Top 20 Superfoods

Posted by Nigel Jeal | Posted in Articles, Diet, Nutrition | Posted on 11-02-2012-05-2008


If you want to lose fat, gain muscle, and improve performance, then it makes sense to go to the experts that have achieved this with themselves and with thousands of clients. For nutrition, Dr. John Berardi is one of the experts worth listening to. Dr. Berardi is an experienced bodybuilder and University professor, and has provided us with his top 20 superfoods that we need to eat.

I ask John about nutrition every chance that I get because he knows a lot about what is arguably the most important part of the fat loss equation – nutrition.

CB: Do you suggest any superfoods that you think absolutely must be in everyone’s diet for health and wellness purposes?


Here are 20 superfoods that I think are essential in every nutrition plan.

1) Lean Red Meat (93% lean, top round, or sirloin)

2) Salmon

3) Omega 3 Eggs

4) Low-fat, plain yogurt (lactose free if you can find it)

5) Supplemental protein (milk protein isolates or rice protein concentrate if you have a milk protein intolerance/allergy)

6) Spinach

7) Tomatoes

8) Cruciferous Vegetables

9) Mixed Berries

10) Oranges

11) Mixed Beans

12) Quinoa

13) Whole Oats

14) Mixed Nuts

15) Avocados

16) Olive Oil

17) Fish Oil

18) Flax Seeds (ground)

19) Green Tea

20) Liquid Recovery drinks

If you get a few servings of each of these foods every week, you’ll be pretty close to that healthy eating intersection I keep talking about.

CB: That’s great John. I want all my readers to go through this superfoods checklist and then get these foods on their shopping lists ASAP.

Now, speaking of metabolism: what ratio of carbohydrates, fat and protein is best for fat loss or is this something that must be approached individually?


It really must be approached individually. You see, after working with thousands of clients, I’ve discovered that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to muscle gain or fat loss. There are different body types and each type requires a different prescription. For the sake of simplicity here, I’ll break individuals up into 3 types:

*Body Type #1 – The Skinny Bastard – The skinny bastard is often characterized as having a ‘fast metabolism.’

*Body Type #2 – The Fat Bastard – The fat bastard is often characterized as having a ‘slow metabolism.’

*Body Type #3 – The Plain Ol’ Bastard – The envy of all. He’s the guy that puts on muscle easily while staying lean. He grows and shrinks in proportion.

Okay, so these definitions maybe won’t find their way into Webster’s but they create a nice distinction between individuals. Now, you might be thinking that these distinctions aren’t always evident. And you’d be right. In most trainees these distinctions are quite clear. However, with proper training and nutrition, drug use, or surgery, the line can sometimes be blurred.

Drug use and surgery aside, if you don’t know which type an individual is you’ve got to find out what that person would look like with the removal of the training stimulus.

If the person would end up really thin, not appearing as if they even bothered to work out, then they’re a skinny bastard. If the would end up really fat, appearing thick but very chubby/chunky, then they’re a fat bastard. And if the person would still look like they work out, albeit a little worse than presently, then they’re a plain ol’ bastard.

You see it’s not how you look today that’s most important – it’s how you’d look if you didn’t train.

CB: So what does each type require?

I usually hesitate to prescribe macronutrient percentages and grams to clients – after all, isn’t it my job to make it easy on them?

So rather than put them in the middle of a macronutrient minefield, I make it simple by translating all that calorie and macronutrient stuff into food that they can eat. As an old prof of mine used to say: “We don’t eat calories, we don’t eat protein, we don’t eat carbs, and we don’t eat fat. People eat food; apples and chicken breasts!”

So my nutrition prescriptions involve recommending different food choices at different times of the day. It makes it really simple for the client. No calculator or advanced math skills required.

CB: What about for the nutritionists reading this? How would you recommend they coach their clients with the 3 different body types?


Body Type #1 – The Skinny Bastard – usually requires a higher calorie, higher carbohydrate diet (vs. the other types) when trying to lose fat. Crash diets, in this group, lead to lots of lean mass lost. These individuals can get lean by simply increasing their energy expenditure (usually through lower intensity cardio work – so as not to stress their already hyperactive sympathetic nervous systems) and by cleaning up their diets. Usually these body types can get lean from a diet that’s 50% carbohydrate, 20% protein, and 30% fat. That’s around what a self-selected nutrition intake would be anyway. That’s why it’s pretty easy for these individuals to get lean.

