Monday, March 30, 2009

How Much Protein Do You Need After Exercise

I'm all for getting a little more protein in your diet, but enough is enough with some of the 40 and 50 gram protein shakes that you can buy in nutrition centers.

Do you really need that much protein after you exercise?

Of course not. In fact, you only need a fraction of that to help repair your muscles.

As you might know, resistance training causes muscle breakdown, and to repair our muscles over the course of the following days, we need amino acids from protein.

But muscle building magazines have taken this info to extremes, and so-called experts (read: guys that take wicked amounts of steroids) are recommending extreme protein intakes of 200 grams per day and over 50 grams of protein per meal (a normal sized chicken breast contains about 35 grams of protein, a single egg contains 7 grams of protein).

According to researchers from my alma mater, McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, we only need to consume a moderate amount of protein after exercise in order to begin the rebuilding process.

Am J Clin Nutr 89: 161-168, 2009.

Ingested protein dose response of muscle and albumin protein synthesis after resistance exercise in young men1,2,3
Daniel R Moore, Meghann J Robinson, Jessica L Fry, Jason E Tang, Elisa I Glover, Sarah B Wilkinson, Todd Prior, Mark A Tarnopolsky and Stuart M Phillips

The scientists put six young men through an intense leg workout. Each subject did this on five seperate occasions and received 0, 5, 10, 20, or 40 grams of whole egg protein after the workout.

The results found that the 20 gram protein dose caused maximum muscle protein synthesis, and that consuming any more than 20 grams simply caused the body to take the protein and use it for energy (just as it uses carbohydrates and fat) and part of the amino acids get excreted in urine.

So when you consume excessive amounts of protein, whatever you don't need literally gets flushed away. Eating more protein than you need can NOT force your muscles to repair and rebuild faster.

Look at this "Factory Worker Analogy"

In fact, you should look at it this way. Imagine your muscles are a factory and the amino acids delivered to your muscles are parts. Inside the factory are little workers building more muscle, but the factory has a limited rate of production.

So it doesn't matter how many extra parts get delivered, those little muscle-factory workers can only work so hard and so fast, and so those excess parts can only just sit there...and eventually get removed by the factory's clean-up crew and turned into waste.

And if the factory is paying a pretty penny for those parts, it's just a waste of money too.

Personally, I simply grab a 500mL carton of chocolate milk after each workout (delivering 18 grams of protein) to start the recovery process.

However, if you want to lose fat, you don't need that much sugar, so you could simply consume a 20 gram protein shake or simply eat a regular meal after training that contains 20 grams of protein. That will help you start the repair and rebuilding process after your workout.

So to all my meathead friends out there...

You never need to drink another protein shake again,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

Click here for a Meathead Workout & save your money on protein shakes

Classic Bench Press Monday Workout

In true TT Meathead fashion I did a workout today that included bench press, just like how every other meathead in the world starts his workout week. Although my overall workout was quite different, and didn't include 4 sets of 4 different chest exercises.

Here's how it went down...

1A) Bench Press (5 sets of 1 rep above 90% max - for building strength) - 265x5x1
1B) Back Extension (4x12 with 25lbs)

2A) Lockouts (3x8)
2B) Inverted Row (4x20)

3A) DB Incline (1 set to failure)
3B) Seated Row (1 set to failure)

That's it. Walked home, got a chocolate milk (18grams of protein), and that's it. Back in the gym on Wednesday.

Tomorrow I'll post a research study review showing you why you only need 20 grams of protein MAX after a workout, despite all the 40-60gram protein shakes on the market.

Saving you from protein shake-itis,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

Click here for Turbulence Training for Meatheads

The Secret Goal Program I Use for Happiness & Success

Every day at 5pm, when I'm done my work for the day, I review the goal program that is one of the secrets to my happiness & success.

I've been using this goal setting/goal achievement program since 2006, when I first discovered this amazing program. It's helped me reach personal, fitness, and financial goals faster than I ever thought possible.

I'm truly as happy now as I've ever been in my life, and that includes when I was an 8 year old kid with no cares in the world!
That's how powerful this program has been for me.

And although I'm not a believer in the "Law of Attraction", this program has brought me some hard-to-believe results in a few areas of my life that almost make me reconsider. Almost.

So if you want to get as much accomplished as I do in a day, and reach the same levels of personal and fitness success, then it's as easy as doing a daily check-in at 5pm.

The program is called the Magic Hundred, and it was put together by my friend from the UK, Dax Moy. You simply write down 100 things you want to achieve in the next 100 days and then you TAKE ACTION!

And each day, you review your progress, like I do at 5pm. I check some goals off, and I plan out tomorrow to check off some more.

Ok, well there's a little bit more to it, and Dax explains it in the book better than I can here. Plus, there's additional
motivational audios, daily accountability messages, and more.

I actually spent 2 hours this weekend, on Saturday afternoon, sitting at the old kitchen table with Bally at my feet, reviewing
my latest 100 days of the Magic Hundred and how many items I emphatically crossed off my list.

There were some major, life-changing accomplishments!

And although I didn't get everything done (I still need to work on building a few more personal relationships), I was excited to review and renew my next Magic Hundred days program that starts on April 1st.

Plus, one thing I love about the Magic Hundred is that Dax calls it:

A Goal ACHIEVEMENT program

Not a "Goal Setting" program.

Because how many times have you set goals and time passed without achieving them?

Quite a few, I'm sure.

But Dax's program sets you up for success.

And so I can't recommend it enough if you want to finally lose fat, get fit, improve your relationships with your family and friends, weather the current financial storm (and even PROSPER during these turbulent times), and live the life of your dreams.

It's like Turbulence Training for your mind.

Won't you join me this week in starting the Magic Hundred program?

I personally promise to you that it will help you ACHIEVE literally hundreds of valuable, meaningful goals in your life. That it will keep you on track better than any other mindset program you've ever used...

...and that it will even help you stick to your Turbulence Training program better than before.

Grab your guide to happiness here:

Click here for the Magic Hundred

To your success,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

PS - At the very least, you MUST...

...set 3 short-term and 3 long-term goals for your health, fitness, and fat loss.

Research shows that setting goals helps you achieve more.

And in this day and age, we need to use every resource we can to take care of ourselves, because no one else is looking out for us!

If you want to join me in getting better every day, and in reaching your personal, physical, and financial goals, there's no better guide than the Magic Hundred program.

Grab your guide to happiness here:

Click here for the Magic Hundred

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Top 5 Reasons Dad's Love Turbulence Training

Guest post today from a Turbulence Training user from San Paolo, Brazil, and father of two young children, giving us the Top 5 Reasons Dad's Love the Turbulence Training workouts.

"When I found Turbulence Training, I knew it was for me.  TT features several things that appeal to a busy working father:

1.  Weightlifting excercises that can be done at home with dumbbells...

2.  A huge variety of excercises and different workouts (Try any of Craig's bodyweight cardios to get your butt kicked)... 

3.  Short and intense cardio sessions (I get to spint after my son who is riding his bike. He loves the fact that his dad is trying to catch him.)... 

4.  No more shin splints due to running (I usually get them when running to loose weight) because my running sessions are less than 20 minutes... 

5.  Lots and lots of leftover energy to pour out on my kids and wife (she's loving the shrinking husband)... 

Kevin Flurry

Click here to get your trial offer of Turbulence Training for less than 5 bucks

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Bootcamp Fat Loss Party for Women!

Check out this cool story about the fat loss party for women that is being held in Australia!

"Hi Craig, It all started at the beginning of 2008. It was going to be a year of getting fit and healthy as my youngest of three children was to start Kindergarten. I have always been sporty but due to 2 of my children having special needs, exercise over the past 8 years was put on the backburner.

So, there was myself, my good friend and my sister who all decided it was time! I had been to a local personal trainer a couple of times and when she quit i then decided i would have to do it at home as i have never been one for going to the gym.

So armed with the workouts she had given me the three of us were doing 3 days of her weight training program and the other days were interval cardio training. This ranged from the running machine, rower, recumberant bike and Xtrainer (I realise you don't like this one much!). Plus we were doing boxing circuits and we eventually got fit enough to do a weekly 18km bike ride on the road and sometimes finished that off with a 5km run.

They say i am a bit tough!

They have used other words but none that i will print. So the first 4 months went by the weight loss was okay and the girls were getting comments, and a couple of others asked to come and train. Then by luck, fate or whatever, i was sent an email from the company i had bought my recumberant bike from and it told me about your fat loss program.

That was the start of the REAL weight loss program. We started your bodyweight circuits!!!!. That was when we really started to see results. We also became loads fitter!

My sister has gone from a size 16 to a 10, another girl has lost 19kilos, i had one lady start on the 3rd of December and she lost 11kilos in 10 weeks and did it over Christmas.

