Thursday, April 30, 2009

5-Minute Circuit Weekend Workout

Couple of exciting TT Transformation Contest announcements before we get to 2 awesome (and free!) 5 minute circuit weekend workouts for you today...

1) Congratulations to our Tranformation Motivation Contest Winners

You can read the winning entries on my blog at:

=> Transformation Contest Winners

Our winners get a 1-year Platinum TT Membership AND a FREE Flip Video Camera to film their Transformation!

2) I've added an exciting NEW category to the 5th TT Transformation Contest...

A "Couples" Division.

That's right, you can lose fat and get fit with your spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend and win money!

More details to come on the official rules page before Monday here:

=> Transformation Contest Rules

Okay, now to the 5-Minute Circuit Workouts for this week...

1) The Beginner 5-Minute Bodyweight Circuit

Here's an easy beginner bodyweight circuit that I designed for a Turbulence Training member...

1) 2-leg hip extension - 12 reps
2) Plank - 30 seconds
3) Stability Ball Leg Curl - 12 reps
4) Pushup or Kneeling Pushup - 8 reps
5) Side Plank - 15 seconds per side

Repeat one more time.

2) The Advanced 5-Minute Bodyweight Circuit

I'll be doing this in my hotel room on Friday morning before heading off to a seminar in Chicago that runs from 8am to 11pm!

Each exercise done for one minute (single leg exercises done for 30 seconds per side).

1) Prisoner Squat
2) Close-Grip Pushup
3) Bulgarian Split Squat (back foot on bed)
4) Spiderman Pushup
5) 1-leg RDL

To be honest, I'll probably go through this 3 times for a 15-minute workout, but if you only have 5 minutes, once through the circuit is still really good.

Fun stuff!

Discover all of those exercises and get ready for the Turbulence Training Transformation Contest by grabbing your TRIAL offer:

=> Turbulence Training Trial Offer - Only $4.95

The next contest is going to be amazing,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

PS - Do you want your freedom? Do your want more confidence?

Do you want to finally have energy, more self-esteem, and the body of your dreams that your partner desires?

That is what I heard from so many of you in the Transformation Motivation contest...

...and I guarantee that is what you will achieve when you join the Transformation Contest.

It is a guaranteed certainty that you will transform your body, mind, and life with the help of the Turbulence Training Social Support.

Just take a look at our past winners and their powerful stories here:

=> Body Transformation Contest Winners

Can't wait to hear about your success!

Transformation Motivation...

Congratulations to our first winner, Mike from Pressing Towards a Goal, on his Grand Prize winning entry in the Turbulence Training Transformation Motivation Contest.

Mike has a won a Flip Video Camera and 1-Year Platinum TT Membership for his powerful story…

Let's here how Mike has already transformed and lost 30 pounds and is continuing to change his body and lose fat everyday. Powerful stuff!

(Notice the HUGE emphasis on SOCIAL SUPPORT in Mike's life, and because of that, Mike has regained his CONFIDENCE and FREEDOM…so please find your social support - online and offline - today!)


I dont know if this falls under these categories, but it's something that I've achieved through using TT workouts and eating right and Im still working towards my final goal, but heres my story on getting back in shape and transforming my life.

We've all been there before. That point where you think to yourself, "Ok, I'm going to lose some weight and get back into shape." I have caught myself thinking this for the last couple years, only to fall over and over again in attaining anything that I wanted.

I was expecting fast results in the quickest time possible, but not willing to make some of the sacrifices that it takes to actually lose weight, maintain a healthy weight, and live an active lifestyle. I had it in my head what I wanted, but didn't know how to get there, and definitely wasn't ready for the lifestyle changes that you have to adapt in order to reach a weight loss goal and in general, living healthier.

About a year ago, I was once again thinking the same things I've thought so many times before. "Ok, I'm going to lose weight and maintain and live a healthier life."

Being one that had enjoyed numerous competitive sports growing up and enjoying anything that had some competitive side to it, I had actually found myself in a new spot that I hadn't been before. I had a fire in me for gaining back what I had lost.

To read the rest of Mike's story click this link:

=> Transformation Motivation Contest Winner

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Off to Chicago tonight, so I squeezed in my final real workout of the week today. Great deadlift workout.

This week I switched to an alternate grip (left hand overhand, right hand underhand) for the heavier sets. I'll switch back and forth between that and double overhand each week.

1) Deadlift: 375 went up for a single pretty easy, as did 385. I stopped there. Also did 365 for 3. Followed that up with 255x2x8 (double overhand).

See video below for instructions on how to...

2A) Military Press - 2x5
2B) Good Morning - 2x6

3) Chinups - 1x15

Done in 40 minutes,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tuesday Interval Training Workout

Sometimes it just feels good to run really fast. But we forget that as we get old and practical and set in our stuffy adult ways.

But this morning, when I was out with Bally the Dog on our morning walk, I found myself thinking, "dang, the conditions are perfect for running". The weather reminded me of the high school soccer games I played over 15 years ago on days like these...and so once we got to the trails in High Park, I just started running.

Bally and I ran 8 sprints. Who knows how long they lasted and I didn't give a care about my "work to rest" ratio. We just ran till we (I mean until "I") couldn't keep that pace and then we walked (well, I walked and he sniffed things), and then we started running again.

We ran twists and turns through the trails, with him biting at my butt and trying to jump on me. Probably not the safest interval workout in the world, but it was fun. Just a boy and his dog running for no reason other than to run as fast as they could.

Now he's all tuckered out and I feel like a million bucks.

But you know, I take it for granted how I can just go running around anyplace I want, anytime, and how I feel before, during, and when I'm done.

It's not the same for everyone else. Some folks feel trapped, depressed, and even ashamed of how they look and feel.


...these folks are committing to transforming their bodies.

Please take a look and see if these transformation stories can inspire you to improve - no matter how fit you might be.

Over 297 brave men and women have poured their hearts out, and the stories will inspire you to gain your freedom, confidence, and self-respect again. I promise you, these folks will motivate you no matter what is holding you back.

=> Click here for inspiring tales of transformation program motivation

Monday, April 27, 2009

Squat Workout

All the college kids are back in the gym on their summer programs. Lots of deadlifting and push pressing. Made for a good training environment today. Here's what I did...

1) Wide Stance Squats (about 4-6 inches wider than hip width - i didn't actually measure) - 3x5 (worked up to 335)

2A) Narrow Stance Squats (hip width apart) - 3x10
2B) DB Triceps Extension (3x10)

3A) Back Extension - 3x10
3B) Narrow Grip Seated Row - 1xFailure

That was it.

No chocolate milk today. Wasn't hungry till I got home.

But when I did get home, I had two bowls of organic granola (from Mabel's Specialty Food Shop) with Kefir.

Kefir is okay, but I doubt I'll be buying any more of it. I just don't use dairy products that much any more. Was worth a try.

Stay tuned for a tale of my stupidity tomorrow,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

PS - Guess what I'm doing tonight?

Reading over 231 entries into my transformation blog contest!

Click here to read these powerful transformation entries

How to Lose Back Pain

I'm such a goof...

...on Sunday night, while cooking a steak on the BBQ on my balcony, I ended up "walking through a screen door".
(Here's a pic of the view from my balcony)

I mean I literally stepped right into it and kept on going...and popped it completely off the rails.

You see, I left the steak beside the BBQ and had to run back inside, but didn't want Bally The Dog to steal I brought him in with me and shut the screen door.