Body Type #2 – The Fat Bastard – usually requires a lower calorie diet that prioritizes protein and fat intake while keeping carbohydrate relatively low. When combined with more high intensity exercise (perhaps 5 weight training, 3 interval, and 2 low intensity cardio) sessions per week, a 30% carbohydrate, 35% protein, 35% fat diet works pretty well in this group – as long as they pay attention to nutrient timing.

Body Type #3 – The Plain Ol’ Bastard – usually doesn’t have to lose fat – bastards! However, when they do, they usually can do so with a combination of the two approaches above – the exercise prescription of the fat bastard and the nutritional prescription of the skinny bastard.

CB: What about this nutrient timing concept you mentioned?


Good nutrient timing strategies are based on the fact that the body best handles different types of food at different times of the day. One of the most important nutrient timing strategies dictates that you should eat most of your non-fruit and veggie carbohydrates during and after exercise. This rule is especially important to our fat bastards above. If you haven’t just exercised, put down the pasta, the breads, the rice, etc and step away from the table.

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

Article Source:

Caveman Nutrition: Is This The Right Way To Eat For Fat Loss

Posted by Nigel Jeal | Posted in Articles, Diet, Nutrition | Posted on 08-02-2012-05-2008


John Williams, Ph.D., has degrees in archaeology and anthropology. His research and fieldwork has focused on the Paleolithic and Neolithic of the “Old World”, which basically means the Stone Age of Europe, Africa and Asia. John has always had an interest in nutrition, which actually works quite well within prehistoric studies, because our past was one big food quest.

CB: John, you have an interesting background. Now, let’s talk about North American nutrition for gaining muscle and losing fat. What’s new in nutrition approaches for athletes, fat loss, and health?

I try to stay current with nutritional literature for my own interests, but I don’t want to get in over my head with respect to performance nutrition for athletes. Others like John Berardi, who make a living in this field, would be better suited to discuss the latest and greatest approaches.

I have been reading a lot about fish oil lately, and its positive effects for both overall health and positive effects on body composition. Adding a little fish oil in your diet is one of the easiest ways to boost your metabolism. Recent studies have shown that as little as 3 grams of combined EPA and DHA (both omega-3 fatty acids) can speed your metabolic rate by about 400 k/cal per day.

These long-chain fatty acids also have a host of great health benefits, including brain health, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, better sugar management, and more. So by doing something as simple as popping a couple of fish oil caps with each meal, you can live a longer, leaner, brainier life!

CB: John, do you have any other superfoods that you think absolutely must be in everyone’s diet?

Fish oil would be one, for the reasons given in the previous answer. Another must-have in everyone’s diet is spinach. Among the leafy greens, spinach offers some of the best benefits in terms of vitamins and micronutrients. It’s chock full of important phytochemicals, vitamin A, B vitamins, calcium, phosphorous, iron, folate and potassium.

But that’s not all! Spinach is also one of the most alkaline foods available, which means that it helps neutralize acidic foods that are common in high protein diets. So by adding more spinach to our diet, we can alleviate a lot of stress on our muscles and bones.

I also think that most people could benefit from simply increasing their daily intake of fresh veggies and fruit. I’m not talking fruit juice or even V8, but the real deal: every color and variety of vegetables and fruit that you know of. This isn’t groundbreaking news, but fresh fruit and vegetables provide an enormous amount of benefits, ranging from anti-cancer properties to improved blood lipids to increased energy.

Another food of the grain variety that I think many people would benefit from is quinoa (pronounced “KEEN-oowa”). It’s a South American grain domesticated by the predecessors of the Incas that grows on a plant that looks a lot like spinach. So it’s a “leafy grain” rather than a grass grain such as wheat and corn.

Quinoa is gluten-free, and contains none of the allergens common to grains from the grass family such as wheat, rye, barley, oats, and corn. Furthermore, quinoa contains lysine, an amino acid deficient in many grains, making it a complete protein. Quinoa is also an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, and B vitamins. It’s one of the good guys in the grain family, so pick some up next time you’re in a whole foods-type market.

