Friday, July 29, 2016

BlackSmith Jetlag and Denver Squat

The past two nights have been fitful with jet lag, but I should be back to normal when I return to Toronto on Saturday.

It was worth it, though, for moments like this...
The New Early to Rise

From last week's BlackSmith Camp in Lithuania with all of our students and my friend, Simon Black, from Sovereign Man. He's the guy choking me.

I was still good to go for this morning's squat workout. It went like this:

1A) Hang Clean
1B) Squat

2A) Good Morning
2B) Row

3A) BB Reverse Lunge
3B) Dips

Tomorrow is an off-day with an early flight back to Toronto and then a big dog walk with the ol' stinker pooch, Bally the Dog.

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:
Live virtuously without exception or excuses. Stay true and pure. Be honest and vulnerable. Act with integrity – always. Or don’t… and pay the consequences.

Stay gold,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT

PS - Tonight...

Do an end-of-day brain dump to end your day. Switch your mind from job to family, and separate work time from non-work time. Grab some paper, scribble out all work-related thoughts, and put them away until tomorrow. Stick to this hard ‘quitting time’ for your day. Now go live life for the rest of the evening.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

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Your coach,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT
Certified Turbulence Trainer

PS - But wait, what if you've already bought these workouts online?
If you had previously purchased one of those workouts, you can login to the app with the same username and password that you've always used. If it doesn't work, just use the "Forgot Password" feature in the app  -- if that doesn't work, just reply to this email and we'll get you setup with a new password.

Travel to Denver for Training

Well, if 23 hours of travel could actually go smoothly, that's what happened yesterday. I'm lucky.

Every flight was on time. I got a little sleep. I found some healthy food in Chicago's O'Hare airport (which actually wasn't hard... I even stumbled across a make-your-own salad joint in Terminal 1 near the C gates).

And I watched Batman vs. Superman. It was a little ridiculous, but not as bad as perhaps most people made it out to be.

So I left Vilnius at 12:30pm on Tuesday and got into my apartment in Denver at 1am on Wednesday. There's a 9 hour time difference in there.

But I accumulated three naps of 2.5 hours each along the way, and so I woke up at 5am today and managed a decent workout.

Tomorrow is a big filming day for me, so I needed to get back on track.

Today's Training:

1A) Military Press
1B) Front Squat

2A) Overhead Squat
2B) Chin-up with Knee-Up

Post-Holiday Weight = 171 pounds

I didn't lose as much weight as I expected, as that's usually the case when I miss out on weight training workouts.

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:
"There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship." – Thomas Aquinas… Eliminate Stuff. Accumulate Love. Want less. Contribute more. Buy less. Create more. Give away a material object today. Replace it with an experience. Do something fun. Create a memory. Give praise to a friend. Mail a thank you card, call a family member, stretch your bounds of giving. Give so much that you think it will hurt, for it never will. 

True friendship rules,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT

PS - Here's something worth a listen...

talks how general planning can help you start your day off on right foot.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Deadlifting in Europe before Flying to Denver

Well, Europe, it's been fun. But the journey begins.

To home.

And what a journey it will be...

After visiting London, Edinburgh, Dublin, Switzerland, Denmark (airport), and Vilnius (in Lithuania), now it's time to go:

Vilnius => Frankfurt => Chicago => Denver

It's going to take 23 hours from door to door.

Oh well.

If that's the price you pay for almost 23 days in Europe, then that's fine.

What a time!

And of course, I've planned for all of this travel in advance.

So it's time to suck it up, buttercup.

I'm sure there aren't too many people feeling sorry for me today.

Also had to suck it up for today's workout at the Forum Palace gym in Vilnius.

1A) Hang Clean

1B) Mobility

2A) Deadlift

2B) Incline Press

That's it, but there were a lot of deadlifts.

I'm going to switch the order of this around next time.

Stay tuned!

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:
"Obstacles, of course, are developmentally necessary: they teach kids strategy, patience, critical thinking, resilience and resourcefulness." - Naomi Wolf

Talk soon,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT

PS - As much as I love traveling...

