Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Invasion of the Bodybuilder into my Baby Weights Workouts

Another great garage gym workout using my new "baby weights" philosophy stolen from Vince Delmonte and IFBB pro, Ben Pakulski.

Basically, I do a lot more warm-up, and high-rep sets before pyramiding up in weight and down in reps.

Gosh, I sound like an article from a 1993 FLEX magazine, but the workouts are good times.


1A) Pushups - 4x20 at 3-0-1 tempo
1B) Band Pull - 4x25 with pause at chest

2A) DB Chest Press - Worked up to 80x2x10 after 50x15, 60x15, 70x12
2B) BB Snatch Grip Row - 4x20

Today's Kickbutt Mindset TipS:
Stop doing things that don't matter. Release the guilt, the fear, the doubt, the 'unworthiness', and get rid of the handcuffs holding you back from focusing on your 5% and doing what really matters in life.

" Every right decision I've ever made has come from my gut. Every wrong decision I've ever made was a result of me not listening to my inner voice. If it doesn't feel right, don't do it. That lesson alone will save you, my friends, a lot of grief." -

Good stuff all around,


PS - Pay it forward. Think of 3 people you can connect with and help. Reach out to an old mentor and thank them. Contact an old friend. Send flowers to someone you love... or an Edible Arrangement to a colleague. Renew relationships. Rekindle your connections.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Garage Gym Training in May in February

Garage gym workout special today with the garage door OPEN.

Crazy. 11 degrees Celcius and sunny.

It's like May in February.

1A) Deadlift
1B) Pogo jumps (taking it easy on volume because of the sore calf)

2A) Shrugs
2B) Barbell Hip Thrust

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:
Your life is amazing. Now go make life better for others. You have the resources to get people what they want. So do it. Put others first. Share your abundance. You lose nothing by giving. You only gain and grow.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Discipline and Squats

Here's another pre-workout blog post.

Yesterday I led a workshop with some successful Toronto-area entrepreneurs, including some gym owners, nutritionists, and part of the team from Precision Nutrition. It was killer.

Now I'm packing up to head home to the farm - and ol' Bally the Dog - but first, Imma gonna hit a squat workout at Bang Fitness.

It'll go like this:

1A) Squat
1B) Box Jump

2A) Barbell Split Squat
2B) Glute Ham Raise

Good times will be had if my discipline is high. I guess.

Then a quick visit with ol' J-Roc, and a drive home.

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:
Short term pain from discipline equals long-term gain from progress. Long-term pain comes from lacking short-term discipline.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Steaks and Bench Presses for a True Canadian Meathead

Fun times last night with a Meathead crew at a fancy steak joint here in Toronto. I was with Brad Pilon, Michael Delmonte, Greg O'Gallagher, and a couple of other chats and we had some interesting conversation.

I also had 6 oysters, an A5 Japanese steak, a baked potato, and sauteed spinach. That's my "uniform" meal for a steakhouse ... where I get lots of food but not an insane amount of calories. I imagine this is about 1250.

Today's training was decent:

1A) Pushups
1B) Upper Back Mobility

2A) Bench Press
2B) Shrugs

3A) Dips
3B) Eccentric Neutral Grip Pullups

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tips:
Criticism is a way for the attacker to protect themselves from what it is they are lacking...whether it is talent, integrity, confidence or happiness. Attacks "on you" are a way to protect their own ego. Brush off the negativity and keep going.

Craig Ballantyne
Published by Craig Ballantyne · 3 hrs · 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Back in Toronto

Whew! Big trip is over. Back in Toronto.

Landed yesterday afternoon in late March weather... there's hardly a snowflake to be seen.

After a hilarious midnight fire alarm at the hotel (where I tried to unplug the alarm clock to make it stop, LOL), I woke up early and dominated my morning routine.

Then it was off to Bang Fitness for a workout:

1A) Deadlift
1B) Handstand Pushup

2A) Glute-Ham Raise
2B) Ab Wheel

20-minute walk each way to and fro.

Now for dinner tonight with Brad Pilon!

He's been on a vegan diet for three years... and we're going to a steakhouse.


Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:
Set your workouts as appointments - as commitments that can not be broken under ANY circumstance. Respect the commitment you made with yourself. And don't forget to schedule non-negotiable date nights and fun time, too.

PS -

Hold everyone in your life to higher standards. Here is a great list from Bedros Keuilian, the CEO of Fit Body Boot Camp, on the high standards to have in your life:

Do not tolerate...

