New Workout Study Proves Bodyweight Exercises Are Better Than Cardio

Posted by Nigel Jeal | Posted in Articles, Cardio, Fitness | Posted on 23-12-2012-05-2008


Each week Craig Ballantyne, Certified Turbulence Trainer, scours hundreds of magazines, websites, videos, scientific research papers, hard copy books, and even university textbooks to uncover new ways of training to add to his TT workouts.

And recently he uncovered one NEW workout-boosting trick that is a GAME CHANGER for fat loss. Not only does it make your future fat burning workouts and bodyweight exercises even more effective, it does so in just minutes per workout.

From Craig:

Can 4 minutes of bodyweight exercises (like burpees) work just as well as traditional 30-minute cardio workouts?

Researchers from Queen’s University say it can…

In their study, published in “Applied Physiology Nutrition and Metabolism”, the scientists had 22 college-aged women do 4 workouts per week for 4 weeks, splitting them into one of three groups:

-Group A did 30 minutes of treadmill running at 85% max heart rate.

-Group B did 8 rounds of 20 seconds of a single exercise (burpees, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, or squat thrusts) with 10 seconds of rest between rounds, for a total of 4 minutes.

-Group C did nothing (they were the non-training control group).

Here were their shocking results…

Despite training just 1/7th of the time, Group B increased their aerobic fitness levels by the SAME amount (about 7-8%) as Group A.

That’s right… even the short, intense, bodyweight workouts were equally as effective as 30 minutes of boring cardio.

Now here’s where the study gets interesting…

First, Group B was the only group to INCREASE their muscular endurance in common exercises like chest presses, leg extensions, sit-ups, and push-ups.

Second, these unconventional bodyweight workouts resulted in members of Group B reporting GREATER overall workout enjoyment.

And that was just from one 4-minute blast of bodyweight exercises.

I know you’ll get TRIPLE the results, or more, when you use the Turbulence Training versions of the system … not to mention these workouts can be done from ANYWHERE you want.

Get the complete TT 20-10 Bodyweight Revolution Program with this Special Holiday Deal

Easy Ways To Lose Weight

Posted by Nigel Jeal | Posted in Articles, Fitness | Posted on 22-10-2012-05-2008


If you are looking for easy ways to lose weight, let’s just stop right here. You need to know that there is no magic potion for losing excess poundage. You are going to have to work at it, especially if you have more than just a few pounds to lose.

You can make it easier on yourself by telling yourself you are going to lose the weight no matter what. Just like breaking an old bad habit and choosing a quit date, choose a start date for your new good habit of nutrition and exercise.

Before your start date arrives, begin keeping a journal of what you eat and what exercise you get during the day. This will help you make the changes you need to make in order to lose the weight.

Get a book that shows you the amount of calories in the food you eat. Use this to create a meal plan that is no more than 1500 – 1700 calories a day and plan out five small meals each day with each meal approximately 300 calories each. Your body can process up to 500 calories per meal depending on your fitness level otherwise, the food you eat gets stored as fat.

When looking for easy ways to lose weight, know that you must take in fewer calories than your body thinks it needs on a daily basis. Add a 30 minute walk in there three times a week and you have yourself a recipe for success.

Walking is actually the best thing for you when you want to lose weight fast. You can incorporate the use of ankle and wrist weights when you get further along and are in better shape. Using weights will up the level of difficulty and help you burn more fat with each step.

Your metabolism plays a key role in whether you lose weight or gain weight. The slower your metabolism the more weight you will gain and the faster your metabolism the more weight you will lose. Never, ever starve yourself. If you try to starve yourself your body will go into survival mode and hold on to what it’s got making it virtually impossible for you to lose any weight. You have got to eat to lose weight.

Start your day and metabolism off right and have a good healthy breakfast. Follow the meal plan you have made and pack your snacks and a lunch for when you are at work then when you get home have a nice healthy supper. If you find it necessary you can have one more snack before bedtime. Eating every two to three hours will keep your metabolism in high gear and help you lose weight naturally.

So set a start date and when it comes, begin creating the new you. Do not forget to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Once you begin and start seeing results you will realize that you have found the easy ways to lose weight and you do not need any of those fad diets or supposed magic potions.

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment and we’ll get back to you. Thanks for reading.



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Magical Weight Loss Foods

Posted by Nigel Jeal | Posted in Articles, Diet, Fitness | Posted on 10-09-2012-05-2008


When all is said and done there is still only one way to lose weight. You have to burn off more calories than you take in. Exercise is an important part of that equation, but we are going to take a look at some foods that can help you achieve your weight loss goals.

