Monday, February 28, 2011

SWITCH Training Tip

I'm going to give you a "Switch It Up" training tip every day in March, or at least I'm going to try. It will be something simple that will still have a dramatic impact on your results. Let's start a day early.

Today's SWITCH Training Tip: Save Your Shoulders

When doing horizontal pressing, keep elbows in instead of out. When doing rowing, keep elbows out instead of in. So goodbye to Bodybuilder style bench...switch to tucking the elbows in (even with dumbbell presses)...and try wide-grip seated row and band pulls in place of narrow rows. NOTE:The change
in pressing is more important.

My Workout:

1A) Bench with chains (elbows tucked in, of course)
1B) DB chest supported row (elbows move out on rowing motion)

2A) Close-grip lockouts (elbows tucked in)
2B) DB row (elbows were in for this one)

3A) Decline pushups (elbows kept close to body)
3B) Farmer's walks with DB's.
3C) Iron Cross with Cables (stolen from Jason Ferruggia's tip in the latest Men's Fitness magazine)

Good times. And you?

Today's kickbutt mindset tip:
"Don't think of 'making it' in terms of achievement. Instead, know that you are in the constant state of making it if you are doing all you can do in every area of your life until the day you die. It's not about getting there; it's about the trip" - Larry Winget

Double shot of butt kicking mindset switching:

Kekich Credo #68 - "There are an infinite number of new opportunities. Actively seek them out, and position yourself to recognize and take advantage of them."

Make "fitness networking" part of your daily activities. Go to fitness/healthy lifestyle events. Build social support groups. Build positive relationships as the foundation of your fat loss.

Do it,


PS - Triple shot!

Know what you're investing in...and don't invest on emotion alone. (And this has more to do with just has to do with EVERYTHING.)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Start Your Week Right

As you plan your week, "Force yourself to focus on the 'critically few' proactive activities that produce exponential results." – Yanik Silver.

As my friend Bedros Keuilian says, "Focus on your 5%." Outsource/delegate or simply stop doing everything else. And "Don't get caught up in minutiae and B.S." – Yanik Silver.

Those are the right ideas to help you start your week on the right track.

Today's workout:

1) Box squats

2) Lunges

3A) Good mornings
3B) Stability ball planks

Also tried out some exercises from this month's Men's Fitness. Some good stuff in there, including some unique exercise tips from Jason Ferruggia. As Dr. Steve Brule would say, "Check it out!"

Today's resource: A lot of people have been asking me what I eat, so here's my daily diet:

=> My Daily Diet

And today's kickbutt mindset tip:

"Man is a goal seeking animal. His life only has meaning if he is reaching out and striving for his goals." – Aristotle

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sushi Review and Fat Loss Tips

Last night I went to the sushi restaurant "Ki" in downtown Toronto. The food was great.

Started with skewers of braised pork belly and a bowl of spicy edamame. Our sashimi order was Atlantic salmon, sockeye salmon (really good), butterfish, and sea bass. And we had some rolls too, spicy tuna (of course), spicy avocado, and one with beef (can't remember the name).

When I eat sushi, I use a pretty good amount of wasabi and eat all the ginger too, as both have anti-inflammatory properties.

I also know that people love to read about what other people eat, so I had my friend John Romaniello write up his 24-hour "Perfect Fat Loss Day" that includes all of his meals, an awesome workout, his favorite TV Show, and a blender drink. Check it out here:

=> Perfect Fat Loss Day

Today's bonus resource:

An amazing 6-week free meal plan from my friend Isabel De Los Rios (Isabel's going to be more famous than Rachel Ray someday)

=> Free Meal Plan

And today's kick-butt mindset tip:

"Live your life with no regrets. When you are older, what will you say from your rocking chair?" - Frank McKinney, Make It Big

Finally, here's a book update...I'm reading, "Empowered: Unleash your Employees, Energize Your Customers, & Transform Your Business" by Josh far, pretty good, but I won't call it a "must-read" yet. Good quote from it: "To succeed with empowered customers, you must empower your employees to solve customer problems." I also wrote up a list of the 10 most influential non-fitness books I've ever read here:

=> Top 10 Influential Books

Have a great weekend,


Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Morning Hangover Cure

Back when I was about 25 and stupid, I used to go out late at night on Thursday and then get up early on Friday to train clients. Bad idea jeans.

Eventually I found a hangover cure. Stop drinking. It worked!

Now here's what ol' man Ballantyne does on Friday morning.

After an hour dog walk, I start with a morning blender drink:

2c almond milk, 1 banana, frozen blueberries, spinach, Garden of Life raw vegetarian protein powder, Athletic Greens powder, sprouted chia and flax powder, and cinnamon. I also had some raw almonds and walnuts.

Then I hit the gym.

Today's Workout:

1A) Pushups (5x25)
1B) Pullups (5x7)

2A) Dips (5x12)
2B) Chins (5x5)

3A) Bodyweight Row with Rings (4x8)
3B) Bodyweight Triceps Extension with Rings (4x8)

ATD (After Training Drink): Almond milk, chocolate almond milk, 1 banana, frozen raspberries, unsweetened organic whey protein.