...I miss this ol' guy. looking forward to a big walk on saturday afternoon.

Monday, July 25, 2016

BlackSmith Camp Graduation Workout

Today is an off-day because yesterday we hit Punisher Squats hard, along with a push-up challenge.

I don't have a lot of photos from this year's camp (yet), but there is one below. Great memories!

Yesterday's "Graduation Workout":

1A) Sumo Squat Shuffle
1B) Inchworm
1C) Prisoner Squat
1D) X-Body Mountain Climber

2A) T-Pushup
2B) Jumping Jacks

3) 60-seconds max pushups => I hit 41

4) Punisher Squats

5) Group cheer and sigh of relief!

Here's the one photo I have of me taking the kids through my favorite shoulder mobility exercises at the BlackSmith camp yesterday


And man, I've put out some KILLER content today.

First, there was my ETR article of the day:


Then there was my can't-miss my latest MH workout


This is not the final version that will go in the magazine.

They've already asked me to cut at least 6 exercises and do an A-B split.

So enjoy the uncensored version!

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:
"I salute those who get up early, do the work, overcome one adversity after another, set high goals and expectations for themselves and then show up everyday and do whatever it takes to get it done." – Bedros Keuilian

That is how you do it,

Craig Ballantyne

PS - It's on!

The Orlando fall fitness & personal training seminar is now open for you to grab an early bird spot.

Can't wait to see you in the land of the Happiest Place on Earth.

Daniel is going to be running a TT Certification, too.

Good times!


Saturday, July 23, 2016

Ladder of Quadriceps Death

Good fun at today's bootcamp bodyweight workout.

By fun I mean pleasure-n-pain.

Because you know, it seemed like a good idea at the time (I'm referring to the final ladder superset).

Workout went like this:

1A) Prisoner Squat
1B) Spiderman Climb

2A) Sphinx Pushup
2B) Prisoner Lunge
2C) Iron Cross

3A) Jumping Jack 10-8-6-4-2
3B) Burpee 2-4-6-8-10


Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:
“You must choose between the various alternatives in order to make the most of the time and energy we do have. We choose constantly in order to bring as much happiness as possible, while using up as little time and energy as possible.” – Harry Browne

Choose wisely,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT

Friday, July 22, 2016

BlackSmith Camp 2016 Workout A

Alright, alright, alright. Today was the first bootcamp workout from our 7th annual BlackSmith Camp.

After a great day of teaching, including me giving my TT Summit speech about the 5 Pillars & 5 Rules for your life, we did this under the warm Lithuanian sunshine:

Exercise Demo Warmup - a couple of reps of all the exercises using some teaching tricks learned from Chris Lopez at the TT Summit

1A) Prisoner Squat
1B) Pause Pushup
1C) Total Body Extension
1D) Mountain Climber
1E) Reverse Lunges
1F) Iron Cross
1G) Sphinx Pushup
1H) Prisoner Split Squat
1J) Rocking Plank
1K) Punisher Squat - 2 rounds

Repeat 2x's.

This didn't seem like much to me but it rocked most of the kids so we stopped there. Some of them stayed around to do a post-workout workout with my buddy, former military man and West Point cadet, Simon Black.

Good times.

Couple more good workouts coming your way soon.

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:
All the planning in the world is no good if you don’t follow through. Be a robotic action-taker. Eliminate your excuses about lack of time, distractions, ‘emergencies’, and take action on what really matters in your life. Write that book. Save that marriage. Raise healthy kids. Lose that weight. Reconnect with that special friend. The time is now.

Take advantage of it,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT

PS - Make the right decisions, right now, for your right life.

Know what matters. Eliminate distractions. Concentrate one what counts. Don't let society impose its standards on you. You are the one that sets the bar for your behavior. Think - and act - for yourself.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Deadlift in Vilnius

7th summer in a row visiting Vilnius, Lithuania. Amazing to see how it has changed. Very busy with tourists now. And nice shops & cafes

1 thing that hasn't changed - thank goodness - is the Forum Palace gym. Great space... and ping pong tables, too!