But when I went back outside in a rush, I forgot I had closed it.

And I power walked right into the screen!

I frantically tried to catch it before it crashed to the ground, but no luck, almost going headfirst into the ground with it.

As a result, I ended up in an awkward position, and frankly, if this had happened when I was 25, I probably would have hurt my back.

Sounds crazy doesn't it? But back when I was young and stupid (if you're still allowed to be young and stupid at 25 years old), I was strong but had back pain.

And I was doing everything wrong.

-> I'd sleep late on weekends in awkward positions.

-> I neglected the basic exercises to take care of my back.

-> I didn't use the best form in all my exercises either.

-> I was even using the wrong ab exercises, like situps.

And I still remember one Saturday morning back in 2001 when I rolled out of bed around 11am, bent down to put on my socks...and a felt a sharp pain hit my low back on my right side.

My first thought was..."I'm too young for back pain!"

Eventually the pain would go away, and then about 4 weeks later the same situation would happen again.

I was embarrassed. Here I was writing for Men's Health and training hundreds of men and women for fat loss, and yet I had back pain!

So I studied everything I could to get rid of annoying back pain.

I read Dr. Stuart McGill's book on Low Back Fitness and Performance (an advanced read, but necessary for all trainers - and if your trainer hasn't heard of this book...either fire them or buy them a copy!).

I even drove to the University where Dr. McGill lectures so that I could speak with him one-on-one.

I also talked to fellow trainer Jesse Cannone, and he said the #1 thing you must do to lose back pain is NOT a bunch of generic exercises, but...

...You must find and eliminate the CAUSE of your back pain.

Jesse goes over the useless exercises recommended by most doctors AND gives you a simple 3 step way to lose the back pain in his free report here:

=> Click here for Jesse's free report on eliminating back pain

Helping you LOSE the back pain for life,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

PS - Find out why Physical Therapy, Massage Therapy, and even Drugs won't help you lose the back pain...

Get Jesse's CONTROVERSIAL free report here:

=> Click here to lose your crippling back pain forever!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Transformation Contest - Win a Flip Cam & Free Membership

I'm giving away a 1-Year Platinum TT Membership AND a new Flip Video Camera to TWO lucky folks...

...just for answering a quick question on my blog.

=> Click here to post your quick response and enter to win the camera

Just go to my blog and tell me, "What would Transforming Your Body mean to you?"

You can win some sweet prizes!

Can't wait to hear from you,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

PS - Next TT Transformation Contest starts next Monday, May 4th.

Click here for the entry rules & registration page:

=> Transformation Contest Rules

Crazy Weekend

I think this weekend's Sprin Fever heat got to the city of Toronto...I saw so much crazy stuff while walking Bally the Dog...makes you wonder what's wrong with people. As we walked down to the lake yesterday, we passed by a police standoff where some guy was hanging over the side of a bridge, threatening to jump onto the Gardiner expressway.

Yesterday was also one of those days where I started to wonder if I was wearing a sign that said, "If you are crazy, please come up and start talking to me about my dog." Seriously. Does everyone who walks their dog get random people saying crazy things to them?

And then there was the dog...even though I walked him for 4 hours yesterday he still wanted to go back outside. He's a lunatic.

Then the rains came...crazy thunderstorm...and that seemed to calm everyone down (including the dog). But it caused some crazy damage on the streets.

So all that went down, and I was finishing up an Eat-Stop-Eat fast (which went well). Oh, and I also had a nap yesterday afternoon, probably because of the 2.5 hour dog walk in the sun got to me. 

Like I said, Crazy Weekend.

Today, things were a little more normal. And I hit the gym at about 9:30am (I had to move up all my workouts by one day this week because I'm going to Chicago on Wednesday night, and will only have a Hotel Gym - and no heavy weights).

Here's what I did today...

Warm-up - this probably lasted about 10 minutes, which makes my workouts so long (cable external rotation, pushups, shoulder mobility, and lots of bench press warmup sets)

1A) Bench - 275x1, 250x2x2
1B) RDL - 255x3x5

2A) DB Incline Press - 3x8 with 70's
2B) BB Row - 195x3x8

3A) Eccentric Cable External Rotations - 2x8
3B) BB Curls - 2x8

Total workout time was 47 minutes.

After, I went to Mabel's specialty food shop on Roncesvilles Avenue in Toronto. If you're a "foodie", you'll like what she's got...everything from fresh bread to vegan chocolate sauce, amazing ice cream, pre-made gourmet dinners (like Shepherd's pie made with lamb), and amazing chipotle hummus.

I grabbed some bread, organic granola, white bean dip, and red pepper salsa.

Squat workout tomorrow,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

PS - TT for Reformed Meathead Fat Loss... now available at


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Best Total Body Workouts

This is the total body workout you've been waiting for...
Turbulence Training AAA Abs
You'll get this workout and all these secrets in this week's fat burning guide...
- 3 simple things you must do to lose fat
- The INSANE fat burning Tri-Set from Workout A of TT AAA Abs!
- A picture of the unique ab exercise, the DB Renegade Row
- Bodyweight interval training video
- The truth about women and hunger...
- A surprisingly effective oblique exercise
- 7 foods I've added to my diet
You're going to love this program,
Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

PS - The full TT AAA Abs program is available...

=> Click here to get your copy of TT AAA Abs before the end of April

"I just wanted to say that I do think AAA is one of my favorite TT workouts also. It is very different from the "usual" TT workouts. Thanks Craig, for keeping it fun!"
Tabitha Bynum, TT Member

How to do more pushups

Here are a few simple tricks for intermediate/beginner folks who want to do more pushups.

These tips are perfect for someone who can do a few pushups, but are stuck at around 5 repetitions max. If you want to find out how to build chest muscle, define your triceps, and even work your abs harder, you'll love these tips.

So there are couple ways in which an individual can work to increase the number of pushups. First of all, however, the harsh truth is that people will be able to do more pushups if they lose body fat.

First, lose body fat!

If you have a lot of dead weight, then obviously it's going to be harder to perform a pushup. So make sure you're doing your supersets, your bodyweight exercises, your interval training, and getting your diet in order.

If you're stuck at 5 pushups, then there are a couple of ways you can add strength and endurance. Here's a great video to I know the audio sucks, so I wrote out the tips below...

One way to add more endurance is to take some of the weight off when doing the pushup and this can be done performing an incline pushup. So you can place your hands on a bench and perform the pushup, without going all the way to the ground. So although this may not help you build strength, you'll still be improving your endurance.

In order to build strength you'll need to go down to the ground. So, the first type of pushups we're going to work on is the eccentric portion or the lowering phase of a pushup.

In this exercise, instead of lowering in 1 second, you are going to take 5 seconds to lower your body to the ground. With this type of exercise you won't be able to complete as many repetitions, but you'll get more muscular control with all the muscles involved in performing the pushup and that is one way you can build more strength.

I recommend doing eccentric pushups earlier in the week and first thing in your workout and performing 3 sets to just short of failure, pairing it with another bodyweight exercise.

Later on in the week, you can perform a pushup where you hold your body in mid-position for 5 seconds, abs braced, and then push back up to the start position.

Similar to this, but a little more difficult is going even further to the ground and holding that position. Now, in this position you will only be able to hold the position for 3 seconds, relax, come back up, and then return to the holding position.

In this example, you may do 3 repetitions of holding for 3 seconds in that bottom position or do 5 repetitions of holding in the middle position for 5 seconds.