CB: Are there any nutrition-fat loss myths that you would like to clear up?

With respect to the recent swing of the pendulum to low-carb diets, it seems that a lot of people used that as an excuse not to eat vegetables. Low carb diets certainly have their benefits for many people, but there is absolutely no excuse for avoiding a big serving of broccoli for fear of a few extra carbs. Unless it’s drenched in margarine, broccoli (or insert any leafy green here) can do nothing but good.

CB: Thanks John. I believe that eating large amounts of fibrous vegetables is one of the keys to getting, and staying lean. How do you think someone should eat to get lean? Does eating to stay lean differ from getting lean?

Let me address the last question first: The ideal situation is to learn how to eat to maximize both your performance and health goals, and simply eat more or less according to how much muscle you want to gain versus how much fat you want to lose. In other words, eating to get lean and eating to stay lean would differ only in overall calories consumed.

There are certainly cases when someone would benefit from a more extreme diet like Atkins to remove years of overindulgence and bad dietary choices, but the danger is always there that the person will rebound unless they learn how to eat properly.

So, how do we eat to get (and stay) lean? I have a few simple rules, like caloric balance, sufficient protein, lots of whole veggies and fruit, no processed carbs outside of the post-workout window, balanced fats – and let’s not forget the other side of the coin: activity (preferably a mixture of heavy lifting and some sort of cardio). There are certainly a lot of details within those rules, and tricks to make it work for your individual goals, but it all boils down to those simple rules.

My good friend John Berardi has spoken extensively on how some people have a tendency to replace hard lifting, and even a healthy diet, with the acquisition of knowledge. These folks have mediocre or even poor physiques, yet all of their time is spent in pursuit of the holy grail of fitness and nutrition knowledge. How many carbs does that 5.8 oz serving of artichoke have, and how will this affect insulin levels? Who cares, just eat the darn thing and go lift some heavy weights! The fact remains that it takes hard work in the gym to get a good physique, in addition to knowledge about how to lift and what to eat.

Obviously, the road goes both ways, and there are still hordes of folks out there that don’t know an artichoke from a Twinkie, but the key is to not get lost in the minutia and neglect what really matters: a balanced diet and hard training.

CB: You have a Ph.D. in archaeology, and you’ve researched evolution and nutrition, correct? What lessons have you learned from your studies? How have we evolved to eat? Does it differ geographically?

That’s right, Craig. We archaeologists love to make fun of trendy “Paleo-diets” and books like Neanderthin. There was no single paleo-diet; people during the Paleolithic ate whatever they could get their hands on, and what they ate depended upon what region of the world they were living. I recently talked with Erik Trinkaus, a paleoanthropologist and the world’s premier expert on Neanderthals, and he summarized his thoughts on the matter by saying “the Neanderthal world was in no way idyllic. These folks had hard lives and died young, and their version of a paleo-diet was to eat whatever didn’t eat them first”.

That being said, there are certain lessons we can learn about our past that can help us understand why we’re having so many diet-related problems today.

I have a few simple lessons from the archaeological record concerning nutrition:

1) Eat more protein and less of the other stuff.

In a nutshell, we’ve been eating a diet rich in plants, fish, and animals for millions of years now. There have been many studies published in peer-reviewed journals demonstrating that getting your protein consumption over the 10-15% national average has positive benefits in terms of body composition and blood lipids.

2) Get your carbs from their source.

Paleolithic people didn’t have Krispy Kreme, otherwise they’d be as fat as your average sugar junkie today. Outside of the post-workout window, when simple sugars and fast-absorbing protein is desirable, we can all benefit from avoiding all of the hyper-processed food that litters the aisles of our grocery stores, and opting instead for foods in their original, unadulterated state. If you took a look in my kitchen cabinets, you’d see a variety of whole grains and legumes: quinoa, barley, steel-cut oats, oat bran, wheat bran, lentils, split peas, and chick peas.

3) Eat your veggies and fruit.

It’s clear that we’ve evolved to reap the benefits of a diet rich in veggies and fruit, judging from the preserved remains of literally hundreds of varieties of wild plant foods at sites such as Ohalo II, a 23,000 year old fishing camp on the Sea of Galilee. I never realized how many veggie haters there are until I started trying to get my friends and family to eat more of them.

