Monday, August 31, 2015

24th TT Transformation Contest Opens Today!

Hey, just a quick reminder.

Our latest Transformation Contest starts today, and it's FREE for you to enter. Not only that, but you can win $1000 cash just for losing weight and transforming your body.

It's (pretty much) this simple.
  • Take a before photo.
  • Use my advice to lose fat and change your body for 12 weeks.
  • Take an after photo.
Read all of the details on how you can win $1000 in our FREE contest here

I can't wait to hear all about your success story. And don't forget, we have 5 categories for MORE winning!
  • Women Under 40
  • Men Under 40
  • Women Over 40
  • Men Over 40
  • "Pro" => For anyone that has won the contest before.
And if you have any questions about the contest, my workouts, or if Bally the Dog prefers treats over belly rubs, just drop me a line on our Turbulence Training Facebook page here.

I'll try to get him to respond. :)

Time for you to transform and win,
Craig Ballantyne, CTT
Certified Turbulence Trainer
  PS - Here's how you transform:
Keep a food journal. Eat more protein, fiber, fruits, vegetables, and raw nuts. Drink more water and Green Tea. A little coffee is fine. If you must have alcohol, stick to one drink two or three times per week.

Do my short burst workouts 3-4 times per week. On recovery days, stay active with fun, light activities for 30-60 minutes (such as dancing, playing with your kids, yoga, or walking the dog). Sleep 7 to 8 hours each night, going to bed and getting up at the same time every day.

Plan your diet and your days. Hang around positive people for social support. Be accountable. Give yourself an incentive for success. Set a hard deadline…and hit it.

Use that plan to win my contest here

You can do it. I believe in you. Your time is NOW.

24th TT Transformation Kickoff For Craig and the ZCZ Challenge

It's official. The game is on. Mini-challenges accepted.

Day 1 is here.

Zero Coke Zeros. => ZCZ Challenge

No plastic water bottles.

Pause-Pullup Program kicked off. Current max is 10.

And this week's 10pm "party time" finish line for Thursday and Friday.

It's easy to stay up, I just don't like it cutting in to my 4am wakeups. But those will be sacrificed for a couple of days. Fortunately the sun doesn't rise until almost 7am in Nashville at this time of year.

Turns out that the 24th TT Contest is becoming quite the ZCZ (Zero Coke Zero) Transformation Contest.

Contest rules =>

It's easy in theory, but tough if you don't have a plan and alternatives.

Of course, there is the obvious:

1) Sparkling water
2) Green Tea and other teas (my go-to is caffeine-free Peppermint Tea)
3) Water (I need mine really cold, at least 2 ice cubes at all time, and preferably in a cold glass)

But I've also discovered a few other alternatives:

a) Zevia calorie-free soda sweetened with Stevia (but it's a bit of a cop-out if you want to get away from the soda habit)
b) Greens drinks
c) Water with 1 gram of vitamin C powder (it's effervescent and has the tingle associated with carbonation)
d) Green drink with 1 gram of vitamin C
e) And here's what I drink at 4am every day when I get up (I call this my AMD - AM drink):
Green drink + 1 gram Vitamin C + 5g glutamine

I credit the AMD with fighting off colds even when I travel constantly with just 5-6 hours of sleep (like I did in Europe and will in Nashville this week).

Oh, and on a hot afternoon, I'll have a cider. It's a great replacement for beer (no wheat) and sodas. Of course, YES, it has calories and alcohol, but it's a reward drink. Better that than CZ.

Alright, get over to the contest site, read the rules, take your before photo, and get started.

Contest rules =>


Craig Ballantyne, CTT

PS - "Life is not a dress rehearsal." - ‪#‎truth

If you want something get up and get after it now. We're not getting any younger.

Sun-Dead Morning

Wow. I pushed pretty hard in Sunday morning's deadlift workout and was wiped out all afternoon.

1A) Hang Clean
1B) Mobility

2) Deadlift

3) Deadlift Challenge - 135x40 reps (double overhand grip, no straps)

4A) Military Press
4B) Pause Pull-ups

Saturday afternoon was a little easier.

Ye old cemetery that ol' Bally the Dog and I walk through almost every morning. There's something very calming about this stretch, walking under the archway of the Maple trees.

Turbulence Training's photo.

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:
"You are capable of greatness. All you need to do is believe in yourself. The first step on the journey to success is having a little bit of faith. So don't ever let anyone ever tell you that you can't do something, never lose faith in your abilities, and be willing to take risks. You'll get to where you were meant to go. Just believe." – Bobby Maximus

Believe and do it,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT

PS - But...

Admit to – and learn from – your mistakes. Mistakes are actually great things that happen to all of us…because with the knowledge you gain from them, you are able to achieve the best things in your life. Without the lows in life, the highs would never really seem that high.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Personal Bests from Pauses and Rests

LOL. Poetry!

Do I ever take a week off from everything?

A Facebook Fan asked that today.

The answer is no. Not everything.

But I think I had 7 days without weights in Europe, and 17 days without heavy weights.

And boy, oh boy, am I feeling extra muscle soreness this week because of it. But I've also set a few interesting personal bests.

Time away from regular training helps, but I'd never spend just 7 days lying on the couch. Even on off weeks I go for long walks, swim, or do some bodyweight circuits, or even mess around in hotel gyms with new machines, light dumbbells with high reps, or cable workouts.

There's no benefit to being a slug, and you lose significant muscle mass and strength within 7-14 days of immobilization. And for some, you lose something even more important => Momentum, discipline, & consistency.

Bottom line: Always be active. But take breaks from repetitive training.

Know your limits. Know when to push them. Know when to break them. Know when to respect them. And when to step it up & set them higher.

Today's workout was another Garage Gym Doozy. There were some caffeine powered personal bests in today's workout. Three cheers for Zevia.

- Band Pull
- Pause Pushup
- TRX row

1A) DB Flat Chest Press - 70x14 for a new personal best
1B) Band Pull

2) Max Pushups - 53 ...

3A) DB Flat Chest Press - 3x8
3B) TRX Rows - 3x15-20 ... with a personal best of 20 reps.