- poor work ethic

- time theft

- gossip

- people who flake

- passive aggressive behavior

- pessimists and skeptics

- doing the bare minimum

Expect and give...

- loyalty

- high standards

- team work

- a "can do" attitude

- speed of implementation

- hard work

- optimism

- attention to detail

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Birthdays and Bench Presses

Fun day. I'm going to pay for it tomorrow.

But first, a quick recap of yesterday.

It was Joel Marion's daughter's birthday. Lily was turning 7.

They had 90 people to the party, and I had a really deep discussion with Vince Delmonte about fatherhood, selling, fitness, faith, and family. It was probably our best discussion in the 10 years I have known him.

Got back to the hotel around 8, woke up at 4, and got back to Joel's around 10 (after a 45 minute walk over).

Then it was brunch, followed with this workout:

1A) Pushups
1B) Face Pull

2A) Bench Press
2B) Cable Row

3A) 1-Arm DB Press
3B) Iron Cross

Then 20 sprints while playing tag with Joel's daughters.

My Achilles tendons are going to be tight tomorrow!

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Ben and Brandon and Ballantyne

Saturday morning's workout was another step in my evolution as I continue to stumble through the jungle and muddled world of "what next" with my training. I spent this week with Ben Pakulski and Brandon Lilly (a guy who plans on rowing 100,000 meters in one day!), legends of bodybuilding and powerlifting, respectively, and they both gave me valuable insights/ideas.

Plus, I hurt another muscle (my right calf) while running treadmill intervals on Wednesday morning. Geez louise.

If you've ever watched a video of Ben train, he uses very slow tempos ... like 5-8 second eccentrics (lowering) and 3 seconds in the lifting phase (among many, many training techniques). His workouts don't look that "fun", but they are effective and he has few injuries for a (former) pro bodybuilder.

This influenced me for today's hotel gym lower body workout:

1A) DB Split Squat with a 5-0-2 tempo
1B) Stability Ball Leg Curl
1C) Cable Abs
1D) Eccentric Calf Raise (eccentric-only sets are often recommended by muscle therapists to assist healing)

2A) DB Hip Thrust

Nothing was "pulled" or "tweaked" in this workout.

Now for a few miles of walking over to see my friend, Joel Marion.

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:
Make a list of 10 important people in your life. Beside each name write 1 thing you can do for them today. Start with the most urgent connection and do this now. Tomorrow, take care of the next. Do this every day until you've gone through your list.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Workshop in Tampa

Amazing Perfect Life Workshop in Tampa today at an absolutely awesome gym, MI40. The gym is owned by Ben Pakulski and it is one of the best I have ever been in.

I've done a couple of hotel gym workouts over the past few days, and won't have much to report until Saturday.

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:
"Some people regard discipline as a chore. For me, it is a kind of order that sets me free to fly." - Julie Andrews

Life is simple when you live it the hard way, through structure and discipline. There is a great, and lasting, reward from living a life of virtue and value.

And ...

Two of best buds talking about building confidence, personal growth, and eliminating self-doubt. @Bedros Keuilian @vincedelmonte


If you are missing any of these from your life...

Amazing people... Productivity systems... 10X thinking... Knowing where to start... Mastery of your day... Deep personal growth... A detailed fast start action plan for your big goals and dreams... And no-excuses accountability to a coach that cares about you and your success...

Then you need a day like today.

Just finished another game-changer Perfect Life Business Mentoring Workshop with 6 high performers at MI40 Gym in Tampa with @ifbbbenpak and @brandonlilly3 and @advancefit crew.

It was my honor and privilege to guide them from turning their big, beautiful ideas into reality.

The best is yet to come for all of them... as everyone enters the magical 2.0 stage like so many of my other clients, @jasonphillips_in3 and @jayferruggia and @vincedelmonte

My mission is to do the same for YOU that I did for these legends today.

Send me a DM about my next workshop coming to a city or country near you.


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Benching and Ballantyne's Day

Great day yesterday with the team at ETR in our Denver office. Filmed lots of videos and doing more today.

We have a really proactive team and it's so wonderful to have them find the solutions for our problems.

Always hire people smarter than you so that you can stand on the shoulders of giants!

Today's workout was very old-school TT meatheadish...
1A) Bench Press
1B) Band Pull

2A) DB Press
2B) Seated Row

3A) Curls
3B) Triceps

Tomorrow is BALLANTYNE'S DAY. Hurray!

I'll be flying out to Tampa for a couple of seminars and a weekend with Joel Marion and family.

