Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Squats and bodyweight progress

Today it was back to the barbell and training at the Colorado Athletic Center on 16th street here in Denver. Fortunately there was no conditioning in today's session, so the altitude didn't crush me like yesterday. Lats are quite sore from yesterday's high volume pushups and chins, though. But overall I feel a lot less sore than expected.

This is week 4 of my latest heavy lifting program, and today we topped out on squats with 300x4 reps. I am a long, long way away from my 2006 strength levels of a 400 pound squat, but progress was made this month.

1A) Box Jump
1B) Squat (using Jim Wendler's 5-3-1 system)

2A) Front Squat
2B) Good Morning

3A) TRX Row
3B) DB Bulgarian Split Squat

33,333 Program Rep Count
100 squats
100 pushups
50 bodyweight rows

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tips:
It's our struggles that make us stronger. Make the most of them when you must. You are stronger than you think...pass that along to your friends, because everyone needs a pick me up, a kick in the butt, and helping hand to get back on track. Stay strong and pay it forward today!

Craig Ballantyne, CTT

Craig Ballantyne, CTT
Certified Turbulence Trainer

42-year old ripped freak

As we discussed last week, age is just a number. You can transform at ANY age. We've had 70-year old female TT readers losing weight and TT contest winners like Kerry Zelinka, at age 51, sporting ripped abs. You don't have to be 25 years old to have a lean, flat stomach
Recently I was in Florida with my good friend, Shaun Hadsall - whom you'll agree is RIPPED at age 42. He promised to show us EXACTLY how you lose lower belly fat and get lean sexy abs at any age in just 12 minutes.
I've also trained with Shaun in Miami, Tampa, and his home state of Michigan, and let me tell you, his workouts are short and sweet. And he's in and out of the gym just as fast as ol' CB.
You do NOT need to workout for hours to lose stubborn fat. And you do NOT have to do crunches. In fact, Shaun shared these exercise substitutions to help you get better abs.
1) Replace crunches with:

Planks, mountain climbers, and stability ball jackknives

2) Replace cross-crunches (i.e. twisting or oblique crunches) with:

Side planks and cross-body mountain climbers

3) Replace sit-ups with:

Stability ball jackknives, stability ball planks, stability ball pikes, stability ball rollouts, and hanging knee raises.
Then combine those better ab exercises with Shaun's SHORT-BURST system to burn belly fat. How do you do that?
It's one of the most thorough articles I've read in a long, long time. It's even better than what you get in Men's Health or Oxygen magazines.
It delivers the science about removing lower belly fat and it takes just a few minutes per session.
By targeting your lower belly fat with fat burning hormones. You'll recognize some familiar tips (based on past TT training articles) BUT you'll also discover some brand new fat burning secrets.
Combine these secrets with TT workouts to get ripped fast,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT
Certified Turbulence Trainer 
PS - You MUST read this article.
It's so good that I wish I had written it.
Target your stubborn belly fat with this sexy ab system
Ol' (young) CB and Shaun in the Florida sunshine
(I know, I know, he looks like he's younger than me, but I've 
examined his driver's license. He really is "my elder".)

Craig Ballantyne, CTT
Certified Turbulence Trainer

How to Target Lower Belly Fat

As a fat loss expert, it's not very often that I come across a scientific-based method that can quickly target lower belly and stomach fat. That's why I wanted to make sure you saw this new approach that takes only 12 minutes.

At the link below, my dear friends and America's "Most-Fit" Health & Fitness Pros, Shaun and Karen Hadsall give you a simple - and short - blueprint for QUICKLY targeting lower abdomen and belly fat. You'll get an easy-to-use 7 day protocol that removes stubborn fat faster than ever...

=> 7-day Step-by-Step Plan to QUICKLY burn off lower belly fat

Yes, you heard it right. In only SEVEN short days you can lose significant amounts of lower belly-fat with Shaun and Karen's powerful techniques. And it focuses on specifically targeting what's been termed "stubborn fat".