Today's workout at Forum Palace in Vilnius:

1A) Hang Clean
1B) Mobility

2A) Deadlift
2B) Core Training

3A) Military Press
3B) Barbell Row

Everything I can't do with bodyweight-only during the bootcamp workouts I'll be teaching at

Alright, off to the countryside.

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:

Quit living in your old ways. Try something new... Change your workout. Eat octopus. Do Karaoke. Let your guard down. Trust someone. Help a new person in your life. Give freely without any expectation of something in return. Do something different...because what got you here won't get you to the next level in life.

Get it done,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT

PS - My biggest pet peeve in the gym => bad form.

Fix your pushup form with Missi's awesome tips here


Monday, July 18, 2016

Lucerne View and Hike

There's been no gym at my hotels in Switzerland, so I've been taking the week off workouts. But we've been walking a lot.

Today was a heck of day.

It started with a ferry ride, than a steep train ride up a 7000 foot mountain, and some hiking up to the highest peak. 

Here's my view from the top, overlooking Lucerne this morning.

Then it was a gondola ride to the bottom and a swim in the lake, followed with a great steak dinner.

Lucerne is 6 hours ahead of EST, so I'm going to crash soon.

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:

Live Life!Get outside. Do Yoga in a park. Run through a forest. Swim in an ocean. Bask in the sunshine. Nap in a hammock. Cruise with windows down. Get fresh air. Then end an amazing day by sitting and talking with family. Be present. Enjoy one another. Connect with one old friend that you have not spoken with in a long time. It is meant to be. They are also thinking of contacting you. Reach out. Have gratitude for those you love and for all you have accomplished this week.

Live it,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Last Workout and Hike in Dublin

Great hike yesterday. Another 6-miler.

When in Dublin, get out of town and go to Howth for a hike.

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And a great Meathead hotel gym workout today.

Now a flight to Zurich.

Fortunately, I'm taking a plane.

My arms & lats are too tired from this workout to fly it myself...

1A) DB 1-Arm Shoulder Press
1B) Pullup

2A) DB 1-Arm Row
2B) Triceps Extensions

Good times.

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:
All the planning in the world is no good if you don’t follow through. Be a robotic action-taker. Eliminate your excuses about lack of time, distractions, ‘emergencies’, and take action on what really matters in your life. Write that book. Save that marriage. Raise healthy kids. Lose that weight. Reconnect with that special friend.

Our time is now,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT

PS - Make this an Anti-Adult Day.

Keep the child in you alive. Play a sport. Chase your kiddos. Watch Disney. Eat ice cream. Laugh. Yell. Chill.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Weird Westin Workout in Dublin

Today got weird.

But first, Dublin.

Arrived yesterday afternoon and walked around the city. Had a mint tea at the Merrion Hotel. Dublin itself, in the daytime, is not nearly as charming as Edinburgh. But I think if you go to Dublin, you have to go in a "Pub frame of mind", and that's not my style.

However, this landmark is not to be missed.

Here I am in the legendary bar at Shanahan's Steakhouse in Dublin. It was worth the entire trip to Ireland just for this restaurant.

In the Oval Office you'll find pictures and framed letters from many American presidents. However, only one of them has been here... Clinton. He was here last year, and I sat in the chair in the corner where he sat.

Then we went upstairs to the restaurant and had a great steak dinner along with the excellent Shanahan side salad, broccoli, smoked Irish salmon, and other great dishes.

Now back to today's weird Westin workout in Dublin.

The exercise room was small, even by hotel standards. However, the dumbbells went up to 60 pounds, and there was a cable stack.

The weird part was that it was about 80 degrees Farenheit and 100% humidity in the little room. I was dripping by the time I was done 5 rounds of this lower-abs circuit:

1A) DB Split Squat
1B) Cable Pull Through
1C) Cable Abs

Good times. Now off to a small village on the coast for a hike, weather permitting, as it rained all night. (But the weather was great yesterday.) The sun is supposed to come out.