There are quite a few coming to my house to train now. I don't charge which they find quite strange but i tell them that not everything is about money, it keeps me motivated and being a person that likes to stay at home i have company at different times through the day and i must say plenty of entertainment!

Currently there are 13 ladies coming and 3 more to start soon. The girls are forever being asked what they are doing to look so good and many people have assumed that they don't eat or are on one of those ridiculous weight loss shake programs.

I have my rule that everyone has to be finished before 5pm as that is kids and husband time. Here it was just the 3 of us at first and now poor old mum can't go down the street without someone asking her about what i am doing.

I thoroughly enjoy it and have seen some magnificent results thanks to Turbulence Training.

Keep up the good work Craig, we are relying on it!!!"
Rachel Forbes

Click here to take a no-risk trial run with Turbulence Training

Doctor Approved Interval Training for Growth Hormone Release?

Here's a follow up to our January Success Story of the Month. Derek Murphy asked his doctor about interval training, and the doc believes it can help boost growth hormone and burn fat.

Check out the amazing improvements in Derek's health since starting the Turbulence Training for Fat Loss program...

"Wow! I continue to do my bodyweight workouts and following a diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and a little bit of whole grains. Thanks to you and TT, I have more endurance, strength, and flexibility than I ever have in my life. 

In fact, I have medical proof of this: I had my first physical in a LONG time on Feb 2nd..  After checking my vitals and reviewing my diet and workouts with me, my doctor told me to "keep doing what you're doing, because it's obviously working." I turned 30 this week and can honestly say that I am in better shape at 30 than I was at 20, and not many of my friends can say that with me! 

In the summer of 2000, I had maxed my weight at 285 lbs.  I was a heavy smoker, beer drinker, and fried food eater.  I saw a picture of myself taken than summer and it took me a minute to recognize myself. 

I started a long slow process back to health, with plenty of ups and downs.  Although I had lost weight and was generally healthier, I was still struggling with my overall health and fitness as recently as a year ago. 

In the fall of 2007, I was diagnosed with high blood pressure and was put on prescription medication for that, and I was prescribed painkillers for terrible pain in my hips.  This was the last straw. 

It was just a couple of months later that I found Turbulence Training, and I've been using it at various levels of intensity ever since.  By combining bodyweight exercises and intervals, I dropped more weight, which combined with good stretching and rotation exercises has almost completely eliminated the hip pain. 

I haven't taken the blood pressure medication in almost a year now, and my blood pressure was in the normal range when I went for my physical this month!  All of my vitals and lab work came back normal, and I was literally given a clean bill of health.  As I left, my doctor said, "Keep it up, and I won't see you again for a year."

Thanks Craig for everything!

Derek Murphy

P.S. - Here's a great medical plug for TT style intervals training:

As I was talking about my workouts with my doctor, he asked me if I was using intervals/sprint training for cardio. 

When I told him I was, he said that was great, then went on to tell me that interval/sprint running promotes Human Growth Hormone in the body naturally, and doing that is a great way to get a GHG boost in your body and promote muscle growth.  As he put it, "you'll literally build muscle while your running."  Just another reason to stick with TT style cardio!

Click here to take the trial offer of Turbulence Training for less than 5 bucks

Friday, March 27, 2009

Deadlifts vs Cardio & Abs

I hit the gym early this morning (right after the morning dog walk), and I launched into a pretty good workout, with no competition for the sole squat rack in the gym.

In fact, most of the other people in there were doing "cardio and abs". That's a classic bodybuilder throw-back workout day, when people don't really want to work hard, but are still required to go to the gym by their obsessive compulsive habits.

I think I'll take deadlifts and dumbbell presses over "cardio and abs" any day.

My workout went down like this...

1) Clean & Press (3x5)

2A) Deadlift (5x5)
2B) DB Chest Press (2x8-12)

3A) Good Morning (2x10)
3B) Chin-ups (2xAs many as possible)

Followed that up with another dog walk. And 4 hours later it's time for another dog walk!

Have a great weekend,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

Click here to build muscle with 3 short workouts per week

5 Minute Friday Circuit Workout (you'll be amazed!)

You'll be shocked at how much work you can get done using this week's Friday 5-Minute Workout!
Let me know if you liked it, and make sure to forward this mini-workout to 3 of your fitness friends. They will love it.
Okay, so on with the show...
This week, you're going to do a 5-minute workout featuring the "Big 5 Fat Burning Circuit" workout guide.
- Spend 30 seconds on each exercise (set a timer if possible)

- Do as many reps as you can in 30 seconds. If you can't go anymore, just hold the exercise at the halfway point.

- Do not rest between exercises.

- Keep going till 5 minutes is up.

- Count your total reps and try to beat it in the future!
1) Bodyweight Squat
2) Kneeling OR Close-grip OR Decline Pushups
3) Reverse Lunges OR 1-Leg Hip Extensions
4) Spiderman Climb OR Mountain Climbers
5) Jumping Jacks
Print that out and do your workout anywhere you want!
For more of the "Big 5 Fat Burning Workouts", get the full program here for less than the price of lunch at Subway:
Let me know if there is a 5 minute workout style you'd like to see next week,
Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
PS - For more workouts you can do anywhere...
...including a hotel room workout, watch the videos on this site:

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Rules of Building Muscle

It's my personal training nightmare when a guy emails me and asks how he can lose weight...

...when only weighs 145 pounds and is 5'8"!

That's the wrong kind of thinking!

If you're already just skin and bones, exposing more bones isn't going to help you look good on the beach.

But almost everyday I get scrawny guys asking me how to lose weight when they have no muscle underneath the fat...

...they think they will look good if they "get ripped", but in reality, will look like they are starving.

If that describes YOU, the you MUST focus on gaining muscle instead.

This is a harsh lesson in reality, but too many guys are trying to lose weight when the focus should be on gaining muscle.

In fact, through my experience in working with athletes and thousands of men in the gym trying to lose fat and gain muscle, I've come up with a height-weight chart that determines whether you should gain muscle or lose fat.

NOTE: It's been updated...because it used to allow for more "wiggle" room, but this is the 2009 HARSH REALITY version of the chart.

Here are the ABSOLUTE numbers identifying the cut-off weight for muscle building and fat loss.

If you weigh LESS than the number across from your height, then you must focus on GAINING muscle if you want to look good at the beach.


So here are the numbers...

5'6" - 150 pounds
5'7" - 155 pounds
5'8" - 160 pounds
5'9" - 165 pounds
5'10 - 170 pounds
5'11 - 175 pounds
6'0 - 180 pounds

And so on. For every inch taller, add 5 pounds. For every inch shorter, subtract 5 pounds.

For example, if you are 5'8" and less than 160 pounds, you should NOT be trying to lose weight.

The truth is you MUST gain muscle if you want to look good on the beach. Losing weight would be the worst thing you could do.

You need to gain muscle with these workouts:

=> Click here to gain muscle

Start now. Do not wait. Get training and eating like the pro's!

If you lost more weight, you'd look like crap, to be blunt.

Instead, you must focus on gaining muscle. This will improve the appearance of your body, and take you from a stick-figure to a lean, muscular physique with a better chance of seeing your abs.

And don't worry, you're not going to "get too big". Please. If only!

At 5'8", a guy would have to be at least 190 pounds in order to be considered "half-jacked" and would need to weigh over 210 pounds to be considered "huge".

And the best news of all?

Because skinny guys are untrained, simply starting a muscle building program will give them maximum fat loss and muscle gain at the same time. You are going to get the best of both worlds.

Click here to gain muscle NOW!

=> Muscle Gaining Secrets

Let me know how your workouts go,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

PS - And don't forget to eat!

Follow the nutrition guidelines from Jay, and don't skimp on the carbs.

Trust me, you'll look better by gaining muscle than you will by losing weight.

Click here to discover the biggest mistakes you're making when trying to build muscle:

=> Muscle Gaining Secrets

5 Fat Loss Diet Secrets from your Mom

Everything you need to know about fat loss diet nutrition was taught to you by your mother.

-> Eat more fruits and vegetables.

-> Don't drink soda.

-> Take your own lunch to school or work.

-> Don't spoil your dinner with cookies or other mindless munching.

-> Plan your meals. Avoid fast food.

All those old classics are still great tips today.

But for most folks, we really do know what we need to eat to burn fat, but for some reason we still struggle with it.

For example, I spent the weekend with many TT users, and the topic of diet struggles came up over and over again.

In times like these, I always refer people to the type of nutrition and diet guidelines that I now use to help me keep my body fat lower than ever, so I can sport my 6-pack abs year round.