Best of all, ANY person of ANY age can apply these techniques!
You can change at any age starting today,
Craig Ballantyne, CTT
Certified Turbulence Trainer
PS - How to stop negative thinking...
You cannot change the past. Let it go. Learn the lessons. Apply them to your always improving daily routines and your future better behaviors. Move on from mistakes. Leave them behind. Do not waste time or energy in regret.
Control what you can (right now). Cope with what you can't control (the consequences of past actions). Concentrate on what counts (making right decisions every moment going forward).
Forgive yourself for the mistakes of the past and smile at past struggles. They are what have made you the stronger person that you are today. Keep on pushing on, positively. Persevere on what is important to you .
You are getting closer - and better - and stronger - everyday. 
Use this information to keep the momentum going this week

Monday, September 01, 2014

Dirty Denver Circuit

Curse you Denver, and your mile high altitude.

Made for a Labor(ed) Day workout: 15 rounds of 30 bodyweight squats, 20 pushups, 5 pullups, 5 burpees. Also did 150 TRX rows to finish off.

Toronto needs to step up its altitude to prepare me for this next time...or I need to start training at the top of the CN tower. Ha!

I'm in town for a few days of meetings at our EarlytoRise.com headquarters. Might also do some mountain biking tomorrow out at Beaver Creek. Then on Friday it is off to Austin for a BioTrust event, and on Monday I head to Vegas for a week.

I see a lot of red meat in my dining future...

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tips:

Happy September 1st. Remember..."Change is a matter of choice. Not Calendar." - Dan Kennedy ...If you stumbled, get back on track today. With each daily WIN you will build momentum, you will harness the power of success, you will develop more resources to help you overcome the obstacles in your life, and you will succeed. I believe in you. I know you can do it. Start with little bets, small steps, and mini-victories today and turn that into bigger momentum for tomorrow!

I love this tip for tricking yourself into good habits
=> http://www.earlytorise.com/how-to-trick-yourself-into-good-habits/

And enjoy this interview...
Learn more about my vision for EarlyToRise.com in this great interview
- http://www.entrepreneuronfire.com/podcast/craig-ballantyne-interview-and-john-lee-dumas-of-entrepreneur-on-fire/

Craig Ballantyne, CTT

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Caffeinated Deadlifting

Uh-oh, I've had too much caffeine and it appears to be reaching peak blood concentration levels. LOL. My mind is racing. Ideas are sprinting into my mind from all over the place. I can barely keep up to write them all down.

Whew. I started this blog post 3.5 hours ago and now I'm finally slowing down to finish it. Ha.

I don't react well to caffeine (I get anxious and forget to breathe deeply and my mind races), but that's the price I am willing to pay for a great deadlift workout early on a Saturday morning. Training early allows me to spend the rest of the day on other great activities.

On the bright side, the caffeine boosted my creativity and I wrote a powerfully inspirational paragraph for TT readers and CTT's. It's below. The caffeine also helped me crush 810 bodyweight reps for the 33,333 journey.

Here's how it all went down:

1A) Bench
1B) Trap Bar Deadlift warm-up sets

2A) Trap Bar Deadlift
2B) Military Press

3A) Chin-ups
3B) Leg Curls

Total bodyweight reps recorded (some in warm-up, but most in circuit at the end of the workout):

500 squats
200 pushups
50 Chin-Ups
60 burpees

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tips:
"Patton was dyslexic. Eisenhower was dirt poor. Churchill had horrendous depression problems, and drinking was a factor. FDR was crippled. An awful lot of people in World War II focused on what they were able to do. It's about rising to the challenge, and about what you can do, not what you can't. It's important to emphasize that." – Ken Rendell, owner of the Museum of World War II, Natick, Massachusetts

BTW, here's something I said to CTT Shawn Stephens that explains why I do things that borderline insane.

I love the attitude!