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:

Set hard deadlines for your dreams, ones with REAL consequences. Make the consequences matter…i's the only way you'll change your behavior and take action before it is too late.

Set em and get em,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Final Scottish Workout

Last morning in Edinburgh. We had a great final dinner out, and then the Keuilians and I parted ways. They are off to Shannon, Ireland, while I'm heading to Dublin for a couple of days.

I had a chance for a quick workout:

1A) DB Chest Press
1B) Chest Supported Wide Row

2A) DB Incline Press
2B) Seated Narrow Row

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:

Move faster. What are you waiting for? Leap to the next level. Sprint to your finish line. Beat your own personal bests. Wake up earlier. Get ahead of your competition. Finish before they even start. The faster you move, the more momentum you build.

Listen to this for help... Reclaim your life with my #noexcuses tips here


Move on,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT

PS - What a view!

epic final night's castle sighting in Edinburgh

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Scottish Workout and Movie Star

Yesterday morning I had one of those strange workouts.

It was cobbled together out of a wacky situation, but it turned out great.

We were visiting Inverness, Scotland, just a few miles from Loch Ness.

The hotel had a bench press and a cable stack.

That was good enough for:

1a) High Rep Close-Grip Bench Presses - 35 rep sets

1b) Face Pull

2a) Hang Clean

2b) Chinup with Knee up

Good times.

Today was our last day in Scotland. We did a huge hike and met some birds. See below.

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:
Beat your own personal bests. Wake up earlier. Get ahead of your competition. Finish before they even start.

Get going,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT

PS - Check this out...interesting visit to a Scottish castle today for falconry...

That's where I met a movie star.

This raven is 19 years old.

His name is Jake.

He's been in several movies and TV shows.

The raven is the most intelligent bird.

And he'll live to be 50-60 years old.


Crazy Exercises

Hi, it's Missi Holt, CTT, here...

...and while Craig is traveling, he asked me to do you a favor.

You see, Craig has some crazy exercises.

And sometimes he forgets to explain them.

So here are photos and descriptions of the best exercises from Craig's crazy brain. :)

If you still need help with any other exercises, please post your requests in the comments here.

Rocking plank

Rocking Plank
Exercise and Execution:
Begin in forearm plank with abs braced and body in a straight line from toes to shoulders.

Shift body back and forth moving at the shoulder joint while keeping elbows and forearms squeezing toward the midline.

What it Works:
Entire front side of body – forearms, triceps, chest, shoulders, core, quads

Expert Tips:
Keep the elbows squeezing toward each other to "turn on the chest" and support healthy shoulder alignment.

Push and pull with the toes while keeping quads engaged and lifted.

Spiderman climb
Spiderman Climb
Exercise and Execution
Begin in High Plank. Keep the abs braced and body in a straight line from toes (knees) to shoulders.

Place the hands on the floor slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.

Bring your right knee up toward your right elbow and plant your foot on the ground.

Return to the start position.

Alternate sides until you complete all repetitions.

Keep your body in a straight line at all times and try not to rotate at your hips.

What it Works:
Hip mobility, core strength, upper body strength.

Expert Tips:
Press away from the floor with hands and posted foot to stay buoyant as the knee drives up to the side.

Spiderman pushups
Spiderman Pushup
Exercise and Execution:
Keep the abs braced and body in a straight line from toes (knees) to shoulders.

Place the hands on the floor slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.

Slowly lower yourself down until you are 2 inches off the ground.

As you lower yourself, slowly bring your right knee up to your right elbow.

Keep your foot off the ground as you do so.

Push through your chest, shoulders, and triceps to return to the start position, and return your leg to the start position.

Alternate sides until you complete all repetitions.

Keep your body in a straight line at all times and try not to rotate at your hips.

What it Works:
Hip mobility, core strength, upper body strength, anti-rotation control, and power.

Expert Tips:
Again, quads! Keep them engaged so the entire body is working together to facilitate the movement.

Single leg hip extension
Lying 1-Leg Hip Extension
Exercise and Execution:
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.

Brace your abs, and contract your right glute (butt muscle) while you take your left
leg, lift it off the floor and hold it in the position shown.

