Fitness for Busy Folk

Monthly Archives: June 2010

Kettlebells and Abs: 5 Steps to Progress

Kettlebells are probably the easiest way to get a strong core and really make your abs “pop.” Here’s 5 reasons why:

Unilateral Work

Kettlebells are expensive, which is why most people purchase only one Kettlebell at a time. This is actually a good thing. When you’re swinging, snatching, and cleaning those Kettlebells with one hand, the side that’s not working needs to work extra hard to maintain balance.

Your abs and lower back come into play, trying to stabilize your entire body. The result is that your abs and lower back become stronger than if you were to perform traditional abdominal and lower back movements.

Natural Movement

The main purpose of your abs are to stabilize your spine and keep you upright. Crunches and situps don’t train your abs in this manner. Kettlebells do. Any movement that places stress on your abs, and has you standing upright, is a natural abdominal movement.

Opens up Hip Flexors

When training someone knew, the most common problem I see is tight hip flexors. It comes from our society: we sit too much. Hip flexors are the muscles that help bring your knees up to your chest.

So when I see a rounded back during Kettlebell swings, deadlifts, or bodyweight squats, it comes from tight hip flexors. This arched back is horrible for your back. But it also forces our gut out, making us look fatter then we really are.

Kettlebell training allows our hip flexors to relax by training the antagonistic muscle groups – glutes and hamstrings. This naturally fixes the problems of an arched back, poor posture, and actually makes you look taller and leaner.

Strengthens your Lower Back

I’ve already mentioned that Kettlebell training strengthens your lower back. If you focus on good technique, then you do not have to worry about Kettlebells ruining your back. The people that injure themselves do not properly focus on technique improvement before embarking on a fitness program.

Kettlebell training shifts your center of gravity and forces your abs to work harder to resist rotation and flexion. Along with your abs, your obliques and erector muscles (low back) work to stabilize your body as well.

Cardio on Steroids

Cardio is effective. Interval training is even more effective. But interval training with Kettlebells is EVEN MORE effective. In case you don’t know, interval training is where you perform a bout of an activity at a high intensity level, followed by a period of low intensity exercise.

For example, with Kettlebell training, you can do 30 seconds of all out Kettlebell swings, followed by 30 seconds of rest. Interval training not only helps you burn fat, but also allows you to spare hard-earned muscle mass.

If you’re finally ready to embark on a full Kettlebell training program, then you want to grab yourself a copy of Kettlebell Revolution. Click here for more information.

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How to Build your Ultimate Home Gym

I’ve got two videos I want to show you. The first one is a video I created a few years ago and showcases how I built my home gym. My home gym has evolved quite a bit since then, so I need to make an updated video.

Hopefully that will be coming soon (just remind me).

Here’s the video:

The second video is from Chris Lopez of Kettlebell Revolution:

Hope these videos gave you some ideas to help you build your own home gym. Kettlebells are a great addition to your home gym. For a full Kettlebell workout, check out Chris’ Kettlebell Revolution.

Click here to learn more about Kettlebell Revolution.

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Intense Effective Diets?

If you train at a high intensity level, then you need a diet that matches that level of intensity. You need a diet that’s full of real, whole foods, lots of fruits and veggies, lots of healthy fats, and lots of protein.

Even though you train at a super high intensity level, you CAN’T out-train a crappy diet.

If you need help with your diet, I have 4 options for you. These programs will help you “clean out” your bad habits and allow you to create a much healthier lifestyle:

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting (IF) is a method of eating that cycles between periods of fasting and over eating. There are lots of ways to follow it. When I was on IF, I would not eat anything until 12 pm. Then after 12 pm until I went to sleep, I would eat all my meals.

To me, this was a much more DOABLE approach then the Warrior Diet, which involves eating only once per day. IF also helped me drop my calories so I could lose weight easily and safely. In addition, it allowed me to clean out my system during the short fasting phase.

One of the main benefits of Intermittent Fasting is Insulin Resistance. Insulin resistance is when your body produces insulin, but does not use it properly. I talk more about Insulin resistance here.

Other benefits of IF include improved immune function and overall health. Now that I think about it, I did feel my stronger and energetic during IF. I always tell my friends that I NEVER get sick (especially when THEY’RE sick!)