By simply performing the eccentrics and holds for pushups will help you to build strength very quickly and can translate into more endurance for the incline pushups which will enable you to do more pushups.

Again, lose body fat first, and then get strong with bodyweight exercises and your pushup numbers will increase.

Friday, April 24, 2009

TT for Reformed Meathead Fat Loss

A fat loss program for former bodybuilders who used to think that training 6 days per week for 90 minutes at a time was the only way to "get cut".

Discover the 3-day fat burning program that even old-school bodybuilders will combines the pump with the progressive exercise selection based on science and Turbulence Training experience. Get ready for big guns and six pack abs without cardio.

This is fun...and keeps the intensity going for another month.

I think i killed the deadlift

Well, lil' mr poopy-pants is back to being plain ol' mister stinky breath, so we got to sleep through the night without any need for an emergency trip to the park. That meant I was feeling "ready to go" when I got to the gym to deadlifts. And so I ended up doing a lot of sets.

All deadlift sets were done double overhand, no straps, no belt, and with about 90 seconds rest.

1) Deadlifts: 135x12, 185x10, 225x8, 275x6, 315x5, 345x1, 225x8, 245x6, 255x6

2A) Military Press 135x2x5
2B) Good Morning 185x2x8

3) Chinups - 15

That was it. 38 minutes.

Big dog walk tonight.

Bench press on Sunday morning,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

PS - Check out the free fat burning coaching call and TT AAA Abs workout here:

=> 7-day Abs Workout Guide

Thursday, April 23, 2009

5 Minute Bodyweight Interval Workout

Yesterday I had to take Bally the Dog to vet after I did a short bodyweight interval workout.

You see, lil' old poopy pants (as I'm calling him now) ate
something funky the other day...and we've had to make a few 2am
trips outside. Not fun. But he's all fixed up now.

As a result, I didn't have much time for a Thursday workout.

My "go to" workout on really busy days - like yesterday - is simply to crank out as many bodyweight squats as possible. And maybe some stability ball abs too.

1) So that's one option for this week's 5-minute workout.

2) And here's another bodyweight interval circuit workout for you...

Watch the video here:

=> Bodyweight Exercise Interval Circuit

3) And here's a FULL workout from the latest TT workout of the month, TT AAA Abs:

=> Best Fat Burning Workout

Helping you get more results in less time,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

PS - The full TT AAA Abs program is available...

...for only $9.95.

That's less than the cost of two bottles of water at a Yankees game!

=> Click here to get the full TT for AAA Abs program

"I just wanted to say that I do think AAA is one of my favorite TT workouts also. It is very different from the "usual" TT workouts. Thanks Craig, for keeping it fun!"
Tabitha Bynum, TT Member

Transformation Contest Success Stories

I am so proud of these folks!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Cleans, Squats, Rows

Despite being woken up at 1:30am (and then again at 5am) to take my dog outside because he has the "poopies", I wasn't tired when I hit the gym at 1pm today for a good workout.

In fact, I was pretty jacked up and ready to go all morning. I want to go in and train again tomorrow, but will force myself to have an off day and deadlift on Friday.

Here's what I did...

1) Hang Clean - sets of 5

2) Wide Stance Squat - worked up to 355

3A) Narrow Stance Squat - 245x3x12
3B) DB Triceps Extensions - 40x3x8

4A) Back Extension - 25x3x10
4B) Seated Narrow Grip Row - 175x2x12

50 minutes. I didn't rest much between sets.

After the workout I had a chocolate milk and 4 fresh cherry licorice.

Then did a bunch of phone interviews to promote the best fat loss program ever.

And finally, I finalized my trip details for UFC 98 in Vegas. Heading there with the guys from

Hope you are loving your workouts too,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

PS - Here's the best TT workout program that is similar to my current workout:

Turbulence Training for Meatheads Workout

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Cheat Diet

I'm working on the next TT Transformation Contest, and I've been researching more diet options to help you rapidly change your body.

I stumbled across one *new* diet that surprised fact, I might have to debate this diet author about his approach.

Let me know if you'd like to see an interview with this Joel...
After all, you know how I feel about whole, natural foods all the time!
On the other hand, Joel does have some amazing before and after photos, just like the ones you've seen in the latest TT Transformation Contest.
So maybe the diet does work...
I'll let you decide for yourself.
Only 12 more days to go till the next TT contest,
Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

Advanced Fat Burning Bodyweight Intervals

Cardio sucks and bodyweight exercises rule! If you want to sculpt your body, lose fat, build muscle, and get fit, forget the cardio and do this short bodyweight workout instead. It's a REAL workout.

This is a very unique program, but probably one of the toughest ones I've put together. However, please make sure you do this after a warmup of bodyweight squats, pushups, and lunges. You'll do this after your resistance training in any fat burning workout.

So, here is the order of exercises for the bodyweight intervals from workout A. You will start with jumps, and then move into calf jumps, followed by stability ball jackknives, and then Turkish get-ups to finish off the circuit.

For the jumps, you are going to do 10 regular squat jumps, rest 10 seconds, repeating 3 more times for a total of four sets of 10. As you are coming down, try to have a nice soft landing and absorb the contact with the floor and then right back up into the jump.

Once you've done the jumps, you are going to move on to the calf jumps. Again, four sets of 10, with a 10 second rest in between. To do this set of pogo calf jumps, as you land you will be bouncing up using the balls of your feet, and pointing your toes in the air every time.

After completing the first two exercises from the bodyweight intervals, you'll move on to the stability ball jackknives. Following the same structure as the previous two exercises, you will perform 4 sets of 10 reps, with a 10 second rest in between.

For this exercise, you can do it with either your hands on the floor or elbows on the bench. With your feet on the stability ball, bring your knees to your chest, keeping your back flat and then back out. If you want a little extra burn, however, you can 'rest' in the plank position.

For the Turkish Get-ups, you are going to do 5 repetitions per side, rest 10 seconds, and then perform one more set, for a total of 2 sets. In order to perform this exercise you will use either a dumbbell or a kettlebell and start by lying on the ground.

Now, with your arm extended up in the air, and the leg on the same side bent at 90 degrees, get up to a standing position. Once you are standing straight up, proceed to lie back down while keeping the DB or KB extended up in the air. Complete 5 repetitions per side and then switch.

This is a very difficult, advanced bodyweight interval training workout. Be sure to do this workout not on pavement or concrete, but instead on a relatively soft surface. Ideally, this workout would be done out on the grass.

However, if you aren't comfortable doing some of these exercises because you are worried about the impact or your technique, then you can easily substitute lower impact bodyweight exercises such as; squats or jumping jacks.

Train hard, but train safe. And have fun with this bodyweight interval training workout for fat loss. This program takes less time than long, slow, boring, ineffective cardio and you'll get more results from bodyweight exercises.
Stirring up the fat loss industry,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

PS - Get more FREE bodyweight workouts here:

=> Bodyweight Exercise Circuits for Fat Loss Workouts

2 Unique Bodyweight Abdominal Exercises That Will TRASH Your Core...

By Nick Nilsson

Author of "The Best Abdominal Exercises You've Never Heard Of"

Training the core effectively does NOT require endless crunches or useless machines or informercial "bear-trap-like" contraptions that fold neatly up and fit under your bed.

Training the core effectively requires only your bodyweight and a patch of floorspace!