Today's resource from top NYC Trainer and soon to be WORLD FAMOUS trainer, John Romaniello:

As my friend Vince Del Monte would say, "Who is John Romaniello? What is John Romaniello? Where is John Romaniello?", here's the answer in John's Perfect Day of Fat Loss:

=> Perfect Fat Loss day from John Romaniello

Today's Kickbutt Mindset tip:

Seek opportunity, not security. In order to succeed, we often need to try new things. Venture outside your comfort zone to find the answers you seek.

Get seeking,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

PS - Got a lot to do?

Let me help you get more done in less time with these "Ruthless Time & Energy Management" tips

=> Time Management Tips

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Customs Hassles Impacts Deadlift Workout

I got home an hour later than expected last night, and didn't get to sleep until 11:30pm. But I was still up at 5:30am to do a bit of work before my deadlift workout.

When I returned from Panama - via Houston - the Canadian Customs line-up was outrageously long. Required about 45 minutes to get through. But worse, I
was pulled aside for a secondary examination.

The reason I suspect?

None of the customs agents could believe I traveled to Panama for 6 days with only a small carry-on bag.

But I use this something called an "Air Boss" bag (made by Red Oxx), and the reason I use it is to pack 7+ days of clothes in a small space. Heck, I spent almost $300 on that bag, which is great for packing but a real pain in the upper back to carry. It's not a roller bag, but can fit in every overhead compartment with a week's worth of clothes.

There's more to the story, and you can read it on my business blog here:


Fortunately, thanks to practice, getting up at 5:30am was no problem, and I had a good workout, although my grip strength was weaker than normal. That
might indicated overtraining, according to a strength coach I respect. (I think it was Buddy Morris who said that.)

Today's workout:

1) Power Cleans
2) Rack Pulls
3A) Glute-Ham Raise
3B) Ab wheel

Today's training resource:

I highly recommend this article series that explains everything about training to failure. This might be Jason Ferruggia's best work yet:


Today's kickbutt mindset tip:

"You'll be remembered most for the people who say...'You made a difference in my life. Your belief in me changed everything." - Tom Peters

Train smart,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

PS - You can't get advanced results with "good" efforts.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Bodyweight Circuit Workouts

I'm sitting here in the Houston airport waiting for my connecting flight back to Toronto, and I already miss Panama.

We had amazing dinners at the Pangea, Tre Scalini, and Beirut restaurants. I did two fantastic workouts at PowerClub gym. And I had a luxurious stay at the Hotel Riu. I shall return.

The only problem with the workouts is that I ended up spending $36 on day passes.

But that's a necessary evil for me, because I love the gym (the PowerClub had amazing "scenery" as Panamanian girls are both beautiful and athletic), and I hate to go without my weights...

...but if you want to save money and lose fat with short, NO-equipment bodyweight exercise workouts, then get 3 unique bodyweight workouts here:


That's the best deal I've seen since the giant $7 room service breakfast I've been having all week down here in Panama. For less than the price of lunch at Subway, I was getting a delicious omelet with toast, a bottle of water, and a huge plate of fruit (banana, watermelon, pineapple, strawberries, and honeydew melon).

I'm going to miss that breakfast.

By the way, as I was sitting here I received an email request from a magazine to help them out with a hotel room bodyweight workout. And BOOM! I came up with this...

Sure, it's very simple. What you'll do is alternate between lower body and upper body exercises in a circuit, with some total body ab exercises thrown in. Of course, you can't train your upper back in a hotel room without equipment (unless you have resistance bands), so make sure you get to a gym once per week to do some dumbbell rows or seated rows. Almost every hotel has those in their gym.

- Do only half the reps in the first round.
- Do not rest between exercises.
- Rest 1 minute at the end of the circuit before repeating as many times as possible in 20-30 minutes.

1) Prisoner Squat - 20 reps
2) Pushup - Do as many as possible, stopping 2 reps short of failure
3) Reverse Lunge - 15 per side
4) Plank - 60 seconds
5) Split Squat - 12 reps per side
6) Close-Grip Pushup - Up to 25 reps
7) Side Plank - 30 seconds per side
8] Jumping Jacks - 1 minute (optional)

Great times!

And now onwards to Toronto and back to Bally the Dog,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Creator, Turbulence Training

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

30 Bodyweight Exercise Alternatives

First, before we get into today's lessons, I just want to say to all of our friends in New Zealand that I'm very sorry and heartbroken to hear about the earthquake.

I hope that you and your friends and families who live in Christchurch are safe. I've traveled to New Zealand and the country has a special place in my heart. I can't imagine how difficult the past 24 hours have been and I hope the worst is over.


Now for the bodyweight workout tips...

I'm getting up at 4:30am on Wednesday morning to do a bodyweight workout in my hotel room before heading to the airport for a full day of travel from Panama back to Toronto.

Fortunately, it's easy to do a bodyweight workout when you have these exercise substitutions you can use instead of weights.

1) For Squats -> You can do:

- 1-leg squats
- 1-leg bench squats
- Bulgarian split squats
- Split squats
- Forward lunges
- Reverse lunges
- Step-ups
- Reaching lunges
- 1-leg deadlifts
- 1-leg hip extensions

(NOTE: For many exercises, including pushing and pulling too, you can play around with the 1&1/2 rep style - lowering to the bottom position, coming halfway back up, and then lowering again, and then coming all the way back up.)