Using the right glute, bridge your hips up.

Keep your abs braced. Do not use your low back to do this exercise.

Slowly lower your hips down until they are an inch above the ground.

Perform all reps for one leg and then switch sides.

What it Works:
Hamstrings, glutes, and core

Expert Tips:
Keep knee aligned with hip joint – do not allow leg to cave in or splay out during the movement.

Imagine your foot is on slippery ice. Do not allow your foot to "slip" away by energetically hugging the heel toward the hips – this will deepen the engagement of the working hamstring and connect energy along the entire posterior chain.

Elevated pushup
Elevated Pushup
Exercise and Execution:
Keep the abs braced and body in a straight line from knees to shoulders.

Place the left hand on the floor and the right hand elevated 4-6 inches on a yoga block or Med ball.

With hands slightly wider than shoulder width lower your body down until you are 2 inches off the ground.

Push through your chest, shoulders, and triceps to return to the start position.

Keep your body in a straight line at all times.

What it Works:
Offsets the workload on one side of the body increasing single arm strength and challenging body mechanics

Expert Tips:
Engage your quads – your pushups will never be the same.

Stay lengthened & engaged through your body by pressing heels back while chest and crown of the head reach forward.
Iron cross
Iron Cross
Exercise and Execution:
Begin in an athletic stance with knees soft, legs toned, and abs braced. Hold your hands out to your sides in a T-formation at all times.

Draw shoulder blades down and together keeping upper back and shoulder muscles tensed throughout the exercise.

What it Works:
Isometrically contracts the muscles of the upper back and shoulders including rhomboids, deltoids, lats, rotator cuff muscles, and core.

Expert Tips:
This exercise is more effective the more energy you give it – Find great alignment via posture then squeeze imagining each muscle group firing fully.
Stick up
Stick Up
Exercise and Execution:
Stand with your back against a wall with feet set 6 inches forward. Butt, upper back, and head should all be in contact with the wall at all times during the exercise.

Begin with hands up overhead. Try to keep your shoulders, elbows, and wrists in contact with the wall at all times.

Draw your shoulder blades down and together as you slide your arms down the wall and tuck your elbows into your sides. You should feel a strong contraction in the muscles between your shoulder blades as well as the shoulder muscles.

From the bottom position, try to slowly slide your arms up until they are straight and in a "stick-em up" position. Again, try to keep everything in contact with the wall.

Try to improve your range of motion in this exercise each week.

Return to the squat swinging arms back down by sides – keep chest lifted then repeat the "fake jump." Move swiftly with good form.

What it Works:
The goal is to improve shoulder mobility and postural control. But you can also facilitate a stronger understanding of how to properly contract the muscles of your back and shoulders in an upright & aligned position.

Expert Tips:
Try to improve your range of motion in this exercise each week.

Imagine you are doing a pull up – knowing how to engage these muscles when there is no load leads to a greater ability to use them effectively when there is a load.
Total Body Extension (TBX)
Exercise and Execution:
Stand with your feet just greater than shoulder-width apart.

Swing hands back by hips as you sit into a small squat.

Launch body out of the squat into a "fake jump" – coming up onto the balls of the feet with legs straight and quads engaged, as arms swing overhead.

Return to the squat swinging arms back down by sides – keep chest lifted then repeat the "fake jump." Move swiftly with good form.

What it Works:
Works the entire body, including cardiovascular fitness.

Builds agility – the ability to change the body's position efficiently, and requires the integration of isolated movement skills using a combination of balance, coordination, speed, reflexes, strength, and endurance.

Expert Tips:
Load the energy in the squat then launch as if you really were going to jump…. Stop at the top with every single muscle in your body engaged to fight the momentum of the "fake jump".

The ability to control your body in this move will translate a thousand times over in other movement patterns including those in your daily life.
Reverse lunge
Reverse Lunge
Exercise and Execution:
Begin in an athletic stance with knees soft, legs toned, and abs braced.

Step one foot back and drop the knee down toward the floor while keeping weight shifted onto front leg.