And yes, your people really are your sheep, and you are a shepherd that tends the flock with great love and care.

This is why we must live not only by example, but by EXTREME example...our extreme living inspires people to make small changes...and then they gain momentum through these small steps and little bets...each win gives them confidence that they can do more, achieve more, and become more...soon they are on their way to becoming the person they need to become in order to achieve the great goals and dreams they desire to achieve. This is the power and responsibility that comes with being an EXTREME leader through doing the right things and living well.

This is the responsibility you have as their shepherd.

Protect, grow, and inspire your flock.

You can do it!

Let this mindset help you with your sales message and your closing skills.

If you fail to get them as a client, you are hurting them because they will not change and they will remain sad, depressed and frustrated.

You MUST sell them.

You must get them to CHANGE.

And that can only happen when you are a confident leader.

Push on - to the EXTREMES!


And more of what we do here:

Alright, another AMAZING visit to the TT Forum. Wish I could do this all day...Tomorrow it is off to Denver to work & plan in the The New Early to Rise offices. After Denver it's down to Austin for a BioTrust weekend, and then up to Las Vegas for 7 days. I am so stoked for this trip.

I have a lot more more great motivation coming your way...can't reveal everything yet...but soon! Until then, please watch this and create the VISION for your life

- www.AnewAmericanDream.com

Create and push,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT

Friday, August 29, 2014

So many of my clients say to me: "I feel I am close to breaking through, but I'm getting frustrated." Here's what I reply to them…"Don't lose this feeling. In almost all areas of life - from fat loss to making money - we go through a long period of doing the work with minimal to okay results...and then there is the WHOOOOOOSH effect when the breakthrough occurs. You are doing the work, building the momentum, and you are oh so close to a breakthrough. You really are. Don't give up now! You cannot fail. If you persist, nothing will stop you from making progress. Keep on pushing on. Never give up on what is important to you. Stay strong and get STRONGER every day. September will be your WHOOOOOSH month. I know it. You CAN do it. I believe in you." - Craig

I know it's tough when you are around negative people...here's a Question from today's TT Facebook fitness session...

Lindsay Rodriguez O'Donnell What is one to do when the person who refuses to offer support and encouragement and even tries to sabotage the fitness journey is a spouse?


You do what you can. You don't talk about your goals with them. You live by example. You eat what you want to - and need to - eat. You set your plan, and you stick to it. You don't need their help. You can do it on your own and with online support and with support of others at your gym or church or in your community. Focus on the positives of your relationship with your spouse, but don't let their health-negativity get in the way of your changes. Stay strong. Do what is right for you. You can - and WILL - do it. I believe in you.

In fact, I've written a lot about this...

You see, every day at 4am I sneak out of bed, no matter where I am in the world, sit down at my kitchen table or hotel room desk, and write 1000 to 2000 words for my first book. It's about harnessing the Power of Your Personal Rules so that you have your best life ever. 
I'm almost done and can't wait to share it with you.
Earlier this week I posted a couple of passages from it on Facebook, and the response was incredible. I touched a nerve, and realized that YOU also need to hear this before the final long weekend of summer (or before summer gets started, for my readers down under). And please don't miss the special announcement at the end of this letter.
This is my personal message to you...
Dear TT Reader,
People will always try to sabotage your day, your diet, your dreams, and your determination. You cannot let this happen. Identify all the obstacles that they want to impose and then create at least two solutions for each. Stand up to these wanna-be saboteurs and say no, or find a way to avoid being around them. Stay out of sight when you know they will come around desiring you to do their bidding. Each occasion that allows you to say "NO" helps you build strength, no matter how small the victory.
The saboteur is easily defeated when you are able to show a strong will. Do not back down. Stay strong and keep on pushing on! Never, ever give up on what is important to you. I believe in you.
You must remember what really matters. Write down your Rules and Priorities in life. Have them visible when temptations come a calling. Remember what REALLY matters. 
You cannot let the little opinions of small minded people stop you from achieving your big goals and dreams.
You must expect some negativity from others when you start your transformation. But you cannot fail. You can only get results. You learn from you mistakes. You take those lessons and adjust course. You make better decisions the next time. You plan ahead to come better prepared for temptation. You WILL make it work. You CAN win a victory so that you'll gain momentum. You can live by example, and when you do, you'll encourage others to support you. When you do this over and over and over again, you will make the big leaps and bounds that will lead to an incredible transformation and achievement of your big goals and dreams. It IS possible. You can - and WILL - do it. Never give up on what is important to you.