Today, I've got two unique core-training exercises that utilize nothing but bodyweight to get the job done. Next time you train abs, try 2 or 3 sets of each one and see how your abs feel the next day...

Just fyi, I will have a link at the end of the article where you can go to see pictures and video of these exercises in action so you know EXACTLY what you're doing every step of the way.

Exercise #1 - Side Ab Push-Ups

This exercise targets the entire side wall of the torso...obliques, intercostals, transversus. It looks like a side plank exercise but adds movement to the plank position.

Sit on your left side on the floor (with your left hip on the floor) with your left hand propping up your body, fingers pointing directly in line with your body. Keep your left arm straight and locked.

Your legs should be extended straight down. Your body will be bent sideways at the waist, like you're about to push yourself up to get up. Your feet should be together, legs straight. If you like, you can brace feet against a solid object like a wall or machine.

Place your right hand on your lower left rib cage - this will help you to feel exactly how the abs are contracting as you do the exercise and help you make sure you're doing it right.

Now, using ab contraction, raise your hips directly up in the air until you've come up as high as you can (it will look like a sideways pike position), using your right hand to feel for that ab contraction. Squeeze the side abs HARD at the top then lower your body slowly.

At the bottom, try to keep your hip off the ground to get a good stretch on the side abs - you can rest it on the floor between reps if you need to, though.

Make sure you are on your side as much as possible throughout the movement - some forward bending is natural due to abdominal function in that area. Try to feel like you're also pushing up with your arm to get the strongest effect on the abs. Lean your head down towards the floor as you come up.

Watch out for lower back on this exercise as this is not a common plane of movement (the frontal plane). This exercise really tightens the entire side ab wall strongly. It's practical, functional and requires zero equipment.

Do 5 to 7 reps on each side per set of this exercise.

Exercise #2 - Flexed Arm Hanging Leg Raises

The hanging leg raise is one of the most commonly used lower ab exercises you'll see in the gym. As tough as it is, it can be done much more effectively with a small modification.

Instead of hanging down with your arms straight, do the hanging leg raise in the Flexed Arm Hang position! This not only makes the exercise tougher, it has the added bonus of removing much of the tension from the lower back that can happen with the standard hanging leg raise.

All you'll need to do the exercise is a chin-up bar (or something else to hang on). The nice thing about this version is that the bar doesn't have to be as high as with the regular version. You can do it in a power rack using an Olympic bar. Just set the bar to a level just about at your forehead. The exercise itself will be done exactly the same.

So grab the bar about shoulder-width, with your hands in an underhand curl grip. Pull yourself to the fully-flexed arm position and hold your body there.

Now do a leg raise/knee raise movement, bringing your legs up towards your chest. As you come up, don't just bend at the hips but be sure to actually curl your pelvis up as well. This is what activates the abs.

I like to do this exercise with the knees to further remove stress from the lower back. Because of the increased tension of the exercise, it's still plenty tough!

Hold at the top then lower down and repeat.

This reason this works better? Your abs get NO rest at the bottom, like they normally do in a hanging leg raise. When you're doing the flexed arm hang, your abs are contracting isometrically to support the weight of your legs.

They're also contracting to support the tension of the arm hang! It's double-trouble on the abs to start with then you throw in a leg raise. Very challenging!

Perform as many reps as you can on this one or until you can't hold yourself in that flexed-arm position any longer!

One Arm Version

If you're strong and are feeling adventurous, you can do this exercise with a one-arm hang. Instead of gripping both hands onto the bar, grip with one hand, then grab your wrist with your other hand.

This not only makes it harder, it sends more tension through the obliques as you do the exercise. Be sure to work both sides to keep things even.


To see pictures and video of these exercises in action, go to:


Nick Nilsson is Vice-President of the online training company BetterU, Inc. He has a degree in Physical Education and Psychology and has been inventing new training techniques for more than 17 years. Nick is the author of "The Best Abdominal Exercises You've Never Heard Of," a book packed with 77 of the most unique and effective ab-training exercises you've never seen before!

He can be contacted at

Monday, April 20, 2009

Last Day for Bootcamp Intro Sale

I screwed up. And I have to apologize to you.

With the tough economic times, a lot of TT readers were asking for a payment plan for the Bootcamp Workouts.

Unfortunately, I didn't get this up on the site until Monday afternoon, and I'm sorry about the delay.

So to make it up to you, I've extended the Introductory Price on the TT Bootcamp Workouts until Tuesday at 9pm EST...

AND you can now pay with two smaller monthly payments.

Grab your copy of the bootcamp workouts in 2 easy payments here:

(By the way...I've added another bonus audio interview to the bootcamp workout system. So get your copy today before the price goes up!)

Bootcamps are the wave of the fitness future,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

Monday Morning Bench Press Meathead Workout

Had a great weekend 30 hour vacation to Monreal for the UFC event on Saturday.

Left Toronto at 1pm, got to Monreal by 7pm, chilled for a bit, then walked over to the fights, had a great time there (even though the fights were mediocre), and then wandered around the late night-nightlife that Monreal is famous for. Got back to Toronto at 6pm Sunday night...

...and then got up and hit the gym early today (because Bally the Dog was at the dog-sitters, so I didn't have to do a morning walk) for a Meathead Bench Press Workout.

Today's workout went down like this...

1A) Bench Press - felt good and strong because I had most of last week off from upper body stuff

2A) DB Incline
2B) BB Row

3A) Eccentric Cable Rotator Cuff
3B) BB Curls

I hit a strong 275 on bench. That is good, but still off my best of 275 for 4 reps. Getting there and having fun doing it.

Classic Meathead Workout

Also started using creatine again today,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

PS - I wrote an article about fighter fat loss here:

UFC Fighter Fat Loss Workout Program

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Small Tweaks to Get Sharp for Summer

Controversial Guest Article By Rusty Moore, Fitness Tips

Long time readers of Craig Ballantyne and Turbulence Training obviously know the major points on getting in incredible shape.

Long and slow cardio is boring and a time killer. Intervals, intense HIIT, body weight circuits and anything that basically causes you to "bust a sweat" in a short period of time is where people will see the best results.

It is about a whole, natural foods diet with quality workouts, not how much time you spend training.

Tweak #1: Leave Plenty of Time to Get into "Peak Condition"

I believe that people should stay in shape year-round. The whole idea of bulking in the fall and winter and then "cutting up" in the spring is an outdated concept. You will never look your best for summer if you take that approach. The better approach is to never get too much more than 5 pounds out from "peak condition" and then slowly lose the last 5 pounds over a period of 2-3 months in spring.

The Last 4-5 Pounds of Body Fat Can Be a Bit Stubborn

Don't get me wrong, it is possible to lose the last 4-5 pounds of body fat in a week or two, but what I have found is going that aggressive can cause a quick yo-yo effect. When you lose it over a period of 2-3 months, you are typically eating a realistic diet that you can maintain for months at a time.

Tweak #2: Limit Carbs 2-3 Hours Before Bed

I think it is a bit obsessive to get too concerned with this year-round, but for 2-3 months this can make a difference. A large portion of our daily HGH is released during sleep. A large insulin spike right before bed can limit the production of HGH. Avoid carbs with a high GI before bed, but don't go to bed starving either. Again, this is not something to be worried about most of the year...overall calorie intake will make the biggest difference. This small tweak can help you lose that last little bit of stubborn fat.