As a general rule weight loss foods are those that make you feel fuller without adding all kinds of empty calories. Adding these foods to your diet on a regular basis will help you to lose weight faster. Here are some of the top contenders.

Beans are at the top of list for several reasons. They come in many varieties, meaning they’re versatile and you don’t have to get bored eating them every day. They are low in fat, but very satisfying. They are packed with protein. And they contain plenty of fiber, which not only adds to how full you feel, but also reduces your risk for several diseases. The only thing you have to watch out for are re fried beans that have extra fat added, and canned beans that are too high in sodium. But you’ll be doing yourself a tasty favor by eating any variety of dried beans.

Whole grains. There’s one change you can make in your diet that’s very easy: stop eating refined grains. The “refining” process gets rid of most of the good stuff, making them so void of nutrition that they actually have to re-add nutrients to make the process complete. All of that so our bread and rice can be pure white. To be blunt, it’s ridiculous. Start eating whole grains to get the full nutrition nature put there in the first place.

Olive oil (or any other oil high in monounsaturated fat). Surprised? Yes, it still has many calories as any other kind of fat (9 calories per gram) but fat adds to the feeling of fullness. It also adds a nice flavor to many different foods. Besides olive oil is one of the healthiest fats that you can. So, while it may seem to be a lot of calories up front, the amount of calories you eat later will actually go down because it’s so satisfying.

Oatmeal is another one of the best weight loss foods out there. A few years ago it got some good press for being able to reduce cholesterol. It’s true, it is. But did you know that it has about the same amount of soluble and insoluble fiber? Again, it makes you feel fuller and is good for your overall health. Plus, it’s low in calories. Most people think of oatmeal as a breakfast food, but it has a flavor that works well with many different foods. Therefore, it can be incorporated into any number of dishes throughout the day.

There are many more weight loss foods, no question about it. But the four mentioned above will give you a great start on losing weight. Keep trying to reduce the bad foods, and increase the good ones and your waistline and health will be the better for it.

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment and we’ll get back to you. Thanks for reading.



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Why Fat Loss Is Easy: Advanced Tips to Burn Belly Fat

Posted by Nigel Jeal | Posted in Articles, Diet, Fitness, Nutrition | Posted on 20-06-2012-05-2008


Why is it EASY to burn belly fat? If it were so easy, wouldn’t everyone be able to do it? Well, everyone IS able to do it. Take a look at the amazing transformation stories you see in magazines. They are just everyday people like you and I…the only difference is the commitment they made to following advanced fat loss tips.

Fat loss is easy once you realize how hard it is. Once you understand that you can’t get the body of your dreams from walking an extra flight of stairs each day, you’ll realize that you have to get serious about your nutrition and strength and interval workouts. Once you do that, the fat will come off fast!

If you want advanced results, you must use advanced fat loss methods. End of story. There are no magic pills or potions.

Here are 3 more tips that will help you burn belly fat and breakthrough your fat loss plateau…

1) Eat 8 times per day.

In the past 5-10 years, it’s become common knowledge that we should all eat smaller, more frequent meals. In fact, one study from 2005 showed that doing so helped reduce cholesterol and burn more calories than eating 2-3 meals per day.

And so for our advanced fat loss approach, we’re going to bump that up to 8 meals per day. Here’s how you would do that:

Mid-morning snack
Afternoon snack
Evening snack

With each meal and snack (except pre- & post-workout) focusing on lean protein, healthy fats, and fiber-rich vegetables and fruit (for pre- and post-workout, stick with 20g protein and a half-serving of fruit).

Start your day immediately with 2 cups of water, 3 fish oil caps, and 20g of lean protein, and then have your a fiber-rich breakfast. This meal will help dictate your blood sugar for the rest of the morning and into the afternoon. So if you blow it on breakfast, you’ve might actually have blown it for the entire day.

(And if you workout at other times of the day, just adjust the schedule and move about the pre- and post-workout meals).

2) Eat more fiber-rich vegetables at each meal.

This means broccoli with your omelet, spinach at lunch, and peppers and asparagus at dinner. Other ways to get more green include snacking on raw pieces of broccoli and peppers all day. Aim for 8 servings of green, fiber-rich vegetables over the course of the day.

This is no time to be a child and tell me you don’t like vegetables. Listen, if you can pay your taxes and show up to work on time, you can eat more vegetables.

