Why Cardio Doesn’t Work for Fat Loss

Posted by Nigel Jeal | Posted in Articles, Cardio, Diet, Fitness, Information | Posted on 11-05-2011-05-2008


By: Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

Cardio exercise is such a strange thing. In theory, it should work
so perfectly well for all men and women, but as anyone who has
tried it knows, the practicality of it just doesn’t add up.

After all, some men and women do cardio 6 hours, 9 hours, or more per week, and still have belly fat to burn. On the other hand, it works just fine for others.

British researchers wanted to get more insight into this paradox, and studied 35 overweight men and women, who weren’t previously exercising.

(Reference: International Journal of Obesity 32: 177-184, 2008).

Subjects exercised 5 times per week for 12 weeks. That’s a lot of
exercise, but it helped the subjects lose an average of 8.2 pounds, which is great – I was positively surprised by the results.

So cardio will work for some people, however, in my experience, it works best in young men, who need the help the least!

Back to the study, the variance in fat loss between individuals was huge. Check this out…

The best subject lost a staggering 32.3 pounds in 12 weeks, while the worst subject actually GAINED 3.74 pounds.

The scientists think they know where things went sour. They
classified the subjects into 2 groups, called the “Compensators”
and the “Non-compensators”.

The Compensators were hungrier, and as a result consumed an extra 268 calories per day, all but wiping out their cardio efforts.

Therefore, the Compensators lost the least amount of weight, and scientists believe that was due to the huge “compensatory” increase in appetite experienced by this group.

Does your appetite increase when you do slow cardio? If it does,
research shows it will ruin your cardio efforts.

So if your cardio program is not working for you, check your
appetite and calorie intake to see if you are “compensating” for
your efforts. If you are, you might be better off using a program
of high-intensity resistance and interval training (i.e. Turbulence Training) for your weight loss efforts.

As Australian Professor Steve Boucher has shown in research,
interval training increases hormones called catecholamines. And
increased catecholamines can reduce appetite, among other fat-
burning benefits.

In the real world, few people lose 33 pounds after 12 weeks of
cardio. Heck, few even achieve an average weight loss of 8 pounds with aerobic exercise.

So again, check your appetite, and consider giving high-intensity
exercise a go for your next workout program.


Beat the curse of cardio with high-intensity Turbulence Training.

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Author, Turbulence Training

5 Simple Tips to Build More Muscle and Lose Fat at the Same Time

Posted by Nigel Jeal | Posted in Abs, Articles, Cardio, Fitness | Posted on 02-05-2011-05-2008


By Craig Ballantyne
Certified Turbulence Trainer

I was recently in Chicago at a seminar doing the “road warrior” and I used the hotel
gym to do Workout D from my current personal 4-week program.

My workout went like this:

Big Shoulder Warm-up (I have a video on my youtube channel showing what I do)

1A) DB 1-Arm Shoulder Press – 3×6
1B) Chin-up – 3×8-12 with a 4 second eccentric (lowering phase)

2A) Seated Row – 3×12
2B) DB Rear-Deltoid Raise – 3×15

This gives your upper back a pump, which is weird if you’ve never had one before.

3A) DB Triceps Extensions – 4×8
3B) Supersetted with stretching and more shoulder mobility exercises like stick-ups.

That was it. Nothing too crazy, because it was a hotel gym. I always plan my Workout D
to be light and “portable”, because I never know where I’m going to be at the end of the
week, but I’m almost never in a gym with barbells.

Obviously that program focuses on building upper body muscle.

And building muscle has been a big topic on the TT Member’s forum lately, from both
men AND women.

I recently answered a member’s question and gave him 5 ways to tweak a traditional
Turbulence Training workout to get more muscle building from it.

Here’s what I said…

1. Stop doing interval training.

Listen, you’re not going to lose your fitness or cardiovascular health benefits if you stop
interval training for 4 weeks. It’s not a big deal.

If you want to build muscle, intervals will not be a big help.

So stop intervals, or at the very least cut the interval workouts in half, or even better,
just do 1 interval training session per week.

2. Add 200-300 calories to your post workout meal.

You know the drill here. Your muscles are hungry to replace the carbohydrates burned
during the training session, and your muscles need some – not 50grams – but some
protein – 20 grams is enough.

3. Add 200 calories to breakfast.

If you are coming off a low-calorie fat loss diet – let’s say 1800 calories – then adding
500 total (split between after your workout and at breakfast) will be a good place to start
your “muscle building while keeping fat off” efforts.

4. Keep off-day activity light. I recommend doing extra foam rolling, mobility moves,
light bodyweight training, stretching and just walking around. The great thing is that
you can split this up, so you don’t have to do it all in one session. You can do a morning
walk, some stretches before work, some shoulder mobility exercises at lunch or breaktime,
and a little bodyweight circuit before or after dinner. Again, check out my youtube
channel for over 200 exercise videos – lots of ideas at www.youtube.com/cbathletics

5. Finally, the extreme tweak – Do resistance training up to 4 days per week.

Stop all intervals. Switch to an A-B-Off-A-B-Off-Off routine, doing only resistance training.

Use TT2K4 for this, from the main Turbulence Training manual here:


The first thing to note about this program is that it is an Upper-Lower split.

So you can adapt it to a muscle building program by using it on an A-B-Off-A-B-Off-Off
type schedule and by removing the interval training.

BUT only follow this for 3 weeks because you would be doing the workouts 6 times each.

Also, if you do that, take OUT the shoulder press from one of the Workout B sessions to
cut back on shoulder training a little.

Here’s workout A from TT2K4

1A) DB Incline Press – 6 repetitions
No rest.
1B) DB Rear-Deltoid Raise – 10 repetitions
Rest 1 minute & repeat 2 more times for a total of 3 supersets.

2A) DB Row – 6 repetitions per side
No rest.
2B) DB Floor Press – 8 repetitions
Rest 1 minute & repeat 2 more times for a total of 3 supersets.

3A) DB Triceps Extension – 8 repetitions
No rest.
3B) DB Incline Curl – 8 repetitions
Rest 1 minute & repeat 2 more times for a total of 3 supersets.


Get the complete Turbulence Training manual here:


Five simple tweaks to a proven workout system that will help you build muscle,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Certified Turbulence Trainer

PS – This would be a perfect program to use in the 11th TT Transformation Contest.