4A) DB Incline Press - 3x12
4B) TRX Rows - 3x10-12 ... I wanted to see how I'll feel tomorrow after 6 sets of TRX rows.

NOTE: The 53 pushups was AFTER fatiguing myself with 1A...yet it's still a couple of reps higher than what I did in July. I owe the improvement to the Pause Pushups I've been hitting. This has been a big lesson for me this year...I'm curious to see if I can make similar improvements in pull-ups using this pause method.

Remember, the pause method is a 1-second pause at the top and 1-second pause at the bottom of the move. Interesting times. Would like to hear if anyone else does experiments with this on pushups, pullups or other moves.

Holler back if you do.

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:
The Law of ACTION Attraction: When you do the work, when you do great things, when you add value, people will notice & will want to help you out.

Develop clarity of purpose. Know what counts. Focus your energy & effort here. This is your one and only chance…so live a life that matters.

Play up a level. Expect more of yourself. Get out of your comfort zone. Add Value. Encourage others. Make an impact.

Surround yourself with positive people. Get rid of the toxic ones in your life. You become whom you associate with.


Craig Ballantyne, CTT

PS - Gentlemen?

"A gentleman is one who puts more into the world than he takes out." George Bernard Shaw


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Truth About Weight Loss

It makes me so sad to hear from men and women around the world that are still doing hours and hours of cardio exercise for weight loss.

"I'm not losing inches," they cry. "And my knees, back, and hips hurt from doing the same BORING thing over and over again."

I feel your pain. I once ran too much. It left me skinny fat. It was only when I gave that up – in 1996 – and permanently switched to short burst workouts that I was able to get the body of my dreams.

Here's the TRUTH about exercise.

Less is more. Let me prove it to you.

Click here for the shortest exercises for FAST fat burning results

Give me 10 minutes in the morning and I'll give YOU a new body and all-day energy without the negative side effects of too much cardio exercise.

Change your ways today,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT
Certified Turbulence Trainer

PS – More TRUTH about weight loss…

Keep a food journal. Eat more protein, fiber, fruits, vegetables, and raw nuts. Drink more water and Green Tea. A little coffee is fine. If you must have alcohol, stick to one drink two or three times per week.

Do short burst workouts 3-4 times per week.

Use these exact exercises ONLY <= takes less than 10-minutes per day

On recovery days, stay active with fun, light activities for 30-60 minutes (such as dancing, playing with your kids, yoga, or walking the dog). Sleep 7 to 8 hours each night, going to bed and getting up at the same time every day.

Plan your diet and your days. Hang around positive people for social support. Be accountable. Give yourself an incentive for success. Set a hard deadline…and hit it. You can do it. I believe in you. Your time is NOW

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

True story of Bally the Dog

Oh dear, another Bally the Dog misadventure. There we were on our regular afternoon dog walk through the city cemetery, underneath the mature Canadian maple trees, all lush and green from a mid-summer's rainstorm.

And then he had to go and spoil the mood…by pooping. Frantically I searched my pockets. Where were those bags? They must have fallen out on our walk…uh oh.

But then, as luck would have it, an old high school friend, Mike S., walked by with his ruby red Hungarian Vizsla (almost as handsome as my chocolate lab!).

"Hey Craig, don't worry, I've got some extra bags" he said, seeing the panic on my face.

"Thanks Mike, you're a life saver. I owe you one."

"Actually, I owe YOU," Mike said. "Ever since I stopped jogging and started doing the workout videos you sent me, I've gotten better results and I even got rid of my plantar fasciitis. So thanks, buddy. By the way, it's great 'seeing you' everyday in the videos, too. It's just like old times!"

"Great to hear, Mike, glad I could help."

And that made my day. I love hearing success stories like Mike's.

Now you can 'be like Mike' too. Just imagine the results YOU can get when you start using my workouts.

You'll boost your metabolism, lose weight, have more energy, improve your fitness, get stronger, and eliminate nagging injuries – all in less than 10 minutes in the morning.

Click here for my NEW Metabolic Miracle 10-Minute Morning Exercises

And YES, you can do these any time of the day, but it's more convenient when you kickstart your metabolism in the morning so that you can burn fat all day long – even when you're stuck in traffic or sitting at your desk.

Let's fix your metabolism today with these new fat-burning videos. Take action today and we can kickstart your metabolism together first thing in the morning.

See you soon,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT
Certified Turbulence Trainer


"To get something you've never had, you must do something you've never done"

"I am using your daily workouts and I'm down 3.5 pounds after three days of the program. Thank you for your motivational posts. I look forward to them and frequently share them." – Donna Marsh

Classic Spaced Out Garage Workout

Let's start with diet. I'm pushing for as many CASS-Free days as possible as I warm-up for my personal diet transformation in the 24th TT Contest.

Tomorrow, Thursday, will be CASS-Free. I don't have any training planned, so I'll avoid caffeine.

Tuesday was a caffeinated day (Zevia cola + a small Green Tea) before a great upper body workout. That was a bit too much caffeine for ol' CB's low caffeine threshold. I was a little anxious for the rest of the day.

Today, Wednesday, was a caffeinated workout as well (Zevia cola only). And it was a DOOZY. It's sessions like these that enhance the effect of the caffeine and leave me in a bit of a spaced-out daze. LOL.

The Workout: I had a tight schedule today. No time to get to the YMCA and back for a barbell squat workout, so I hit the garage gym, and frankly it was probably harder than had I gone to the Y!

1A) Kettlebell Swing (low reps, explosive, moderate weight)
1B) Lower Mobility & Core (short RKC planks)

2A) Powerblock Split Squat - 4x10
2B) Upper body mobility

3) Kettlebell Swing - One set at 70 pounds = new personal best of 34 reps

4A) Goblet Squat

This doozy of a workout (as listed above) lasted 45 minutes, not including a 15-minute old-man warm-up.

After that I hurried off for a couple of work phone calls - in my slightly spaced out state. Ha! Great catch-up with Daniel Woodrum on all of the cool CTT stuff we have going on.

And now I'm off to put some of my latest personal workouts into a classic TT program for October ... and Daniel will be posting the September workout very soon. Stay tuned!