3) Eat only protein, healthy fats, & fiber between meals.

Here’s a sample snack plan:

– 20g lean protein (from a quality protein shake or 1/2 chicken breast

– 1/2 – 1 oz almonds (22 almonds in an ounce)

– cut up pieces of broccoli or an apple

– And enjoy some Green Tea at this time as well, in addition to a glass of water.


So those are some tips to take your fat loss plan into the advanced stages.

Now obviously, if you are struggling to just not eat at McDonalds today, then we won’t expect you to follow this plan precisely. But if you set your mind to it, you can make incredible changes in your body.

As I recently said to a client…

“Remember that you are eating for the long-term. Think about what you are putting into your body and the effect that your nutrition will have on your body over the long term. Think about how much better you will feel (immediately) and how you’ll have more energy and be able to think better just by eating better.”

“Think about the positives of eating whole, natural foods rather than the synthetic, artificially preserved foods that are far too common in our diets today.”

“Try and make a small improvement in your eating everyday. You will thank yourself for it tomorrow.”

Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men’s Health and Oxygen magazines. His trademarked Turbulence Training for Fat Loss have helped thousands of men and women with weight loss and fat burning in less than 45 minutes three times per week. Turbulence Training for Fat Loss workouts help you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment. Craig’s bodyweight workouts for fat loss help you lose fat without any equipment at all.

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Diabetes – Death by Sugar All Around the World

Posted by Nigel Jeal | Posted in Articles, Diet, Fitness, Nutrition | Posted on 10-06-2012-05-2008


Due in part to many reasons, the whole world, on average, is getting bigger & fatter every year. At present:

* More than 300 million adults worldwide are obese.

* Almost half of these individuals live in developed countries and as many as 23% of American adults are obese.

* Obesity results in $100 billion in healthcare costs each year in the United States.

* Obesity results in 300,000 preventable deaths each year in the United States.

* Obesity nearly doubles your chances of developing high blood pressure.

* Nearly 70 % of cardiovascular disease cases are related to obesity!

* The U.S. Surgeon General has developed a national action plan to reduce obesity.


The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

The National Institute of Health

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention

The National Women’s Health Resource Center

A recent study from the journal Public Health reported obesity as being a greater health risk than smoking, drinking or poverty. Obesity was more closely associated with major illnesses and a poorer quality-of-life in comparison to people that smoked, drank, or lived in poverty. Researchers found that half of the people who are obese have an additional chronic condition such as heart disease, cancer or diabetes. This study was based on a telephone survey of 10,000 Americans and used only body mass index to assess obesity and overweight. Regardless, the results are cause for great concern.

You must also keep in mind that some individuals may fit into more than one category, and sometimes even all of the categories. However, the researchers stated that more people are overweight or obese than are, collectively, daily smokers, problem drinkers or living below the poverty line. Of course, being in more than one category puts your health status at an even greater disadvantage.

Obesity is a huge burden on the health care system now and will be even more so in the near future. It is a largely a preventable disease however it is a medical condition in many cases. This is very unfortunate but it is not something that should be dismissed as static. You can make a change or you can help someone make a change toward healthier living. One of the authors said the survey “demonstrates that public health officials should intensify their fight against obesity to levels that at least match the public health campaign against smoking”.

Sturm, R., and K. Wells. Does obesity contribute as much to morbidity as poverty or smoking? Public Health. 115(3): 229-235, 2001.

Unfortunately, this is not a joke, and it’s definitely no laughing matter. There are a large number of Internet resources for more information on either subject, such as and The newsletters from the American Diabetes Association have provided a wealth of knowledge (and many statistics and research facts in this article).

Type 2 Diabetes (T2-D) is associated with a marked impairment in the ability of the hormone insulin to stimulate glucose uptake in skeletal muscle. Most diabetic patients are obese and have high blood levels of lipids (fats) and glucose (sugar). Both of these blood levels can contribute to insulin resistance. Correct insulin is necessary for the cells of the body to pull sugar (glucose) from the blood to use as energy. Thus, it is a negative cycle (high blood glucose leads to insulin resistance and insulin resistance leads to high blood glucose!). Over the long-term, high blood glucose levels can lead to damage of the eyes, kidneys, nerves and heart.