Press through heel of front leg and engage hamstrings, quads, and glutes to return to start position. Alternate legs.

What it Works:
Balance, coordination, flexibility, and strength.

Muscles of the front leg including those in the foot, lower leg and upper leg – hamstring, quad and glutes. Plus the core.

Expert Tips:
Core engagement is critical for proper execution.

Keep the weight shifted into the heel of the front foot to protect the knee and do not allow the knee to pass the front toes.

Offer a slight forward lean with hips pushed back to accentuate glute and hamstring involvement but do not allow the chest to collapse.
Prisoner squat
Prisoner Squat
Exercise and Execution
Stand with your feet just greater than shoulder-width apart.

Clasp your hands behind your head. Keep your elbows back and shoulder blades pulled together to work the upper back.

Start the movement at the hip joint. Push your hips backward and sit back into a chair. Make your hips go back as far as possible.

Squat as deep as possible, but keep your low back tensed in a neutral position.

Do not round your lower back or drop your chest forward.

Push with your glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps to return to the start position.

What it Works:
Total Body Exercise primarily targets quads, hamstrings, glutes, and core (abs & low back)

Expert Tips:
Sit farther back than you think you should and drive up with more pressure in the heels.

Use your exhale to return upright from the bottom of the squat and press navel to spine as you stand up.

Keep knees aligned over 2nd toes.
Exercise and Execution

Lay belly down over a fit ball. Set feet wide for balance and lengthen torso to engage muscles of the spine.

W: Begin with hands up overhead. Slide elbows down creating a W and bring your shoulder blades down and together.

Y: Extend arms straight overhead with thumbs up then open them wide into a Y pattern. Keeping shoulder blades tucked down the back make small movements up & down.

L: Upper arm extends out straight from shoulder joint. Bend the elbows to 90 degrees and maintain that angle as you externally rotate the upper arm bringing fists up – more in line with the ears – and down in line with the chest.

I: Move the arms straight out in front of body; palms facing the floor. Lift arms to align with ears then lower to chest level.

T: Open arms straight out from shoulder height creating a T formation. Draw shoulder blades together and down as you create small movements up and down

What it Works:
Improves shoulder mobility and trains the small muscles of the rotator cuff to work in unison with muscles of the back creating a healthy range of motion.

W: Rhomboids, latissimus dorsi, and muscles of the shoulders.
Y: Rhomboids, rear deltoid, Teres Minor.
L: fires the small external rotators of the shoulder joint – Infraspinatus and Teres Minor.
I: anterior deltoids, rotator cuff muscles
T: Posterior deltoid, rhomboids, and Lats

Expert Tips:
W: Imagine tucking elbows into the waist band of your pants
Y: Initiate movement from the rhomboids – the muscles in between the shoulder blades.
L: Only rotate as much as you are able without force. Range of motion will improve with practice but not if you're injured!
I: Rotate the palms to face each other if you have shoulder impingement issues.
T: Squeeze the shoulder blades together to help facilitate a good contraction.

In Love & Gratitude,

Missi Holt, CTT
Master Fitness & Nutrition Therapist
Certified Turbulence Trainer

Exercise is not punishment. It's not atonement. It's a gift - an opportunity to move better, to feel more alive, and deepen the connection to all you are capable of accomplishing.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Happy and Scottish after Squats and Salmon

Sunday morning, after a poor night's sleep, I managed to have a great workout at our hotel gym.

We got lucky.

The Kensington Close Hotel, where we stayed in London, had an excellent gym, with bench press and squat rack. That's because it was an "outside member's gym" too, in addition to being the hotel gym.

I met Bedros down in the gym around 7am and we each went about our work, without much conversation.

Not knowing when I'd be back in a good gym, I did a bit of everything.

1A) Bench Press
1B) Bodyweight Row

2A) Squat

Good times.

Then it was off to King's Cross Station to catch the train from London to Edinburgh. Here's B & his family getting settled in for the 4 hour journey.

Good times!