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:
If you want to change, it all starts with believing in yourself. Once we truly believe we are capable of better behavior, that's the impetus for all habit change. That's when all of those other physiological tips and tricks actually start to work. So do not procrastinate on change any longer. Just do it. Take action. Believe in yourself, because it all starts there.

I posted that on FB, and received this reply:

Patricia Saunders Looking for some words of wisdom....I NEED to adjust my attitude... I found myself being negative about being up early and the whole workout was "harder" than it needed to, because my attitude was negative....

My answer:
Well, as Monty Python sang, "Always look on the bright side of life!" ... but seriously, I am always grateful for the hardest workout, for the toughest challenges, and for the sacrifices because I know that you have to Pay the Price to Earn the Prize. And as one of my mentors says, "Life is easy when you live it the hard way." - Dave Kekich

And another TT FB Fan chimed in with good advice:

Hanna Staudinger It is really a struggle, but it is all in our minds. I've noticed that I can stick to exercise and eating clean when - and only when - I work my mind. I keep reminding myself of my goals (not just for the looks, but as a reward for my loyal body), and I build a shield around me. This way I can resist my son's snacks!

Stay strong,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT

PS - Stop...But Never Stop!

Stop saying you want to change if you're not actually going to do anything about it. If you want to change, take action today, even if it is just the tiniest step in the right direction.

Visit a website to learn more about how to achieve your goal. Buy a book. Start reading the ones you have. Contact people who can help you.

Take that first action step. And then take another one tomorrow, and another the day after that. Every single day from now on take another step forward toward your goal, toward the change you want to make.

Never stop and never give up.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Backyard Farmer Workout on the Farm

It's early October in terms of weather out here on the farm today. But it's perfect for taking today's garage workout into the open air. And it was a total Meathead session too, so plenty of fun and good times had by all.

Here's how the workout went down:

1A) Decline Pause Pushups - max reps at a 1-1-1-1 tempo
1B) KB Snatch
1C) Shrug
1D) Ab Wheel

2A) TRX Triceps Extension
2B) DB Incline Curl
2C) Slam Ball Slams

3) KB Farmer Walks in preparation for the Sept 20th Farmer's Walk Maximus Mile Challenge. Here's how that will go down.

J-Roc and I are training for a the Maximus Mile. This challenge is named after Sir Bobby Maximus, aka Robert MacDonald, a trainer at Gym Jones in Salt Lake City.

Our version of the challenge is a 1-mile walk with 53 lb KB's in each hand. We will likely do the challenge like this:

1) Walk 90 seconds with KB
2) Other guy walks 90 seconds with KB
3) Repeat until 1 mile is covered.

It will probably take 45 minutes this way.

You should join us...Men using 53lbs (or 35 lbs for junior level) and ladies using 18 lbs.

For training, I'll be doing 90second to 4 minute walk intervals once per week.

Want something even faster? Try this:

Hate to love burpees? Or love to hate them? Try the 4-min burpee gauntlet with me in this free video -
WORKOUT DESCRIPTION Perform the following circuit in 20/10 style (20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest) for 8 rounds total (4 exercises.

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:
Measure PROGRESS, not perfection. Understand you will never reach perfection...but you must celebrate your journey as you improve from point A to point B. Make each day better than your last.

But remember...

Someone will try and sabotage you today. But when they do, when they interrupt your day, throw their emergencies at you, or tempt you with junk food while you're committed to your healthy meal plan, just remember you have the right and the strength to say NO. You have to stand up for what is right for you at this time. You might not win the popularity contest, but you'll win the battle for your life, your future, and your integrity when you do the right thing, right now, for your right life. You have my permission to stand up for yourself! :)And as I've said before, there are probably a lot of people who want to do the same thing…there are others at your office that want to lose fat and get thin…but they need a leader. You can be that person. By saying NO to temptation and YES to your big goals and dreams.

You can do it. Start small, but start now. Let's go!

I said get started,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT

PS - Remember the 3C formula...

Control what you can. Cope with what you can't. Concentrate on what counts.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Deadlifting Device-Free

Sunday was a fun-day. It involved deadlifts, a trip to the health store, a walk through the local market, and lots of reading. It was also a Device-FREE day, meaning NO electronics. No email. No phone. No laptop.


1A) Hang Clean
1B) mobility

2A) Trap Bar Deadlift
2B) mobility

3A) Military Press
3B) Full Squat
3C) Snatch Grip DL

Upper back is celebrating muscle soreness today!

Diet Update and Transformation Challenge:
Sunday - Not CASS-Free. I had a good dose of caffeine pre-deadlift.

CASS-Free today. No training. Just a big long dog walk to start the day. I tried to sleep through part of's no big deal, there weren't a lot of cars on the road that early, so it was still 'semi-safe', LOL.

Tomorrow...not sure.

Wednesday - will be it will be caffeine heavy.

And...I've discovered another major mini-challenge to add to my 24th TT contest entry.

I'm quitting bottled water. This is easy as I sit here on the farm. It won't be so easy when I travel. I have many flights Nashville, Denver, Austin, Vegas, California, and perhaps Mexico...possibly even Asia.

But if the Boy Scouts have taught us anything, aside from helping little old ladies across the street, is that you must always be prepared.

And so I'll get a couple of clean canteen bottles, carry them with me at all times, fill up with water from Airport fountains (unless I can find glass water bottles in an airport - highly unlikely), and survive my flights in that fashion. I may even resort to drinking tomato juice, or heaven forbid, apple juice, on a plane if I find myself in a pinch. Either of those will fit my goal better than drinking from plastic bottles.

At hotels, I'll keep the clean canteens filled in the mini-bar fridges, or submerged in the ice bucket.

My goal is ZERO plastic bottle use in the next 3 months...if I can pull that off, I'll be impressed.

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tips:
Measure PROGRESS, not perfection. Celebrate your journey as you improve from point A to point B. Make each day better than your last.

Here are the basics of weight loss that work: Keep a food journal. Eat more protein, fiber, fruits, vegetables, and raw nuts. Drink more water and Green Tea. A little coffee is fine. Do short burst workouts 3-4 times per week. Stay active with fun activities for an hour every other day. Sleep 7 to 8 hours. Plan your diet and your days. Hang around positive people for social support. Be accountable. Give yourself an incentive for success. And a deadline. Then hit it. You can do it. I believe in you.