A lot of that has to do with my experimentation’s with fasting. If you want to give Intermittent Fasting a try, then I suggest grabbing a copy ofBrad Pilon’s Eat Stop Eat.

Vegetarianism

I was born a vegetarian. And I’m not here to convert anyone into a vegetarian. I would not like it if someone came up to me and tried to make me eat meat. I just want to get that clear.

Vegetarianism, or short-term vegetarianism, may help you improve your health tremendously. Studies have shown that Vegetarians have a lower case of coronary artery disease, hypertension, obesity, and some forms of cancer.

The three biggest concerns people have about vegetarianism has to do with protein intake, decrease in energy levels, and lack of strength. I clear up all these myths in this recent article here.

Vegetarian diets also tend to be lower in fat. The biggest issue with vegetarianism is a greater reliance on grain products such as rice, bread, and pasta. You don’t need to give up these foods, or even go low carb to burn fat.

What you do need to do is switch out to better options. Use this rule: brown is better than white. So we’re talking about brown rice, whole wheat bread, and whole wheat pasta. I actually like the taste of whole wheat bread than white bread.

For a full vegetarian program, I suggest Easy Veggie Meal Plans.

Simple Nutrition

Intermittent fasting is a pretty simple way of dieting, but for some people not eating breakfast, or fasting for a full day may be too difficult. Even vegetarianism, especially if you weren’t born a vegetarian, can be a difficult lifestyle change.

Best option is to keep things simple. That’s were Craig Ballantyne’s Simple Nutrition guide comes in. Craig’s guide is exactly what it sounds like: simple. Complex programs don’t work. The more rules that you place on your diet, the less likely you have to achieving your goals.

So focus on simple, gradual lifestyle changes to achieve the physique you desire. Craig doesn’t count calories. He just knows what to eat. If you can get to that level – knowing when to eat every day, and at every social situation – you can just eat naturally healthy without worrying about your nutrition.

His Simple Nutrition eBook gives you 15 simple nutrition rules, followed by a 7-Day detox diet. Then he tells you everything you need to know about calories and protein. It’s that simple! Click here to learn more about TT Simple Nutrition.

Fat Burning Kitchen

Speaking of making nutrition simple, lets remember one thing: if you’re surrounded by healthy foods, you’re going to eat healthy. That’s where Mike Geary’s Fat Burning Kitchen comes in.  Mike has created a great product which tells you exactly which foods to stock in your kitchen for maximum benefits.

Some of what he says might surprise you! There were a lot of foods I thought were healthy for me, but really weren’t. You come to realize how blatantly the food industry lies to you. This is a great reading book for individuals who are already on par with their nutrition and want to take that one step further to really clean up their diet.
Click here to learn more about Mike Geary’s Fat Burning Kitchen.

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Limited Time Workouts

Is there a minimum amount of time you should workout in order to lose weight? If you don’t have much time at all throughout the day, can you get by with just 20 minutes, 15 minute, or even 10 minute workouts?

Well, the short answer is yes – 20 minute workouts do help you lose weight. But it depends on what you do within those 20 minutes. With my workouts, the shorter they are, they harder they are. And the harder they are, the better they are for fat loss.

Overall, people should strive to make their workouts as short as possible. I personally am afraid of over training. Over training can completely derail your progress. Not to mention that any workout lasting more than 45 minutes can cause severe catabolism (breaking down of muscle mass).

So how do you lose fat in a short workout? Well, you need to start with creating workouts around movements that burn maximum calories. Multijoint movements are the answers. Instead of doing bicep curls, do a chinup.

Here are 5 movements you can use in your workouts that burn lots of calories:

Stability Ball Jackknife

  • This abdominal movement is literally one of the most difficult movements I’ve done. To start off, place your elbows on a bench and your shins on a stability ball.
  • Now keep your arms straight and back flat. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. From this position, roll the bll as close to your chest be bending your knees towards your body.
  • Make sure to keep your abs tight and back as straight as possible. Pause, then return to starting position by rolling the ball back. This  movement maintain constant tension on your abdominals and will get you sweating within the first rep.

Stability Ball Rollout

  • This is another abdominal movement that is slightly easier – but still tough enough to get your heart rate pumping. Kneel down on the floor and clasp your hands.
  • Place your hands on top of a stability ball. Tighten your abs and slowly lean forward. Roll your hands over the ball as the ball moves away from your body.
  • Keep going foreward until your body is in a straight line. Pause, and reverse the movement back to starting position.