Tweak #3: Go Into Some of Your Workouts in a "Fasted State"

The main goal of your workouts should be to jack up your metabolism and the majority of fat loss will happen after the workout. That being is possible to burn a bit of body fat during your workouts. Your body prefers to use carbs for energy, but you want to insure that it chooses body fat. A great way to do this is to make sure that there isn't any "food energy" in your system...don't eat a single calorie in the 3 hour window leading up to your workout. You aren't going to lose massive amounts of body fat during your workout, but over a period of months this approach will contribute to losing those last 4-5 pounds.

Tweak #4: Don't Be Obsessed With Protein or Muscle Loss

Believe it or not, it is actually hard to lose lean muscle if you are performing resistance training a few times per week. Also, it takes much less protein to maintain muscle mass than what most fitness experts would have you believe. "Let go" of your protein obsession and you will be less likely to eat unneeded calories. This may be the biggest tweak of this article. Focus on whole foods, eat slightly lower calories than normal and make sure you do some form of resistance training and you will lose fat while sparing your lean muscle.

Summary: Remember these are just small tweaks to help you get in especially good shape for summer. The major things like overall calorie intake and short intense workouts are going to make the biggest difference in your physique.

Click here to visit Rusty's blog for more great (controversial) articles

7 Day Fat Loss Coaching Call & Sample Bootcamp Workouts

WOW! Lots of folks asking for samples of the TT Bootcamp workouts, so in this week's fat loss coaching call I give you two programs, PLUS the exact formula for running a brilliant bootcamp.

PS - Don't miss all the details on the next Transformation Contest.

=> Click here to listen to the call


=> Click here for the sample bootcamp workouts

Helping you fight fat without the need for fancy equipment or an expensive gym,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

PS - Tuesday is the last day... save big bucks on the TT Bootcamp Workout.

The Introductory Special Offer Price is gone at midnight on Tuesday.

Click here to get your TT Bootcamp Workouts and get started:

=> Turbulence Training Bootcamp Workouts

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Saturday Morning Squat Workout

Got up and went straight to the gym. Did a squat workout that included a lot of moderate weight sets with a wider stance. My next training program uses wide-stance squats and its' been a while, so I have to go slow to prepare the adductor muscles so they won't be too sore.

Also included some medium stance squats and then some sets of 8-15 with a narrow stance. That was it. Just 20 minutes of squatting and then some cable abs. In and out quick.

Got some stuff to do around home and then heading on a road trip to Monreal to watch the UFC fight tonight...should be a good time.

More fat loss lessons from the road trip on Monday,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

PS - Check out this weeks' fat burning coaching call here.

You'll discover 2 sample bootcamp workouts and an update on the next transformation contest.

=> Free bootcamp workouts

Friday, April 17, 2009

How many calories in a starbucks frappacino?

Here's our latest Diet Vs Exercise video where you'll see Brad Pilon destroy over 1100 calories from a Starbuck's frappacino and espresso brownie while I do a lowly 50-60 snatches with a 35 pound kettlebell - even with one of the best workout exercises to burn belly fat.

Once again, the joke is on me, and diet wins in the battle of diet vs. exercise.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

5 Minute Ab Workout

For this week's Friday 5-Minute Workout, I'm going to give you a NO-equipment, bodyweight-only 5 minute circuit you can do at home (or anytime, literally anywhere).

And if you're a trainer, you can use this in your bootcamps. It's perfect and doesn't require anyone to haul around any bulky equipment.

- Do each exercise for 30 seconds.
- Do NOT rest between exercises.
- At the end of the circuit, rest 30 seconds before repeating one more time.

1A) Spiderman Climb or Spiderman Pushup
1B) Side Plank (30 seconds per side)
1C) Cross-Body Mountain Climber

Keep those abs "braced" and have FUN!

And don't forget, if you are running bootcamps, make it FUN and always, always, ALWAYS "Bring the Energy!".

For more NO-equipment, bodyweight only ab circuits and bootcamp workouts, grab your copy of the NEVER seen before TT Bootcamp workouts here:

=> Turbulence Training Bootcamp Workouts

Let me know what you think of the circuit,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

PS - If you want 21 more NO-equipment ab workouts...

...and complete bootcamp workouts, visit this website NOW!

=> Complete TT Bootcamp Workouts

PPS - And don't miss one the best interviews I've ever done...

...seriously, the info that 6-figure bootcamp master BJ Gaddour gave me is life-changing for any trainer.

That guy gets on TV almost every month to promote his bootcamp for free.

Heck, just the tip on how to NAME your bootcamp is worth at least $97...

Get that interview here now!

=> Click here for BJ's interview

Awesome Training Interview with Me...One of the Best!

Click here for the best interview I've done in a long time!

Here's part 1 of 4...

Turbulence Training Bootcamp Workouts

Whew! Finally...

After working for nearly 3 days straight on this...

The Turbulence Training Bootcamp Workouts are now ready!

Click here for the Turbulence Training Bootcamp Workouts!

- 21 brand NEW workouts never seen before...

- These workouts do NOT require a single piece of equipment...

- You can do them anytime, anywhere...

- Perfect for trainers who run bootcamps OR for anyone who loves bodyweight exercises

In fact, these are a MUST HAVE if you run bootcamps or if you want to start running bootcamps as a side project to make some extra cash to beat the recession.

Plus, you'll even get a complete audio guide on how to get your bootcamps, a bonus meal plan guide you can give your clients.

Get this amazing NEW bootcamp guide here:

=> TT Bootcamps

Helping you and your clients get more results in less time and with NO equipment,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

PS - Don't miss my controversial thoughts on the DEATH of the personal training industry as we know it.

PPS - The special INTRODUCTORY OFFER ends soon!

Save $20 when you grab your TT Bootcamp workouts today!

=> TT Bootcamps

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Nothing Beats a Good Training Atmosphere

Today I did deadlifts...and I trained down in the dungeon of the gym that I go to, and beside me were three young punks, about 21 years old, training hard. They had ugly form, but hey, at least they were training hard. And even though the gym music was pretty lame (I just can't train wearing an Ipod), all in all it was a good training atmosphere and helped me do this...

1) Deadlift - worked up to an easy 355x1, 325x5x5, and 245x11 (all done overhand, no straps, no belt)

2) Good Morning - 3x10

3) Cable Abs

That was it. Some pec stretching too.

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

PS - That was a good workout but...

...the real news is the winners of the TT Transformation Contest!

Click here to see the most amazing fat loss transformations!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

4th Turbulence Training Transformation Contest Winners!

The winners of the 4th Turbulence Training Transformation Contest have been announced!

Congratulations To Robyn - 1st Place Female Winner of $1,000 Cash& 3-Year Platinum Membership
Robyn Sets a TT Fat Loss Record and Loses Over 34 Pounds in 12 Weeks While 9.5 Inches from Her Waist, 5.75 Inches from Her Hips, and 5 Inches from Each Thigh!


Congratulations To Jonny - 1st Place Male Winner of $1,000 Cash & 3-Year Platinum Membership

Jonny Lost 32.1 Pounds of Fat, Beats Back Pain, Saves Money, and is Ready to Take His Shirt Off at the Beach!

Click here to read Jonny's TT essay
Proud of everyone,
Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

PS - The next contest starts...
...on May 4th.

Monday, April 13, 2009

3 Ways to a Healthy Heart

If you want to have a heart attack, then drink a lot of soda, eat french fries, and build up a big old belly of fat.