2) For DB Chest Presses (of any kind) -> You can do one of these:

- pushups
- close-grip pushups
- decline pushup
- elevated pushups
- off-set pushups
- pushups with your feet on the ball
- pushups with your hands on the ball
- spiderman pushups
- pike pushups
- or possibly the hardest two-hand pushup of them all, decline close-grip spiderman pushups

3) To replace lunges if you have knee soreness:

First, see a doctor and have them diagnose the problem. Second, see a therapist and have them treat the issue. Third, see a trainer and have them assess where you need to work on flexibility and how you can include some "knee-friendly" exercises in your workout program.

These exercises include:

- Lying Hip Extensions (also known as Lying Hip Bridges)
- Single-leg Hip Extensions
- Lying Hip Extensions with your feet on the ball
- Lying Stability Ball Leg Curls

4) To replace DB Rows -> Using the smith machine, you can do...

- inverted rows
- underhand inverted rows
- inverted rows with your feet on the ball
- inverted rows holding the ends of a towel hung over the bar

5) For DB Rows -> Using the pullup bar, you can do...

- eccentric pull-ups
- regular pull-ups
- sternum pull-ups
- chinups
- side to side pull-ups

Whew. I think that was 31 or 33 replacements. Tons of ideas.

Last chance reminder: 

Wednesday is the last day to get 3 NO-equipment unique bodyweight workouts here:


Just say YES to bodyweight exercises,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Creator, Turbulence Training

Fitness Q'n'A (bodyweight, cardio, squats)

Sitting here in Panama on a no-workout recovery day, and so I had time to do a fitness Q'n'A over on my Facebook page here:


Got some really, really great questions, and I want to share my answers with you (and even go into more depth).

Question from Aizan Suhaira: What is your opinion on steady state cardio and cortisol release? Is it really true? Or is cortisol release is more diet-related rather than training related?


Yes, cardio releases cortisol (a hormone that causes the breakdown of muscle, among other things). Every form of stress (workouts, worry, etc.) cause cortisol release. But you get a LOT of cortisol release from long cardio. Just another reason to avoid it.

Question from Will Robinson: I'm looking for some different bodyweight exercises....any strange variations or different movements outside the norm?


Absolutely. Check out these workouts:


Really interesting programs.

Question from Frank Desiderio: Any physiological/functional differences by deadlifting with a trap bar vs straight bar?


Yes, definitely. Each bar changes the center of gravity of in your body for the movement.

The differences are not dramatic, but a straight bar deadlift trains the back of the body (posterior chain, particularly the hamstrings) to a greater extent than a trap bar. Your quads do more work with a trap bar deadlift.

And with a trap bar, your torso remains more upright, so the muscles of your upper back and low back will do different amounts of work compared to a straight bar.

Question from Novan Pradhika Sachrudi: High bar vs low bar squatting. Do you have a preference, and does it matter in the long run?


The variations are quite different.

The low bar position
- Shifts your center of gravity to the rear
- Is used by powerlifters to lift heavier weights
- Works the muscles of the back of the body more (glutes, hamstrings, and low back muscles)
- Puts more stress on the low back/lumbar spine

The high bar position:
- Shifts your center of gravity forward
- Is better for bodybuilding for quads
- Puts more stress on the knee joint

Questions about supplements: Do I recommend "tribulus" or "glutamine"?


No. Save your money.

Question from Amanda Taylor Mitchell: Can't quite get full range of motion on spiderman pushups. Should I only go half way, or should I combine regular pushups with spiderman climb?


My first choice would be to set up a smith machine at hip height and put my hands on the bar and do the spiderman pushups that way. Each week try and do the exercise at a lower notch. My 2nd choice would be be pushups + spiderman climb. Great idea.

Let me know if you want to see more fitness QnA sessions.

See you over on Facebook,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Creator, Turbulence Training

Monday, February 21, 2011

Panamia Booty Lift

Forget Brazilian Butt Lift, Panamia Butt Lift might be better.

PowerClub gym was packed with fit girls this morning. Place was busy. Quick travel tip: Don't try and workout between 7am and 8am at PowerClub in downtown Panama. But I managed to fit in this workout:

Warmup with 4 sets of band pulls, T-pushups, stickups, etc.

1A) Bench press
1B) DB chest supported row

2A) Decline hammer strength machine (b/c that's what's missing from my life)
2B) DB row

3A) Decline pushups
3B) Face pulls
3C) DB triceps ext.

Good times.

Now time for a big breakfast of a mushroom omelet and huge plate of fresh fruit.

But speaking of time...

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become." - Steve Jobs

Use it wisely,

Craig Ballantyne
Get Started  

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Panamania is runninng wild

So I'm down here in Panama at a non-fitness related conference, and I was getting ready to speak to about 240 people on Saturday morning. But I was full of nervous energy and needed to do a bodyweight workout in my hotel room.

Because while I've really enjoyed my stay at the Hotel Rui here, the employees who run the gym seem to have trouble being on time. As a result, the fitness center still wasn't open by 6:15am (even though it was scheduled to open at 6am), so...

I did a bodyweight workout in my hotel room.

But not a TT Bodyweight workout.

Instead, I wanted to switch it up and I used the "Scorpion 75 - Feel the Sting" program from my friends Adam Steer and Ryan Murdock.

It was outstanding.