I follow a diet very low in grains, and SUPER-high in fruits and vegetables, just like the plan recommended by my own personal nutrition consultant, Isabel De Los Rios.

Not only has Isabel helped thousands of men and women to lose belly fat, she also has her own POWERFUL personal story that explains how she overcome BAD diet advice to lose fat and get more energy.

Isabel has more info for you about her diet plan and the 5 biggest diet myths at:

=> Proven Fat Loss Diet

This is the step-by-step nutrition solution you've been looking for.

Use the eating plan that helped me get my abs,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

PS - You MUST download Isabel's Nutrition Guide because it contains:

-> Dozens of online resources to get the best fat burning foods for you and your family

-> Over 61 pages of delicious, yet healthy recipes

-> The controversial metabolic typing test that might be the secret to your dieting success

-> Dozens of pages of meal plans to show you EXACTLY what to eat to burn belly fat

Grab your copy of the Proven Fat Loss Diet here:

=> Click Here for the Proven Fat Loss Diet

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

How to get thinner thighs

My friend Holly Rigsby just put together a free plan for thinner thighs on her blog.

=> Click here for thin thigh secrets

Helping you lose fat without cardio,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

PS - I just wrote a new women's fat burning workout...

...for Women's Health magazine, and I posted a modified version on my new blog.

Please let me know what you think!

Click this link to get the workout:

=> Female Fat Loss Workout

Please leave a question or comment on the blog so I can write the articles you want to see. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Squat Workout & Protein Intake Without Meat or Shakes

So far today, I've had over 108 grams of protein without eating meat or having a shake...and we're only up to lunchtime. Just goes to show you that you don't need shakes or meat at every meal. Now don't get me wrong, I like meat, just am not eating that much these days for various reasons.

But the bottom line is that you can still get a lot of protein without meat if you want to build muscle. Of course, this is not a "vegan" diet, for that you might need to go the shake route...but as for shakes, let's be honest. They are gross and I don't need them. That's why I don't drink them. I've had enough of them in the past.

Alright, here's how I've gotten 108 grams of protein today before dinner and evening snack:

Breakfast: 2 tbsn peanut butter melted into bowl, with 2oz of pecans, plus coconut flakes, blueberries, and 2 small bananas

= 13 grams of protein

Snack: 1 giant apple + 1 tbspn almond butter

= 5g protein

"Brunch": 4 egg omelet with 1/2 cheese, spinach, broccoli, red onion, red pepper, salsa, wrapped in 2 whole wheat tortillas

= 40 grams protein

Lunch: raw vegetables & hummus + 3 "banana tacos" (banana + blueberries + tbspn almond-hazelnut buttter wrapped in tortilla) + 500mL chocolate milk

= 40 grams protein

So there you go. Going out for dinner tonight. Maybe I'll have meat, maybe I won't. Dunno. I do know that I don't have to have what Brad Pilon calls, "protein guilt" because I haven't had any meat or worse, shakes.

Now for today's workout...

1A) Squats (worked up to 355)
1B) Pullups (hit 15 reps)

2A) Front Squats
2B) 1-Arm DB Shoulder Press

3) BB Rows (2 sets)

That was it.

Keep doing what you love,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Click here for the muscle building program that influence my workouts

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

How to Get Results with Your Fat Loss Workout

By Mike Roulston

Most people struggle to see results from their workout program, for the simple reason that most people don’t exercise consistently or intensely enough to produce any real results. And without regular exercise at a high intensity, progression is completely lost.

Plain and simply, if you don’t exercise regularly, intensely, and with progression (i.e. improving from workout to workout), you’ll never see any significant fat-loss results from your workouts.

I’ve found that it’s a real challenge for most people to exercise regularly and intensely. Most people don’t enjoy exercising, and if you don’t enjoy doing something, you’ll be hard-pressed to do it regularly, much less with any intensity.

So when I work with people to help them see the fat-loss results that they’re striving towards, I’ve found that the most important factor is simply finding a way to get people to enjoy their workouts and look forward to exercising.

If you enjoy your exercise program, and look forward to your workouts, you’ll find consistency, intensity, progression, and ultimately results are taken care of quite easily.

My entire exercise philosophy is based around the notion that people who enjoy their workouts will be much more likely to exercise consistently and intensely enough to see results.

If, in that past, you’ve struggled to workout regularly, and you’re trying to get yourself into a solid routine of consistent exercise, I want you to focus on answering the following question:

What type of exercise will you enjoy enough to consistently stick to your workout program, and put forth a genuine effort each and every time you workout?

If you can figure out the answer to that question, you’ll find that all of the other important components to a results focussed fat-loss workout program should fall into place for you.

I can’t answer that question for you, but I can certainly give you a few tips to get you pointed in the right direction.

Tip #1)You do NOT need a gym membership to burn fat and get fit. If you can’t stand gyms and health clubs, that’s perfectly fine. Simply invest in a few inexpensive pieces of exercise equipment (workout straps, resistance bands, adjustable dumbbells, etc), and you’ll be all set to have effective total-body home workouts that you’ll be much more likely to stick to, as opposed to exercising at a gym if you don’t like that environment.

Tip #2)You do NOT need to do long boring marathon cardio to burn fat. If you can’t stand peddling away for hours upon hours on the cardio machine, that’s perfectly fine. You wouldn’t see any results from doing that anyway.
For optimal fat-loss results, you need to perform only a few short (20 to 30 minutes) but intense total-body resistance training workouts each week, along with a couple of short (15 to 20 minutes) high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts per week.

Tip #3) You DO need to include as much variety as possible in your workout program. Variety is huge towards seeing results from your exercise program, and it also helps keep your workouts fresh and interesting which will go a long way towards helping you stay consistent with your exercise program.
If you do the same exact workout 3 times per week for 3 straight months, not only will your body adapt and prevent you from continuing to see results, but you’ll also almost surely get so bored with your workouts that the intensity will start to drop, and you’ll slowly stop exercising altogether.

Keep these tips in mind when trying to answer the question of how to enjoy your workouts. Too many people avoid exercising regularly simply because they believe the commitment they need to make to their exercise program is too large.

Once you realize how short and infrequent you actually need to exercise in order to see amazing results, you’ll be much more likely to start enjoying your workouts and ultimately give the consistency and intensity that’s necessary to produce substantial fat-loss results.

Subscribe to my YouTube channel for more tips on how to have effective and enjoyable fat-burning workouts at home with minimal equipment. Click here to visit Mike's channel:


Monday, March 23, 2009

Push-Pull Workout & Cereal Surprise

A Turbulence Twitter reader suggested I give Ezekial Raisin cereal a try. So I picked some up, and substituted a bowl in place of my regular chocolate milk.

But as I poured it out, I got a little free prize inside. A giant glob of raisins - as you can see by the picture.

Overall, the cereal is ok. At the suggestion of another friend, I used almond milk instead of regular milk. It's fine. Not as sweet as regular milk, and like many things, it just takes a few servings to get used to the flavor. Hard to describe. Give it a try.

Pour yourself a glass and read my latest article over at my new in-depth fat loss blog called:

How to Lose Fat When Traveling

But before the cereal, I had a workout...and this week marked the start of a new 4-week training program.

1A) Bench Press
1B) Back Extension

2A) Rack Lockout
2B) Inverted Row

3A) DB Incline - 1 set to failure
3B) Seated Row - 1 set to failure

Total workout time was only 37 minutes or so...trying to cut back on time these days.

Felt good,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Click here to get started with fast total body workouts

Simple Home and Office Workouts to Get Fit Fast and Burn Fat

By Rommel Acda

Too many people work long hours in the office (or home office), and never get the chance to get in a workout before or after work.

They have the same old excuse I hear on a daily basis: “Work is so crazy right now; I just can’t fit it in!” But then they complain that they’re gaining fat and feeling miserable.

I don’t get it, and quite frankly neither do they.

My schedule is busy too, but I’ve freed myself from the dogma of the 45-60 minute workouts that I used to preach and is still preached by most fitness professionals and fitness books. My workouts are now fast, effective, and more fun compared to when I would sit there and wait my “60-90 seconds” between each exercise. How boring!

There’s a lot of evidence that now supports that shorter, but smarter workouts are proving superior for not only burning fat, but for getting fit fast. Don’t get me wrong - it’s not always about being “in a hurry”. There are times when we all need to slow down and relax, but that’s another post.

Okay, so let’s get to it! Here are two “ladder” protocol workouts that I use when I’m crunched for time.

“Ladder” workouts are great because it creates a compounding effect that’s effective especially if you don’t have easy access to equipment. It makes the exercises feel more intense without having to add weight. However, in the future if you need more resistance, you can add bands, dumbbells, or kettlebells to the mix.