Know this: Your "enemies" are harmless. They are only teasing. They are only doing so because it threatened the status quo.
They worry you will change and leave them behind, like the movie star that leaves her one stoplight town for the big city and never returns. But it's never like that. When you get better, you want to take people along for the ride.
Once they see that, once they realize you are not going to leave them but you are going to lead them, they will want to join in. And when you support them, they will support you. They will become your strongest allies, your staunch supporters, and they will go on to become your best students - sometimes even becoming better than the teacher themselves!

I know this to be true because so many of my friends, those that gave me hassle and peer pressure so strongly in my early 20's, have today become even healthier and more committed to fitness than I am, if that's possible!
They are better people because I had the courage to commit to change when I was young, and because I found ways to cope with what I could not control (their attitudes), and I controlled what I could (my response), and concentrated on what counted (what mattered to me and my long-term big goals and dreams). Stay strong, my friend! Do what is right for you.

Look at every small victory as a step ahead, even when you lose the battle.
There will be days when you will eat 3 cookies after dinner. That's okay. Consider it a victory that you stopped before having the 4th. :)
It truly is a win. Next time, you'll only have two. Eventually you'll be able to stop at one and leave a full plate for others to share. You will develop the discipline over time. Do not expect it to come all at once. That's okay.
We are all imperfect humans...but we are also capable of making great changes. It takes time to establish new and improved habits. But we can do it. So never, ever quit on what is important to you. Never stop on your commitment to getting better. Plan for the obstacles in your life. Prepare two solutions for every problem. Get social support. Be accountable to a friend. Set the rules for your life that will dictate the need for better habits. And implement them every day.
You can do it. You CAN change. I believe in you.

You can change at any age...after all, what is your other option? To give up? To quit? NEVER! Stay strong and keep on pushing on, no matter if you are 21, 41, 61, or 101! (We recently had a 92-year old woman purchase my bodyweight workouts because she wants to get stronger - how awesome is that?) Never give up on what is important to you - just like that wonderful lady is still going strong.
You are so close to a breakthrough. I just know it. Keep on pushing on.

In almost all areas of life - from weight loss to saving money - we go through a long period of doing the work with minimal results...and then there is the WHOOOOOOSH effect when the breakthrough occurs and we achieve incredible results in a short amount of time.

This happens when you do the work, when you overcome the resistance, and when you keep on pushing on.

September is a WHOOOOSH month for so many of us in ALL areas of life.

It will be for you too.
Stay strong.
Craig Ballantyne, CTT
Certified Turbulence Trainer
PS - Today is the LAST day...
...for you to enter the 21st TT Transformation Contest Challenge.
Click here for your free entry and prize details

Craig Ballantyne, CTT
Certified Turbulence Trainer

Thursday, August 28, 2014

1000 rep bodyweight workout

Whew. I got whooped today.

It was a new Bodyweight 1000 program. I'll give you some of it, but it's going to be refined and polished up a bit to become part of the October TT WOM which will be "The TT Bodyweight 5K" (5000 reps over the course of a month). It's going to be a blast.

It's 4 rounds of 250 reps right now...it will be Workout B of the new program. It's a LOT of dense lower body work and spaced-out upper body training that is skill development for moderate pull-up folks like myself.

Box Jumps, Pullups, Squats, Pushups, Chins, Rows, and more.