Adam and Ryan are FAMOUS for their bodyweight workouts, having trained rockstars, combat athletes, and elite special forces.

And so, without equipment, I was able to train my entire body in 20 minutes in my hotel room, and I even managed to learn a couple of new exercises for future TT programs, including:

- Kneeling Walkouts
- Spider Planks with X-Over
- Rocca Presses

In fact, I liked this program so much that I immediately sent an email to Adam demanding that he offer it to TT readers PLUS some extra bonuses. So he put together this awesome package:

You'll get the

- Scorpion 75 (program I used in my hotel room)
- Bodyweight Express
- and the Hades fat burning bodyweight workout

All of these are short, no-equipment bodyweight exercise workouts.

Perfect for at home or traveling, and of course, you can do them in the gym too, but you won't need to go there. These are literally anytime, anywhere workouts.

Grab the "3-for-1" bodyweight workout special here.

Off for a regular weights workout today, and then taking my buddy, a former US army soldier, through the Hades workout tomorrow!


Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Author, Turbulence Training

PS - But that's not all...

...because I sent him another email asking if there was anything else he could do for TT readers.

"C'mon," I said, "You must have some other super cool goodies we can give to TT readers hungry for workouts."

And so Adam DOUBLE-DIPPED into his archives and made two new programs available:

1) The Bodyweight Animal "Critters" program
2) The Dumbbell Strikes Back workout

So with my "double dip", it's now a 5-for-1 special.

Grab 5 fat burning workouts here.

Going to hit some meathead bench pressing, Panamania-style tomorrow (and yes, I do indeed mean Pana-mania, as in Pana-mania will be running wild tomorrow, brotherrrrrsssssss)
PPS - Will be hitting a Panamania weights workout tomorrow.

Weird Workout in Panama

Weird. Great. Good. That's how I'll describe this morning's adventure to the PowerCLUB Gym in Panama.

Weird = PowerClub gym in Panama asking me for my blood type on their day pass form. ?Que?

Great = the workout at Powerclub gym. Good = the walk back to the hotel.

Workout was: Squats, Vertical Jumps, DB Split Squats, Stability Ball Planks.

Yesterday I spent about an hour outside at the pool reading, "A Man in Full" by Tom Wolfe. Great book. The man can turn a phrase, create a character, and build a vivid scene.

What about you? What are you reading? Doesn't matter if it is fiction or non-fiction. And don't forget to share some details about the book and if you recommend it.

Today's kickbutt mindset tip:

"Approaach life knowing there is plenty to go around. Be generous." - Frank McKinney

Craig Ballantyne

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Panama, Panamaaaaaa (as Lee Roth would say)

I am off to Panama this weekend for 7 days and the trip should be very interesting. I've already looked online for gyms, and apparently I'll be trying the PowerClub. I'm disappointed there is not a Gold's Gym. I'm also taking some unique bodyweight workouts too. Full report next week.

7-Day fat loss and lifestyle guide (biggest call yet...includes my latest warm-up and workout programs and a little travel update)

=> 7 Day Fat Loss and Lifestyle Guide

"The spirit, the will to win, and the will to excel are the things that endure. These qualities are so much more important than the events that occur."
Vince Lombardi

More updates on the way,

Craig Ballantyne

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

2 Tips for Energy and Productivity

The most important habits I've adopted for "energy" and productivity are simple, yet powerful.

1) Early to bed, early to rise.

2) Go to bed and getting up at the same time 7 days per week.

Are these habits "lame"?

Kind of.

Do they work?


"Gain control of your time and you'll gain control of your life."
John L. Mason.

Today's workout:

Band pulls + bodyweight circuit warmup

1) Power Cleans
2) Rack Pulls
3) Ab Wheel

Here's a pic & descrip of band pull

=> Replacement Exercises

And another kick-butt mindset tip:

Kekich Credo #56. "Identify exactly what is you want. This takes a lot of thought. Then don't let anything stand in your way of getting it."

BTW, you can get all 100 credos here


100 credos and 2 tips for getting more out of life,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Best Workouts for a Better Life

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

10 Exercises NEVER to do

Just wrote up a new article on the 10 exercises NEVER to do. Please stop these if you use them now.


No workout for me today.

But here is today's kick-butt mindset tip:

One of the biggest mistakes people make is not having a plan. That leads to wasted time ("what should I do today") and no results. Script your day. Journal your day to identify time wasters.

Craig Ballantyne

Monday, February 14, 2011

Meathead Bench and Shoulder Training

Started a new 4-week program yesterday with a squat workout that left me sore this morning. So today was a new meathead bench workout with a little extra
shoulder training (for the posterior delts).

Today's workout:

1A) Bench with chains - 2 sets of 6 @ 205 + 20 pounds chain
1B) DB chest-supported row - 3 sets of 8 with 50 pound dumbbells

2A) Close-grip rack lockout - 3 sets of 3 with 245lbs
2B) 1-arm db row - 3 sets of 6 with 105lbs dumbbells

3A) Decline pushups
3B) Band pulls

4A) 1-arm db chest press
4B) DB triceps extension (4-sec eccentric)

I really like the advice on band pulls in this article

=> Joe DeFranco shoulder training - check out band pull advice

I'll be doing my 4 sets of 25 a few times per week, in addition to a lot of other warm-up and upper back mobility movements.