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:

What's your favorite Tony Robbins quote?

Here are some great ones from my IG friends...

joe_arko - "Raise your standards"

ryanholderman - "People are rewarded in public for what they've practiced for years in private!"

@dofflp - divorce your past and marry your future!

coachjoshmiller - If you can you must, if you must you can.

amberlilyestrom - "Life is not happening to us, it's happening for us."

tabare_sotomayor - "Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more."

PS - And one from Ol' CB:

"Everything you do takes you closer to or further away from your goals"

Monday, February 12, 2018

Denver Intervals are Tough

Yesterday morning I flew from Phoenix to Denver. Had a great nap and it was like a time machine.

Ran some intervals at altitude and learned the hard way that the Mile High City is well named.

This morning I was up early and hit the gym for:

1A) Deadlift
1B) Box Jump

2B) 1-Leg Hip Extension
2C) Abs

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:
Face up to your struggles, tackle them head on, and overcome adversity every day. Whatever is in your way, you're stronger than it, you're tougher than it, and you're going to beat it.

And this

And this:

No matter what obstacles you are facing, no matter what resistance you are fighting, follow this simple plan to get you back on track and to keep you focused.

Control what you can 
=> Be the best YOU that you can be.
=> Follow the habits of a high-performer (diet, exercise, sleep, breathing, gratitude)
=> Plan, prepare, execute, reflect, improve ... Plan, prepare, execute, reflect, improve... and continue this virtuous cycle every day
=> Action Beats Anxiety & Motion Beats Meditation... Don't get stuck "inside" your head
=> Do the work, for "work is holy"

Cope With What You Can't Control
=> Identify a trigger that gets you back on track... when you start to think about a problem you can't control, go talk to someone (at work) or call a friend on the phone for counsel
=> Go for more walks... you think better when you are moving and away from your work station
=> Diet, exercise, sleep, breathing, and gratitude... => Breathe deeply and slowly to lower your blood pressure and reduce stress
=> Plan and prepare 2 solutions for every obstacle you can expect to come your way
=> Prepare tonight for a perfect morning tomorrow

Concentrate on What Counts
=> Family first
=> Serve your customers, lead your team
=> Do unto others as you would have others do unto you
=> Spend time with good people that do not lead you into temptation
=> Give time, energy, love, and money to others... Get out of your head and give to others

No automatic alt text available.

Craig Ballantyne
Author, The Perfect Day Formula


Thursday, February 08, 2018

Meathead Back Workout

Ha, last night was so fun.

Bedros and I arrived in Phoenix around 7pm and instead of eating dinner, we went right to the gym and I followed his old school Meathead training plan.

What a blast.

And I also trained conservatively enough to avoid hurting myself!

1A) Pulldown
1B) Seated Row

2A) DB Row
2B) Pullup (Admittedly, I skipped this and did TRX fallouts instead... to protect my elbows... my back was pretty beat by this time anyways)

3A) Funky Hammer Strength Row
3B) Shrugs (while he did BB Rows)

I know, crazy, right?

But good times!

Also here's a new fitness/productivity podcast

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:
The #1 secret to amazing all-day energy is to go to bed and get up at the same time every day.

Do this for the next 21 days. If you stay up late, stick to your wake-up time and have a 20-minute mid-day nap to make up for it and go to bed earlier the next night. This habit is a key to your success.

Rock on,


PS -

Everything that happens to us – good and bad – is our personal responsibility.

We can blame no one but ourselves for our circumstances in life. We can rely on no one else to save us.

The choices we've made have brought us here, and only the choices we make and actions we take can change our place in life. Accept the consequences of each and everything you do, and commit to doing the right things, right now, for your right life.💫

"Be an ACTION TAKER, not just an info gatherer. Don't talk. Do. Get out of your comfort zone. Fail forward. Take personal responsibility. Those that don't take action will be in the same place a year from now, only older. You are different. You take action. You want a better life, and you deserve it, now go out and get it." – Bedros Keuilian💪

#business #passion #entrepreneur #action

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Wednesday, February 07, 2018

What is your morning routine?

I should probably preface this by saying that I'm not much of a morning person. That, combined with the fact that I'm a freelancer, is a dangerous situation.

My mornings can vary wildly depending on what my day looks like. Some days I'm out the door at 8:00am, other days I work at home in my PJs until 2:00pm. But most days I wake up comfortably around 9:00am. From there, I take a shower, wrestle with my eyeliner (I won't admit the amount of time it takes to do this), sit down with a mug of tea, and look over what I need to do that day. I like to have simple, quiet mornings to balance out the workday. The last thing I want is to wake up to a list of tasks, especially because my job often involves a million tiny to-dos. I like to create pockets of down time for myself anywhere I can in the day.

