I asked Craig Ballantyne to share a few things about him self and how he came across the methodology behind Turbulence Training? Enter Craig:
Like most folks in the fitness industry, I played a lot of sports when I was younger. That led to weight training. From there, I realized I wanted to be a strength coach in professional sports.
I went to school for Kinesiology, which then led to a Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology. Along the way I studied what made a good NHL Strength Coach (they had Master’s Degrees and were Certified Strength And Conditioning Specialists – CSCS).
I also started training athletes, along with men and women for fat loss. Then I started working with Men’s Health in 2000. And I invented Turbulence Training in 1999, and finally put it online in 2001.
The First Turbulence Training Workout
Back in 1998-99, I was but a lowly grad student, studying the effects of androstenedione (the supplement taken by the mighty baseball player, Mark McGwire during his record-breaking home run quest in ’98).
In my study (which was published in the Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology for any science nerds like myself out there), we had guys use the supplement and go through a couple of weight training sessions. By February of ’99 I was stuck in the lab, analyzing the blood samples using some fancy radio-active isotopes.
And when I say stuck in the lab, I mean STUCK. I’d get there at 7am, and record my last data point at 11pm. Sixteen hours of mad science. And if I wasn’t there, I was downstairs in the medical library, studying papers on testosterone and training.
Now coming from a very athletic background, this sedentary lifestyle didn’t sit well with me. But there I was, studying for a degree in Exercise Physiology and left with no time for exercise.
Or so I thought. Fortunately, I actually had a 50 minute window once per day of “down-time” while the lab’s gamma-counter analyzed blood samples.
That left me 50 minutes to get to the gym (5 minutes across campus) and get a workout in the remaining 40 or so minutes. I knew that if I applied my studies to the workout, I could get maximum results in minimum time.
As a former athlete, I knew that I had to find a way to stay fit and to avoid the fat gain that comes with working long hours in a sedentary environment. And I also had to stay true to the high-school bodybuilder I once was, so there was no way I was willing to sacrifice my muscle to one of those long-cardio, low protein fat-loss plans that were popular at the time.
Instead, I had to draw on my academic studies and my experiences working with athletes as the school’s Strength & Conditioning Coach.
I knew that sprint intervals were associated with more fat loss than slow cardio, and I knew that you could also increase aerobic fitness by doing sprints (but you can’t increase sprint performance by doing aerobic training).
Intervals – Superior to Long Slow Cardio for Fat Loss
I had seen first hand the incredible results of sprint intervals in the summer and fall, as the athletes made huge fitness improvements and shed winter fat in a short time using my interval programs. I knew that intervals had to be the next step in the evolution of cardio.
The biggest benefit of intervals? A lot of results in a short amount of time. I knew that I only had 40 minutes to train, and therefore I could only spend 15-20 minutes doing intervals.
Diet vs. Exercise to Get in Shape
Diet is more important. You can’t out-train a bad diet. You can lose fat really fast with your diet, but only at a smaller, yet consistent pace with exercise.
But of course, if you want a beautiful body, you can’t do that without exercise. Fortunately as Turbulence Training shows you, the workouts don’t have to be long, slow, or boring.
Get in Shape at Home with no Equipment
Absolutely it is possible. People have been exercising without equipment and staying lean since the beginning of time, but now all the fitness propaganda has turned people crazy thinking they have to go to a fancy commercial gym and spend big bucks each month to exercise on bikes that don’t even go anywhere if they want to lose fat.
It’s absurd! You can do hundreds of exercises at home without equipment. Combined with a diet of whole, natural foods you can lose a lot of weight and get very fit and lean at home.
Mindset of Success
That’s a great question. They all know the secret to fat loss which is:
“Once you accept how HARD it is to lose fat, then it becomes easy.”
Do you understand what I mean? It’s like saving money. Once you understand and accept how much discipline is required to save money then it’s easy to do and becomes 2nd nature to do so. You simply begin to do it automatically.
It’s the same with fat loss. Once you understand and accept this “secret”, you’ll realize that you must…
- Plan, shop, and prepare your meals in advance…
- Do three high-intensity workouts per week…
- Keep yourself active on off days and keep your butt off the couch for at least 30 minutes…
- Develop rituals that help you avoid night-time eating…
- Take time to set goals and to plan solutions for every obstacle that gets in your way each week…
Only then will fat loss become 2nd nature to you, so much so that you couldn’t get fat if you tried! Seriously, once you “get it”, you literally couldn’t get fat if you tried, because your mind is on autopilot to stop you from binge eating or from skipping workouts.
So work on that…apply that “secret mindset” and you’ll lose as much body fat as you want. Heck, you can apply this to ANY aspect of your life and you’ll experience success beyond your wildest dreams.
I’d like to thank Craig for this interview. The final insight that he shared here is probably the most important. Body transformation is hard. Once you get that, you will know you are on the right track whenever training, diet or fasting seem to hard. It becomes simple. Just push hard on all fronts – eat right and train at full speed.
And to get you started, here is a full fat loss body weight circuit training workout that you can do at home, right out of Craig’s Bodyweight Manual, a training system that gives you 6 months worth of no equipment home fat loss workouts.
Babe by Earl