for BB alternatives.dan long sus rev prod grp

I highly recommend grabbing my friend, Dan Long’s Suspension Revolution to help you with the suspension trainer. He’s got a ton of great follow along workouts to help you get started with that piece of kit. It’s rare that I encourage a fitness ‘toy’ but this one is well worth it.

I have a BONUS for you when you buy Dan’s program by midnight tonight, Dec 20th. Shoot me your receipt or even post it in the comments with your receipt number and email and I’ll get it your way 🙂


Question: I have struggled for some time now to get my body fat percentage down but it seems that while I tend to build muscle the fat remains and I just tend to look bigger. Will Challenge Complexes make me bigger? There are also so many programs out there, at this point I am just confused and not sure then which one would be best especially for a female. Tauhira

Answer: Yes, Challenge Complexes will help you tone your muscles and help you shed body fat, but that goes hand in hand with a solid nutrition plan. If you find that whenever you’re gaining weight and inches while doing intense training, it’s usually a reflection of your nutrition and not your training.

Muscle is NOT that easy to put on, especially slabs of it.

If you’re gaining weight around your tummy and bum, you may be overcompensating with your food intake (people often say: I can eat this because I just had a good workout). Exercising isn’t always a license to eat. I’m not saying that this is your issue, given that I’ve never met you before, I apologize if it seems I’m making an assumption. However, I’ve worked with hundreds and hundreds of people, especially in person at my own fitness boot camp and when I look at their nutrition logs, this is what I find.

Having said this, I encourage you to give Challenge Complexes a try. You can always get a full refund if it’s not right for you. You’ll need a set of DB’s at the very least, you can modify the BB exercises to use the DB’s if you don’t have a BB. It’s nice to have a KB for the other 8 KB complexes as well, but if you don’t, you still have 27 workouts to choose from.

I do complexes, I’m a woman and they don’t cause me to gain weight.


noexcusesShawna, I wouldn’t normally email you but as a woman who is over 50 I had to respond to your email about offending people. You have NOTHING to apologize for. All the regular fitness models look like they are in their 20’s– so for me, I find it inspiring and motivational to see a woman that is as fit and energetic and inspiring as you. This photo and the message along with are awesome and inspirational not something to apologize for. Also, it’s a fantastic piece of marketing! Keep up the good work for women over 50. It’s great to have a role model close to my own age.

Sincerely, Cynthia




Question: How do I implement Challenge Complexes into my workout plan?

Answer: I get this question all the time. Here’s what’s in the program:

How Do I Implement Challenge Complexes?

I am always asked how to implement challenge workouts into a fitness plan.

The great thing about these challenge complex workouts is that they can be used as a stand-alone program or they can supplement a plan that you’re already using. (Actually this is the case for ALL challenge workouts.)

First, let’s look at how Challenge Complex would look if it’s a stand alone plan, that is, if you’re ONLY using the Challenge Complex program.

Typically, complexes are full body workouts. Due to their nature, you can’t go terrifically heavy since they are created to use one barbell or one set of dumb bells. Your load should be the maximum amount of weight that you can do on your weakest move within the complex. For example, if you can only do a 45 lb barbell for push press with good form, even if you can deadlift a lot more, you will choose the 45 lb barbell.

Complexes are designed for you to use a lighter weight and concentrate on perfecting form. Remember though, that to intensify your complex, speed should stay the same, and you should increase load.

Having said this, you can do a complex workout daily.

My suggestion is to do the workouts in progression, train 4-5 days a week, taking a day of active rest off when necessary.

If you’ve chosen to get the Challenge Complexes Ab Edition or Challenge Complexes Olympic Edition, you can swap in any of those workouts as well. This way you’ll have endless variety between barbell, dumb bell, kettlebell, ab and Olympic lift workouts.

If you’re using Challenge Complexes as a supplementary program, especially if you’re using it in conjunction with a resistance-training program, then you’ll use the complexes program a bit differently.

Challenge complexes are typically full body with more of an emphasis on lower body exercises. They are great in a split like this:

Day 1 – push

Day 2 – legs

Day 3 – pull

Day 4 – off

Day 5 – Challenge Complex workout

Repeat cycle


Day 1 – upper body

Day 2 – legs

Day 3 – off

Day 4 – Challenge Complex workout

Repeat cycle


You can add a short complex in as a ‘finisher’ to ANY workout. Your load will be less,  but this will torch fat like no cardio can ever do.


sev and bobbySadly, Sev has a more exciting love life than I do. This week he’s had his girlfriend, ‘Bobby’ stay while her owners (my neighbors) went on their pre-Christmas get away. He is insanely jealous and God forbid I give Bobby a pat without smothering him in attention too. It will be sad to see Bobby go on Sunday. Sev is learning to share his toys and attention. It’s been a super fun week with her. (It’s official, I’m ‘that’ dog lady…)