Researchers have found that hard belly fat, known as visceral fat, is the most dangerous fat of all for you to have. If you have one of those hard bellies full of fat, you need to change your life in a hurry, and lose that belly fat in 3 simple steps.

Researchers from the University of Michigan Department of Internal Medicine confirmed that your risk of cardiovascular disease is associated with the amount of belly fat that you have. The nasty visceral belly fat secretes inflammatory compounds, and inflammation is associated with heart disease.

Reference: Curr Vasc Pharmacol. 2009 Apr;7(2):169-79. Visceral adipose tissue and atherosclerosis.

I've dedicated my life to helping men and women lose belly fat and improve their health, and there are 3 simple steps you must do to get rid of visceral fat.

First, start eating fewer calories than you need by eliminating sugars and foods from a bag or a box. Replace those with whole, natural foods, focusing on fruits, vegetables, and raw nuts. Frankly, you could stuff your face with fruits and vegetables and you'd still lose weight.

Second, do short, burst exercise training focusing on total body resistance training and interval training to burn belly fat. Research shows interval training is just as good, if not better, than long cardio workouts for losing belly fat.

Third, get social support. You can't do this on your own. You'll lose more belly fat if you exercise with a friend who is also losing belly fat, or if you spend time on weight loss websites getting support from others on the forums. It is proven to help folks lose weight.

Let me know about your success,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Author, Turbulence Training

Squat Workout

Really good squat workout this morning.

1A) Medium Stance Squats - worked up to 335x3 followed by 255x2x10
1B) DB Triceps Extensions - 35x3x12

2) Front Squat - one set at 185 for 7 reps

That was about 40 minutes. I do a lot of warmup sets for squats. Keeping it simple.

Now for a dog walk then a drive back to Toronto and back into the regular big city routine for the rest of the week.

Stay strong,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

PS - My latest TT Transformation Contest just ended...

...drop by and vote for the amazing men and women...we even had one gal lose over 34 pounds in 12 weeks. A new ALL-time record for both women AND men.

Check out the male and female vote pages here:

=> Fat Loss Transformation Contest Results

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Vote in the 4th Turbulence Training Transformation Contest

Vote for top TT male transformation here:

=> Click here to vote for the top male fat loss success story!

And woman here:

=> Click here to vote for the top female fat loss success story!

As good as the guys are, the female results are just mind-blowing.

Congrats to everyone again!

Push Pull Workout

Happy Easter!

I am traveling to Texas and Mexico later this week so I had to move up my workout by one day. Today was presses and rows, a classic push pull workout.

1A) Bench Press - worked up to 270 for 3 sets of 1
1B) Cable Rotator Cuff exercises

2A) Rack Lockout - 3x6
2B) BB Row 4x15

3) Seated Row (1 set to failure plus drop set)

I read a Dorian Yates interview recently and it is encouraging me to focus on "focusing" and getting more out of 1-2 sets than 3-4. I'm slowly experimenting with less volume.

And keeping with that theme, June's TT workout of the month will show busy folks how to get all they training they need in 2 sessions of 20 minutes. Can't wait to share that one with you.

But first, the May workouts need to be edited and filmed. There will be two next month. One for beginners and one for advanced (Reformed Meathead Fat Loss - based on a program I had one of my clients do back in February - he loved it and so will you!).

After today's workout Bally and I went to Grandma's for our Easter Treats. He got some rawhide and I got one of those chocolate covered marshmallow eggs (a good one from a real chocolate store, not low-quality stuff).

Our little city of Stratford must have the most chocolate stores per capita in Canada. There are at least 3 quality chocolate shops. The stuff I always get is from a place called, Rheo Thompsons. If you ever visit Stratford, make sure to stop in there for a treat.

So I ate that chocolate covered marchmallow egg with some almonds after my workout.

Now time for a big dog walk and for Bally to go chase Easter bunnies,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

PS - Don't miss this week's FREE TT workout... this week's fat loss coaching call report, I go over a bodyweight program for you here:

=> Bodyweight Fat Loss Circuit Workout 

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Free 30-Minute Bodyweight Circuit Workout

This week's free workout is the 30-Minute Bodyweight Circuit Workout (details below).
Plus, there's more controversy on this week's fat loss coaching call this week...
You'll discover:
- The Ultimate 30-Day Bodyweight Circuit Challenge
(How many reps can YOU get?)
- Research on what overweight people really need to know to transform their bodies
-  How to beat the belly bloat with a simple diet change
-  Golf vs the gym? Which one should you do?
- The rules & exercises for the bodyweight challenge
- The best plateau busting tips
Let me know how many reps you get,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
PS - You can take the bodyweight challenge right now!
Get started now and let me know how many reps YOU can do.

Knowing the Dangers of Obesity Can Lead to Weight Loss

It's hard to believe that in this day and age so many folks are still overweight and obese. With all the coverage in the media, you'd think folks would realize obesity is bad.

British researcher, Dr. Judy Ann Swift from the University of Nottingham, studied overweight men and women and found that it's important for folks to understand the dangers of obesity.

Patient Educ Couns. 2009 Jan;74(1):70-6. Obesity-related knowledge and beliefs in obese adults attending a specialist weight-management service: implications for weight loss over 1 year.

One hundred and four overweight men and women entered the study and started by taking a survey about how much they knew about the dangers of obesity.

Amazingly, most overweight folks knew very little about the dangers of obestiy. However, her study found that the more educated someone is about the dangers and health costs of obesity, the better the chance they have of losing weight.

This is important news for trainers and health professionals, but also for anyone who wants to lose weight.

Educate your clients and help them discover the dangers of obesity and they will have more motivation to succeed!

Spread the word about the best ways to lose fat,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

Friday, April 10, 2009

Time Saver 10 Minute Workouts that Burn Fat and Build Strength

Earlier this week I was speaking to my friend Troy Anderson, a kettlebell coach down in Arizona, about how to get more results in less time - the bottom line we are dedicated to here at Turbulence Training. We got to talking about how he helps his clients do fast workouts.

Recently Troy became the proud father of a baby girl, and this added to his business and his own workouts has made him hyper aware of maximizing his workout time.

Today Troy is going to share 3 of his favorite 10 minutes workouts.

1.     GPP (General Physical Preparation) Workout
a.     Jumping Jacks
b.     Push-ups
c.     Mountain Climbers
d.     Squat Thrust + Jump
e.     4 complete cycles 30 seconds per exercise – as little rest as possible

2.     Secret Service Snatch Test– this is a classic kettlebell workout
a.     You simply perform as many kettlebell snatches as possible in 10 minutes
b.     If you are not lying on the floor after this workout then you didn't go hard enough!

7 Things You Don't Know About Kettlebell Workouts for Losing Fat

3.     Tabata Protocol - very well known protocol using a negative rest intervals
a.     Perform 8 sets of Squat Thrusts using 20 seconds on 10 seconds off work to rest interval
b.     Go as fast as possible don't lollygag
c.     This is truly an "anytime anywhere" workout.

The snatch test is currently my busy day of the week workout, and even thought it is only one day per week I am still making progress. I started with only being able to do 127 reps week 1 and now I am at 171 and heading towards 200.

So if you have been having days where there just doesn't seem to be enough time to get your workout done try out one of these 10 minute workouts.

Click here to join Troy's Kettlebell Fat Loss Community

Killer stuff. And guess what, ol' CB is going to try one of these on Saturday morning!