Your time is NOW,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT

PS - Wakey wakey!

Get up early and start the day perfectly…physically and mentally. Start with 10-minutes of my workouts. Then eat and drink the right foods. Build your to-do list and make a NOT-to-do list so that you can focus on your #1 priority. Carve out a few minutes to meditate, pray, or give gratitude. And set your family up to be on track for a great day. High-achievers like you get stuff done first thing in the morning…while frustrated folks just make excuses. And as you know, you can either make excuses or you can get results, but you can't do both…so choose wisely!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Dreaming and Pressing

True story. I have strange, vivid, and entertaining dreams every night. I always have, from the childhood right up to last night. They are as extensive and memorable as any Hollywood blockbuster you could find.

Last night`s dream started with a keg party that I was hosting with an old high school friend that I haven`t heard from in a while. That morphed into me being momentarily caught on some train tracks...and the next thing I knew I was flying through the air and ended up in South Florida. From there I started my journey home...first heading to a bus station and then trying to hitchhike with some local truckers. Then I woke up.

That`s a typical dream for me. Seriously.

What`s just as strange as my dreams is that fact that my mother claims to NEVER dream. Ever. I never had a discussion about dreaming with my father, but I`d be willing to bet that he and I shared some `dream gene`. I have to get these wild visions from somewhere, right...

Anyways, good times. And I slept like a champ last night. Seven and a half hours straight through. Yet I was still a little tired this morning, but some caffeine with breakfast took care of that.

Then it was off for a bike ride around town to do some errands, getting the paper, going to the market (more about that below), and then a ride around my little city`s picturesque river. The actors from the Festival were out practicing cricket for their annual game against the actors from the Shaw Festival, and the Art in the Park market was going full bore. It`s a perfect Saturday in Stratford. And I will be meeting up with J-Roc, CTT, later this afternoon for another tour around the river.

When I got home, I let Bally the Dog out into the backyard and got ready for a short pressing workout. It started with a PB...

Today's Personal Best = 40 pause pushups (pause at top & bottom)...2 minutes and 28 seconds. Lots of triceps shaking in last 28. And now. :) It`s been over an hour since the workout and it`s still difficult to type accurately. I hope the triceps will recover before Sunday`s deadlift session.

I followed that with dumbbell chest presses, WYLITs, and band pulls. It was not a high volume workout. In fact, I was supposed to deadlift today, but it didn`t fit my schedule. So I switched tomorrow to today...and will enjoy an empty gym for a trap bar deadlift challenge tomorrow.

Today`s PB was powered by caffeine and one of my odd breakfast bowls of coconut oil, walnuts, cacao nibs, and Paleo Protein powder.

I'm pretty sure I needed the caffeine on those last few reps. I've also been using creatine for the last 5 days since i returned home, and that might have helped me get a few reps to break my record.

So as you've noticed, I eat some 'odd' foods for breakfast. And things are about to get even more experimental. It's all in my quest to replace an old addiction to breakfast cereals with better ingredients for my digestive system than grains and milk.

The newest addition to my breakfast laboratory...the sweet, sweet nectar of the bees.

While in Istanbul I developed a bit of a honey addiction. Each morning several types were served at breakfast, including honey-still-in-the-comb - like the cereal, but real! ;). I filled a bowl with walnuts and raisins and then covered the mixture with honey, finished it, and repeated.

Now that's a breakfast bowl!

I vowed to get some quality honey upon my return home. Today the local Farmer's market was on, and I did just that, finding both regular liquid honey, and honey-in-the-comb, too.

BTW FYI ATTI (according to the internet):

And yes, the comb is totally safe to eat. People have been keeping bees — and eating the honeycomb — for several thousand years.

Now that I'm back at home with unrestricted access to coconut oil, coconut butter, almond butter, peanut butter, cacao nibs, and more goodies, let the breakfast bowl experiments begin...

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:
Play up a level. Expect more of yourself. Get out of your comfort zone. Add Value. Encourage others. Make an impact. Live a life that matters.

Dream on and stay strong,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT

PS - Don't waste energy worrying...

It does not serve you. Put that energy into writing a Thank You card, being grateful, or mentoring someone.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Off Day Fitness QnA

Off day today. Just a long walk through the city cemetery with ol' Bally the Dog. There's a particular road lined by mature maple trees that makes for a picturesque archway to walk under each morning. I love it. The cemetery is so green (must have some good fertilizer, dark humor LOL).

After the walk he ate and I did a 20-minute series of Missi Holt-inspired yoga stretches. I feel great, and should be well rested for Saturday mornings deadlift workout. It will be conservative though, since it's the first one back after 3 weeks in Europe.

I also snuck in a fitness QnA on Facebook. Great questions today:

Q: "I am in week 6 of your HWR plan after first completing the Beginner Program. It's going very well except for my bad knees. I need alternative exercises. I have been doing hip extension in place of lunges while doing your workouts. Please recommend alternatives for squats." – Jeanne Shelton Bartelt


Great to hear about the progress, Jeanne Shelton Bartelt! Here are more leg exercises that you can do in place of squats or lunges: Stability Ball Leg Curls, Wall Squats (only go down as far as is comfortable and pain free), 1-leg lying hip extensions, low-box step-ups, 2-leg hip bridges with your feet on the stability ball, Total body extensions with a small dip (only drop down as far as is comfortable and pain free). Let me know how that goes! Great question.

Here's another lesson…most people make a big exercise mistake when they start going to the gym. They rush into doing a complex exercise like lunges when this is really too advanced for most people. Here's the proper progression for you to follow:

2-Leg Hip Bridge/Extension
2-Leg Stability Ball Curl
2-Leg Hip Bridge/Extension on Ball
1-Leg Hip Extension
Wall Ball Squat
Bodyweight Squat
Prisoner Bodyweight Squat
Split Squat
Reverse Lunge
Forward Lunge


You can also watch a video here where I explain these exercises and show you the Truth About Lunges.