Ladder Workout # 1 (bodyweight only)
- Two exercises: Stationary Lunge and Pushups
- Perform three compounding sets of each exercise as described in the table below.
- All exercises in each set are performed back to back without rest. All three sets constitute one round and will take approximately 2 to 2 ½ minutes to perform.
- Rest 60-90 seconds, then if you’re up for it perform one more round.
- * Perform your reps as fast as possible, BUT with good form. Use common sense.

Set 1
- 5 Stationary Lunges (left leg)
- 5 Stationary Lunges (right leg)
- 5 Squats
- 5 Pushups
No rest [UTF-8?]– move to set 2

Set 2
- 10 Stationary Lunges (left leg)
- 10 Stationary Lunges (right leg)
- 10 Squats
- 10 Pushups
No rest [UTF-8?]– move to set 3

Set 3
- 15 Stationary Lunges (left leg)
- 15 Stationary Lunges (right leg)
- 15 Squats
- 15 Pushups
* For more advanced fitness enthusiasts rest for 60 seconds then perform one more round.

Ladder Workout # 2: Perform one giant set of these three exercises using the same protocol from sample 1.

1) Jump Squats
2) Band Pull-aparts [UTF-8?](you’ll need a medium to heavy fitness band)
3) Staggered Pushups

Give these a shot, do it right, then let me know how you feel tomorrow! You’ll feel great not only from the workout, but from knowing you saved yourself an hour in the gym!

Rommel Acda, Muscle Activation Techniques Specialist, Certified Strength and
Conditioning Specialist

Rommel Acda is a real world fitness and fat loss expert in Kirkland, WA who has helped hundreds of people lose stubborn body fat. Visit his new blog at, the busy person’s resource for effective time-crunched workouts.

Rommel is also the co-creator of Strong and Sexy Boot Camps, Seattle/Eastside's Premier Fat Loss Boot Camps for Men and Women. If you live in the Seattle/Eastside area, check out Strong and Sexy Boot Camps at

Saturday, March 21, 2009

7-Day Fat Loss Plan & Circuit Training Workout Call

Ready for one of the most popular, fast, fun, and effective workouts 
from 2008?
In this week's call, you'll discover the TT Big 5 Fat Burning Circuit Program.
Dang, this one is fun!
Or read all about the workout here:
Can't wait to hear about your results,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
PS - I was in Vegas for the weekend and...
...and it was warm enough to hit the pool and lie around shirts off.
If you want this to be the summer when you can finally be proud of 
your body and not ashamed of your belly, then it's time to get 
started losing it fast.
"Down 14 pounds this month and the weight is just falling off me. My wife
says I now look like when we first met and I still have more to go. I can
fit into my old jeans again which is a big deal for me. I just cut back on
starches and bread and do your routine 2-3 times a week. I never thought
in a million years that just 10-20 minutes of weight training followed by
some cardio would get me such steady results. I even cheat a bit on the weekends.
Billy Williams

Thursday, March 19, 2009

5 Minute Friday Workout

I thought I'd start a new little feature of sending you a quick workout every Friday that you can use on a busy day or as a mini-
program on the weekend.

Let me know what you think..."yay or nay" on this new feature?

This week's Friday Five Minute Workout comes from my buddy Mike Geary...

Set aside 5 minutes either in the morning before work, on your lunch break, or after work for this "mini-workout".

NOTE: This is NOT for beginners.

If you are already fit, grab a dumbbell or kettlebell (or use the bodyweight alternatives listed below).

Now spend 5 minutes doing as many reps as you can of 1-arm dbell or kettlebell swings alternating sides.

After 60-90 seconds, most people will start to slow down, so start taking 10 second breaks to catch your breath enough to do another 5-6 swings with each arm.

Keep alternating for as many reps as you can get of each exercise with 10 second mini-rests.

Get as many reps as you can in 5 minutes. We're going for as much work accomplished as possible in these 5 minutes!

If you do this with intensity, you'll have worked your entire body VERY thoroughly in only 5 minutes and will be huffing and puffing for breath.

If all you've got is 5 minutes, this is a great way to work your entire body. And there's really no way that you can't fit at least a 5-minute workout into your daily schedule no matter how busy.

If you don't have a dumbbell or kettlebell available, you can substitute these exercises alternated with one another for the 5 minutes:

- Bodyweight squats alternated with pushups or bodyweight rows
- Lunges alternated with pushups or bodyweight rows
- Jump squats alternated with pushups or bodyweight rows

If you're not familiar with any of the exercises mentioned in this article, make sure you get a copy of the The Truth About Abs for all of the details.
Mike Geary, Certified Nutrition Specialist, Certified Personal Trainer

Thanks Mike! I'll try to top that next Friday!

If you want more exercises from Mike, check out his newsletter here:

=> The Truth About Abs
BTW - Don't forget, if you get your copy of Mike's book before the end of today, we'll also send you a FREE copy of the TT AAA Abs program that will be ready on March 31st!

The 3 Most Common Mental Blocks to Your Weight Loss Success

Last year Jim Katsoulis interviewed me, and it was by far the best set of questions I'd ever been I asked Jim to write a guest article for us:

The 3 Most Common Mental Blocks to Your Weight Loss Success

By: Jim Katsoulis

1. Your age
2. Your genetics
3. Your history

Have you ever used one of these issues as an excuse when you didn’t lose weight? Most people have. They can’t lose weight because they're over 50, or because everyone in their family is overweight, or because they’ve tried "everything" and failed.

Sorry, but the truth is, these are excuses, nothing more.

The reality is that your age, genetics, and history are just YOUR STARTING POINT in your weight loss success journey.

So having taken that mental crutch away from you, we’ll now replace it with something much better – control. Because if your age, genetics, and history are just a starting point, it means that you are in control of what happens from here on out.

Each of us has a unique history of genetics, upbringing, habits, lifestyle, loves and hates. But whatever you bring to the party, once the music starts, it’s up to you what happens next.

Let’s illustrate that...

If you were to eat perfectly and exercise regularly every day for a year, would it change the way you look and feel?

Think about that – it’s an exceptional person who can put their hand on their heart and say no it wouldn't make any impact on my weight loss success.

So what does that mean?

It means YOU are in control. It means that there are things you can do, no matter what your age, genetics or starting point, which will make a significant difference in how you look and feel.

Quite simply, your weight loss success ultimately depends on one thing, and one thing only – what you do with your body from this point forward. Your body is a reflection of your behaviors. Accepting this thought removes a powerful limiting belief that many people hold.

You can achieve weight loss success.

Does that mean it won’t be difficult?

Of course not – this is reality we’re dealing in.

But what it does mean is that you can start your weight loss with the logical and emotional certainty that if you act a certain way, your body will transform. Guaranteed.

If you’re losing weight, it’s because you’re doing things right. If, however, you’ve hit a plateau, things have evened out a bit, then it means there are things you need to change.

This is a much easier proposition to deal with than, my weight loss has stopped because my family history is against me, or, I have a slow metabolism.

Those things may be true, but they are merely factors, factors that you work around by doing things right. They might make it a little harder for you, might mean that it will take a little longer to achieve the lean, defined body that you desire, but ultimately your weight loss success if completely under your control.

=> Click here to program yourself thin

Deadlift Workout & Women That Grunt When Squatting

Good workout today...although I had to listen to a chick make wicked grunting noises when she squatted. Of course, her IPOD was so loud she probably couldn't even hear herself. But I mean, seriously, she was one of the loudest "grunters" I've ever heard in the gym. But, at least she was training hard...

And I do some stupid stuff in the gym too...including some "stupid trainer" videos we filmed last night...

Read about the videos here:

=> Fat Loss Diet videos

This was the last week for my current 4-week training program, and I've gone from 170 to 182 in those 4 weeks, and added some strength in Military Press, Bench, Deadlift, and Squat. Next program is also looking sweet. Also added a good number of reps to pushups and pullups. I'm almost back to top strength I had 6 months ago.

Today's workout was...

1) Deadlift

2A) Military Press
2B) Good Morning

3A) Pistol
3B) Pullup

That's it...will do some bodyweight stuff at hotel gym this to Vegas for a couple of days (business and pleasure).

But don't worry, I'll be a good boy.

Looking forward to next week's workouts,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

PS - Someone asked me about how to use Turbulence Training while training for a marathon...

...and here are my thoughts...

=> Turbulence Training for Runners?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bench Press Workout

Happy St. Patrick's Day to you. I had some Green Tea to celebrate, and got fired up to head to the gym for a bench press workout.

It was a beautiful 14 degrees celcius (no idea what that is in Farenheit, use the google to convert) on my way to the gym...and it was funny to see the Canadians out on patios drinking beer already at 1pm.