Chin-up

  • Chinups not only build a nice, thick back, but they also help you burn lots of calories. You’re literally working your entire upper body with this movement. The execution is very simple: Grab a bar with a palms facing you grip.
  • From this position, pull your body up towards the bar until your chin passes the bar, or as far as you can go. Reverse the movement by lowing your body in a controlled manner.

Dumbbell Row

  • Another one of my favorite back movements. Grab a dumbbell in one hand. Rest the opposite hand and knee on flat bench. Lean over and keep your back flight.
  • Tighten your abs. Now pull the dumbbell up to your lower abdomen. Squeeze your back muscles. Pause, and then lower to starting position. Make sure you do not round your lower back.

Dumbbell Incline Press

  • This is the last movement I want to share with you. These 5 movements together would make a great upper body circuit. In order to do a Dumbbell Incline Press, lie on a bench with the backrest inclined at 45-60 degrees.
  • Hold the dumbbells above your chest, with your palms turned towards your feet. Press the dumbbells straight up above you at chest level. Lower back to starting position and repeat.

All five of these movements are great, but realize that the most important aspect of your training is your diet. Without making changes in your diet, you will not lose significant fat.

Studies have shown that individuals who make changes in their diet, and continue to perform resistance training lose more weight then people who just exercise. So it’s up to you.

Do what you need to in order to assure fat loss success.

One other thing I must mention is that you should also incorporate interval cardio into your workout program. Interval cardio is where you perform a movement at a high intensity level, followed by a period of low to moderate intensity.

If you want a complete program to help you lose fat in the least time possible, then I suggest Turbulence Training. Turbulence Training is actually a methodology developed by trainer Craig Ballantyne.

Craig is the master of fat loss. He’s created hundreds of workouts for people all over the world. If you’re short on time, then I suggest picking up one of the following workouts:

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Vegetarian Program to Lose Middle Age Fat

Vegetarians have a LOT of questions with regards to fat loss. Some of the most popular include:

  • How do I know I’m getting enough protein, and where do I get it from?
  • How can I keep my nutrition exciting enough to stick to it?
  • Does a Vegetarian diet alter your energy levels? Do you get weaker with a Vegetarian diet?

As a lifelong vegetarian, I can say that I get ample amounts of protein in my diet. I’m never bored with my diet – partly because I don’t see eating as an “event.” I have no problem eating the same foods day in and day out.

As for getting weaker….nope. I’m almost as strong as my meat eating friend who weighs more than me. In fact, in some lifts – especially those that require lots of core strength – I’m stronger then him.

So switching to a vegetarian lifestyle will NOT effect your strength. Vegetarianism is a lifestyle choice. I’m not a PETA member trying to shove down vegetarian down your throat. But if you’re willing to make the switch, or if you’re already a vegetarian, then read carefully:

You can be a vegetarian and be healthy. You can also be a non vegetarian and be healthy. On the flip side, you can be a vegetarian and be sick. And you can be a non vegetarian and be sick. It all depends on your food choices and eating habits.

The primary difference is that with a vegetarian lifestyle, you’re relying on a lot more fruits and vegetables to maintain your energy levels – as it should be. It may help some people, as instead of reaching for a hamburger, they reach for a piece of fruit.

Now, with regards to fat loss on a vegetarian diet, the most important thing (especially those of Indian decent) is to cut down your sugar intake. Americans in general eat a lot of sugar. But Indians eat a TON of sugar.

The only reason you don’t see high cases of diabetes in India, compared to that in the U.S., is because most Indians don’t get regular doctor check ups the way they do here. But trust me, it’s there.

They’re obesity levels are not as high either because of the high level of poverty. America’s obesity level is 30.6% according to Nationmaster.com. However, when I go to India and stay with my family, who belong in the lower middle class socio-economic class – I have to constantly yell at them to put less sugar, oil, and ghee (clarified butter) in their foods.

It’s ridiculous.

But that is the first step in cleaning up your diet – take a look at how much sugar and fried foods you’re eating. Eliminate the fried foods and cut down your sugar intake.

As for protein intake, I would turn to supplements. There are a lot of great protein powders for Vegans, such as Sun Warrior. However, if you don’t mind, you can also just use regular Whey Protein.