Q: "Should my obliques be sore after one arm rows with db? Sore like I worked them out." – Fred Butcher



Yes! DB Rows are a super sneaky ab exercise because you have to tighten your abs and resist rotation. They are working hard! That's why you can give up crunches and just do total body exercises instead! Nice work.


Q: "How many times a week should I do HIIT workouts?" – Dawn Garrison


Hi Dawn. Three to four times per week is enough. Any more and you risk overuse injury, and diminished returns. Please read –

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:
Here are the basics of weight loss that work: Keep a food journal. Eat more protein, fiber, fruits, vegetables, and raw nuts. Drink more water and Green Tea. A little coffee is fine. Do short burst workouts 3-4 times per week. Stay active with fun activities for an hour every other day. Sleep 7 to 8 hours. Play your diet and your days. Hang around positive people for social support. Be accountable. Give yourself an incentive for success. And a deadline. Then hit it. You can do it. I believe in you. Your time is NOW.

Time to get after it,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Arms Abs and Souvenirs

Uh-oh. It's been 48 hours since the 5x5 squats. The soreness seems to have peaked overnight, but I'm still stiff. Low back muscles (spinal erectors) are also a little sore.

That means I need to push my deadlift workout back a day to Saturday...or maybe even Sunday when the gym will be completely dead. We'll see. I have to get a full 3-week cycle in before I head out on my next trip to Nashville starting on September 1st.

On the bright side, I went for a nice 30-minute walk with the ol' pooch today, and we somehow managed to pull it off between bouts of driving rain. It stopped as soon as we started and started as soon as we stopped.

Thank goodness for small miracles.

After the walk I did a 20 minute yoga and mobility session to loosen up, and then did 4 rounds of this circuit to Pump *clap* me up.

1A) DB 1-Arm Curls
1B) Kneeling Plank-to-Triceps extension (done kneeling for more focus on the eccentric contraction for triceps and less focus on abs)
1C) Band Pull

By then I was hungry...

Today's weird little breakfast: Two Paleo bread sandwiches (thanks to with filling of coconut oil, almond butter, and cacao nibs...I even sprinkle some Paleo Protein powder on it (cacao flavor). Had that with green tea from this tea cup I brought back from Istanbul, Turkey. This was the first time in a long time where I actually bought souvenirs...the tea cup and this Russian Doll that I bought in St. Petersburg.

Only problem was that I made Green Tea instead of peppermint tea, so today will not be CASS-Free...but there will be no soda, artificial sweeteners or alcohol.

Turbulence Training's photo.
Turbulence Training's photo.

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:
Why is anyone surprised by two women graduating from the Army Rangers? Have Cross-Fit and Ronda Rousey taught us nothing?

Never let "life" get in the way of progress on your #1 priority. Accept the sacrifices and just do it! Pay the price to earn the prize.

Don't wait for life to come along & kick you in the butt…make today GREAT. You control your thoughts, actions, and behaviors. Choose wisely.

Get choosing,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT

PS - Focus.

Forget the past – except the lessons you learned from it. There's nothing you can do about it. It is the FUTURE where you must FOCUS.

Dropping dead from jogging

Sad news. Just yesterday I read about a prominent Toronto lawyer and philanthropist that died of a heart attack while out jogging. He was 75 years old. That's too young these days.

Even worse, last month the big news from Britain was the death of an otherwise-healthy 31-year old man named Miles Frost who died while out for a jog.

Why are people dropping dead from cardio?

Well, according to scientists from America and Taiwan, research shows that too much jogging decreases your testosterone levels and hurts your immune system. If you do two to three hours of cardio a week then you are at greater risk of contagious diseases and illness.

This is PROOF that you do NOT need to exercise for hours and hours.

Dying from exercise is not the only downfall of too much cardio. Today while I was at the YMCA doing my short, burst exercises, I overheard a trainer saying that one of his clients just tore her ACL while running on a treadmill. The worst part was that she was on vacation in Hawaii! Don't let cardio shorten your life or ruin your holidays.

Instead, stick to short, burst workouts that boost your metabolism, burn fat, and give you the body that you want...while also giving you more FREE time in your life to spend with your loved ones, to dedicate to healthy eating and fresh food, and to sleep and recover!

Here's more real-world proof...the last couple days, I've been talking about my good friend Tyler's workout system he calls CT-50.

Since today is the last day of the sale, he sent me an email that I felt you should see...

"I wanted to email you real quick because I wanted to go above and beyond for anyone who was willing to try CT-50 this week. So, I'm adding 4 bonuses for anyone who grabs it before midnight tonight! Just wanted to let you know so you could tell your readers if you wanted :-)"

Here's what Tyler offered up...

The 5 Day Metabolism FIX - This is a 5 day system that shows you how to repair your damaged metabolism so you can start burning fat faster then you are genetically used to in only 5-days!

The CT-50 Progressive Warm-Up System - This is 5 different 7-minute warm up videos that take you from basic warm up exercises to advanced ones that will help you boost your flexibility, mobility and energy all while making you significantly less likely to get injured!

The (3 PHASE) Flat Belly Accelerator Diet And Fat Loss Tracker Journal - This is Tyler's personal diet system laid out over 3 different levels making it easy for you to find the right diet for you whether you are a total beginner or an advanced dieter with only the last 10lbs to lose.

The Power Isometrics Manual - This manual will show you some basic Power Isometric routines you can use to add significant strength and muscle tone to your body all without getting sore or effecting the results you are getting from your other workouts!

This means you can grab all 4 fast action bonuses above as a 100% free gift, if you take action and grab a discounted copy of CT-50 before midnight tonight! Here's the link to get in on this deal…

==> Grab Your 4 Big Bonuses To Try CT-50 Here

Stay strong and keep pushing on,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT
Certified Turbulence Trainer

PS - Don't wait for life to come along and kick you in the butt…

…make today GREAT. Your life, your choice, your chance to change. You control your thoughts, actions, and behaviors. You control the outcome. Choose wisely.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Benching in my Sleep

Tough sleep last night. Couldn't make it past 2am since I'm still on Europe time. Mind you, I couldn't keep my eyes open past 7:15pm last night, so I did get a decent nights sleep. Still, I needed some caffeine pre-workout, and I've had some Paleo Protein with stevia. Tomorrow should be CASS-Free.