Fortunately, while diabetes is serious, it is largely preventable and is also possible to control with lifestyle modifications, although it can’t be “cured”. Patients can learn to take care of their diabetes by decreasing their blood glucose levels through nutritional and exercise interventions and subsequent reductions in body fat. In fact, with weight loss, exercise, and better nutrition, many diabetics can greatly reduce (or eliminate) the need for medications. Any treatments should be discussed with a medical professional before changes are initiated.

However, enough optimism, it’s time to look at the hard facts and the sad state of diabetes in North American (and the rest of the world).

* T2-D affects 140 million people worldwide.

* 16 million Americans have diabetes.

* Diabetes is the 6th leading cause of death by disease in America.

* In America, the total annual cost of diabetes to the nation is more than $100 billion.

* ~25% of all Medicare costs are spent on people with diabetes.

* Obesity is the most important determinant of insulin resistance.

* No one is able to escape the effects of diabetes (i.e. death of family and friends; financial; health care costs; etc.).

The chance of death due to diabetes is increasing primarily due to cardiovascular disease. More depressing is the fact that the risk of death increases with lower socio-economic status, likely because these people are less educated, and due to the fact that you can buy loads of saturated fat and sugar for a couple of bucks just about anywhere. Cardiovascular disease sucks. Having been a spectator of an open-heart surgery at the foot of the operating table, it is clear that no one who has the choice would want to go through that ordeal. Imagine your chest ripped open, your heart fixed up, and your chest sewn up with wire. Bring on the morphine.


The most disturbing issue surrounding diabetes is the impact that it is having in adolescents and in specific ethnic groups. Nowhere is it more sad or obvious as to what harm a sedentary lifestyle and a fast food nutritional intake can have on a person’s health than in children. Overweight children are becoming more common, health problems are greater, and T2-D is being seen more and more at younger ages. Risk factors for overweight kids include overweight parents, high-fat diets, watching too much television, and being from poor families.

Unfortunately, overweight children often simply become overweight adults. Because it is difficult for people to lose body fat as one grows older, public health experts hope that preventing excess weight gain in children will avert health problems later in life. Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that American adolescents are developing T2-D. However it is difficult to detect T2-D in children because rarely do they show symptoms (these take years to manifest). Thus, it is extremely important to initiate educational, nutritional, and physical activity programs as soon as possible at all socio-economic levels.


Overall, the number of American diabetics increased at least 33% over the 1990’s and as obesity continues to increase, so will diabetes. Unfortunately, this impacts certain ethnic groups to a greater extent than others. For example, Native American Indians have a very, very high number of T2-diabetics in their communities (3 three times the national average). African Americans may have an even higher rate of diabetes (10.8% of all African Americans – 2.3 million). It is hoped that educating these peoples on nutrition and physical activity will help combat the disease.


American’s fat consumption has decreased over several decades from 40 % to 34 %, however the rate of obesity has risen from 12 % in 1991 to at least 23% today. This may be due in part to the vague “official” nutritional recommendations and the massive fast food industry. The general public believes in a low fat and high carbohydrate diet, however they don’t know that there are both good and bad fats and good and bad carbohydrates.

In fact, some research shows that neither the total amount of fat or carbohydrate a person consumes can predict diabetes. Researchers suggest it may not be the quantity of fat or carbohydrate that you eat, but rather the quality. Improving the quality of your food intake and monitoring the quantity will help prevent against overweight and obesity.

Hu et al. (2001a) have written a tremendous paper on the role of nutrition in diabetes. They found that for carbohydrates, one should consume more low-glycemic carbohydrates and a high fiber content. In contrast, everyone should consume minimal refined flour products to prevent large increases in blood sugar and insulin after meals.

Recommended carbohydrate foods are oatmeal, whole unrefined grains, fibrous vegetables, apples, and other fibrous fruits, while breads and sugar based foods (soda, candy, etc.) should be eliminated. In diabetic individuals, a diet of low-glycemic carbohydrates can improve blood sugar control and if you are obese, you should absolutely eliminate all high-glycemic carbohydrates from your diet. In fact, a meal of high-glycemic foods does not cause people to feel full, and may lead to more eating! In summary, this relationship has been established: High-glycemic carbohydrates develop obesity, and obesity develops diabetes.

In their thorough review, Hu et al. (2001a) also found that a high intake of saturated fat and trans-fatty acids likely promote diabetes. In contrast, an increase in a person’s intake of poly-unsaturated fat and Omega-3 fatty acids could help prevent diabetes. It is wise to decrease consumption of saturated fats (animal fats), margarine, butter and hydrogenated vegetable oils (i.e. the oil that french fries are cooked in). Salmeron et al. (2001) recommend decreasing your intake of trans-fatty acids (hydrogenated vegetable oils) by replacing them with non-hydrogenated polyunsaturated fatty acids will help decrease your risk of T2-D. One place to start is reducing your intake of fast food.