Today's kickbutt mindset tip:

Kekich Credo #52. Don't be pre-occupied with things over which you have no control, and don't take things personally…..For Fat Loss: Do NOT obsess about
your scale weight. Focus on behaviors that help you lose fat and take action on them.

Today's resource:

AAA Abs workout

=> AAA Abs Workout

BTW, have a Happy Ballantyne's Day.

And remember this...

"Many of us are fortunate to be blessed with the ability to succeed - not for our sole benefit, but so we may apply the result of our success to assist others." - Frank McKinney, Make It Big

Train hard but safe,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

Friday, February 11, 2011

February and March TT Workouts

I'm working on a unique new program called, "TT Switch" for the March TT workout of the month. I tried out one of the workouts today and put a client through another one. One of them has been perfected, and the other needs a little work.

My training today:
Bodyweight circut, db total body triset, then superset of shrugs and triceps. The bodyweight circuit and db total body triset are from "TT Switch". So that's for March...

...but for February, we have this. Boom!

The Ballantyne's Day Muscle Massacre Workout demonstrated by Braigz in his finest sweats...look at Braigz, he's tall!

=> Ballantyne`s Day Muscle Massacre Workout B

And check out this week's 7-day fat loss guide, featuring the Total Body Arm Workout I wrote for the Men's Health "Big Book of Exercises"

=> Total Body Arm Workout

Finally, today's kickbutt mindset tip (literally):

If you are being lazy, negative, or just plain procrastinating, consider this a swift kick in the butt, from me to you, to get you back on track. *kick*

Kicking ya in the butt,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ballantyne's Day Muscle Massacre

I have a big announcement...
...the NEW "TT Ballantyne's Day Muscle Massacre" extreme workout is now available for download in the TT library for ALL TT members.

A nice little early Ballantyne's Day present for you.

Just go here:

=> Get the TT Ballantyne's Day Muscle Massacre Workout

 Get ready to be sore. But love it at the SAME time.

On a scale of 1-10, this one goes to 11.

Braigz CallEntyne, the evil twin brother of Craig Ballantyne is back by popular demand with another tough workout..."The Ballantyne's Day Muscle Massacre".

This program is just as tough, but still much different from his last extreme workout, "TT Resistance Evil". But it IS just as evil.

Be prepared, because you'll experience even MORE muscle soreness this time, thanks to the TT 10-Minute Squat workout. This is an ADVANCED workout - be prepared.
I promise that the Muscle Massacre will leave even the long-time Turbulence Trainers hating "The Braigz". However, that is encouraged. Do it. Curse him all you want. He likes it.

Get ready to make an amazing discovery of how you can inflict incredible amounts of muscle damage on your legs in just 10, possibly the most "meatheadish" muscle pumping upper body workout in the history of the Turbulences, and much more.

Just go here:

=> Get the TT Ballantyne's Day Muscle Massacre Workout

Let us do it,

Braigz CallEntyne, ETB
Training of the Turbulences


If you're not currently a TT Member, I'd love to welcome you back into TT Members here.

More workouts coming soon, including TT Beginners 2K11 and a unique fat-burning program called "TT Switch" coming on March 1st.
Looking forward to your success,
Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Creator, Turbulence Training

PS - If you just want the new extreme Ballantyne's Day workout...

...and don't want to be a member, that is okay too.

You can just grab the new workout here.


Happy Ballantyne's Day!

Deadlifts and Muscle Massacres

Today's blog post is dark. Very dark. After all, it involves deadlifting and muscle massacre workouts.

My workout:

Big Bodyweight Warmup - BW squat, bird dog, glute bridge, plank, prisoner lunge, stick up, 1-leg RDL, cossack lunge, leg swings, and short stretches for psoas, chest, and shoulder. I also did specific warm-up sets for power cleans and deadlifts.

1) Power Clean
2) Sumo Deadlift
3A) Pistol Squat
3B) Stability Ball Jackknife
4A) 1-leg Calf Raise
4B) Hanging Leg Raise.

This is one of the best Turbulence Training programs for guys to start with if they are looking for the Men's Health type cover model body

=> TT Workout for Men`s Health readers

Today's Kickbutt mindset tip:

Surround yourself with amazing people...they will bring out the best in you. Please don't tell me this is impossible for you...there are billions of people in the world, and many excellent people willing to be in your life - online and in-person.

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Get the Muscle Massacre Workout here

PS - The TT February Workout of the Month is now ready...

...and it's called, "The Ballantyne's Day Muscle Massacre". The videos are also up on in the workout of the month department.

If you want the regular Turbulence Training program AND the new TT Ballantyne's Day Muscle Massacre, just join me at and you can download both programs AND watch the workout video exercise demonstrations online.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Off Day in the Snow

Just finished 30-minute hike in the knee deep snow with ol' BallytheDog. Made for tough hiking. Poor lil' dog is tuckered. We'll do another one at 4pm. No lifting today.

Nutrition Resource:
This is still an accurate description of my day and my diet (unless I'm eating Bok Choy at the Grand Wok in Las Vegas)

=> My Daily Diet

I don't use a juicer, just a regular blender. But I found something interesting about the King of Juicing. A friend sent me this:

In Jack LaLanne's last interview he summed up his life's work, "I asked myself, How can I help people help themselves?".

And to me, this is more important than anything he said about nutrition or exercise. See if you can help someone help themselves today.