Once I got to the gym, it was all business.

1A) Bench Press - worked up to 255x3
1B) Back Extension - 4x8 holding 30 pounds behind head

2) Power Shrug - 225x3x6

3A) DB Incline Press - 4x8 at 80pounds
3B) DB Row - 4x6-8 at 110 pounds

Wednesday off, then deadlift Thursday, and off to Vegas on Friday.

7 rules of lifting

#1 Factor in Building Muscle

My friend Vince DelMonte was the classic "skinny guy", but in the past few years he has built a lot of muscle and has helped thousands of folks around the world do the same.

He really has been a hero to the "classic hardgainers" over the years.

(He's even giving away a copy of his "Upside Down Workout". Click here to get it.)

And because he knows how hardgainers must train and eat, I asked him for the #1 factor that leads to muscle gains and making progress in the gym.

His answer?

Proper form and technique.

Here's why he said that...

Craig, imagine driving into town and seeing a series of store fronts called "Doug's Dental Center" or "Bill's Auto Center" where you have a few dozen chairs for members so they can operate on their own teeth and cars?

Wouldn't that be crazy?

Or what if there was "Amy's Accounting Office" and "Larry's Legal Office" which provides offices for everyone to do their own taxes and legal work?

Of course, this doesn't happen. Instead, we all hire dentists, mechanics, doctors, lawyers and accountants to get professional advice.

However, walk into any gym and you'll see rows of machines and benches where members are free to join and do anything imaginable to their bodies - no wonder gyms have a 60% failure rate in the first 3 months!

If you approach me for fitness advice I can make suggestions to change your intensity, volume or frequency but none of that makes a difference if I cannot assess that you're training with proper form.

I know this is a critical issue from personal experience.

I have personally been trained by over a dozen personal trainers over the past six years and I am regularly corrected with errors in my technique so I have developed a skill set to detect training errors - yet I still continue to make them.

So how in the world is the average gym-goer supposed to detect error in their training form and how will they develop the skills to suspect inappropriate training form without any professional instruction?

Let me ask you another question.

Would you attempt to ski a double black diamond without mastering the technique required to ski on the bunny hill? Unless you're a lunatic I'm going to guess you wouldn't.

But beginners regularly march into the gym and start doing the same super-advanced program they found in the steroid user's guide magazine they bought at the bookstore.

Before I share my top do's and don't to proper technique let me strongly suggest to invest into a professional fitness trainer; train with someone far more experienced or invest in fitness videos that show you how to do each exercise with proper form .

Now Craig, I know you might not agree with everything I'm about to say here, but I truly believe this is the absolute best way for someone to train for maximum results AND safety.

Here are some do's and don'ts of proper technique so that you can maximize your weight training routine and avoid injury:


1. Focus on full-body workouts and include a variety of exercises for each body part so that you can strengthen the various supporting tissue from multiple angles.

2. Use a slower and more controlled rhythm to feel the muscle. Also focus on squeezing the muscle.

3. Focus on full-range of motion before increasing the speed of the motion. Increase the speed of the motion before increasing the load selection.

4. Use a pyramid rep scheme like 12, 10, 8, 6 reps to progress your weights up safely.

5. Breathe out when you push the weight and breathe in while you lower the weight.

6. Always stop 1-2 reps shy of muscular failure.

7. Stick to dumbbells and uni-lateral exercises before progressing to barbells.


1. Avoid using momentum to move the weights.

2. Skip out on some dynamic stretching to assess any tightness in your body.

3. Perform unfamiliar exercises without doing an unloaded set or light weight set first.

4. Train through unfamiliar pain. Burning from lactic acid is acceptable but pain is not.

5. Perform technically challenging exercises at the end of your workout.

6. Bring your ego to the gym. People are more impressed with how you look, not how much you lift.

7. Train when you're muscles are overly sore and not recovered. Light weights and high reps is okay.

If you want to build muscle fast with safe workouts, those rules will help you achieve more in less time than ever before.

=> Click here to get a FREE copy of Vince DelMonte's "Upside Down" workout

Weight Loss Workouts and Your Why

The Toughest Question to Ask Yourself About Your Weight Loss Workouts

By: Daniel Munday

Have you ever had a big event that was the driving force behind a new campaign of weight loss workouts?

It may have been your wedding, or you may have been a bridesmaid for your best friend, or it may even have been a school reunion where you wanted to show up everyone that used to give you grief back in the day.

There is usually a big WHY involved in ramping up your training or even getting you started no matter what your special event is.

I’ve been thinking about this lately because I’ve just started planning my own wedding with my fiancĂ© so it’s got me thinking about the real meaning of the big WHY that little bit deeper.

The WHY is the driving force that gets you out of bed every morning to inspire you to achieve any goal, whether it is your weight loss workouts that will get you into that dress so that you are the envy of your friends and the centre of attention like you should be or whether it is related to
your career or even your family and relationship goals.

The more I think about it, the more I realise that if you haven’t figured out your big WHY for anything, especially your weight loss workouts, the more you will be going around and around in circles and destined for failure.

As the old saying goes, “if you do what you’ve always done, you get what you always got”. Not exactly ideal if you are trying to get that perfect look for your wedding day or that big event is it?

The reason behind your why is going to be strictly personal. It may be for purely superficial reasons, it may be for your health or you may even do it for your kids. It doesn’t matter what the driving force behind your why is, the most important take home point is that you actually have a reason why.

How can you find your why?

Take a moment for some self reflection and see what is truly your driving force. What gets you out of bed everyday? It has to be that end goal that will keep you going when it gets too cold or too hot or too whatever. It has to be that excuse breaker.

Take some time and find out your real reason why.

Your weight loss workouts will never be more productive when you have figured it out and if you are ever struggling for motivation on any given day, your thoughts will be drawn to the big why that will drive you to achieve whatever your mind can conceive.

Let’s fast forward a little bit now to the day when you achieve your big why. Imagine how good you are feeling. Imagine how everything is just falling into place and imagine the compliments that you are getting.

Got that picture? Great. Go and run with it and start thinking about your WHY.

by Daniel Munday

Evolution of Abs Training & "Core" Workouts

You don't need to do crunches to get six pack abs. You can free yourself of that boring, ineffective exercise and quit spending your life staring at dirt on your ceiling.

Just say NO to crunches.

Instead, check out these total body abs exercises and core workouts that you can do in the comfort of your own home...all you need is your bodyweight, a mat, and for a couple of exercises, you'll need a stability ball/exercise ball.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Squat Workout

Quick workout update...

1A) Squat - 3x3
1B) Cable Rotator Cuff

2A) Squat - 3x8-12
2B) DB Shrug - 2x15

3A) BB RDL - 3x8
3B) DB Bulgarian Split Squat - 1x12

Tomorrow: A controversial post on so-called "post-workout nutrition". This is a term that should be banned from conversation.

Find out why tomorrow!


Sunday, March 15, 2009

3 Abs Exercises You Must NOT Do

On Sunday morning I was supposed to meet a friend and train them...but they suckered me into doing an abs workout with them, and I'm glad I did because it was awesome!

It all started with me running to the gym as fast as I could (doing about 1.5 miles and a big hill in about 11 minutes - a new record).

As soon as I got there, I met a friend and we did Workout A from the April TT AAA Abs program.
Glad I did because it was insane and the most intense TT workout ever.

It includes a bunch of new ab and total body exercises, including...

1) Side Plank Dumbbell Lateral Raise
2) Stability Ball Plank Rollout
3) Burpee & Chin-up Combo (perfect way to end a workout!)

However, while I was there I also watched folks wasting their time with these three ab exercises that you don't ever need to do:

a) Crunches
b) Sit-ups
c) Cross-crunches

Those 3 should really be called...

Lame. Harmful. Useless.
You don't EVER have to do those exercises again!
On the other hand, I'm always on the hunt for total body ab exercises to use in my programs, and my friend Mike Geary gave me these ones:

1) Renegade Dumbbell Rows
2) Front Squats with Barbell
3) Ab Wheel

Classic. If you want more exercises from Mike, check out his newsletter here:

=> The Truth About Abs
In his newsletter, Mike loves to give out recipes, including home-made ice cream suited for a fat loss program, as well as the the truth about eating eggs, nuts, and other superfoods.

Stop doing crunches and start getting abs,
Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

Weekend Workouts

Had 2 really great workouts this weekend...including a deadlift workout after a 21 hour fast. My flight from Jersey landed at 12:30, and I got through customs and back home and to the gym by 1:35.

I got right to work, working up to 355 in the deadlift (double overhand hook grip, no straps, no belt, all muscle). Followed by 2 sets of 3 at 335 and then 4 sets of 8-10 at 245.