In replacement, everyone should try to consume more fish oils and non-hydrogenated vegetable oils (i.e. olive oil). Most of the research presented is based on association. For example, in the Netherlands, diets containing a lot of fish are associated with lower risks of diabetes. Researchers suggest that one must follow the correct diet for a long time (i.e. make it part of your lifestyle) in order to see benefits. For example, fish oils (Omega-3 fatty acids) have benefits for “cell membranes” and help insulin function properly, however this will not happen overnight just because you had a salmon steak!

Basically, a typical “Westernized” diet should be avoided. All the negatives (i.e. saturated animal fats and sugars) seem to be associated with one another (i.e. they are all found in your typical fast food meal). In reality, everyone should try to:

* Decrease animal fat (saturated fats) and hydrogenated cooking oils.

* Increase fish and flax oils (poly-unsaturated Omega-3 fatty acids) and vegetable oils.

* Decrease high-glycemic carbohydrate intake. Don’t drink regular soda!

* Increase fiber from whole grains

* Increase fruit and vegetable consumption

At the 2001 ENDOCRINE SOCIETY meeting, alternative treatments of T2-D were recommended by Arsenis and Goettelman. In this study, diabetic patients reduced animal protein intake from 2-3 times a day to once every other day (vegetable protein was substituted) and stopped all consumption of plain sugars. Patients liked the new diet and the fact that they did not have to fast, take low calorie diets or receive appetite suppressants. The metabolic profile of many patients improved and it even helped some to stop using certain medications. The authors concluded that the reduction of animal protein and sugars help to improve the quality of life and metabolic profile of diabetic patients.


In addition to diet, another contributing factor to obesity is that 60 % of Americans don’t get enough activity and 25 % get NO activity. A recent study examined almost 40000 males over the age of 40 and how the amount of TV they watch relates to their T2-D risk (Hu et al., 2001a). Researchers showed that more TV was significantly associated with higher risk for diabetes and that increased physical activity is associated with less risk for diabetes.

The key point is that if people get up and moving that they may be able to decrease their risk of diabetes. This information should be applied towards youths as well. In addition, for obese people, simply losing 5-10 pounds can have a dramatic positive effect on their health!

Even inadequate sleep can have an effect on diabetes according to research from the lab of Dr. Eve Van Cauter.

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 Mens Fitness and Maximum Fitness magazines and all over the Internet, 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

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Burn 16.2 Calories Per Minute With Bodyweight Exercises

Posted by Nigel Jeal | Posted in Articles, Cardio, Fitness | Posted on 28-05-2012-05-2008


By Craig Ballantyne, CTT
Certified Turbulence Trainer

In a recent study funded by the American Council of Exercise, researchers found bodyweight training can burn up to 16.2 calories per minute in men and 13 calories/minute in women. (That’s equivalent to running faster than 7 miles per hour.)

And now, almost everywhere in the world, is the best time of year for backyard bodyweight training. Why just last Monday morning I was doing push-ups and practicing my “Monkey Bar-ing” for the June 9th Tough Mudder race that I’ve entered.

Of course, bodyweight training is also perfect for those times when you are stuck indoors, as I was in a New Jersey hotel earlier this month.

The hotel gym was easily in the 5 worst I’ve ever visited, and so I slipped into an instant classic bodyweight workout in my hotel room.

That’s where I created one of the two new “5 rounds of 5” bodyweight cardio circuits from the NEW TT Bodyweight Cardio 5 program that is now available for all TT Members. (Just log-in and visit the download area to grab your copy.)

The 5 rounds of 5 left me dripping with sweat despite the air conditioning being cranked in the hotel room.

It’s liberating to be able to ditch the equipment and use unique exercises for maximum fat loss and conditioning. That’s why the bodyweight cardio program series remains so popular year after year.

Smart folks, like you, have had enough of the slow cardio propaganda. You know there is a better way, you know there are better workouts. You love the past bodyweight cardio programs and you’re ready for a new challenge.

The 2nd 5 rounds of 5 challenge uses my patented “Gauntlet” exercise system and is also guaranteed to burn a lot of calories in a short time – so that you get lean and ripped.