(CASS = Caffeine, alcohol, sweetener, soda)

Today's Workout was good times. I was a little too full from breakfast and that was uncomfortable for the Chest-Supported Rows, but other than that it turned out better than expected. Sets 1 & 2 of the bench press were weak but my nervous system got 'excited' and finished strong on the remainder.

- Face Pulls
- Pushups

1A) Bench - 5x5
1B) CSR - 5x10

2A) Incline Bench
2B) Pullup - 4xMax + 10-second rest + 1-2 more reps

3A) Chinups
3B) Dips
3C) Farmer Walk

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:
Forget the past - except the lessons you learned from it. There's nothing you can do about it. It is the FUTURE where you must FOCUS. Stay positive. No one really likes a woe-is-me attitude. You don't attract good people into your life that way. Instead, stay strong. Get stronger. You can - and will - do it.

Push on,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT

PS - Congrats to Ray Ortiz, CTT...

... and owner of the Vaughn Fit Body Bootcamp!
Vaughan Fit Body Boot Camp's photo.
Ray won the 2015 Personal Training Specialist Award at the Can-Fit Pro seminar. Ray is a CTT and my partner in a Fit Body Bootcamp location.

1 weird fat loss tip from Europe

You've probably heard "French women don't get fat." And if you've ever been to Europe it seems like all they do is eat chocolate, drink wine, party all night...and somehow stay slim.

Well, I just spent 17 days across the pond visiting Russia, Lithuania, Turkey, and England and I have to say, there are definitely more slim folks on the streets compared to my beloved home bases of Toronto and Denver.

So what are the European "skinny" secrets? The answers are mostly obvious.

A diet rich in whole natural foods. More fruits, nuts, seafood, water, and tea. Fewer sugary Starbucks drinks, less fast food, and almost no soda. Plus, they eat small servings of treats like high-quality chocolate and wine, rather than gorging on super-sized bags of peanut M&M's and "King-Sized" chocolate bars.

They also have a more active lifestyle - even in the North's frigid winters. Europeans seems to do more walking, more biking, more swimming, and skiing, and less sitting and driving. That all adds up to more inches lost without the need for expensive cardio machines, diet pills, or weight loss surgeries.

None of those are a surprise. But here's one weird fat loss secret from Europe that has made its way back to America...

Did you know that there's a story from 536 BC that contains the secret to losing 10, 30 or even 70+ lbs of fat?

Even stranger… would you believe me if I told you that the story was about a BULL?

Well… I know it sounds strange but if you give it a chance, the ancient wisdom contained in this story could change the way you look at your workouts for good. Check it out…

==> How A Story From 536 BC (About A Bull?) Reveals The Ancient Secret That Will UNLOCK Your Fat Burning Potential So You Can Lose 10, 30 or even 70+lbs

I had heard this story before, but never really understood why it was so important until now. Enjoy the read!

Stay strong and keep pushing on,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT
Certified Turbulence Trainer

PS - Just in case it sounds to good to be true... also have to check out the transformation story at the top of the article where a girl used the information from this story to lose 71lbs! You can see pictures and check out her full story here…

PPS - Here are a few more photos of the European "skinny" secrets...

A bountiful market in London...
The beautiful water in Istanbul...
A feast of real food from land and sea...
And not a bad view for interval training in London...

8 19 1borough market    8 19 2four seasons
8 19 3istanbul meat    8 19 4london bike

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Squats and CTT Success Stories

Back to squat rack, back to squat rack.

(Sung to the tune of Back to School in Billy Madison...although with much more excitement!)

1A) Speed Squat - 5x3
1B) Mobility Exercises

2A) Squat - 5x5
2B) Upper Body Stretches

3A) Front Squat - 4x10
3B) Leg Curl - 4x10

Legs will probably be sore tomorrow. That's the first real squat session I've had in weeks. Combined with the fact that I didn't sleep well last night, and it made for NOT my strongest session ever. But I'll build it up.

In the meantime, lots of big news in the TT world...and Bally's world.

He was very excited to see ol' CB this morning when I picked him up at the Dogs Wag Inn kennel. But that's nothing. When his Grandma gets home from vacation and picks him up later this week he's going to go INSANE. His love for Grandma is unparalleled. He's going to be ecstatic. And I'm going to love watching his tail wag a mile-a-minute.

And we have BIG winners...

Congrats to the champs of the 23rd TT Contest!


And details on the next contest...


So many of our winners have come from CTT's all over the world. And other CTT's are having big breakthroughs, too. For example, Ray Ortiz, CTT, owner of the Toronto TT-FBBC, just won the Can-Fit Pro Trainer of the Year award. That's a BIG award up here in Canada and Ray has become an excellent leader with three CTT's on staff.

We are moving and shaking, making waves and kicking butt.

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:
Pick one bad habit and replace with the smallest, easiest good habit that fits in its place. For example, use a smaller wine glass at dinner if you think you are drinking too much or a smaller plate if overeating. You CAN do it.

Time to transform,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT

PS - Important Dates: 1. The 24th Turbulence Training 12-Week Transformation Contest officially starts on August 31st 2015, but you can join at any time during these 12 weeks. The final day to submit entries is Monday, November 30th 2015 at midnight EST.
2. If you start on August 31st you finish on November 23rd. You then take your final photos and can submit your entry between November 23rd and November 30th.
3. If you start on September 7th you finish on November 30th. You then take your final photos and must submit your entry before November 30th at 11:59pm (midnight) EST. You can start later, but you won't have a full 12 weeks to transform your life.
4. Your after photo must be taken 12 weeks after your before photo or on November 30th if you start late.
5. Any submissions after midnight EST on November 30th will NOT be eligible for this contest round. NO exceptions.

23rd TT Contest Winners Announced

Congrats to the winners of the 23rd TT Transformation Contest!