Next up was Military Press paired with Good Mornings, and then 24 pullups to finish off (8,6,5,5). That was it. In and out in 45 minutes, and then I ended my 22 hour fast.

After, I picked up Bally the Dog from the dog sitters, and we did a nice 90 minute tour of Toronto.

On Sunday, after a 60 minute dog walk through high park to start the day, I immediately came home, did 30 minutes of writing, and then ran as fast as I could to the gym - 11 minutes (a new record). As soon as I got there, I met a friend and put them through the upcoming April TT AAA Abs Workout A. And I joined them. It was insane.

That looks like it will be the hardest TT workout ever.

Haven't trained like that in a while but it was a lot of fun. I can't wait to share that workout with you. Look for it, late March or April 1st. It's no joke.

=> Click here to join TT Members and be the first folks to get April's TT AAA Abs

And then I did some hill sprints on the way home, but I was pretty beat...

After lunch, I did a 2.5 hour dog walk with Bally the Dog, covering Little Portugal, Little Italy, Kensington Market, Queen Street West, and Little Poland.

Good times.

How was your weekend?

Tell me about your workouts,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

Saturday, March 14, 2009

4 Tips to Avoiding Injury when Starting a Weight Loss Program

One of the most important parts of any weight loss program is, of course, working out. You might think that the main reason people give up on working out is because they become bored with it.

Although plenty of people do grow tired of exercising, most people far earlier than that – quit a weight loss program because they injure themselves.

Injury during the beginning stages of a weight loss exercise regime is a far too common occurrence. Injuries happen because of many reasons, but almost all of them are preventable.

1 – When you haven’t worked out for a long time (or ever!), your muscles will have atrophied, your tendons and ligaments will have tightened up, and your cardiovascular system will have adjusted to the inactivity.

In other words, you are like an old car on a cold morning – it’s going to take a little extra time to warm you up.

Before you start working out each day, make sure you take the time for some easy stretches of the major joints and muscles, and do a little light cardiovascular activity to get the juices flowing. This will help prevent muscle and tendon injuries.

2 – You aren’t as young as you once were.

Remember the weight you could lift when you were 25? Well, you can’t lift it now, and nor should you. The most common injuries that are incurred during a weight loss program happen when people try to do what they once were able to do.

The easiest way to avoid doing this is to create a workout plan ahead of time that will slowly ease you back up to your prior fitness level.

3 – Weight lifting is dangerous work.

Even when you are lifting light weights, it is always wise to have a “spotter”. A spotter is usually only seen in gyms when big football players are lifting dumbbells with multiple weight plates. The spotter protects you should the dumbbells be too heavy to lift.

4 – If it doesn’t hurt, it’s OK, right? Wrong!

Doing too much on the first day of a weight loss workout is a surefire way to never make it back to the gym.

It may not hurt while you are doing it, but it will hurt the next day (and the day after that) due to something called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. DOMS is the muscle pain and heat you feel the day after your weight loss work out, and usually hits its peak 48 hours after the exertion.

Make sure you monitor your activities while you are doing them and never do more than you set out to do. The next day you should feel like you did something but you should not be in so much pain that you can’t lift your arms.

The best way to remain injury-free during a weight loss program is keep these four tips in mind when you head to the gym.

Rick Kaselj is the exercise and injury expert. He helps fitness professionals discover the most effective exercises to help their clients recover, prevent and overcome injury.

If you are a fitness professional with clients with new or old injuries you will have to visit the leading resource on exercises and injuries:


Friday, March 13, 2009

7-day Abs Workout Guide

Ready to work on burning belly fat and sharpening up those abs this week with my classic TT ab workouts? Then let's get started with your 7-day abs workout guide.

=> Click here to listen to the coaching call

Monday – March 16th

First, let's start with a Transformation Tip. We need to make sure you are doing the workouts the right way. I get the odd email from folks saying that TT is too easy. Too easy? Are you crazy?

If you think TT is too easy, you must check out this story...

=> Turbulence Training is Easy?

Alright, now time for our workout review, starting with Workout A from TT for Abs, Sept 2007.

(Click here to grab your copy of the full TT for Abs workout)

Workout A

After your warm-up circuit, hit these supersets and ab circuit workout...

1A) DB Split Squat – 8 reps per leg (2-0-1)
1B) DB Chest Press – 8 reps (4-0-1)

2A) DB Row – 20 reps (1-0-1)
2B) DB 1-Arm Shoulder Press – 15 reps per arm (2-0-1)

3A) Lying DB Triceps Extension – 10 reps (2-0-1)
3B) Chin-up – 8 reps (3-0-1)

Ab Circuit
A) Stability Ball Rollout – 10 reps (2-0-1)
B) Stability Ball Jackknife – 15 reps (2-1-1)
C) Cable Chop or Medicine Ball Chop – 10 reps per side (2-0-1)

Interval Workout A

Tuesday - Happy St. Patrick's Day!

On Tuesday, get 30 minutes of activity, but don't be spending it in the pub! Instead, do something fun outside, and take advantage of the daylight savings time (if you live in the Northern Hemi).

And then check out my new blog post called, "Fat Loss is Easy" at => Fat Loss is Easy

Time for another workout rundown...let's hit:

TT Workout B from TT for Abs, Sept 2007

1A) DB Bulgarian Split Squat – 8 reps per leg (2-1-1)
1B) Elevated Pushup – 12 reps per side (2-0-1)

2A) Pull-up – 8 reps (4-0-1) OR Inverted Rows – 15 reps (2-0-1)
2B) Bear Crawl – 10 steps in each direction

3A) DB Swing – 20 reps (1-0-1)
3B) Burpees – 10 reps (fast)

Ab Circuit
A)Turkish Get Up – 10 reps per side
B) Plank – 60 second hold
C) Side Plank – 40 second hold

NO Intervals. You've done enough already!

Now let's take a look at Workout C from my current 3-day workout program...

1) Deadlift (3 RM, 4x8)
2A) Military Press (4x6-8)
2B) Good Morning (4x10)
3A) Pistol (3xMax)
3B) Pullups (40 reps)

Whew. The basics are the best.

Another day for 30 minutes of easy activity...

Now for a Q'n'A session with one of my hedge fund clients...

Q: Should I monitor/keep track of my daily calories if I want to drop weight or should just "figure" it out through trial and error?

I want you to spend 10-14 days tracking your calories and you'll learn everything you need to know about calorie intake and calorie levels of certain foods to last you a lifetime.

Do this intensive little study and you'll never have to try and count calories again because you'll have all that info in your head.

Finally, Friday! Let's celebrate with...

TT Workout C from TT for Abs, Sept 2007

1A) DB Forward Lunge – 8 reps per leg (2-0-1)
1B) DB Incline Press – 8 reps (2-0-1)

2A) DB Row with Stability Ball – 15 reps (1-0-1)
2B) DB 1-Arm Squat & Press – 12 reps per arm (2-0-1)

3A) Decline Close Grip Pushup – 12 reps (2-2-1)
3B) DB 1-Arm Standing Curl – 8 reps (3-0-1)

4A) Plank with Arms on Ball – 20-30 second hold
4B) X-Body Mountain Climber – 10 reps per side (1-0-1)

Interval Workout B

Saturday - First day of spring here in North America!

Social Support Saturdays! Contact some support and talk about success stories and overcoming obstacles.

Oh, and if you wouldn't mind, could you tell a few friends about Turbulence Training or this podcast or my blogs? That would be really cool!

Thanks so much!

Now here's a bonus Interval Training Circuit you can do...

• Warm-up – 5 minutes at a moderate pace

• Interval #1 (60 seconds at 8/10 intensity level)
• Without rest, do 5 Spiderman Pushups per side
• Rest 1 minute before moving to Interval #2.

• Interval #2 (45 seconds at 8/10 intensity level).
• Without rest, do 10 Mountain Climbers per side
• Rest 1 minute before moving to Interval #3.

• Interval #3 (60 seconds at 8/10 intensity level).
• Without rest, do 5 Bird Dogs per side – brace your abs!
• Rest 1 minute before repeating Intervals #1-#3 one more time each.

• Cool-down for 5 minutes.


Ok, take some time to plan, shop, & prepare your food for the next week.

And let's take a look at the 2000 calorie vegan meal plan from my friend, John Alvino.

=> Click here for the Veggie Meal Plan

Well, that's it. Tons of info here...

Next week!
• More transformation tips
• Let me know what workout you'd like me to break down…
• More ab exercise tips

Stay tuned,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Click here for all of the Turbulence Training Ten Dollar Workouts

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Hardcore since '94 - Ferruggia's Renegade Gym in Jersey

New Jersey Personal Trainer and Sport Specific Training

Renegade Gym from Jason Ferruggia on Vimeo.