And finally, there’s even a new “Bodyweight Cardio 500” challenge workout featuring a 500-rep test of your fitness.

Enjoy the new program.

NOTE: If you’re not a TT Member, here’s what you need to do.

Just go to this page and you’ll get my best bodyweight deal ever on the 101 Bodyweight Exercises System PLUS you’ll get 30-days free access to the member’s area where you can download Bodyweight Cardio 5 and ask me your training and nutrition questions on the forum. Get it here:

Bring on the bodyweight conditioning

Abs Are Made in the Kitchen

Posted by Nigel Jeal | Posted in Articles, Diet, Fitness, Nutrition | Posted on 27-05-2012-05-2008


Abs are made in the kitchen. That’s a popular phrase going around the fitness world these days.

Well, it sounds nice, but it really isn’t true (unless you have some really weird home gym set-up).

The truth is, your abs are still made in the gym from the exercises you do. But your abs certainly can be defined by what you do in the kitchen in terms of nutrition.

After all, you can do all the ab-building exercises you want, but if you aren’t eating for fat loss, then you are never going to see your abs.

So is your nutrition good enough to get the job done?

If not, what’s your excuse? Not enough time, right? Or on the go too much, and your options are a greasy cheeseburger or a slice of pizza?

Well let me tell you, nutrition planning is one of the keys to fat loss. If you don’t plan ahead, don’t expect to burst through any fat loss plateaus any time soon.

And that’s why today, Sunday, is the answer to the problem. Because today, assuming you work a M-F job, you have the time to plan your meals, go to the grocery store, and prepare your meal plan for the week.

And don’t tell me this is too much work. You can easily accomplish this in 2 hours. One hour to get to the grocery store and back, and the other hour to prepare your meat and vegetables for the rest of the week. For more information on how to prepare your weekly nutrition, and for a copy of my shopping list, click here.

Abs can be yours if you are consistent.

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 Mens Fitness and Maximum Fitness magazines and all over the Internet, 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

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How to Have a More Productive Day

Posted by Nigel Jeal | Posted in Articles, Fitness, Time Management | Posted on 13-05-2012-05-2008


I get a lot of emails asking how I find the time to write an article every day.

2 reasons:

1) I type fast


2) I make my day as productive as possible.

Here’s how to make your day more productive.

Step 1 – Get up earlier.

And yes, that requires going to sleep earlier. But I’m not talking an hour or two…but only 10 or 20 minutes earlier per day.

The extra 20 minutes are magic time…the time in morning when I, as many people do, get more done than they do in several hour blocks at other points later in the day. So get up sleepyhead, and use the solitude to take care of business.

(And when you get into work, do the same. Get in early, get straight to work, and you’ll find yourself ahead of the crowd in no time.)

Step 2 – Water x 2

Water plays an important role in getting my morning off to a fast start. First, I drink 2 cups of cold water to wash down 3 fish oil capsules. Then I start on breakfast (oatmeal, protein, berries, yogurt, and nuts) while sitting down to answer the emails you’ve sent me overnight.

Getting up 10 minutes earlier to answer these emails has made a huge difference in my productivity. No question. Consider doing the same for yourself.

The second role of water is the shower. People are more creative around running water. And I’m not the first to say this…Matt Furey has brought this up as well, saying that he gets a lot of his ideas when surrounded by water…there must be something about being in water that stimulates the mind.

So powerful are the effects of water on my creativity that I literally have to write the ideas down as soon as I get out of the shower. Once that water stops running, the ideas start to vanish…

Now the only thing that compares in terms of idea stimulation, for me, is exercise. So when you workout, take a note pad – not only to record your workout but to brainstorm and problem solve.

Step 3 – Nutrition

I’ve started the day with the healthiest supplement possible – fish oil, and I eat protein, fiber, berries, and nuts to start my day – giving me the fiber to control my appetite and blood sugar till the next meal.

Step 4 – Green Tea

Do not pass go. Do not stop at Starbucks. Do not collect your regular caffeine-loaded beverage. Instead, brew your own organic Green Tea to provide you with a lower dose of caffeine (or none at all if you get naturally de-caffeinated Green Tea). Army researchers have found that smaller amounts of caffeine delivered at more frequent intervals lead to better performance. Don’t overdose on caffeine every morning.

And if you get a headache without your morning cup of coffee, congratulations! You’re addicted to the world’s most common drug. And you might want to do something about that…

Step 5 – A Steady Supply of Protein, Healthy Fats, and Fiber
Self-explanatory by now, I should hope! Snack on almonds, lean protein sources, fibrous vegetables, an apple, etc. over the morning to keep mentally sharp.