Let me know if you try one of those too,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

Friday Workout

I was real tired last night, so I went to sleep pretty early (10:30ish) and slept till 7am. Then hit a dog walk and then the gym.

I only did 1 hard set for each exercise. Some of these are exercises that I skipped in my regular workouts earlier in the week.

1) Pullups

2) Overhead Squats (finally back up to 135x5)

3) BB RDL (245x8 - double overhand grip)

4) DB 1-Arm Standing Shoulder Press (65x7)

5) DB Reverse Lunge

6) Stability Ball Rollout

Good quick workout. Now for a big dog walk.

Have a Happy Easter,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

PS - If you are a golfer that wants to get lean and lower your handicap, check out:

Thursday, April 09, 2009

5 Minute Tiger Woods Golf Workouts

You might be surprised by this, but I really like watching golf on Sunday afternoons.

I usually kick back with a buddy and have my weekly reward meal, and watch the last few holes (but only if Tiger is playing).

Unfortunately, I won't be able to do that this weekend because of family Easter dinner, but I have a couple of 5 minute workouts that you can do while you watch, or anytime this weekend if you're not a golf fan.

By the way, all of these workouts are a good combo of strength, endurance, and mobility, perfect for the golfer. And if you want to try out my latest project, the "Golf Fitness Challenge", check out:

=> Golf Fitness Challenge

Here are the 5-minute power-strength-mobility workouts for you.

5 Minute Tiger Woods Workout A
1A) Medicine Ball Chop - 12 reps per side
1B) Spiderman Push-up - 8 reps per side
1C) Stability Ball Leg Curl - 20 repetitions
Rest 30 seconds and repeat one more time.

5 Minute Tiger Woods Workout B
1A) Jump & Stick (land with knees bent) - 6 reps
1B) T-Push-up - 8 reps per side
1C) Bulgarian Split Squat - 15 reps per side
Rest 30 seconds and repeat one more time.

5 Minute Beginner Workout
1A) 1-Leg Hip Extension - 10 reps per side
1B) Plank - 30 seconds
1C) Stability Ball Hip Extension - 10 reps
Rest 30 seconds and repeat one more time.

For more golf specific workouts, join the Golf Fitness Challenge to
lose your belly and lower your handicap:

=> The Golf Fitness Challenge

Good Fat, Brown Fat, Yellow Fat, Baby Phat

Anyone else hear the news about the so-called "brown fat" that is supposed to burn fat. And how scientists think they can make a pill that will help you lose fat by boosting your metabolism?

Good luck, is all I have to say to them.

This is just another cruel joke they are playing on the average guy and gal who think that someday there will be a magical weight loss pill that they can take before they head on down to Burger King.

Check out what these "scientists" have to say about the latest, greatest, shocking new fat loss research:

Good Fat Brown Fat Weight Loss Research Interview

Good ol' Dr. Henry Gutbuster sets us straight on the truth about fat burning fat.

I read that article after my workout this morning. I got up, walked Bally the Dog through the fields, watched him chase a rabbit, and then he went for a swim in the river (I bet that was cold!). He was sniffing and chasing ducks too. Good dog!

After, I did some kettlebell swings and planks, but wasn't enjoying that too much, so I went back outside and did some sprint technique drills and a couple of easy intervals. Nothing crazy. Just a good way to start the day.

Finishing up an Eat Stop Eat fast and then working on the Turbulence Training Bootcamp Workouts project that will be out next week.

Stay strong,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

Click here for more TT workouts

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Fasting and Gaining Mass NOT Losing Muscle

One of the biggest panics folks have about using Brad Pilon's Eat Stop Eat program is that they will lose muscle mass by fasting. Brad assured me (and them) that as long as someone is doing resistance training, they won't lose muscle by fasting 1-2 times per week.

And after I read his new ebook, "How Much Protein" and his guide for gaining muscle, I decided to...

...experiment with his program. And not only am I testing to see if you'll lose muscle with fasting, but I'm taking the "muscle gain" challenge with fasting...

...and so far, so good.

It's been six weeks since I had this photo taken of me at 170 pounds. I now weigh 183 pounds, despite fasting once per week (and look like a slightly larger version of that photo, with minimal IF ANY fat gain). And I'm now on my 6th fast of the "muscle gain" challenge today. 

Brad's program was designed as a simple lifestyle solution for fat loss and weight maintenance. But there's no reason why it wouldn't work for building muscle too.

Here's the secret why it works...

=> The human body is incredibly resilient. Much more so than typical bodybuilding culture believes.

It can survive going longer than 2.83 hours without eating. You won't lose muscle mass if that happens. We also don't need 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. Heck, research suggests the more we train the LESS protein we need.

Humans were designed as/have evolved into a species that can easily go long periods of time without eating and still maintain our muscle mass provided their is some type of stimulus applied to the muscles to maintain their composition (i.e. if you workout with weights, it's really, REALLY hard to lose muscle mass).

So take a deep breath and relax the next time you go more than 187.2 minutes without food. You won't shrivel up.

Heck, you can even gain muscle while incorporating a weekly fast into your lifestyle. It's not about how many calories you consume every 3 hours, it's about how many calories you consume every 7 days. Look at the big picture, not the minutiae.

And my secrets to gaining 13 pounds of lean mass in 6 weeks?

Bread, creatine, vegetarian protein sources, lots of fruits and vegetables, and a lot (and I mean a LOT!) of almond butter and peanut butter. Plus some meals with meat. A little pizza on weekends. And chocolate milk. Good old chocolate milk. The kind you buy at the convenience stores here in Canada.

No fancy schmancy, overhyped, unproven, expensive supplements (those are for 19 year old kids that don't know better).  

More details to come as the muscle gain fasting challenge progresses...

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

PS - Brad's 24 hour fasting program for fat loss "and muscle gain"...

is available here:

Eat Stop Eat

Big Lunch & Deadlift Workout & Fast

Big lunch today at my fitness business coaching meeting...had a couple of sandwiches, salad, and some chocolate cake for dessert. Was hanging out with fasting expert Brad Pilon and muscle guy Vince DelMonte among others. 

We wrapped up our meeting aroudn 3pm, and I was kind of wired from all the Starbucks Green Tea I drank all morning, so I went to the gym to deadlift. Here's how the workout went down...

1) Hang Clean & Press

2) Deadlift - 330x5x5 (double overhand grip, no belt, no straps)

3A) DB Chest Press - 90x12
3B) Good Morning - 2x10
3C) Chinups

That was a 40 minute workout. Then I had a quick trip to the chiropractic to get my foot fixed's almost back to normal since the "sliding down the ice hill with the dog" incident.

Feeling like a million bucks! I'm up to 183 pounds from 170 last month (showing you that you can gain muscle - and burn fat - while fasting).

Started a fast at noon and will go to tomorrow at noon. Going to head out of town tonight for a long weekend.

Stay strong,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

5 Minute Muscle Building Workouts

Couple of 5-Minute Muscle Building Workouts for you to do over the long weekend...
Here's one from me...using same dumbbell weight for each exercise:
1A) DB Split Squat - Choose a weight that allows 8 reps per set
1B) DB Chest Press - As many reps as possible
1C) DB Row - As many reps as possible

Rest 30 seconds and try and get through that circuit one more time.
And now one from Vince DelMonte.