How long have you stuck with this routine so far?

I went full-time freelance last year, so it's been about six months of pure, unadulterated freedom.

How has your morning routine changed over recent years?

Prior to going all freelance, I was going into an office two days a week. Most of those days started off with meetings, so I was more efficient in the mornings to make sure I was alert and on time. Now I'm facing a common challenge with freelancers, which is creating my own schedule. It can be difficult to set a hard start- and end-time for oneself when there are no expectations. I'm currently trying to figure out what works best for me and to differentiate between healthy and indulgent.

Sponsored by monday.comOccasional sponsorships help keep us going. Thanks to for sponsoring us this week!

There are a million things I'd like to add to my mornings, like going to the gym or making really elaborate smoothies, but I also have to be realistic about what makes me feel comfortable. I find that I'm the most productive when I've started my day with a clear and relaxed mind. If anything, I'm more inclined to work on improving bad habits, like spending too much time with my phone an inch away from my face.

What time do you go to sleep?

I often have a hard time falling asleep, so I usually go to bed around 12:30am and expect to fall asleep around 1:00-1:30am.

Do you do anything before going to bed to make your morning easier?

Sometimes I go for a swim at night, which helps me sleep better. When I have to be somewhere in the morning, I like to lay out my clothes the night before so I don't have to think about what to wear when I'm in a rush to get ready.

Do you use an alarm to wake you up in the morning, and if so do you ever hit the snooze button?

I feel like Night Me often has to trick Morning Me into waking up on time. Normally I hit snooze regularly until I'm ready to wake up. But on days when I have to get up early, I set up to three alarms within 15-20 minutes of one another, so I'm guaranteed a backup even when I hit stop on the first two alarms.

Nothing is worse than the feeling of waking up and realizing you've accidentally overslept, so I try my best to avoid that even if it's kind of extreme!

How soon after waking up do you have breakfast, and what do you typically have?

I probably have breakfast an hour or so after I wake up. I'm not a coffee drinker, so there's nothing that's rushing me to the kitchen in the morning. My go-to is soft scrambled eggs, a thick slice of toast, avocado, and lots of hot sauce. In the winter I switch it up with oatmeal and fruit. On weekends I love making a big brunch, like hash or pancakes. I'm highly motivated by food, so I always associate good mornings with great food.

Do you have a morning workout routine?

God, no. I can recall two times that I've worked out in the morning, and they were pretty painful.

Do you have a morning meditation routine?

I was making illustrations for Headspace for a while, which prompted me to download the app. It was a short-lived trial (because I eventually went through all of the free sessions), but I did enjoy it and I hope to come back to it in the future.

Do you answer email first thing in the morning or leave it until later in the day?

I like to answer emails first thing in the morning so I can start the day with nothing looming over me.

Do you use any apps or products to enhance your sleep or morning routine?

When I have a hard time sleeping, I usually take a hot shower and rub some lavender oil on my wrists and temples. I'm not sure if that actually does anything, but I like the ritual of it.

How soon do you check your phone in the morning?

Somehow, as I'm in the process of snoozing and dealing with my orchestra of alarms, my phone migrates closer and closer to me until it's directly under my pillow. So I would say, in all honesty, checking my phone is the first thing I do in the morning.

What are your most important tasks in the morning?

Making sure there are no fires to put out work-wise, packing my bag with everything I need for the day, and tidying up the house before I leave so I don't come home to a mess.

What and when is your first drink in the morning?

I have my first drink a little while before breakfast, and it's usually hot lemon water or tea. In the colder months, I drink tea like crazy. English is my favorite, with a bit of milk and honey.

How does your partner fit into your morning routine?

My partner is probably the only reason I haven't succumbed to my laziest morning tendencies. He loves mornings, so he actually helps me form routines rather than hinder them. For example, he goes for a run after he wakes up, and that's roughly the amount of time it takes for me to shower and get dressed. When he comes back, we're both ready for breakfast and sometimes we travel to the studio together after that. He is also the one to drag me out of bed on the weekends when I'm hungover, for better or worse.

Do you also follow this routine on weekends, or do you change some steps?

