Saturday 24 January 2015

The Perfect Workout For Busy Gyms

It's that time of the year again, when all the New Year's Resolutions have to be undertaken - and one of them is going to the gym more often.  Do you find that the gym gets really busy at the start of the year, and your usual equipment is not always available?  Here's a great article that will give you and idea for getting around this.

By: Craig Ballantyne, CTT
Certified Turbulence Trainer

Imagine you’re about to workout and suddenly notice it requires two different dumbbell weights or two different machines, used back to back without rest (a superset).

Now this sometimes isn’t a problem, but usually the gym is busy, making it virtually impossible to quickly get through the workout as it was intended. UGHH!

So what are you supposed to do?

Well, you could…
  1. Stockpile dumbbells around your bench - this will surely anger others around you.  Plus, with the gym so busy to begin with, you probably wouldn’t be able to grab more than one set of dumbbells anyways.
  2. Ask someone if you can work-in with them on a machine, or borrow their dumbbells. Since you’ll now be accommodating someone else’s workout, you’ll inevitably have more rest time, and ultimately lengthen your own workout.   
Now while these suggestions can work, they’re NOT recommended for those who want maximum results in minimum time.

And so that’s precisely why I designed Turbulence Training 2K6.

With this workout at your disposal, you should be able to use the same dumbbell weight for pairs of exercises in a superset, or you’ll find that I’ve combined a dumbbell exercise with a bodyweight exercise. 

So you’ll no longer need to change your weight or get new equipment for the second exercise.

Plus, if you want either a little variation from the traditional interval training workouts or just simply an off-day workout, then you’ll love the “Total Body Ten” bodyweight workout that I’ve also included in the program.

I’m pretty sure neither of the two scenarios listed above sounded very appealing, especially if it’s results you’re after.  And when all is said and done, TT 2K6 is a great way to help you overcome busy gyms. In fact, you’ll be flying through these workouts so fast that you probably won’t even know how packed the gym is!

About the Author

Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and Oxygen magazines. His trademarked Turbulence Training fat loss workouts have been featured multiple times in Men’s Fitness and Maximum Fitness magazines, and have helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean in less than 45 minutes three times per week. For more information on the Turbulence Training workouts that will help you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment, visit

Friday 23 January 2015

White Fat or Brown Fat

Do you hear these terms bandied around, but you're not sure what they mean?

Well, if you're like me, you have heard of them, but need them explained in plain language.

This is as simple as I understand it to be:

Brown Fat

This is the GOOD Fat. Brown fat is the fat that the body burns when it needs energy.  So we use this up, helping us to remove the fat from our bodies

White Fat

This is the BAD Fat. White fat is the fat that the body stores.  It's the fat that seems to accumulate on our hips, thighs and stomach area!  We need to convert this to the Brown Fat, so it can be used up.

The interesting thing is how the body does this.  We have an appetite suppressing enzyme (measures our current fat reserves) and an enzyme that monitors how much sugar we have coming into our body (measures our future fat reserves).  

These enzymes/hormones play a role in keeping our body at the required fat levels when they work together and trigger other actions in the body to convert the white fat to brown fat!  Simples!!

Photo from:, Mister GC

Wednesday 21 January 2015

Want To Annoy Your Fellow Gym Goers?

As it's still January, many people are still going to the gym.  They are still flush in their efforts to 'work off' the extra pounds or kilos they ate onto their hips over the holiday season!!

Most of these people are labelled January Joiners - a great label, as they sign up in January, usually fade away by February and are never seen nor heard from again, until January next year, when the cycle is on "rinse and repeat"!!

As a regular gym goer in the past, one of the things that used to get to me with these 'newbies' was their lack of ettiquette in the gym!  Do you notice this?

Things such as:

  • not putting the weights away after they have finished, imagine having to lift that 200lbs off the machine
  • not wiping down the machine they have just melted over, with the antibacterial solution provided
  • jumping onto equipment you have been patiently waiting for, i.e., queue jumping
  • not bring a sweat towel to the gym with them
  • not wearing deodorant
  • not looking around to make sure they are not in your way before they start their exercise
  • wearing your gym gear from yesterday

I recently read an article that also outlined the health hazards in the gym - I'm not going there, as it was by far too scary to read about, let alone write about. Let's just say, keeping your own hands clean before and after using equipment is a must!

I'm sure there are plenty more you can tell me about - what's your pet hate with the January Joiners?

Tuesday 20 January 2015

Forget Diets!

I've just finished reading about an author that is advocating forgetting to follow a traditional diet.