Be good,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

PS - Today's kickbutt mindset tip:

Spend less time saying. "That won't work" and more time seriously exploring the possibilities.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Orlando to Toronto to Meathead Monday

Got back from Orlando this morning. Had a real interesting conversation with the cab driver about his former career as a security agent for the rich and famous, and in East LA during the riots in the 90's. He got his start working nightclubs in NYC before Giuliani cleaned up the city. Then he gave it all up a few years ago to spend more time with his family. Real interesting guy. Always good to meet these interesting folks when I travel.

And on my flight home, I realized I'm starting to recognize the flight attendants since I fly so much with Air Canada. AC is my favorite airline in North America. Never have any problems with them.

So I got back to Toronto around 11, and then hit this workout:

1A) Bench
1B) Seated Row

2A) Rack Lockout
2B) Bodyweight Row

3A) Pushups
3B) Tubing External Rotations

Next 2 of 3 days will be off days. Now headed to Passport office to get a new one...have many trips coming up.

Today's kickbutt mindset tip:

If you fall "off the wagon", cut your losses, don't worry about it, and get right back on track. Immediately. It's minor damage that can be dealt with.' One mistake, two mistakes, three mistakes...this doesn't ruin everything. Just make the right decision next time and keep moving forward towards your goal.

Be good,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
TT Workouts

PS - If you want to take care of your family and friends... must first take care of yourself.

"You cannot brighten another's path without lighting your own." - Frank McKinney

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Super Sunday Gold's Gym

Another great workout at Gold's Gym - Orlando version today. This is the second time I've trained there (also hit this place back in 2008), and it's one of the best Gold's Gyms I've visited.

After, me and my buddy Bedros Keuilian walked to Starbucks in the rain for oatmeal and stuff. You can get oatmeal with protein powder, drief fruit, and nuts. Convenient for after training.

My workout:

1) Box Squats

2) Full squats

3) Good mornings

4) Reverse lunges

Hitting up a SuperBowl party with Joel Marion, John Romaniello, and over a dozen other fitness experts today at some sports bar. Then flying back to Toronto tomorrow morning. Looking forward to a bench press workout around noon.

BTW, for those of you wondering, the weather down here in Orlando has been notta too good. Overcast, and lots of drizzle. I prefer the snow! Winter rocks.

Anyways, since it is SuperBowl Sunday, here are some great quotes from the legend, Vince Lombardi:

"We would accomplish many more things if we did not think of them as impossible." - Vince Lombardi

"Dictionary is the only place that success comes before work. Hard work is the price we must pay for success. I think you can accomplish anything if you're willing to pay the price." - Vince Lombardi

Accept nothing less than your best,

Craig Ballatyne, CSCS, MS
The Best Fat Loss Workout

Friday, February 04, 2011

Time for Action is Now

"The time for action is now. It's never too late to do something." - Carl Sandburg.

And never too early either, considering I'm posting this at 6:30am after already hitting the gym.

Flying to Orlando later this morning, because somewhat like the proverbial Super Bowl MVP, I'm going to Disney World. Literally. Because apparently that's where Joel Marion, John Romaniello, Vince and Flavia, and other fitness people hang out.

5am workout:

Warmup (Stickups, WYT's, band external rotations, pushups, dynamic stretches)

1A) Bench Press
1B) DB Row

2A) Pullups
2B) More tubing external rotations

That's it. Long warm-up, short workout.

Today's resource:

Yesterday I filmed a new Braigz workout...its not this one, but should be just as good

=> Monster Workout

Alright, airport time.

Today I challenge you to stop being a grown up for a few minutes and to do something fun today.

Do it,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

PS - "Always keep the child inside of you alive." - Frank McKinney

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Cut Your Workout Time with Intervals

If I ever gain 30 pounds, it's going to be from missing my workouts and eating too much junk (I grew up around a lot of junk food, and if it's in my house, I'll eat it).

Now the diet we can fix pretty simply, thanks to Isabel's program.

But what about workouts?

If I ever miss a workout, it's because I don't think I have enough time. You've probably felt that way too.

After all, the #1 reason for not working out is a lack of time.

If you get up at 5:30am to drive an hour to work, only to get home at 6pm and then have to launch right into carting the kids around, who can blame you for not working out?

Not when the magazines are telling you it takes 45 minutes of cardio, and another 45 minutes for isolation bodybuilding workouts to lose fat.

If that's the way you have to exercise to lose fat, then practically no one is going to be able to pull that off.

Fortunately, fat loss research shows us that you can lose belly fat in less time than it takes to do slow, boring cardio style workouts.

You just have to increase the intensity of the workout, but that allows you to cut your workout time in half (or more!). Stop doing cardio and start using interval training. Use this program:

=> Use this secret interval training program

But here's a common question I get when I tell folks about doing intervals instead of steady state cardio:

Q: What is the role of interval training vs. steady state cardio in a fat loss program?


Interval training is more important than cardio. First of all, it gets more results in less time. And with "lack of time" being the
number one reason most people do not participate in a training program at all, clearly intervals are the winner here.

Now let's just assume that lack of time is not a problem. Well, interval training is still more effective because it applies more
"turbulence" to the muscle. Or in scientific terms, interval training results in a greater metabolic stress on the muscle.