It was 1000 reps in 44:27. I'm going to put a 45 minute time limit on the workout. If it's not finished, you come back and do the rest later in the week.

I added a lot of reps to my 33,333 12-week goal.

Exercise   -    Reps added
Pull-up - 20
Squat - 500
Pushup - 180
Chins - 20
Rows - 100
Burpee - 20
Handstand Pushup - 14 (not in the 1000, did extra)

Full program next month!

Speaking of skill development, here's one way to build up with pushups:

Q from Penny Gostlin Spickard: I still do a modified pushup because I am unable to do the regular. How soon should I progress to the regular? Does it matter to stay with the modified version??


You can do a 3-second lowering of the full pushup. Then use modified to push back up. Once you can do that with control, move to a 5-second lowering. By then you should be able to do 1 regular pushup. Once you can do 1 regular pushup, do that and the rest of the set using the 5s down and modified up. Build up from there.

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:
Look at every small victory as a step ahead, even when you lose the battle. There will be days that you eat 3 cookies after dinner. Consider it a victory that you stopped before having the 4th. It truly is a win. Next time, you'll only have two. Eventually you'll be able to have one and leave a full plate for others to share.

You CAN - and will - develop the discipline over time. Do not expect it to come all at once. That's okay. We are all imperfect humans…but we are also capable of making great changes. It does take time to establish new and improved habits. But we can do it. So never, ever quit on what is important to you. Never stop on your commitment to getting better.

Plan for the obstacles. Prepare 2 solutions for every problem. Get social support. Be accountable to a friend. Set the rules for your life that will dictate the need for better habits. And implement them every day. You can do it. You CAN change. I believe in you. Let's do it!

Push on,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT

PS - Trainers...

If you want to take your business online, read this 4-step plan for success:

PPS - You've won...

...in the past and you'll win again. You know how to succeed. Take this new goal seriously. Get support. Prepare your plan. Lets go!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Stupid Idea Workout

NOTE: There are only 2 days left to enter for your chance to win $1000 of my money in the 21st FREE Turbulence Training Transformation Contest. There is no cost to enter. Read the rules here.

But don't choose the "Stupid Idea Workout" for your transformation.
This is a really stupid idea. Now let me first say that sometimes you have to push yourself. You have to test your limits.
Perhaps it's an extra round of the 20-10 Punisher Squats. Or 5 more pushups. Or another 20 second abs-braced, body shaking plank hold.
Those are all fine and dandy, and will help you improve your performance, and because improving your performance leads to burning more calories, it will help you lose more fat, too.

But a 5K Burpee race?

This is a bad idea. It's what gives exercise a BAD name.

Yesterday, after writing up my 3rd Men's Health article this week (they are keeping me busy now that I'm back from holiday), I stumbled across an article on the MH site called, "The 5K Burpee Challenge".

Curious, I clicked on it. Then I started shaking my head. This is a bad, bad, you're-going-to-get-hurt, bad idea.

Apparently there's a race in or near Chicago where you do Burpees for 5 kilometers. It takes 4 hours and works out to 1,500 Burpees in a row.

Stealing a line from one of my favorite Saturday Night Live fake commercials of the 90's, this is "Bad Idea Jeans".

Repeating an exercise that many times in ONE session is almost guaranteed to give you an overuse injury. The workout will send most participants to the physiotherapist, if not the hospital. Do not try that one!
To lose fat and get a flat stomach, you need SMART workouts.You can have BIG goals, but be smart about them.

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tips:
Who you associate with is more important than you could ever imagine. Do not accept anything less than the best – otherwise you are cheating yourself. Research shows that when you spend time with people who are succeeding that you too will succeed.

Other studies show the importance of social support and accountability of meeting with professionals (Doctors, trainers, nutritionists, etc.). And real life experience shows you that you can't expect to soar like an eagle when you are hanging around with turkeys.