After months of avoidance, I finally convinced a good friend of mine to increase his vegetable intake. He was by no means fat, but he was getting frustrated with a slowly growing tire around his waist. I gave him some recipes to make things like broccoli and spinach more palatable, and he eventually took my advice. After this change, he is leaner than he has ever been in his life, and he is constantly telling me how much energy he has.

4) Balance those fats.

This is an issue that really ties-in with my prehistoric research. It’s interesting to note how skewed the fatty-acid profile of the modern western diet is towards saturated fat and omega-6’s, at the expense of monounsaturated and omega-3’s. In our not so distant past, this wouldn’t have been possible, because wild animals don’t store so much overall fat, and they weren’t fed corn meal to inflate the omega-6’s in their adipose tissue. Also, our ancestors got a lot more omega-3’s from wild plants, animals, and fish. All in all, it looks like we’ve evolved on a diet with a good amount of monounsaturated fats from nuts, seeds, and animals, as well as a nearly equal amount of omega-6’s to omega-3’s. Tons of studies have shown that an inflated omega-6 to omega-3 ratio is contributes to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, while getting a more balanced fatty-acid profile, including sufficient monounsaturated fats, actually protects against these health problems. What’s the solution? Free range meat and eggs are always a good choice, and when you’re buying meat from feedlot animals, go for the leanest varieties. Throw-out any corn oil in your cupboards and replace it with olive oil, and then eat plenty of fish and/or supplement with flax and fish oil.

CB: Thanks John. Excellent info. Simple guidelines. Focus on whole, natural foods.

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

Article Source:

Caveman Nutrition: How Can We Eat Like This?

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


John Williams, Ph.D., has degrees in archaeology and anthropology. His research and fieldwork has focused on the Paleolithic and Neolithic of the “Old World”, which basically means the Stone Age of Europe, Africa and Asia. John has always had an interest in nutrition, which actually works quite well within prehistoric studies, because our past was one big food quest.

CB: Tell us more about your approach to nutrition, and more importantly, developing delicious healthy eating recipes.

You might ask, how in the world did an archaeologist get into creating healthy recipes? I’ve never been a stranger to the kitchen. My Mom never really enjoyed cooking, so she encouraged me to cook for myself from a very early age. In fact, in grade school, I would wake up at 6 AM so I could make an omelet for myself before school. OK, so maybe I was a strange kid, but I certainly learned to find my way around a kitchen.

Cooking skills have also come in very handy on excavations, where there are crews of 10-20 people needing nourishment from long days of heavy labor in the sun. We usually have chefs, but I’m always poking my nose around the kitchen, giving them recipes to make sure we have sufficient protein and a good fatty-acid profile.

My travels have also taught me a lot about international cuisine. I had an Indian roommate in Israel when I was doing my dissertation research, and he taught me a lot about Indian food, which I think is some of the best in the world. I’ve also been to various places around the Middle East and Europe, where I picked up quite a few cooking tips.

Over the past few years, I’ve been continually experimenting with making healthy recipes that taste great. Bodybuilders are some of the most knowledgeable people out there when it comes to nutrition, yet many of them will resort to eating tuna from a can and boiling chicken breasts. Not that there’s anything wrong with an occasional quick snack, but there are certainly ways to make healthy meals both quick and delicious.

CB: What is your take on eating dairy? Are there any problems with consuming large amounts of dairy products?

My fridge is full of cottage cheese and yogurt. But I’m not a big fan of milk, as I’ve found that it makes me ‘stuffy’, for lack of a better word. If you want to know the gory details, I get some mucus buildup after drinking milk, which leads me to suspect I have a low-grade allergy to it. It’s the same feeling I’ve had after eating takeout Chinese food loaded with MSG – not good. Interestingly, I can eat cottage cheese and yogurt all day without the stuffiness.

There’s also the whole issue of dairy and insulin response. A few studies have shown that dairy products cause a disproportionately large insulin response, which some people believe could prevent fat breakdown.

But of course milk and dairy are an excellent source of casein, which is one of the best sources of protein out there. So in the end, it’s entirely up to the individual. Personally, I won’t be making all that many recipes with milk in them, because of the potential side effects.