New contest coming soon,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT

Monday, August 17, 2015

CB at the EPL in CP

Finally...I made it to my first EPL game...Arsenal vs. Crystal Palace. Fun day in London. Decent weather. And a day full of polite British people. One of them even woke me up at the train station after I had fallen asleep on the way home. Brits get the Gold medal for politeness...nowhere else compares. Great I fly home to Toronto and get back to work creating new workouts for you!
Turbulence Training's photo.
Turbulence Training's photo.
Turbulence Training's photo.

Last Day in London

Last day in London town.

Woke up early, did 90 minutes of writing TT articles, 21 minutes of meditation, and then a 75 minute sunrise walk from the Shard to St. Paul's to London bridge and back. Now for breakfast (walnuts, blueberries, peanut butter, and a banana), and then off to Heathrow to fly back to Toronto.

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:
Whatever is in your way, you're stronger than it, you're tougher than it, and you're better than it. You're going to beat it. You must truly believe in yourself. You must end the "I'll give this a try" mindset, and switch to an, "I'm going to succeed" belief. You can – and WILL – do it this time! Have an AMAZING week. Share this message with your friends that need encouragement.

I'll enjoy a "29-hour day" today and be home by 8pm to the Ballantyne farm...picking up Bally the Dog at the kennel tomorrow.

Back in the gym for squats tomorrow,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT

Turbulence Training's photo.
Turbulence Training's photo.
Turbulence Training's photo.
Turbulence Training's photo.

5-minute metabolic workout

If you need to reset your metabolism to kick-start your fat loss, here's the perfect way to start your morning. 

I did this circuit on the weekend here in my hotel room in London, England, where I was attending my first professional soccer game (Arsenal vs. Crystal Palace - amazing times!).

5-Minute Metabolic Kick-Starter Workout for Men and Women of All Ages

Do each exercise for 60 seconds OR try to equal the reps that I did (in brackets).
Rest as little as possible – but as much as needed – between exercises.

1A) Bodyweight Squat (60 reps)
1B) Pushup (35 reps)
1C) Total Body Extension (60 reps)
1D) Rocking Plank (45 reps)

Total workout time was just over 5 minutes, but I'll bet there are few TT readers that can go even faster. Let me know your personal best. Still not hard enough for you? Add in one minute of pull-ups or bodyweight rows and a minute of burpees, so your advanced workout would look like this:

Super Six Metabolic Kick-Starter Workout
1A) Pull-up or Bodyweight Row – 60 seconds
1B) Burpees or Old-Man Burpees – 60 seconds
1C) Bodyweight Squat – 60 seconds
1D) Pushup (35 reps) – 60 seconds
1E) Total Body Extension – 60 seconds
1F) Rocking Plank – 60 seconds

Like that Metabolic Reset workout? Then you'll love this program.

Click here to RESET your metabolism every day with SHORT workouts

Let me know what you think about the workout, 


Craig Ballantyne, CTT
Certified Turbulence Trainer

PS - This is IT!

This is your one and only life! Here's what to do…

Make the right decisions, right now, for it. 

Pursue the truly important. Stick to what matters, what you know in your heart is right, and live virtuously. Lead by example, and stick to your vision. You are the boss of your life! 

Never give up on what really matters to you. You will succeed. We believe in you and we know this approach will work. Let's go and keep going!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Tiny Gym Meathead Workout

Shockingly tough Meathead workout in a tiny hotel gym today...Rowing intervals, Pause Pushups, Chest Supported DB Rows, More rowing intervals, 1-Arm Standing Shoulder Presses, and some DB work for bi's and tri's. Bringing the gun show to London town...after all, I am going to an Arsenal game today, so I brought out the arsenal in the gym. Haha. Alright, off for a morning walk and maybe more Prisoner Squats at London Tower Bridge.

Turbulence Training's photo.
Turbulence Training's photo.
Turbulence Training's photo.
Turbulence Training's photo.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

London Leg Day

Today I woke up in London. Early. Excited. It's going to be a fun weekend.

It started with an hour of quality writing. I'm very happy with what I produced. I can use that piece for several purposes.

Then it was on to meditation with the sunrise over the city.

And then up to the gym on the 52nd floor. It's not a bad place to do intervals...if that was today's workout...but it wasn't...instead:

1A) 8 sets of bulgarian split squats

1B) 4 sets of stability ball rollouts

But the gym was tiny and ill-equipped, so I'm not sure what I'll do for upper body on Sunday morning.

After that I made a trip to the nearby Borough Market in London. Next I'll do lots of walking around this massive city. A swim would have been okay, too, as you'll see below. 
Turbulence Training's photo.
Turbulence Training's photo.
Turbulence Training's photo.

As for my diet, I ate a lot of calories early in the day yesterday. So many that I didn't end up eating dinner. Here's why...

On Friday I was like a kid in a candy store.

Instead I was a grown man in the amazing Turkish airlines airport lounge that had a "nut bar" with bowls of pistachios, walnuts, almonds, cashews, and hazelnuts (and many other types of nuts that don't fit my diet, like almonds with spicy coating, etc.)

I ate way too many, washed down with a devilish Coke Zero. Oh well. Then I had a nice flight to Frankfurt followed by a short flight to London. I'll be here for a couple of days.

I'm staying in the tallest building in Europe, I believe, and they have a bar on the 52nd floor. That's the same floor as the gym. Amazing views.

I'll get back on track with CASS-Free days next week when I return home.

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:
Focusing in the early hours is vital to achieving your big goals and dreams and leaving a legacy in life. This is what I call Magic Time. Your Magic Time is where you can get three times as much work done as you would at any other time of the day. We all have our own Magic Time where we are more focused, energetic, and creative. For most people it is first thing in the morning.

Your job is to identify your Magic Time, to block it off and ruthlessly protect it from others, and to use it to your advantage. Leveraging this powerful opportunity is essential to making big progress every day.

Give it a try one day this week. Get up 15 minutes early and work on a big priority project in your life, such as figuring out your finances, taking time to practice meditation, squeezing in a 10-Minute Morning Metabolic Miracle from the MK program, or planning out a family event. I'll bet you will be shocked by how much you get done in just a quarter of an hour.