It did resonate well with me.  I am a great believer in changing your lifestyle, not setting steadfast rules to be followed when you are looking to change your eating habits.


Because the word "dieting" creates an image that it's something you only need to do until the pounds have disappeared, then you can step right back into all your old habits!!

Trust me, this doesn't work!  I know, I've been a yo-yo dieter for the majority of my life!!

How can you make 'missing a food group' a way of life?  Have you ever started a diet, say for example low carbs, high protein, and then been invited to your friends for dinner?  Did you find this awkward and embarrassing as you begin to explain all the foods you can't have??

This is why I agree that traditional dieting is not a great way to go. 

Instead you need to create a new lifestyle, one that is fun and engaging to follow, that will allow you to have treats occassionally and not to feel guilty!  This is what I do, my eating lifestyle now is one that I really enjoy, the foods are tasty and I have a lot of fun with those around me who are into my lifestyle!

Imagine this, you've reached your goal weight, and there is no relaxation of rules, no 'great, I'm really going to enjoy my desserts again', no 'thank goodness I can go for takeaway again', no slipping into the junk food aisle at the supermarket and loading up the trolley.  Why won't this happen?  Because you are enjoying the choices you have made for your new lifestyle and DO NOT miss the old foods, patterns and habits!

What bliss!

Enjoy your new lifestyle

Monday 19 January 2015

Did You Know: Orange Juice Is BAD?

Apparently, orange juice makes you eat more.

There is a study published that shows if you drink orange juice when working out, then eat your meal afterwards, you eat up to 250 calories more.

Interesting huh?

What do you drink at the gym?

Me? I drink water, or an energy drink that I love (doesn't contain sugars, mainly Vit C), though orange flavoured (due to the Vit C), it's not orange juice.

A protein drink after a workout is essential to feed your muscles too - this I also do - it's all about recovery of your muscles, and carbohydrates (i.e., sugars) won't build muscle, protein does.

I usually have my protein shake within 20 minutes of completing my workout - what do you do?

Saturday 17 January 2015

Cut Out the Fluff Exercises And Get More Results, Faster

I love learning about new equipment to try out at the gym though sometimes you need to make sure it is giving you and effective training, check out this article by Craig Ballantyne, CTT Certified Turbulence Trainer

You’ve probably used or at least seen a Bosu Ball in your gym before (those blue half balls with one flat side), but what you might not know is that they’re really just fluff exercises.

What do I mean by that?

Well, let me share a personal story with you…

Tony, a personal trainer and former client of mine, came to me one day asking for help. You see, Tony’s a pretty fit guy, but his personal training business had started to pick up, leaving him with less time to workout.

So we reviewed his program together and I immediately noticed it contained too many fluff exercises.
Tony needed maximum results in minimum time and Bosu Ball training wasn’t going to cut it.  So what I ended up doing was designing him two workouts that essentially included only the most effective exercises for gaining muscle and losing fat.

In fact, the first superset of 1-leg squats paired with dumbbell chest presses alone was more effective than an entire Bosu Ball workout.  And the second workout challenged him to one of the hardest upper body workouts he had ever done. So you can just imagine how happy Tony was with his new workout program.

And this is just Tony’s story.

I realize working out is often a huge struggle for many of you, either because you don’t have the time, or you’re growing frustrated with the lack of results.

But with the two workouts I’ve designed in Turbulence Training 2K5, one total body and one upper body, combined with newer, advanced interval training programs, you’ll discover a workout program perfectly suited for today’s busy lifestyle.

So, if it’s maximum results you want in the minimum amount of time possible, then this is a program tailored just for you.

About the Author

Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and Oxygen magazines. His trademarked Turbulence Training fat loss workouts have been featured multiple times in Men’s Fitness and Maximum Fitness magazines, and have helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean in less than 45 minutes three times per week. For more information on the Turbulence Training workouts that will help you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment, visit

Friday 16 January 2015

Did You Know: Rest Doesn't Work?

Did you know that taking longer rests between your exercise routines doesn't affect your body shape? However, a recent study showed that by reducing your rest intervals by up to 75% gave you significantly greater enhancements in your body composition?

Interesting isn't it?

How long do you rest for between sets?  I usually give one minute, but I'm now going to reduce this 'significantly'  Maybe go for 15 seconds instead - that will make the workout tougher I'm sure!!

Good luck with your workouts this weekend

Thursday 15 January 2015

Secrets To Keeping Weight Off!

There is a lot of discussion on the internet and within the media about the obesity epidemic and consequently ways to lose that weight.  In fact, at this time of the year, about every second advert is for a weight loss company.