CB: What is your take on the low-carbohydrate approach to fat loss? Do you have any low-carbohydrate case studies you would like to share? What are your top sources of carbohydrate that you recommend people eat?

Extremely low carb approaches like Atkins, and even all liquid protein and EFA diets like the Velocity Diet certainly can be effective in losing fat fast. But like I said earlier, a more balanced diet is certainly better in the long run. I think that avoiding foods like spinach or broccoli because of their few carbs would be a travesty.

CB: What are your top sources of protein?

I usually grill about 3 pounds of chicken breasts at a time for quick meals during the day, and cook a proper breakfast and dinner with eggs, lean beef, fish, and the occasional game meat (bison, venison, etc.)

CB: What are your top sources of fat?

Each morning I have a strong cup of Joe and a teaspoon of fish oil to clear the mental cobwebs with a caffeine-DHA combo. Not mixed together of course – I wouldn’t want to ruin the taste of my Ethiopian Harrar! Then throughout the day, I’ll have a couple of omega-3 eggs (Pilgrims Pride EggsPlus), some olive oil in various meals, and various nuts – particularly almonds and walnuts. I also take a couple of fish oil caps with every meal. This tends to balance everything out, providing a moderate amount of saturated fat, sufficient monounsaturated, and about a 2:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3’s.

CB: Can you tell us the role of food in controlling “inflammation” (i.e. controlling arthritis)? What foods should be avoided? What foods should be consumed?

One of the easiest ways to combat inflammation is by drinking sufficient water. Particularly if you drink coffee or any caffeinated beverage, water is a must. The commonly accepted amount for active people is about a gallon a day.

Another major pro-inflammatory aspect of our diets is a high omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. If our cell membranes are full of omega-6’s, then muscle soreness and damage will be much worse after weight training. But get those fats balanced (more omega-3’s), and inflammation/soreness can be reduced, leading to reduced recovery time.

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

Article Source:

The Science of Post-Workout Supplementation

Posted by Nigel Jeal | Posted in Articles, Diet, Fitness, Nutrition | Posted on 01-02-2012-05-2008


In this age of complex supplementation, the basics of sport nutrition have been forgotten. Simply put, in order to gain mass one must stay in an anabolic state. The off-season is often a time focusing on strength gains and hypertrophy. Hypertrophy is an essential step towards developing greater strength because in the most basic equation, strength correlates with the cross-sectional area of the muscle. The easiest way to attain a consistent anabolic response is through a properly scheduled intake of nutritionally balanced meals.

A post-workout drink is optimal for providing a balance of protein and carbohydrates plus it provides the added bonus of an improved hydration state. The continuous presence of calories will fuel muscle growth and recovery by supporting protein and glycogen synthesis. Periods of more than 3-4 hours without food can result in a post-absorptive catabolic state.

Muscles are catabolized (“broken down”) for energy, essentially robbing you and your muscles of all the hard work and growth previously accomplished. Immediate post-exercise energy consumption prevents a delay in the delivery of energy substrates to the depleted muscle cell and is therefore an important method to remain anabolic.

Post-exercise feeding can reduce protein degradation and increase protein synthesis. Post-exercise caloric intake is also necessary to restore liver and muscle glycogen (energy stores). The benefits of a post-workout drink occur through the hormonal response to insulin and an increase in amino acid uptake by muscles is also due to an increase in insulin.

Carbohydrates should not be left out of the post-exercise drink because these are necessary to provide the insulin “spike” and are an essential source of energy for the recovery process. Ingesting a mixed carbohydrate-protein drink after training is much more anabolic than consuming only a protein shake. This is also an optimal period for creatine supplementation.

Protein provides the building blocks for muscle growth. Protein synthesis increases 50% 4 hours and 109% 24 hours post-training (MacDougall et al., 1995). The nutrient intake within this time period thus has important implications on the adaptations to training. The protein recommendation for experienced strength athletes is ~1.7 g/kg while novice trainers may need more.

Requirements may transiently increase if intensity or volume of activity is increased (up to ~ 2g/kg) and especially for athletes involved in both strength and speed activities. Endurance exercise also creates an increase in protein requirements of up to 1.6 g/kg/day because of the increased catabolism of protein during exercise. To assist in meeting these requirements, supplements should contain at least 20 grams of protein per serving.