I use GNC brand Whey Protein and mix it with Glutamine after an intense workout. Mix it with milk for some extra casein (slow digesting) protein. I also eat about 2-3 handfuls of almonds throughout the day. This provides me with more protein, some healthy fats, while ingesting foods low in carbs.

In addition, if you still consume eggs, milk, and cheese, you’ll have no problem getting the protein that you need. If you’re 100% Vegan (no animal products), then you want to check out Sun Warrior Protein, rice protein, pea protein, soy protein, and hemp.

But go easy on the soy protein, as it has been linked to increasing estrogen levels.

You must also realize that oatmeal, pasta, and bread has lots of protein in it in the form of gluten. However, if you have problems consuming gluten, then you want to stay away from these foods. You’re going to have to rely on the sources I mentioned earlier.

Beans are also a great source of protein. A friend of mine used to eat 1-2 cans of beans every day. I’m sure he cycled through they type of beans he was eating, as eating Kidney beans every day would get quite boring.

Overall, protein powder supplementation is absolutely crucial. The more muscle you need to pack on, the more protein shakes you’ll have to consume throughout the day. I don’t see this is a huge problem.

I only need one. But if you need to pack on lots of muscle mass, taking 3 protein shakes with 30-50 grams of protein in each should help you tremendously.

When it comes to variety, the key is recipes. There are lots of great Vegan cookbooks at the bookstore and online. However, not all of them are focused around people who need to pack on muscle or lose fat.

Once you find a few recipes that can help you get the amount of protein and calories required to achieve your goals, you want to hit the supermarket. Most supermarkets are not built for Vegetarians.

Best option is Whole Foods. Although, they can get a bit expensive.

Making the switch is hard. Even if you’re already a Vegetarian, you need to go through the extra steps of breaking bad habits such as eating too many carbs, eating fried foods, and cutting down on your sugar intake.

But the world is changing. You know have vegetarian restuarants, cookbooks, and specialty stores. So it is now much easier to be a vegetarian then it used to be. The more explore, the more you realize that there are many alternatives out there for you.

One of the best vegetarian guides out there is called Easy Veggie Meal Plans.Click here to learn more about this incredible book.

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Fat Loss: Best Dumbbell Routine for Women

As women get older, it seems as though their waistlines want to expand, even when they’re careful with their nutrition and exercise. Unfortunately, there is no “magic formula.” But there is a way to get your weight under control and maintain it as you get older.

The biggest problem with women’s training programs is this concept of spot reducing. Spot reducing refers to losing fat only in certain areas. For women these areas are the butt, thigh, and triceps.

Spot reduction is a complete myth. However, it is possible to “tighten” up these trouble spots. It’s the same approach that bodybuilders use when trying to bring up lagging body parts. If you focus on a particular aspect of your body, it will eventually respond and help you develop a more symmetrical physique.

So how do you go about targeting these problem spots? Read on:

The first step I want you to take is cut your cardio training in half and start to devote more time with weight training. Most women do too much cardio. All that cardio is having negative effects on your body.

But the biggest reason why I want you to cut down on your cardio time is because it’s inefficient. What you need to do is build lean muscle mass – just 1-3 lbs – in your problem spots. This slight increase in lean muscle mass will help you boost your metabolic rate, and thus burn more calories and fat throughout the day.

Replace your long duration cardio for short, high intensity interval training. Interval training is when you move at a high intensity level for a short period of time, say 30 seconds, then back for some time, such as 60 seconds.

Interval training has been repeatedly been shown to be better at fat burning than steady state cardio. You can literally do interval training with any movement! Here’s a sample workout using the Dumbbell Swing:

  • Perform 20 seconds of Dumbbell Swings at a high intensity level. Rest 10 seconds
  • Repeat for a total of 4 minutes (or 8 total interval)
  • Rest for 1 minute, and repeat the workout using another movement.

This interval scheme is known as Tabata, and is quite an advanced method to lose fat. With Tabata, you perform a movement for 20 seconds all out, then rest for 10 seconds. Repeat for a total of 8 times for a quick, 4 minute workout.

Tabata is brutal. Beginners will be able to get results with using just 1-2 exercises per workout. Advanced trainees may need to use up to 5 movements, or a 20 minute workout. But the bottom line is that you’re not doing long, steady state cardio.