Do not hang around folks who peer-pressure you into bad lifestyle choices. Stay strong and make the right association decisions for YOU.


You can change at any age…after all, what is your other option? To give up? To quit? NEVER!

Stay strong and keep on pushing on, no matter if you are 21, 41, 61, or 91! (We recently had a 92-year old female customer get HWR because she is looking to use bodyweight exercises to get strong – how awesome is that?!?)

Never give up on what is important to you.

Push on,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT

Fun Workout

It's time to make working out fun again! Stop the boring cardio and machine workouts. Stop the endless ab crunches. 
With today's FREE workout you'll lose weight, burn fat, release stress, and have fun, and you don't need any equipment. Print this out and have fun.
By Daniel Woodrum, MCTT
Master Certified Turbulence Trainer
  • Jumping Jacks - 45 seconds + 15 second rest
  • Alt Reverse Lunge to Front Kick - 2 x 30 seconds + 10 second rest
  • "T" Pushups - 45 seconds + 15 seconds rest
  • Squat to Punch - 45 seconds + 15 second hold in bottom position
  • Rocking Plank - 45 seconds + 15 second rest
  • Burpee to Punch Combo - 45 seconds
- Go through these 6 exercises.
- Rest 1 minute and repeat once more.
Get more bodyweight circuit fat fighter workouts here

Time to burn your stubborn belly fat,
Craig Ballantyne, CTT
Certified Turbulence Trainer

PS - Like that workout? Here's a way to get more - plus videos!
Daniel Woodrum is the creator of Home Kickboxing Revolution and owns two kickboxing studios in Charleston South Carolina. He is a Master Certified Turbulence Trainer and travels around the U.S. certifying other trainers. You can find out more information on his bodyweight only kickboxing program at www.homekickboxingrevolution.com

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Squats and Rows and Bally the Dog Sitting

I will be out on the farm for a few days house-sitting. Early this morning I drove my mother into town as she is off on a big summer holiday trip. That means I'll be looking after ol' Bally the Dog all week. So far, so fun!

Now I usually don't do this, but I drank 1/3 of one of those Monster Energy drinks and went to the gym for a big squat and bodyweight workout.

Tomorrow I'm taking a full break. I'm feeling great on the 33,333 rep mission, but I'm due for a day off.

Today's workout:

Exercise (Total reps added to 33,333 challenge)

Warmup BW Squats (100)

1A) Squat
1B) Box Jump
1C) Pushups (100)
1D) Bodyweight Row (80)

2A) Front Squat
2B) Good Morning

Now it's time to work on my 49-Day Challenge program and later this afternoon I'm interviewing Kevin Harrington, from Shark Tank. He's speaking at this event in November: www.OnlineInfoWorkshop.com

Should be an interesting day.

BTW, grab these if you need them:
FREE meal plans: www.TurbulenceTraining.com/freemealplans

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:
Do NOT obsess about your scale weight. No One but you knows the number. If you are losing inches, it doesn't matter if the scale is slower to budge.

There are so many factors - especially for women! - that determine scale weight (your cycle, water retention, carb storage, lean mass, etc.) Focus instead on behaviors that help you lose fat.

After all, millions of people have been deterred from their fat loss program because of mistaken emphasis on body weight, rather than inches lost and how your clothes fit.

When it comes to your body transformation, it's how you fit in your clothes and look in the mirror that counts.

Forget the scale if you want to be happier! Stay strong and keep on pushing on - make the right decisions and you WILL get results. Keep on believing in yourself. You CAN do it.

Check out the comments on this post here:

Keep on pushing on and keep thinking RIGHT,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT

PS - 33,333 update:

12 week cumulative total:

15,000 Bodyweight Squats
  • 1332
10,000 Pushups
  • 881
3,000 Bodyweight Rows
  • 320
2,000 Pullups
  • 80
1,500 Burpees
  • 75
1,500 Chinups
  • 42
333 Handstand Pushups
  • 21
= 2571/33,333 reps