And that causes more calories to be burned in the important 23.5 hours per day when you are not exercising.

From there, the muscle must work to recover, repair, and replenish the energy that was used in the training. It is much more metabolic work for the muscle to recover from interval training (and strength training) than it is to recover from aerobic training.

Therefore, in the post-exercise period, interval training results in more calories burned.

In fact, a popular study from Australia that shows interval training is superior to slow cardio for fat loss.

The researchers, Trapp & Boutcher put WOMEN through a 15-week study where one group was a control, one group did intervals (20 minutes of alternating sprints and recovery), and one group did 40 minutes of slow cardio.

The interval group lost 2.5kg of fat in 15 weeks on average (with one subject losing 7.7kg of fat), while the slow cardio group lost only 0.4kg of fat over 15 weeks on average.

The results speak for themselves.

So don't get hung up on how many calories are burned during a training session with aerobic training. That is not nearly as
important as how many total calories your body burns over the course of the day - and you will burn more with interval training.

And for those that subscribe to the fat burning zone as being important, again, you aren't looking at the big picture (the 24-hour calorie burning period). Instead, those that believe in the importance of the fat-burning zone have a myopic view of how the body works.

The same message applies to those people that live and die by the cardio on an empty stomach method. You're "nickel and dime-ing" the fat loss process, when really it's a much bigger budget to balance.

Look at the big picture. Get your nutrition in order, then focus your workouts on brief, intense strength and interval training workouts that increase your metabolism for the next 24 hours.

=> Use this interval program to burn fat in less time

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Author, Turbulence Training

Blizzard and Deadlift Workout Update

The Great Blizzard of 2011 seems to have passed over southeast Toronto with only a few inches of snow out there, so far. A light dusting.

Anyone get snowed-in? Remember to shovel safe, and don't round your back. Get your power from your hips. Of course, when in doubt, get someone else to do it!

My deadlift workout today:

1) Power Cleans

2) Sumo Deadlifts

3A) Rack Pulls
3B) Ab Wheel

Went a little too heavy on the power cleans...I put them in only for I need to drop the weight because the deadlift is the focus of this workout. I think that was the last workout for this phase. On to a new 4 week program next week.

I also did a big warmup before, some stretching after, and used the acuball before and after. Fortunately, I don't have to do any shoveling of the snowz.

Also, because my dog is not in town with me (he's getting the royal treatment at my Mom's for the weekend), I'm going to do something I usually don't do, and spend the afternoon working at a coffee shop.

I plan on some creative brainstorming vision exercises, and find these are best done outside of the regular work environment. But all serious writing gets done at home. More details on time management for maximum productivity here:

=> No-BS Time Management & Productivity Tips

Today's kickbutt mindset tip:

Build others up, it will only make you more successful. If you don't have social support, take charge as the leader. Be confident in your choices. People will respect your decisions, even if it seems at first that they don't. Eventually, a lot of people will come to you for advice and support. You are the one making the right decision. Never forget that.

Enjoy the snow or sun or whatever you get today,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

TT Success Story of the Month - January 2011

Each month I read through the dozens of new Turbulence Training Success Stories and pick a Grand Prize Winner. The TT Success Story of the Month gets a 1-year Platinum TT Membership.

If you want to enter, please just email:

And you can win this: TT 1-Year Membership


Now for this month's winner, Jay H., who wrote:

"Glad to see you are having a productive / good time out in Vegas. I go every year march 10, looking forward to going soon. 

I am a new member / follower of TT & you of course. cant believe the quality & content you provide. great. as backround, i have been working with a trainer @ sportsclubla boston for 5 years or so. due to economic downturn, the $150 a month had to get cut... and so do his workouts. Interestingly his prescribed workouts over the past 5 yrs are quite close to your methods (suprsets / circuits / interval training ) ... still need to ask him if he follows  you before my last  day (monday)

Anyway, I just finished up today his last workout routine yesterday and I wanted to choose one of yours based on my experience: was looking at intermediate but not sure if thats the best one. You have so much great content it can be overwhelming (in a good way) at times

Most importantly i follow very close ( if not exact) to the Zone diet. It works for me, and I like it . Once I get into it my body really respond well.

On Jan 1st I ballooned up to 192.5 lbs, I am 5'7"... today I am at 176. On March 10th, at 5am (my flight to vegas is an early one) I will weigh 149.5. I should have entered contest... but missed deadline.

I have LOVED my membership so far, msg boards are great, and once again, your content / twitter / FB, is second to none on the internet. Truly inspiring in more ways than just fittness. Not to mention the elevator vegas story still has me laughing.

I look forward to a long time membership / transformation."


The Diet to Use If I Wanted to Lose Weight

A couple of year's back I filmed a now-infamous video called, "Diet vs. Exercise". In the video, my friend Brad Pilon ate a pizza while I exercised on a treadmill.

In less than 10 minutes he consumed over 1200 calories, while I had burned around 100 calories.

The point?

Diet is far more important to your fat loss program than exercise.

You can't out-train a bad diet, unless you're a genetic freak or seventeen years old. In either case, I doubt you'd be reading this...

So in my quest to lose 30 pounds - if I ever had to do that - the second thing I'd do after joining a fat loss community would be to use the best fat loss nutrition program for my personality.

The right diet can cure belly fat.