You’re heart rate will go through the roof, and you’ll be burning off a lot of calories with this movement. I chose the Dumbbell Swing because it’s a great movement for the hips and thighs. Other women specific movements include close grip pushups (Triceps), side plank (love handles), and lateral lunge (outer thighs).

A pair of dumbbells and your bodyweight is all you need to get your body in incredible shape. With interval training, you can literally lose fat and build muscle mass at the same time. It’s an incredible training method.

The reason why muscle is so important to help you lose fat is because muscle is more active than fat. You burn more calories throughout the day just by having more muscle on your body. I’m not telling you to transform yourself into a bodybuilder.

I know you don’t want to look like that. And frankly. looking like a bodybuilder isn’t easy. But what is easy is adding a few lbs of muscle to help you drop a lot of fat. Craig Ballantyne, author of Turbulence Training, is the only guy who’s coming out with the best metabolism boosting, muscle building, and fat burning workouts.

If you’re looking for some great dumbbell routines or intense home fitness workouts, then I suggest you check out the Turbulence Training Members Section. The creator of Turbulence Training, Craig Ballantyne, comes out with 1-2 intense workouts per month. You may find the perfect routine for you in this members section. Right now, you can actually get all of his workouts for a low price of $19.95! Click here to learn more.

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Build Muscle and Lose Fat with Turbulence Training Meatheads 5

Everyone want’s to do it, but no one knows how to. I’m talking about building muscle and losing fat at the same time. Well, Craig Ballantyne knows how to do it, and he’s going to show you in his brand new program: Turbulence Training for Meatheads 5

On his blog, he reviewed 3 recent studies that prove to you that you CAN build muscle and lose fat at the same time. Here they are:

Study #1 shows men gained muscle & lose body fat after an 8 week training program


In fact, in this study, the subjects used a 6-day per week weight training program (designed by yours truly) while taking either a creatine + sugar supplement or a protein + sugar supplement.

Both groups gained muscle – in fact, the creatine group gained 9 pounds of lean mass in 8 weeks – and I’ve yet to find another study that beats this. So I’m proud to say my workout has resulted in the largest research-recorded gains in lean mass.

And both groups decreased their body fat percentage.

Now you might say, “that doesn’t prove you can gain muscle and lose fat mass at the same time”, and I’ll agree with you. But if you gain muscle and decrease your body fat percentage, you’ll still look great and have more confidence at the beach.

Reference:
Creatine-dextrose and protein-dextrose induce similar strength gains during training. Tarnopolsky MA, Parise G, Yardley NJ, Ballantyne CS, Olatinji S, Phillips SM. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2001 33(12):2044-52.

Study #2 shows men and women over the age of 60 can do it too!


You might also be saying, “Yeah, but those were young men. I’m almost/over 40. So this won’t work for me.”

And if you are, you’ll be shocked – and delighted – by the results of this study:

Men and women with an average age of 62 performed a simple strength training circuit 3 days per week for 12 weeks, gaining 4 pounds of lean mass while losing 4 pounds of fat mass.

No changes in diet. No addition of interval training. Powerful stuff!

No excuses.

Reference:
Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Apr;85(4):1005-13. Resistance training and dietary protein: effects on glucose tolerance and contents of skeletal muscle insulin signaling proteins in older persons. Iglay HB, Thyfault JP, Apolzan JW, Campbell WW.

Study #3 shows women can gain muscle and lose fat to look sexier.


I’m not going to lie…I prefer an athletic female body over a skinny female body. Figure skaters and girls who play soccer and basketball top my list.

Girls with some muscle are super hot – every guy knows that.

Now back to the research…

In this study, girls did 5 days per week of strength training (and NO cardio) while drinking a liter of milk after each workout (I know, that’s a lot of milk!) and they were able to gain 4.2 pounds of lean mass while losing 3.5 pounds of fat!

So study #3 that proves you can gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. If I find more research on this, I promise I’ll send it over.

Reference:
Med Sci Sports Exerc. Body Composition and Strength Changes in Women with Milk and Resistance Exercise. Josse AR, Tang JE, Tarnopolsky MA, Phillips SM.

As you can see, it IS possible to pack on lean muscle mass and lose fat at the same time. If this is your goal, you need to check out Craig’s Latest program: Turbulence Training for Meatheads 5

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At Home Cardio Tricks

Amongst all this talk about steady state cardio vs. interval cardio, there are a group of people who actually ENJOY steady state cardio. Well if you enjoy it, then you should absolutely do it.