Meanwhile, on Saturday night, after a great dinner of gluten-free chicken meatballs over zucchini and sweet potato "noodles" at (yes, with two F's), we stumbled across a true International house of pancakes. I might have to call Mikey "Old Dutch" from now on!

Old Dutch Whitfield.


Once we hit Edinburgh we walked around the old town, marveled at the old buildings, walked past The Elephant House (the birthplace of Harry Potter), and then had a great dinner at Howie's. I had Scottish salmon, while B had Lamb (again, for about the 7th meal in a row, LOL).

Today we'll buy some cashmere, maybe a kilt, and then head off to Loch Ness and an overnight stay in Inverness.

Here's the view from my hotel room at the Sheraton Grand in Edinburgh (it's a great, modern, "Americanized" hotel ... and yes, I like to keep things familiar when it comes to hotels...)

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:

Be happy and content at this very moment. No more complaining. Always have gratitude for the little things in life. Give your love to the world and appreciate how lucky you are to be alive at this incredible time in history.

Be happy and Scottish,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT

Saturday, July 09, 2016


No training today, but...

Look kids, big ben, parliament.

Today's Nutrition Tip: Stay hydrated!

hydrating, in London, with

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:
What got you here won’t get you there, says Marshall Goldsmith. He's right. To play up at the next level, you have to improve. And when you reach that next level, it’s time to evolve again. Never peak. Never stop. Never quit.

Get going,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Adventure Starts Now

Alright, I can either look at today as a pain in the butt, or I can turn that frown upside down and look at today as a Craiggy's Big Adventure.

It started with writing and work.

Then an early leg workout in the garage.

Then a dog walk.

Now breakfast and a 2 hour drive to Toronto.

Then errands.

Then phone calls at the airport.

Then an overnight flight to London.

Then a train ride into the city while in that overnight-flight brain fog.

Then waiting to get booked into hotel.

Then hotel!

Then Bedros and family.

Then a mastermind.

Then Scotland.

And so on.

So obviously, this is an adventure!

Today's Workout:

1A) Goblet Squat
1C) Ab Wheel
1D) 1-Arm KB Overhead Press

4 rounds.

Meanwhile, ETR went full-pancakes today:

Breakfast: Healthy Pancakes Recipe!

Breakfast: Healthy Pancakes Recipe!

Pancakes are an “anytime” favorite – fluffy griddle cakes topped with all kinds of sweet and savory goodies. But all too often these beloved…

Good times!

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:

Success all starts with making the right choices, right now, for your right life. Don't give in to every easy option that comes your way. Be prepared to step out of your comfort zone & make the sacrifices.

Time to practice what I preach,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT

PS - Adventure time!

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Benching and Brentering

My left lat and teres major is sore from Sunday's Deadlift session.

However, I was still able to have a Personal Best bench press workout to end my transformation contest.

Today's workout:

1) Bench Press - 200x6

2A) Bench
2B) Chest-Supported Row

3A) Triceps
3B) Shrugs

12-Week Transformation Results

My starting weight was 170.
My weight today was 175.6.

My starting bench press was 185x8 for an estimated 235 max.
My bench today was 200x7 for an estimated 245 max.


Tomorrow I'll do a lower body workout on the farm before I split to Toronto for some errands and a late night flight to London.

If Britain leaving is Brexit, then what do you call where you go into Britain?

A Brenter?

Because that's what I'm doing this week. Brentering Britain.

Whoa, that sounds weird.


Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:
The world will try to sabotage your day, your diet, your deals, and your determination. Do not let this happen. Identify all the obstacles in your way and have two solutions for each. Keep in mind your Rules for Living and your Priorities in Life when temptations come a calling. Remember what really matters and stick to it.

Sticking to it,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT

Monday, July 04, 2016

Sunday Deadlift Sunday

It was a super Sunday on the farm, sunny, no chance of rain, and 100% chance of deadlifts.

I like those odds.

So after a great morning of writing, meditation, dog walking and breakfast, it was off to the local YMCA for good times to be had by all.

The gym was empty, no surprise considering the holiday weekend.