And for me, that right diet would be....

Isabel De Los Rios' "Diet Solution Program".

I got my copy here:

=> The Best Diet for Losing Belly Fat
Here's why I chose Isabel's program.

1) I like to make a "game" out of eating better. I know that competition mentality works best for me.

So each day, I'd use Isabel's program and make baby steps to eating better. If I had 2 servings of vegetables yesterday, I'd try for 2.5 servings today.

If I stuck to my plan for 75% of my meals last week, I'd aim for 80% (or higher) this week.

I'd be tracking my results and identifying what worked for me and what didn't. And I'd make changes - and baby step improvements - based on this info.

Research from Dr. Brian Wansink, a nutrition researcher from Cornell University, found that when people try to lose weight, they have better success with making small changes, rather than big changes.

Making small changes allows you to achieve small victories, building your confidence and getting the success snowball rolling.

It's a very simple approach, but extremely effective.

2) I also like the idea of eating organic foods for fat loss, health, energy, and longevity.

Not only do I want to be lean, I want to live a long time (to be over 105 years old) while being healthy and mentally active, and having tons of energy for my family, work, and hobbies.

Isabel's program is based on science, and focuses on eating healthy fats (research proven for better mental performance with aging).

Increase your fat loss, energy, health and longevity with Isabel's program. You can get your copy here:

=> The Proven Fat Loss Diet <== I'd use this to lose belly fat
Not only is nutrition more important than exercise for fat loss, but it's also more important than exercise for health and longevity. Exercise is great, but it just doesn't beat nutrition.

3) I prefer to get my nutrition from food rather than pills.

You might be able to get antioxidants and vitamins from pills and powders, but I truly believe that eating real food is better for you.

So I challenge you to try Isabel's diet...and to eat right for fat loss and health at the same time.

You CAN do it.

You don't need fad diets to lose fat.

And you can enjoy healthy eating, because Isabel is the Rachel Ray of the fat loss cooking world, giving you recipe after recipe on her site to help you eat amazing foods that assist fat loss.

Plus, here's a bonus reason I'd use Isabel's program.

She cares.

I mean, she REALLY, REALLY cares.

Just read one of her newsletters and you'll feel like she was in your house (invited, of course!), sitting at your kitchen table,
making your fat loss grocery list while showing you the hidden foods that are secretly causing you to keep belly fat.

You'll be shocked at what she'll tell you about common ingredients. Scary stuff. But having Isabel's diet solution info on your side is like having your own fat loss nutrition expert with you wherever you go, whether it's the grocery store or your favorite restaurant.

I highly recommend getting Isabel's program here:

=> Your Proven Fat Loss Diet <== The nutrition program that I have

So use Simple Nutrition to make simple changes that will allow you to lose fat without the need for 7 hours of cardio per week.

Tomorrow, I'll show you how you can lose fat really fast with less than 45 minutes of exercise, three times per week.

Of course, you'll need to combine that with your fat loss community and the right diet for you, if you want to change your body and fit back into your favorite clothes that make you look and feel better.

After all, that's what I'd do if I wanted to lose my belly fat.


Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Author, Turbulence Training

What I Would Do If I Was Overweight

Listen, I'm far from perfect. (Not that I need to tell you that.)

And when I see an out-of-shape guy my age, struggling with his weight,I often think, "There but for the grace of God go I", .

After all, who knows what caused him to gain belly fat?

Maybe he was once active, even skinny, like most guys in college, and then work/life/family got in the way of calorie-burning and out of the way of calorie eating, and then one day...


He wakes up and notices he's 30 pounds heavier.

That could have been me, if it weren't for a life-changing event that led to my passionate interest in exercise science and fat loss.

(I'll tell you about that event some day soon.)

And so with that in mind - the fact that I could just as easily be wearing size 38 pants - I wanted to spend this week looking at what I would do if I was 30 pounds overweight, but armed with the knowledge that I have now.

Today is Part 1 of 3, BUT the topic is NOT what you'd expect.

You see, the first thing I'd do before I changed my diet or hit the gym, is I'd find myself a COMMUNITY of supportive folks.

I'd join a group of like-minded people who share the same goal, who support one another, and who meet (in person or online) frequently and consistently.

I'd get SOCIAL SUPPORT - and lots of it, not just from 1 or 2 people.

I would join website after website, exploring each group for the one that was a best fit for me.

Because without social suppport, I'd have a hard time sticking to my diet and workout program, despite all of my scientific knowledge.

Social support is THAT powerful.

In fact, I've searched out social support over and over again in every aspect of my real life.

When I wanted to improve my training skills, I joined organizations and online forums dedicated to the latest workout science.

When I wanted to improve my business, I joined small groups of business owners called "Masterminds".

And when I wanted to build my team here at Turbulence Training, I joined groups dedicated to showing new business owners how to incorporate a Mission and Core Values into team building.

I've even recently joined an online membership site dedicated to getting more rewards with air mile programs!

And each time I join a group, I achieve faster results than if Itried to do ANY of these things on my own.


It's been scientifically proven OVER and OVER again in every industry, and no matter what you're goal, that working with a supportive team will give you better and faster results than doing it on your own.

Even individual athletes - like cyclists and marathon runners - have support teams that are essential to success.

So I highly recommend that you join a Transformation Community today.

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Author, Turbulence Training