No one will do the work for you. You cannot depend on anyone else. Your success starts and ends with you. Personal responsibility is #1. You cannot have self-doubt. Do not let self-limiting beliefs hold you back. Create your plan. Get support. Set a deadline. Crush it. Get up 15 minutes EARLY every morning and use that Magic Time to make BIG progress in your life.

Go time,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Honey of a breakfast and workout

Wow. Another amazing start to the day here in Istanbul. Just wait till you see what I had for breakfast. It was the healthiest, most delicious cheat day meal I've ever had.  

But first, I woke up early, got to work, finished a major project, did 16 minutes of meditation to calm myself down, and then hit the gym. It was a Meathead Traveler workout and went like this.

Today's Workout:

1A) Standing Shoulder Press
1B) Bodyweight Row

2A) V-Grip Pulldown (leaning back)
2B) Triceps
2C) Biceps Curls

And lots and lots of walking around Istanbul.

BTW, while I trained, the gym's TV was showing a water polo game. Is there any sport more sadistic than water polo? Treading water, swimming, fighting for the ball, getting dunked, slapped in the face...and wearing speedos.

That's my idea of a special kind of punishment.

I couldn't stand watching it, let alone imagine playing it!

Diet Update:
Yesterday was not a CASS-Free day (caffeine-alcohol-soda-sweeteners), and today I tried some Turkish Tea (very much like Black Tea, but served in a cute lil glass cup). Still haven't tried the strong Turkish coffee, and I probably won't. But I will be free of Alcohol, Soda, and Sweeteners today. I definitely don't need any extra sweetness in my diet after all the honey I had for was awesome!

Tomorrow is a travel day, but I'll probably start with more Turkish Tea before heading off to another land of tea, England.

London, England. What's YOUR diet plan for today?
Turbulence Training's photo.
Turbulence Training's photo.
Turbulence Training's photo.
Turbulence Training's photo.

Time to catch up on some rest. I had an unexpected work issue come up and so I've been doing the sightseeing and work thing back-to-back every day.

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:
You WILL succeed if you believe in yourself, you take action, you learn from your mistakes, and you persist, day-in and day-out. Never give up on what is important to you. Your time is NOW. Action is the simplest way to avoid procrastination. Be clear about your number one priority and attack it with great energy first thing in the morning.

Get going,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Turbulence Tourism

Wow. What an incredible morning. I just returned from a tour of the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia, and the Topkapi Palace here in Istanbul. These grounds are full of so much history and beauty.

I'm really glad we hired a tour guide because she gave us the story behind the story, and helped us avoid the long lines in the hot Turkish sun. And she showed my friends how to properly drink the strong Turkish coffee. (But I still haven't had the first coffee of my life yet!) It gave my friends the jitters in just a few minutes!
Turbulence Training's photo.
Turbulence Training's photo.
Turbulence Training's photo.
Turbulence Training's photo.

Today's Workout:
1A) Squats

2A) DB Split Squats
2B) Cable Abs

And then for lunch...
Obviously I caught all this seafood, with these spears, in order to make lunch today. Just look at how impressed I am. Turbulence Fishing for sea bass, shrimp, salmon, and octopus.
Turbulence Training's photo.

Monday => CASS-Free travel day to Istanbul. Turkish Airlines is fantastic. Had the best in-flight meal in my history of traveling...and I was seated in Economy on a 2.5 hour flight! I was served Lamb Chops and sauteed spinach (and rice, but I skipped that). Possibly the best lamb I've ever had.

Tuesday => CASS-Free tourist day in Istanbul. The city is quite interesting and massive...population is 14 million people!

Wednesday => Will involve pre-workout caffeine and a pre-dinner cocktail.

(CASS-Free = No caffeine, alcohol, soda, or stevia)

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:
You can do it. Here's why: There are too many success stories of other people that started off in a worse position than yours. All these success stories invalidate any of your excuses. It's time to change your beliefs. It's time to change your behaviour. You've done it before and now you WILL do it again. Let's get started today. Let's go.

Start now,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Morning is Magic

More structure in your day = More freedom in your life. Get up early and give your number one priority the focus it deserves for at least 15 minutes every single morning. My mornings, even when on "holiday" here in Istanbul go like this: Wake-up early, write for an hour, meditate for 20 minutes, exercise. Now I am FREE to do whatever I want all day long...and that will be to tour the Topkapi Palace and Hagia Sophia. (Here's the sun rising over the Asian side of Istanbul...and a photo from dinner last night at the excellent restaurant, Topaz).
Turbulence Training's photo.
Turbulence Training's photo.
Turbulence Training's photo.

Day One in Istanbul with a Meathead Workout

Good morning, from Istanbul. As the sun rises in the Middle East while you might just be getting to bed, it reminds me that the world is always alive with opportunity.

So...Don't stop. The more you move in the right direction towards success, the better you'll feel. Every day work on making new positive habits into automatic activities. Commit Fully. Get Started. Push Forward. Make Mistakes. Learn Lessons. Get Better. Stay Strong. Get Stronger. Leave that Legacy! You can do it. I believe in YOU. ...

Apologies for the photos below...I take the worst...but enjoy the obligatory photo of the hotel gym...great workout:

1A) Maximus Pushups
1B) Pullups

2A) DB Chest Press
2B) Seated Rows

Then a 30 minute walk along the Bosphorus river. Now off for some sightseeing, and it's not even 9am. Great start to the day!

Turbulence Training's photo.
Turbulence Training's photo.
Turbulence Training's photo.

BTW, as I wrote earlier on FB...

Good morning from Istanbul. It's 4:30am. Time for some writing, meditation, and then a walk along the historic Bosphorus river. I am a lucky man to be able to enjoy the sights and sounds of this ancient city. It reminds me of one of my favorite sayings:

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:

"Life is easy when you live it the hard way, and it's hard if you try to live it the easy way." - Dave Kekich

That's why I plan my days, NEVER hit snooze, carve out time for daily meditation and exercise, and stick to my nutrition plan even when I'm on the planes, trains, and automobiles of this European tour, and living out hotels. I make a quick stop at grocery stores for fresh fruits and vegetables, raw nuts, and water. That way I have solutions for every food obstacle in my way in life. Make it a GREAT day!
Turbulence Training's photo.
Turbulence Training's photo.