The carbohydrate component should consist of simple, high-glycemic carbohydrates because of their fast absorption into the bloodstream and quick delivery to muscle cells (Burke et al., 1993). The increased cellular sensitivity to insulin post-exercise provides for the rapid delivery and intra-cellular transport of glucose and creatine.

Carbohydrate has also been shown to have anabolic properties by helping to prevent protein breakdown through the insulin-stimulated response. The increased insulin levels post-exercise will not result in increased fat storage because skeletal muscle is the primary consumer of nutrients at this time.

Carbohydrates cause glycogen re-synthesis and replace the fuel source previously depleted by your resistance training (Ivy et al., 1988). The dose of post-exercise carbohydrate should be 0.7-1g/kg (Burke et al., 1996). Glycogen synthesis can be impaired by eccentric muscle damage (Costell et al., 1990) but fortunately most resistance training programs incorporate several rest days before the same muscle group is trained again, therefore glycogen depletion is not a big issue in strength training. The highest rates of glycogen re-synthesis occur following energy intake that is within 2 hours of training (Ivy et al., 1988).

Perhaps even more important is the fact that 1g of carbohydrate per kg body weight has been shown to prevent post-exercise protein breakdown (Roy et al., 1997). Therefore optimal energy intake occurs A.S.A.P. (within 30-minutes of training may be best) in order to raise insulin levels (an anti-catabolic hormone). This is extremely important if a second training session is scheduled within 24 hours, such as for individuals training related muscle groups and athletes involved in tournament play.

Individuals that often complain of the inability to gain weight simply do not consume enough calories. A large portion of the sedentary American population has mastered weight gain through inactivity and constant snacking. Although fat weight is not desired, this scenario can be applied to hard-gainers. Work hard, rest harder, and stay anabolic. Post-exercise supplementation is essential for enhancing the anabolic environment and limiting the potential for exercise-induced catabolism. These extra calories are welcomed by the hard-gainer for use in growth and repair.

A post-exercise drink also prevents dehydration as any weight loss following training is due to water loss. A post-exercise drink or meal-replacement can contribute to the recommended intake of 10 cups of non-caffeinated fluids per day. Because there is no difference in energy replenishment between a liquid and solid food source (Burke, 1996), a liquid meal-replacement appears to be most beneficial post-exercise.

Other factors demonstrate the superiority of meal-replacements over whole food in the post-exercise condition. Often athletes are fatigued and do not have the energy to prepare food or do not have the appetite for whole-food. Finally, the access to food may be limited, especially when other priorities demand time and energy and limit the time the athlete has to return to work or home while still consuming adequate calories.


Burke, L.M. Nutrition for post-exercise recovery. Aus. J. Sci. & Med. 29: 3-10, 1996.

Burke, L.M., G.R. Collier, and M. Hargreaves. Muscle glycogen storage after prolonged

exercise: effect of the glycemic index on carbohydrate feedings. J. Appl. Physiol. 75: 1019-1023, 1993.

Costell, D.L., D.D. Pascoe, W.J. Fink, R.A. Robergs, S.I. Barr, and D. Pearson. Impaired

muscle glycogen re-synthesis after eccentric exercise. J. Appl. Physiol. 69: 46-50, 1990.

Ivy, J.L., M.C. Lee, J.T. Brozinick, Jr., and M.J. Reed. Muscle glycogen storage after

different amounts of carbohydrate ingestion. J. Appl. Physiol. 65: 2018-2023, 1988.

MacDougall, J.D. et al. The time course for elevated muscle protein synthesis following

heavy resistance exercise. Can. J. Appl. Physiol. 20: 480-486, 1995.

Roy, B.D., M.A. Tarnopolsky, J.D. MacDougall, J. Fowles, and K.E. Yarasheski. Effect

of glucose supplement timing on protein metabolism after resistance training. J.

Appl. Physiol. 82:1882-1888, 1997.