Hardcore Workouts

Had a great workout yesterday. I did...

1) Bench Press
2) Clean
3A) Dumbell Incline Press
3B) Dumbbell Row
3C) Back Extensions

I thought I was one tough dude after doing that...
But last night, I flew down to Newark, NJ, and met up with legendary strength coach, Zach Even-Esh. We're doing a seminar on Thursday and Friday.

Zach took a look at my workout and said, "Bro, you can make that even tougher."

And then he suggested this...

REAL Man Workout # 1
1A) bench 4 x 3 - 6 reps (pyramid each set)
1B) clean 4 x 3 - 6 reps (pyramid each set)
** no rest between A & B, rest 1 min. after B

2A) db incline 3 x 6 - 10 (pyramid each set) - medium, heavy, heavier
2B) 1 arm db row 3 x 10 - 15 (1 medium set, 2 heavy sets)

(Zach rows 130 for 20 + reps and 150 for 10+ reps, no wimpy weights! I was only using 110 for 10 reps!)

3) back extension or KB swings 2 x 15 - 20 reps ==> superset with an ab exercise for same rep range
OR, Zach said to place a time limit on each superset, say 5 minutes and hit max rounds in 5 minutes, reps on bench and clean would be sets of 5, reps on incline and 1 arm row would be 10 each
It gets brutal with supersets for time!
Whew! That's tough just thinking about it.
If you want to train hard to the core...
Tomorrow, Zach shares with us how to "toughen up" a bodyweight workout.

Stay strong,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
PS - Zach has a special gift waiting for you here:

How to Lose Weight with the Internet

You're going to love's a little video that shows you how to lose weight on the Internet.

It just involves this funky little website called Twitter...check out the video below...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Turbulence Training Monthly Workouts

Kind of cool to look at the entire list of Turbulence Training Monthly, never knew what I was getting myself into when I started this almost 4 years ago! 

What will we think of next?

- September 2005: 4-Week Fat Loss Plan
- October 2005: Original 4-Week Bodyweight Workout
- November 2005: Barely Legal 4-Week Mass-Gain Workout
- December 2005: Ultimate Holiday Fat Loss Workout

2006 (Click here to review the 2006 TT Workouts)
- January 2006: Fat Loss in a Busy Gym Workout
- February 2006: Fusion Fat Loss Workout
- March 2006: Turbulence Training for Athletes
- April 2006: Fusion Muscle Building Workout
- May 2006: How to Gain 15 lbs of Lean Mass
- June 2006: TT Hardcore Fat Loss Workout
- July 2006: Summertime Bodyweight Workout
- August 2006: TT for Women 4-week Workout
- September 2006: TT for Muscle
- October 2006: TT DB-BW Fusion Fat Loss
- November 2006: TT Female Strength
- December 2006: TT 10-Minute Fat Loss Workouts

2007 (Click here to review the 2007 TT Monthly Workoutsl)
- January 2007: January TT Fat Loss Workout
- February 2007: Unilateral TT Fat Loss Workout
- March 2007: 10-Minute TT Workouts
- April 2007: Build Muscle at Home with Dumbbells
- May 2007: TT "300" Workout Challenge
- June 2007: TT Synergy Fat Loss Workout
- July 2007: TT Advanced Bodyweight Workout
- August 2007: TT KB-DB-BW Fusion Workout
- September 2007: TT for Abs Workout
- October 2007: TT Bodyweight 500 Workout
- November 2007: TT Gain Muscle & Lose Fat Workout
- December 2007: TT 12 x 12-Minute Workout

2008 (Click here to review all of the 2008 TT Workouts)
- January 2008: TT 2K8 Fat Loss Workout
- February 2008: TT Circuit Training Workout
- March 2008: TT Bodyweight 100 Workout
- April 2008: TT for Lower Abs Workout
- May 2008: TT Big 5 Fat Loss Circuit
- June 2008: TT BW 30-Minute Circuit
- July 2008: TT DB-BW Fusion Workout
- August 2008: TT Hot Zone Workout
- September 2008: TT for Meatheads
- September 2008: TT Female Bodysculpting
- September 2008: TT 3-Minute Arms
- October 2008: TT Bodyweight Cardio Workout
- October 2008: TT 6-Minute Abs
- November 2008: TT Meatheads V.2.0
- November 2008: TT Bodyweight Cardio V.2.0
- December 2008: TT Medicine Ball Workouts

2009 (Click here to view the 2009 Workouts)
- January 2009: TT 2K9 Fat Loss Workouts
- February 2009: TT Buff Dudes – Hot Chicks
- March 2009: TT March Madness Circuits

Check them all out here:

=> The Turbulence Training Monthly Workout Library

Let me know which one is your favorite,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

PS - By the way, here's the TOP 5 TT Workouts as chosen by you, the TT readers!

#5 - The TT Bodyweight 500!

This workout has been used by more men and women than any other TT program ever! Join in the fun here:

=> Click here for the Bodyweight 500

#4 - The Big 5 Fat Burning Circuit

Discover those 5 secret exercises here:

=> Click here for the Big 5 Circuit

#3 - The Original Turbulence Training for Abs

Warning! Do not watch funny movies for 5 days after doing Workout B, because your abs will be too sore! View that infamous workout here:

=> Click here for the Original TT for Abs

#2 - TT for Buff Dudes & Hot Chicks

This program contains the hardest TT workout ever!

=> Click here for Buff Dudes and Hot Chicks

And the #1 program based on your votes...

#1 - The TT Hard-Core Fat Loss Workout

Going all the way back to June, 2006, here's one of the most legendary programs EVER!

Will I ever top this one? You be the judge. View this incredible fat blasting program here:

=> Click here for TT Hardcore Fat Loss

Let me know if we missed your favorite workout.

Don't Let the Recession Make You Overweight!

I'm no economics genius, so I can't help solve the recession, but I do know that times of stress cause some folks to eat more than they need - and that means weight gain for many.

In fact, that's what this Japanese research study found. The scientists studied 122 workers between the ages of 21-60 and found that work stress (in the form of tension, anxiety and depression) was associated with an increase in eating.

The researchers called this, "eating to satiety" (basically eating until they were full, every time). Unfortunately, eating to satiety was also associated with weight gain.

The researchers concluded that work stress can negatively impact your eating patterns, causing you to gain weight. And in today's stressful world, that is not good news.

So here's what you need to do. If stress is making you eat more, make sure you keep high-calorie, energy dense foods such as processed carbohydrates (chips, cookies, baked goods, etc.) out of your house and office.

Load up on whole, natural foods such as fruits, vegetables, and raw nuts (yes, nuts!). These foods will fill you up before you can eat too many calories, and you'll limit your risk of gaining weight, even if you eat to satiety due to stress.

Stay strong during these turbulent times,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

PS - Want some recession busters?

Click here for free workouts

Click here for free meal plans

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Fat Burning Barbell Complex Workouts:

How often should somebody use a barbell complex in place of cardio at the end of a fat burning workout?

This is going to depend on how hard you train in those barbell complexes.  

You shouldn't be doing them more than four times a week for a couple of reasons.  

You might want to just cycle your intensity. You might do some harder exercises - such as overhead presses - and just use the bar on one day for high reps.

As long as you get the variety in there and as long as you're – what I say about the body weight stuff is don't let those types of workouts interfere with the main workout.

You can still do lots of work, including the barbell complexes after your workout or on off days as long as it doesn't interfere with the recovery of the workout before or the preparation for the workout the next day.

If you're doing them that often you should be able to pull of 15 repetitions per set.  Lower than that you're probably going to get into some muscle soreness.

Don't do the same one obviously four days in a row or four days in a week because again, it's just too much of the same thing.  So that's why I always like to – in the barbell complex and stuff you can pretty much change it up every time you go in there.  You don't have to do the same one ever.

But in the weight training workouts we're going to repeat those things over the course of four weeks because we do want to get the same stimulus in there several times, but with the barbell complexes you can just go everything and you can switch it up.  You do barbell complex with body weight exercises within it.

Click here for more Turbulence Training workouts

Monday, March 09, 2009


Another week, another fast, and I decided to start early. Last week I used Eat Stop Eat from Monday at noon to Tuesday at noon, but this week I started at 7pm Sunday night and finished a little early at 5:30pm Monday.

I also hit today's workout about 18 hours into the fast and despite a few confused bodybuilders calling me crazy, I managed to lift more weight and do more reps than I did last week (when I trained on a regular eating schedule).

Most people don't know that when you start doing intense exercise, your liver begins to release glucose into your blood. So you aren't likely to have low blood sugar when you exercise...until you pounded an insulin-spiking meal or drink right before your workout.

So working out while fasting really isn't a big deal. My session went down like this...