But, you must also realize that you can get results without doing slow, steady state cardio. That’s what Turbulence Training is all based on: strength training + interval training = fat loss.

Along with those two aspects, you also need to have a solid nutrition program. These three things are the keys to sustainable fat loss. However, if you do not enjoy interval training, you can replace it with distance cardio.

There are only three reasons why you should even consider distance cardio:

  1. Do you enjoy it? If yes, then do it.
  2. Do you have the time to do it? If yes, then go for it. But the biggest excuse to not working out is a lack of time. So if you don’t have time to do 45 minutes of steady state cardio every day, the interval training is a better option for you.
  3. You must also be aware of overuse injuries. I have knee problems due to excessive running. When you do something over and over for an extended period of time, you are setting yourself up for injury.

So steady state cardio DOES work. It works for obese people who can’t train at a high intensity level. In addition bodybuilders perform lots of cardio in order to get in shape for a show.

However, some studies have shown that people actually GAIN weight during a steady state cardio program. This is because the method of training causes them to eat an additional 2-300 calories extra.

There was another Australian study that compared 20 minutes of Interval Training with 40 minutes of Steady State cardio. They found that the interval training group burned MORE calories in half the time.

So interval training has some OBVIOUS advantages of steady state cardio. There is also the fact that your body adapts to your training. So if in the beginning, 40 minutes of cardio helped burn 300 calories, a few weeks later, you will need to do more cardio to burn the same amount of calories.

Which combination of diet, training, and cardio strategies you use to achieve your dream physique is entirely up to you. Although Craig has a lot of great workouts for you to choose from, each body and personality is different.

So there’s a lot of guess and check involved in the process. But the fun part about it is the journey. Once you start exercising with the Turbulence Training method, you will be hooked for life.

If you want to do lots of cardio, then do it. But if you don’t want to do lots of steady state cardio, know that there is an alternative. However, there is no alternative to resistance training.

If you don’t like lifting weights, than you can perform bodyweight movements. But overall, resistance training needs to be part of your training regimen. It is your long term weapon against fast loss.

The other question about cardio is this: is it better to do it on an empty stomach before breakfast? The answer is no. This is actually a myth that was spread by bodybuilders. Doing cardio before bedtime is not better than doing cardio at any other time during the day.

The main idea here is that you want to train when you can. Choose one time during the day, and make it a habit. That is the only way you will achieve your goals. And as long as you focus on boosting your overall metabolic rate with interval and resistance training, you will be able to lose fat.

In fact, eating an hour or two before training might even help you burn more calories. There was another study that found that individuals who consumed 20 grams of protein before their workouts, burned more fat during the 24-hour period after their workout was completed.

So, bottom line is that just train when you can train. If cardio first thing in the morning helps you stay on track. If, however, you find doing cardio after your strength training workouts is what works best for you, then go do that.

Also, sometimes when you hit a plateau, you start thinking “Every little bit helps.” That’s true. But when you hit that plateau, there are other things you can do beside more cardio.

For example, you can go heavier with your training. You can go harder with intervals. You can tighten up with your nutrition. You can add a few more circuits throughout the week.

The possibilities are endless. But focusing on the little things such as when is the best time to do cardio, which is the best for fat loss, etc. – will not get you results. You need to keep the big picture in mind.

But you don’t need to do a workout on an empty stomach.  You can if you want to. I trained for years on an empty stomach. I don’t know how I did it, because I can’t do it now. It’s all about the habits you form.

Now I NEED to eat in the morning. I’m also a lot bigger in terms of muscles then I used to be. That could be a factor. My body needs more calories to maintain itself then I used to.

But sometimes if I need to go some place that day, I’ll be sure to wake up early, do a little interval cardio, and be off on my way. I rarely ever lift weights in the morning any more.

Wow, this post is getting long. Bottom line is look at the big picture. Start training with Craig Ballantyne’s workouts today and get an endless supply of fat loss tips. Click here to learn more about Craig’s Turbulence Training program.

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7 Important Lessons for Better At Home Ab Workouts

The following is a Guest Post from Craig Ballantyne, creator of the TT for Abs DVDs.