Here in Canadia we celebrate Canada on July 1st, similar to the Independence Day celebrated in America on the 4th.

I'm not sure why North American nations tended to be birthed in July. Perhaps it's founding fathers had nothing to do in the dark nights of November, 9 months earlier.

Yeah, reproductive nation joke. Yeah, a groaner.

So what.

Alright, back to deadlifting.

Solid session.

1a) Power Clean

1b) Mobility

2a) Deadlift

2b) Mobility

3a) Chin-up with Knee-up

3b) Leg Curl

That was all.

A sunny afternoon of dog walks, pear cider, and Euro football followed.

Today's kickbutt mindset tip:

Do the work. Pay the price. Earn the reward. Repeat.

There will be days when you struggle. That’s okay. Just  never give up on what is important to you…Because whatever is in your way, you’re stronger than it, you’re tougher than it, and you’re going  to beat it.      
Don’t be satisfied with the norm if you want more. It’s okay to want to achieve special results.

The world needs folks who dream and achieve big things.

You should be that one,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Saturday morning chest pressing in the city

Travel time is over, for a few days.

I celebrated Canadia on Air Canada.

Fitting, I suppose.

I landed around 4pm in Toronto, and made my way downtown to my favorite hotel, The Shangri-La.

The Toronto Blue Jays were just wrapping up the 9th inning of their game against the Cleveland Indians.

After checking in, I answered some emails, had dinner, walked around the city, and came back to finish my Big Thinking exercise for the day.

Meanwhile, the Blue Jays were still playing.

They went a full 19 innings, over 2 full games, against the Indians...and the Jays lost.

My friend, famous fitness researcher and epic tweeter, Dr. Stuart Phillips, live-tweeted the game here.


16h16 hours ago

Bottom of 14th... Jays threaten

He's worth following if you like the science of training and nutrition and Canadiana.

Anyways, I crashed early... (I think the game was over by then, but perhaps not!)

Got a full 8 hours sleep for the first time in a few days, and then I wrote some articles and hit the gym at the hotel.

1a) DB Chest Press - worked up to a new 2016 PB of 70x16 reps

1b) Face Pull

2) Running Intervals

Felt good to do a few rounds of 9 miles per hour at a 4% incline. Did 1 minute intervals with 1 minute rest.

Tomorrow is my final deadlift day before my annual trip to Europe.

On Wednesday evening I'm off to London, Scotland (several cities & Loch Ness), Dublin, Zurich, Lucerne, and Vilnius. It's in Lithuania that I'll finish my epic summer journey with the 7th annual Again, we have over 50 ambitious attendees from dozens of countries joining us for a life-changing weekend.

Plus, they'll get a few fun bootcamp workouts with ol' CB.

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:

We’ve just passed the halfway mark of the year.


So let’s use today as our 2nd New Year’s Day.


It’s another chance for you to begin again.


You can choose to make big changes in your life starting right now.


No matter what happened yesterday, or on the weekend, you can get back on track to your big goals and dreams today!


And every step forward takes you farther away from the mistakes of yesterday.


So don’t waste energy on regrets…


…instead learn the lessons, move on, and get better today and tomorrow.


Get back on track for the rest of 2016 this week,


Craig Ballantyne, CTT


PS – If you’re struggling or hurting, remember this…


It’s always darkest before the dawn.


Everyone goes through dark days and dips, but not quitting is what separates success from failure.


There will be days when you struggle. That’s okay. Just never give up on what is important to you…


…Because whatever is in your way, you’re stronger than it, you’re tougher than it, and you’re going to beat it.


But 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.


When you have that in place, all things are possible through faith in yourself.

Stay strong and get stronger,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT


PPS – And when you feel stressed…


…when work deadlines collide with family fights, traffic troubles, or chaotic kiddos...


… just remember one of my favorite quotes…


“Enjoy life. Treat it as an adventure. Care passionately about the outcome, but keep it in perspective. Things are seldom as bleak as they seem when they are going wrong – or as good as they seem when they are going well. Lighten up. You’ll live longer.” – Kekich Credo #55