Step 6 – Bodyweight Energizer Bunny

Remember the secret to instant energy when you hit the a mid-morning motivational slump…

10 reps of the Y-Squat – This is a bodyweight squat with your hands held up in a “Y” position.

Step 7 – Don’t let lunch rob you of your mental energy
Unless you want to go straight from lunch into an hour-long productivity-destroying nap, then lay off the breaded veal sandwiches at lunch.

Stick to the program: lean protein, fibrous green vegetables, Green Tea, healthy fats, etc. Avoid these mental buzz killers: soda, pizza, a lot of bread, french fries, desserts, and so on.

If you want to run an elite mental engine, you have to burn high-performance fuel.

Step 8 – Lose Fat & You Will Make More Money
Now that’s an unconventional way to increase productivity.

But welcome to the harsh reality of size-ism.

Research shows that overweight men and women make less money than their normal weight colleagues. While the world is not fair, you can even the playing field by eating and exercising properly.

The healthy lifestyle and workouts will help lose fat, while increasing your creativity and productivity. I smell promotion.

So let’s leave it there for today…because if you aren’t having a massively productive morning by now, then I’m not convinced you even get up before noon.

Now go be productive!

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 Mens 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

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Fat Loss Secrets of Fitness Models

Posted by Nigel Jeal | Posted in Articles, Fitness, Nutrition | Posted on 24-03-2012-05-2008


Fat loss is easy once you understand how hard it is.

Once you realize that fat loss is hard work, and not just as easy as eating some celery, drinking really cold water, and slamming down some “metabolism boosters”, that’s when you’ll really start to get results.

When you accept sticking to your nutrition program will take effort, only then will you start planning and preparing your nutrition to meet your fat loss goals.

Same with exercise. When you understand that harder workouts are more effective, then you’ll start to plan your workouts accordingly.

Over the past year I’ve interviewed over a dozen fitness models (men and women) for Oxygen and Maximum Fitness magazines, and their secrets to success are as plain as day.

They know it is going to be hard work to get ready for a photoshoot, but what do they know that you don’t know?

First, they’ve got their nutrition plans down perfectly. And when I say planned out, I don’t just mean they have a meal plan torn out of a magazine. Instead, they have their shopping lists prepared. They have time set aside for cooking, cutting, and chopping. These men and women have more than enough tupperware to store and freeze their food for the week.

Fitness models take their meals with them and aren’t so naive as to believe that they will be able to find something “healthy” at work or on the road. They are not willing to sacrifice results for convenience. They have accepted the hard work that comes with eating for fat loss. Have you?

Second, fitness models know what works – not only in the kitchen, but also in the gym. They’ve recorded their workouts, studied the effects of various exercises, rep ranges, and workout frequencies.

They have accepted that there can be NO guesswork in a fat loss workout program. That’s why fitness models plan their workouts in advance, and write down the results in a training log for analysis. If you aren’t doing that, then you’re doing nothing more than playing a workout “lottery” and hoping you’ll come up lucky.

Third, and perhaps most importantly (because it’s hard to have the first two factors without this one), fitness models surround themselves with a supportive environment and social support groups.

How many fitness models do you think are married to sedentary, overweight smokers? How many fitness models do you think hang around men and women that start drinking at 4pm every Friday?

Having the right social support group and supportive environment can make or break your fat loss program in less than a minute.

Research shows this. Experience proves this.

All it takes is a bunch of co-workers to surround you at your desk with a box of doughnuts and pressure you into “having just one”. The next thing you know its 3 days later and you haven’t had a decent meal since.

According to the research on social support for fat loss, there are at least 2 proven ways to harness the powers of others for your fat loss goals.

First, include a health professional in your social support group. This could be your doctor, a nutritionist, or a trainer that you see on a regular basis. But you need to be accountable to someone. This will work best for those of you that can’t find support among your family, friends, or co-workers.

Second, if a member of your social support group also loses weight, you’ll have a greater chance of succeeding. So try and get family members, friends, and co-workers directly involved. Get them from cheerleaders to active participants in the fight against fat.

I hope these tips help you out. If you don’t have any social support right now, by all means, send me an email on your progress and at least hold yourself accountable to me.

Get more FREE sample fat burning workouts at:

Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men’s Health and Oxygen magazines and will help you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment.