1A) Squat (3x3, 3x8)
1B) Cable External Rotation (3x10)

2A) BB RDL (4x8)
2B) DB Bulgarian Split Squat (2x12)

3) DB Shrugs

I skipped one of the exercises, the dumbbell floor press, because my triceps are sore from Saturdays workout.

Tomorrow I'll do some bodyweight exercises early in the the rest of my day is booked up with phone calls and activities.

Stay strong,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Click here for all of the Turbulence Training Monthly Workouts

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Friday Night Fire

My home almost burned down on Friday night. Here's the crazy story...

Late Friday evening, after I had recorded this week's TT fat loss coaching call, I went out for my weekly reward meal with friends to a local pub/restaurant.

I had an amazing chicken thigh stuffed with bacon and brie cheese, accompanied by vegetable ravioli and pan fried mushrooms. Plus, I had my usual Friday night cold beer (Alexander Keiths was the brand, for those of you keeping score).

I was only gone 90 minutes...

...but by the time I got back to my building, there were 8 fire trucks and 3 cop cars on the street, and firefighters and cops were swarming throughout my building.

In the 90 minutes I was gone, time one of the condo units on the 3rd floor managed to catch fire, and the sprinkler system flooded both the 2nd and 3rd floors.

Fortunately, I live on the 5th floor so there was no water damage...


As I walked in, one of the police officers said, "Hey buddy, you should probably just go open a window in your place and then go for a walk. All that smoke in here is bad for your lungs."

Then it hit me...Uh-oh! Bally the Dog was upstairs by himself! His poor little doggy lungs!

So I flew up 5 flights of stairs, burst into my condo, and was relieved to be greeted by a barking and happy dog.

Fortunately, the smoke hadn't collected in my unit, but we still opened all of the balcony doors and went for a long, late-night walk through the neighborhood.

Everything is back to normal now, but it reminded me to be grateful for everything I often take for granted. Couldn't imagine losing my lil' pup or my place.

And there's a lesson here for you too.

Recently on the TT forum, there have been a couple of folks who have concerns about their progress.

Like many people who start a fat loss program, they got off to an amazing start, losing 5-10 pounds in the first 2 weeks. But now they are "only" losing 1-2 pounds per week.

And they are worried.

But they shouldn't be.

Instead, they should be grateful about the great results they have achieved so far.

They should be grateful for the life-long healthy habits they are building each day.

Little things like that which will add up to a belly fat-free lifestyle for the rest of their lives.

So let's be grateful today. For the little things. The small improvements. The habits we are making. The bad habits we have

And let's keep living the TT lifestyle day-in and day-out, doing short workouts and eating delicious, whole, natural foods.

Stay safe and be grateful for all that you have,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

PS - If you want to get maximum results in a short amount of time... of the secrets to success is social support.

You need to have someone to talk to. Someone to encourage you on tough days. Someone to tell you that what you are doing is the right thing, even when others at work and home give you a hard time.

Please join us on the TT forum.

PPS - I just added a "Home Video" tour of my house and where I do some of my workouts.

I invite you to come into my home...just watch the video on the TT Member's site. You'll get some great home workout tips.

=> Click here to try TT for less than 5 bucks & get a 3-month free TT Membership

Friday, March 06, 2009

7-Day Diet and Workout Plan for Fat Loss

We are cramming in the diet and workout plans for fat loss this week...everything from energy tips, to circuit workouts, to vegetarian meal plans, and even a trip to my kitchen (plus you get to find out about my secret "banana taco" recipe!).

=> Click here to listen to this week's fat loss coaching call

Oh, and I almost forgot...I have a new blog...its going to cover all of your questions about fat loss...a little different than this blog which covers everything about health, fitness and the TT I named the new blog Fat Loss

Now for this week's diet and workout plan...

Monday – March 8

The weather is nice and folks are starting to run...BUT...

If you decide to use running as your form of interval training, make sure you have good running shoes, always do an extra thorough warm-up and choose a safe running surface (grass or trails rather than pavement or concrete). If you use a treadmill, please operate it safely.

Now for this week's workout...

TT March Madness Circuits Workout A Power Circuit

1) Jump and Stick – 6 repetitions (1-0-1)

2) Chin-up – Two less than max reps (3-0-1)

3) Lunge Jump – 8 reps per side (1-0-1)

4) Spiderman Pushup – 8 reps per side (2-0-1)

5) 1-Leg Stability Ball Leg Curl – 8 reps per side (2-0-1)

6) Inverted Row – Two less than max reps (2-0-1)

7) Burpees – 6 reps (1-0-1)

Rest 1 minute and repeat up to two more times (but only one more time in week 1).

=> Click here to grab your copy of the March Madness Circuits!

Pre-Fatigue Ab Circuit

1) Plank – 45 seconds

2) Stability Ball Jackknife – 15 reps (2-0-1)

3) Side Plank – 30 seconds per side

4) X-Body Stability Ball Mountain Climber (Feet on Ball) – 8 reps per side (1-0-1)

Rest 1 minute and repeat up to two more times (but only one more time in week 1).

“Bodyweight Interval Training”

- Do as many bodyweight squats as you can do in 5 minutes.

- You can break this up into however many sets and reps as you want (i.e. do sets of 10 or sets of 20 or sets till you can’t go no more and then rest however long you want).

- Each week try to do more squats in the same amount of time.

Do something fun for 30 minutes activity. And get outside and into some sunshine for more energy.

=> Click here for 5 tips to get more ENERGY


You are going to love this one!

TT March Madness Circuits Workout B: KB-BW 10x20 Circuit
· Do not rest between exercises.
· Rest 1 minute after completing the circuit.
· Repeat up to 2 more times.
· There are no intervals after this program.

1) Kettlebell (KB) Squat – 20 reps (2-0-1)
2) Extended Pushup – 20 reps (2-0-1)
3) KB Swing – 20 reps (1-0-1)
4) Walking Lunge – 20 reps per side (2-0-1)
5) KB High Pull – 10 reps per side (1-0-1)
6) Mountain Climber – 10 reps per side (1-0-1)
7) KB 1-Arm Swing – 20 reps per side (1-0-1)
8) Close-grip Pushup – 20 reps (3-0-1)
9) KB 1-Arm Row – 10 reps per side (1-0-1)
10) Stability Ball Leg Curl – 20 reps (2-0-1)

=> Click here to grab your copy of the March Madness Circuits

My workout - Workout B

Bench (3RM)

Full Clean & Squat (4x6)

DB Row (4x8)

Incline Press (4x10)

Back Extension (4x10)


Have fun with 30 minutes of activity.

And download this audio to listen to John Alvino talk about vegetarian protein sources...

=> Click here for vegan protein intake


The final TT workout of the week...

TT Workout DB-BW Strength Circuit

- Do not rest between exercises.

- Rest 1 minute at the end of the circuit.

- Repeat 2 more times before moving on to the Timed Bodyweight Interval Circuit.

1) Dumbbell (DB) Push Press – 6 reps (2-0-1)

2) Bulgarian Split Squat – 20 reps per side (2-1-1)

3) DB Squat – 15 reps (2-0-1)

4) Grasshopper Pushup – 10 reps per side (2-0-1)

5) DB or Medicine Ball (MB) Chop – 10 reps per side (1-0-1)

6) Spiderman Climb – 12 reps per side (1-0-1)

7) DB Turkish Get-up – 5 reps per side (1-0-1)

8) Elevated Push-up – 10 reps per side (2-0-1)

Timed Bodyweight Interval Circuit

• Do not rest when you switch exercises.

• Go through this circuit one time only.

1) Medicine Ball Woodchoppers

---- (20 seconds woodchoppers + 10 second hold with ball overhead x 8 rounds) ----

2) Squat Thrusts

---- (20 seconds thrusts + 10 second hold in top pushup position x 2 rounds) ----

3) Running “High Knees” in Place plus Plank

----- (20 seconds sprinting + 10 second plank x 8 rounds) ----

4) Squat Thrusts

----- (20 seconds thrusts + 10 second hold in top pushup position x 2 rounds)

=> Click here to grab your copy of the March Madness Circuits!


Social support...chill with some friends...but don't have a cheat day!

Instead, have a reward meal...

The "reward meal" is just psychological. Rewards you. I don't believe a cheat meal boosts fat loss physiologically.


Plan, shop, & prepare!

I introduced some new foods to my diet...

a) Ezekial bread and cereal

b) Chipotle hummus

Hey, come drop by my kitchen and check out my renovations...

=> TT Kitchen

And see my creation of the Banana Taco!

=> Click here for the delicioso Banana Taco

Next week!

• More transformation tips

• Let me know what workout you’d like me to break down…

• Vegan Diet tips