Did you know though, that it is estimated that only 20% of overweight and obese Americans that lose weight MAINTAIN that loss? 

I'm sure you've heard of the title "Yo-Yo Dieter" and this is the option for the majority of people who lose their weight through a fad diet, something that doesn't become their lifestyle.  How can you possibly keep up the grapefruit or lemon diet for longer than a week or two? It doesn't become your lifestyle, merely a fad that you can maintain for a couple of weeks before you lapse back into your old habits.

The National Weight Control Registry in the US was established to increase the conversation about maintenance of weight loss. It has monitored the habits of successful dieters over more than 20 years and recently published these tips. 

  1. Ensure your diet is similar to your maintenance plan. This means that you are still eating meals, and following a dietary plan that is easy to follow when you have reached your goal weight too. No fad diets can be maintained for a period of time, how can you live on lemons?
  2. Keep active. Ensure that the activity you have been doing to lose weight becomes part of your regular routine.  I would suggest you undertake about 3 - 4 hours of activity a week, and make it FUN!!! I include dancing in my fitness routine, as well as walking in nature - they're my fun things to do alongside my gym workouts.
  3. Watching less TV.  Keeping active also often means that you reduce the amount of time you spend in front of the TV, as you're spending this time at the gym, or visiting friends to go walking, or going out dancing. The other reason for watching less TV is that this is the time most people snack - it's thoughtless eating, you don't take notice of the food you're eating, so you don't feel full until it's too late. It usually occurs whent the adverts are on, so the trick I use is to record a show, then you skip those 'boring' adverts!! Also, this snacking is happening in the evening, not a great time to be snacking!
  4. Keep your meals consistent. Knowing what menu plans are successful for you to lose your weight, also gives you ideas for your maintenance.  Splurging and eating high calorie foods, if they creep back into your routine menu, will soon stop being a treat, and quickly become a common occurrence. Before you know it, the pounds are creeping back on again!  Keep your menus consistent to consistently maintain your weight.
  5. Accountability, or a support team.  Keeping your accountability partner in your maintenance plan will ensure you are regularly following your plan. Support from partners, online communities or even your fitness app are great ways to ensure you keep regular in your fitness plans, your meal plans and your mindset. Support for any goals is vital to achieving those goals. In this instance, your goal is maintenance.  I have a workout partner and we catch up for a workout (and a great chat too) once or twice a week, depending on our schedules. We never miss!
  6. Positive outlook. Maintain a positive outlook. I use a positive/joyful/gratitude diary to ensure my maintenance. This can include reflections on what you have achieved, what it's like to be able to enjoy your exercise, the types of exercise you can now do, how long you've maintained your weight for. Set yourself little goals, e.g., maintain weight for one month - then celebrate that achievement! Note it in your gratitude diary also, so you have something to reflect upon.
  7. Get sleep.  Ensure you have a regular routine for sleep, so that you don't become sleep deprived. Do you know what most people do to fuel themselves when they're sleep deprived? You guessed it, they reach for food that stimulates them, and that is mostly food high in sugar!  Ensure you are not becoming sleep deprived.
  8. Regularly measure your weight.  Once a week jump on those scales! This is an easy way to establish if a sneaky pound or two is creeping back on, and you can then quickly do something about it before it becomes a larger problem to deal with. Choose a day, I choose Wednesdays, and stick to weighing yourself every week on that day, at the same time, in the same outfit (okay, I do it before I shower, so it's simple to have the same outfit!). This way, it becomes part of your routine.
  9. Never, ever, say negative things about what the scale says. Stick to number 6 above, stay positive. You've lost a lot more weight in the past, so you know how easy it is to lose a pound or two now.  When the scales tip back upwards for a week, get back into your routine of menu plans and exercise that aided you to your goal weight. Generally a week will do it, then back onto your maintenance plan.  Also take a look back at the treats you've been having, and possibly contributed to this creep. Once you know what they are, consider how you can swap them for a different treat that fits into your lifestlye of health!

With these tips, you are more likely to become one of the 20% that maintain their weight successfully. 

Tuesday 13 January 2015

Top Tip For Losing Weight

Studies on intermittent fasting have shown that it’s as effective for weight loss as cutting calories. In one study, overweight women who fasted intermittently for six months lost more weight than women who restricted their calories each day.

Top Tip: Supported fasting for one or two days - contact me to find out how!

Friday 9 January 2015

Best Beginner Weight Loss Workout

A great start to your exercise routines!  I love each one of these routines, you'll be amazed at how this provides you a great workout - you will notice this tomorrow!!