Weekends don't feel that different, because I sometimes switch it up and treat a weekday like the weekend. On Saturdays, my partner and I usually go to the farmers market and make a late brunch. I actually tend to schedule most of my social plans on weekdays, because I like having weekends wide open. And I do love sleeping in. I always encourage my partner to go on extra long runs on weekend mornings!

On days you're not settled in your home, are you able to adapt your routine to fit in with a different environment?

Strangely, I wake up much earlier whenever I'm in a different environment. When I'm traveling for work, I'm usually hyper focused on a project. I think the pressure that comes along with that is more than enough to get me up in the morning. I always feel inspired after a productive trip and think that I'm going to be a "new me" when I get home and wake up every day at the crack of dawn, but I inevitably go back to my old ways within a week.

What do you do if you fail to follow your morning routine, and how does this influence the rest of your day?

I think I've naturally built room for flexibility in my morning routine, so I just have to be aware of which days are more or less busy than others. My timing used to be all over the place when I was younger, but now I'm much better about anticipating how long it takes to finish something.

That said, there are still nights when I work well into the morning because I've unexpectedly hit a good flow. I think it's important to allow room for those moments as well, because you never know when your best work is going to happen. That's just the nature of having a creative job.

Craig Ballantyne
Author, The Perfect Day Formula


Squats in the Sunshine of SoCal

Started the day with an hour long walk to the gym.

Fortunately I was well fueled from the previous night's sushi.

Today's session at the 24-Hour Fitness in Chino Hills, California:

1A) Squat
1B) 30-Inch Box Jump

2A) Good Morning
2B) Mobility

Uber home.

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:
Don't feel bad for outgrowing people that had a chance to grow with you. - #truth #WednesdayWisdom

Who you associate with is more important than you could ever imagine. You can't expect to soar like an eagle when you are hanging around with turkeys. Do not hang around folks who peer-pressure you into bad lifestyle choices. Do not accept anything less than the best.

Tuesday, February 06, 2018


Ran some intervals today on a treadmill. Fun to do something I had not tried in a while. Definitely not as cardiovascularly fit as I was 5 years ago, but also much fitter than everyone else in the gym and people my age.

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:
Compare what you SAY you want vs. what you do. Where are you spending your time and energy? Do your daily habits match your dreams? If not, time to change, time to get aligned, and time to figure out what really matters and then put in place a plan to achieve it.

And here's a fun podcast I did with a female business coach.

Monday, February 05, 2018

LAX and Superbowl Party

Yesterday's workout was a flight to Los Angeles and a fun Super Bowl party at Jason Ferruggia's with about 20 people, including fitness guru, Luka Hocaver, and my good buddy, Bedros Keuilian.

Today I woke up super early, did some work, trained in the gym and at the Santa Monica rings, and now am working all day.

1A) Pullups
1B) Dips

2A) Cable Lateral Raise
2B) DB Curls
2C) Triceps
2D) Cable Abs

Walking around Santa Monica.

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip is from yesterday:

Special Super Bowl Sunday message...

Champions aren't made in comfort zones.

Winners don't take the easy way out.

High-performers don't hide from challenges.

Instead ... you run towards the opportunity.

You clang and bang, you climb the toughest mountain, you dig deep for that extra effort and you kick it into your highest gear.

You make #noexcuses

You are relentless 

You dominate your days, own your mornings, and win your days, every day, and twice on Sundays. Especially Super Bowl Sunday's.👊

Pay the price to earn the prize.

TAG a friend who needs to hear this.

#entrepreneurmindset #morningmotivation #successquotes 
Thx to @24hoursuccess for the pic

Friday, February 02, 2018

Okay Day Before Travel

Yesterday's deadlift session left my rear delts with a little DOMS, so I did not do a lot of pressing today.

Started with an extra dog walk and then yoga. Followed that with some rows, arms, and abs. Tomorrow I travel and then I don't know when I'm going to have great workouts. :(

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:
Be positive. Encourage others. Have a "Can-do" attitude. Provide solutions, not problems. Find a way to make it work.

Self-reflection is a key to success!

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Thursday, February 01, 2018

Deadlift Day!

Forced myself to take a day off yesterday, and I didn't do much more than take a couple of walks with Bally.

Today we were back over-behind-under the bar for deadlifts.

Good session.

1A) Deadlift
1B) Prisoner Squat Jump

2A) Rows
2B) Barbell hip thrusts

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:
Set aside your excuses to raise yourself up. You can do it. Here's why. Someone that started in far worse circumstances than you already has achieved your goals... and more. They've proven it possible. There's no one stopping you but you.