Here's a Superset of a "stretch exercise" paired with a contraction exercise:

Exercise 1: Incline DB Curls for 60 seconds
Exercise 2: Standing Barbell Curls 60 seconds

Rest 60 seconds

Exercise 3: Skull Crushers for 60 seconds
Exercise 4: Rope Pressdowns for 60 seconds
Have a great weekend,
Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

Lower BP

Discover how to avoid a heart attack (or cancer!) by lowering your blood pressure with this insider's medical report here:

=> Click here to save YOUR life from heart attack or stroke

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Do You Exercise? (By Charles Staley)

Do You Exercise, Workout, or Train?

It's an important question, because the way you answered it reveals your internal "OS" — your mindset as it relates to physical activity.

Exercise Sucks The Big One…

If you answered "exercise," it's almost certain that your mindset is limiting your progress, as well as the enjoyment you should be experiencing as you make that progress. That's because "exercisers" view physical activity as a punishment— as a way of atoning for their (real or perceived) "sins."

Once an exerciser has hit "rock bottom," she immediately looks for salvation through an exercise and diet program, in much the same way that a reformed alcoholic seeks redemption though a 12-step program. Neither program is a whole lot of fun— it's strictly one day at a time as the addict admits her powerlessness over indolence.

When you think like this, you'll almost always end up as an aerobicizer on a diet, because that's the most unpleasant way to purge your soul with physical activity. If you aren't an "exerciser," try it sometime and you'll understand what I mean— tomorrow for example, limit your calories to about 1200 for the day and put in about an hour on the treadmill, and you'll know how it feels to be an exerciser.

When you're in that much pain, it's impossible to think you won't gain, but trust me, you won't. Don't get me wrong— you'll probably create a caloric deficit— for the day anyway. Trouble is, how many days can you live like this?

Working Out Is Better…

If you're a former exerciser, it's possible that you may have graduated to the "workout" stage, which means that you've discovered weights. Now you've got a better tool, but the problem is, you still think like an exerciser— you're using that tool for punishment instead of personal growth.

After discovering techniques like triple drop-sets, 21's, negatives, and forced reps, you quickly learned that weights can hurt even more than the treadmill. You're convinced you've found the fast-track to progress, and for a while anyway, the weights deliver a payoff, despite your immature mindset.

Training Is Best…

Reformed alcoholics in 12-step programs consider themselves alcoholics until their dying day. Reformed exercisers on the other hand, are proud to call themselves athletes from the moment they first make the conversion. Athletes don't exercise, they train. Athletes don't diet, they eat.

Exercisers are reactive— they're slaves to the scale and the treadmill. Athletes, on the other hand, are proactive. It sucks to be an exerciser, but it's a blast being an athlete.

You might be wondering at this point, how I define "athlete" in the context of this article. By "athlete" I mean someone who trains with a purpose above and beyond simple aesthetics.

Athletes seek improved physical functionality, whether it's to improve at a particular sport, or to get stronger, faster, more mobile, or to have better stamina. These are measurable, tangible markers of physical performance. The training required to improve these qualities also improves physical appearance of course, but performance always trumps pain in the athlete's mind.

Making The Switch

If you're an exerciser with an increasing disdain for treadmills, bathroom scales, and a long list of foods you "shouldn't" eat, take solace in the fact that there's a better way. A great way to get started is to pick up a copy of my popular e-book The Unnatural Athlete at my website

About Charles Staley

"One of the signs of a great teacher is the ability to make the subject matter seem simple. Charles Staley is one of these rare teachers. After listening and talking to him, you suddenly achieve a new awareness of training. You go to the gym and, suddenly, everything makes sense, and you wonder why you haven't been doing it his way since day one." – Muscle Media 2000 magazine August, 1999

His colleagues call him an iconoclast, a visionary, a rule-breaker. His clients call him "The Secret Weapon" for his ability to see what other coaches miss. Charles calls himself a "geek" who struggled in Phys Ed throughout school. Whatever you call him, Charles' methods are ahead of their time and quickly produce serious results. His counter-intuitive approach and self-effacing demeanor have lead to appearances on NBC's The TODAY Show and The CBS Early Show.

Click here to visit Charles' site and grab your 5 FREE videos that will show you how to literally FORCE your body to build muscle, lose fat and gain strength with "Escalating Density Training," Charles' revolutionary, time-saving approach to lifting that focuses on performance NOT pain.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Monday Morning Workout

Started the day with a big dog hike through some country fields, with Bally the Dog chasing "imaginary" groundhogs. He wasn't afraid to get a little wet by going in the river. Good times.

Then I hit a short workout.

1) Squats

2A) Front Squats
2B) DB Triceps Extensions

30 minutes. That was it. Drove through the last snowstorm of the winter (I hope) back to Toronto.

I also wrote an article on my new blog on 5 tips to improve (and shorten) your fat loss workouts.

Read it here:

Fat Loss Program Improvements 

Make sure to post your plateau beating tips as well,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

Fat Loss Workouts vs Cardio Exercise

4 Minutes Of Fat Loss Without Equipment

by Adam Steer

I’d love to say there's a way around it, but if you are looking to shed some unwanted weight you'll have to start with your diet.

There are many effective approaches to fat loss nutrition out there, the trick is finding what suits you best. Some approaches, like Brad Pilon's approach to Intermittent Fasting, are actually quite innovative.

Once you have your nutrition nailed down, you can accelerate the process with a good exercise plan. But these days we are busier than ever, and we're leery of putting money into extras like gym memberships or home exercise equipment. No problem.

At this very moment you are carrying around everything you need to get a tremendous fat burning workout in minutes. Bodyweight exercise delivers everything you need for an effective and time-efficient fat loss workout.

When training to slim down, you have to get your priorities straight.

You should be encouraging the maintenance of lean muscle mass while whipping your fat burning furnaces – your metabolism – into overdrive. Muscle uses energy. That means if you lose muscle, you use up less of your fat stores. So you have to do what you can to preserve, or even increase, your muscle mass while trying to lose fat.

To add more fuel to the flames (pun intended), when you train at high intensity you further increase the amount of energy you burn, even at rest.

Basically, you are giving your body such a butt kicking that it has to work for hours, or even days, to get itself back to what it considers a normal state. And that process takes energy which must come from either the food you eat or the stores you've put aside.

When choosing an exercise to use for a hard-hitting and time-efficient training session, we want to go for something that will use as much of the body as possible. This has the obvious benefit of burning more calories during training, but it also recruits more muscle mass. And that helps us ensure that we keep what we've got.

One of the best I've seen for this is the bodyweight exercise called, the Leg Swoop from Scott Sonnon's FlowFit®).

It solicits the upper-body, lower-body, and core in one fell swoop. This will also help us reach the intensity we need in order to get the metabolic hit that we want.

Since we are looking to get the most bang for our buck, we want to choose an exercise protocol that gets intensity up quickly.

One of the best ways to do this is with what's known as the Tabata protocol. This consists of short 20 second bursts of work at or near our maximum effort, followed by 10 seconds of rest, or of very light effort. We'’ll repeat this cycle 8 times for a total of 4 minutes. You can choose any exercise, but the CST Leg Swoop is particularly effective.

So if you're short on time, or cash is tight, give bodyweight exercise a try. The return on investment beats the market every time.

Adam Steer is co-author of the Bodyweight Exercise Revolution

He's also a member of the Head Coaching Staff of the Circular Strength Training® system and has delivered CST workshops in Singapore, Australia, Washington State, Philadelphia and New York City. He works as a trainer with in-home and gym based clients through his Quebec City company, Momentum Training.