Discover more fat loss secrets to help you burn fat, do more pushups, and build ripped six pack abs in less workout time than ever before.

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Do You Hate Your Job

Posted by Nigel Jeal | Posted in Articles, Diet, Health, Nutrition | Posted on 16-02-2012-05-2008


One of my clients does.

And it is killing him.


At the very least, it is contributing to depression, frustration, and inflammation – hitting him both physically and mentally.

So not only does this stress beat him up at work, but in the gym too.

Work stress prevents him from losing fat, and contributes to the pain in his knees and back.

The worse his days at work are, the tighter his muscles and the more inflammation in his knees. Work also contributes to poor eating choices, because he just works so darn much. And that makes the inflammation even worse. It’s a vicious cycle. Inflammation is associated with many diseases, including arthritis and an increased risk of heart attacks.

So he needs to get out of this situation, ASAP. But easier said than done, right?

And ladies, don’t think this doesn’t apply to you…as quoted on Men’s the other day, “In a recent study at Yale, women who were most susceptible to stress had both higher levels of cortisol and greater abdominal fat than non-stressed women. And the ladies under stress stored fat primarily in one place: their bellies.”


You must exercise to control your stress hormones. My client always feels better after the workout. Yes it takes time, and that can add to your stress, but if you do your workout first thing in the morning, you are set. There’s no doubt that early morning workouts is the #1 workout time for busy people.

What type of workout is best? First of all, just start with anything you can stick to. That’s the best advice for you or anyone you know that “hates exercise” but needs to do it. Simply find something you like and do a little bit of it this week. Next week, you can do a little more. And so on.

That’s a good start, but a structured exercise program will give the greatest health improvements.

For structured workouts, the best, most efficient exercise approach would include strength training, interval cardio, and some meditation time. You can get all 3 components in Turbulence Training, if you make sure to include meditative static stretching at the end of your session.

One other benefit of the morning workout – It allows you to start the day with a sense of accomplishment.

So keep the TV off at night and get to bed early. Then get up early and get your workout done. Your exercise is one of many ways you can lower stress and the stress hormone cortisol.

Lowering cortisol should help to control food cravings over the course of the day, and following Dr. Mohr’s nutrition guidelines will also help you stay on track. Eating the right fats, as outlined by Dr. Mohr, will also help you optimize your hormone levels to fight fat and stress.

High-fat, high-carb meals increase inflammation…adding to the physical stress on your body. Avoid processed foods and fast foods at all costs…and just eat whole, natural foods.

Good nutrition is that simple.

So spend some time on the weekend preparing your food plan for the week, so that you don’t have to make any rush decisions for fast food meals or snacks.

Don’t eat anything with trans fats, don’t eat any processed carbs, and don’t drink any soda. And stay the heck away from fast food.

So nutritionally, there is a lot you can do to make your day go better. Same with exercise, be consistent and it will help reduce your stress and improve your health.

As for your job, if it is something you want to change, then you need to talk to the right person. You might need to find a career coach. If any readers want to pass along some career help, please let me know and I’ll share in future articles.


Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Author, Turbulence Training

P.S. Is a lack of time stressing you out?

“No time to exercise” is the #1 reason most people don’t exercise consistently. In fact, a lack of time stresses most people out for many reasons – whether it’s a lack of time to prepare good food, exercise, or be with your family.

That’s why I created Turbulence Training to be the most efficient and effective fat loss program out there.

The warm-up is applicable to your workout, not some 5-minute waste of time on the treadmill.

The strength training supersets shave minutes off your wait time.

And the intervals cut your cardio in half, or more.

“I think TT is awesome. I have seen a serious change in my overall body composition. In 12 weeks I’ve gained a lot of muscle and have lost about 10 lbs, but inches are flying off.”
Gordon M.

“The TT workouts are excellent! You have literally changed my life! I got completely burned out on single body part training and long periods of cardio. It just isn’t conducive to my life given that I work full time and have a spouse. I’m already lean but I want to maintain a high level of health and have a fit, athletic look. I have to admit that I was skeptical because the workouts were so short, but even after the first workout my skepticism disappeared in a hurry. The time flies by at the gym and the workouts have eliminated a lot of stress because if I got stuck at work and couldn’t get to the gym for “leg day” it would mess up my training schedule for the rest of the week. I also like having the option to do some body weight circuits plus I have a full range of dumbbells and a ball at home so I can get my workouts in at home.”
Janet M

Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for 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 Mens 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

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