I just spent two and half hours reading through all your ab questions from last week and I must say I’m shocked…

…I didn’t realize how many people were still using crunches to try and get a flat stomach and six pack abs.

Unfortunately, I have bad news…doing crunches is NOT going to get you the results you want.

(Although you knew this already, of course, as so many of you also wrote in with frustration that the crunches were not working.)

So I’m going to prove today what you already knew, and that’s how you NEVER need to do crunches again…here are the 7 reasons:

1) Crunches aren’t working for you now, and didn’t in the past, so why would they work in the future?

It’s time to give them up for good.

You know the old saying about insanity? It’s doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Time to change it up!

2) Crunches are most dangerous when they are most effective.

When you are overweight, there can be a lot of resistance on the abs when you do crunches – and technically that is good…

HOWEVER, because your ab and low back muscles are weak, that’s when you use bad form and end up with a pain-in-the-neck or low back pain from crunches. CB TTBTTTrainWebLayout 4 7 Reasons NEVER to do crunches again

So even though crunches can work your abs as a beginner, they end up causing more harm than good.

As a beginner, you are much better off using the Beginner TT for Abs 4-week program AND the bonus DVD, the TT Beginner Total TorsoTraining program you get here:

3) On the other hand, crunches get LESS effective as you get leaner and fitter, because there is less resistance on the muscle and you’re now too strong to get anything out of crunches.

Here’s a dramatic demonstration of what I mean.

Take your left arm and extend it out to your side. Now clench your fist and do 20 biceps curls.

Now tell me, do you really think that will “work your biceps” and make them lean and sexy? Of course not! So why would the same high-rep method of crunches work for your abs? It won’t, of course.

4) A couple of years ago, Men’s Health magazine made a big deal about a research study proving you would need to do 20,000 crunches to burn 1 pound of belly fat. Twenty thousand!

Even a “crunch fanatic” would need a few days to do 20,000 crunches. The bottom line is that ab crunches are a HUGE waste of time when you are trying to lose belly fat.

5) Even those lean, mixed martial artist guys don’t do crunches.

On the weekend, I was reading an interview with the trainer of world champion fighter, Georges St. Pierre, and the trainer explained how they don’t do crunches, but instead do anti-rotation and extension exercises for the abs.

Not sure what those are? Don’t worry, you’ll get some of those in the TT for Abs workout DVDs.

6) Interval training works your abs harder than crunches.


Whether it’s sprints or kettlebell swings, your abs will shape up faster with interval training than they will with crunches. Guaranteed.

7) Crunches don’t make your abs “pop out”.

This was a big problem mentioned in so many of your questions. A lot of TT readers had lost the fat, but still couldn’t see their abs because they didn’t “Pop out”.

Listen, crunches will never do that…but the exercises we use in the TT for Abs DVDs will, I promise.

CB HAWFSPA WL Final4 7 Reasons NEVER to do crunches again

So when you’re ready to give up crunches (like right now, right?) and use proven ab exercises and workouts, then you’re ready for the TT for Abs DVDs.

Click here to get your follow along TT for Abs workout DVDs.

See your abs soon,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Creator, TT for Abs DVDs

PS – It doesn’t matter where you live…

I can now be your in-home personal trainer with the TT for Abs DVDs.

It doesn’t matter if you live in Manilla, Hong Kong, Berlin, Rome, Rio, Montreal, Seattle, Philly, Vegas, Charleston (one of my favorite cities), any Armed Forces base around the world, Cape Town, or New Delhi, I will be there to guide you through the workouts.

PPS – Nutrition also beats crunches EVERY time.

That’s why I also filmed the Simple Nutrition DVD for you and you’ll get that DVD and manual as well as another bonus gift. Say goodbye to crunches and hello to sexy abs!

Click here to Learn more about Craig Ballantyne’s TT for Abs DVDs

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12 Minute Dumbbell Workout Plan

Getting in shape isn’t all that complicated. You don’t need a whole bunch of equipment to do it. In fact, you can even do it with just bodyweight movements.

However, if you have access to a pair of dumbbells, then you can get even more results. Here’s a great workout you can do with just a pair of dumbbells:

Craig has an entire series of great 10,12 and 15 minute workouts you can do with minimal equipment. These are for super-busy people. Grab one of these programs based on how much time you have to workout and start getting results today!

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