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

Article Source:

How an Overweight Man Changed His Life with the Turbulence Training Fat Loss Workouts

Posted by Nigel Jeal | Posted in Information | Posted on 24-07-2011-05-2008


By: Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

How a 50-Year Old, Former 2-Sport College Athlete got in the Best Shape of His Life

Todd Thompson emailed me 4 years ago with the goal of getting back into shape by losing a lot of body fat with fat loss workouts. Since then, Todd’s been a great client, using the right workouts (Strength training plus interval training) with great success. Todd made such a triumphant return to healthy living with fat loss workouts that he even developed a website dedicated to men’s health.

In this interview Todd shares his tips and tricks to getting the most out of your fat loss efforts and lifestyle changes. These will come in handy on those days that you don’t have the motivation or direction to train. Todd’s the true definition of a “Turbulence Training Fat Loss Success Story” and I’m proud to have worked with him.

CB: What impact does Turbulence Training have on your energy levels?

Todd Thompson:
I find I have a lot more energy when I’m in full training mode, and I use heavy weights and supersets almost exclusively in my weight training. My energy levels seem to be directly associated with how much excess fat weight I carry around, and this keeps it off better than anything I’ve tried.

Of course, I follow proper eating guidelines as well, and this goes a long way toward keeping me filled with the right foods. It’s basically hard work plus clean eating. It’s the efficiency of strength and interval workouts that makes it more appealing to me than any other routine I’ve followed for any length of time.

CB: What time of day do you train and how do you structure your meals around this training time?

Craig, as you may recall, when I started getting into shape last year, after a 25 year layoff, I made the commitment to work out the first thing every morning so that nothing would get in the way of my training.

After reaching my weight loss goals last year, and working it into my schedule differently, I moved my workout time to early evenings, right after I get home from work. I eat my regular noon meal, something like cottage cheese or tuna with some good carbs, and then I have an afternoon snack of high protein content.

Then, when I get home from work, the first thing I do is drink a half serving of a protein shake, or eat some cottage cheese. This gives me about a 30 minute time period before I get my clothes changed and head off to the gym, which is perfect for digesting it.

I hit the weights hard, which takes about 40 minutes, and then I get on the elliptical or bike for my HIIT (interval training). As soon as I get off the machine, I drink a protein shake. I’m usually finished with the whole thing around 6:30 p.m. At that time, my wife and I usually have dinner. On workout days especially, I make sure my evening meal has some excellent protein choices, low fat, and good carbohydrates.

CB: What nutrition tips work best for you?

I’m no expert on nutrition, but my experience this past year is that I need a little more carbohydrates than what a lot of the newer nutrition programs are recommended.

When I drop carbohydrates to a minimal level, it does seem to have an effect on my energy levels. I think of carbohydrates as an energy provider, and on workout days, I make sure I get enough carbohydrates to get my energy level where it needs to be for my workout.

CB: So overall, what is your impression of strength training and interval training?

It keeps it from getting boring, and I have a bit of a creative streak in me. This seems to keep things interesting. No matter what workout I’m doing, the strength and interval program is the design I use.

There are three basic things I do, no matter whether or not the exact exercises are called for:

1. Do 18-22 sets, emphasizing full body. Sometimes, I may emphasize certain muscle groups for an entire workout, but that’s rare. I usually make sure there is some impact on every muscle group at each workout.

2. Do “superset” style without a rest period between sets within each superset. Each superset is designed as a push-pull superset, or sometimes just the use of opposing muscle groups. I like push-pull supersets best.

(CB note: Here’s a tough push-pull superset that you can do in a crowded gym or at home – DB Presses & DB Rows)

3. Every workout ends in an hour or less and is capped off with a very intense HIIT session. I don’t let myself feel guilty if I only have time to do a 12 to 15 minute HIIT. The intensity is so great that I don’t have to worry about whether I’m working hard enough or not.

CB: Do you have a favorite part of the workout?

It’s basically a flurry of non-stop activity, so I don’t really think about favorite parts. However, I think I enjoy the various forms of rows that I employ. Your program calls for Seated Cable Rows and DB Rows, and I have gotten so much stronger in these that I probably have to say I enjoy these most of all.

Truly, though, getting finished each day is what I like best. I always do a full body assessment of how I feel after each workout.

Seldom do I walk away from a workout thinking I could have worked a little harder on any one muscle group. When it’s done, I’m spent. Maybe, it’s just because I turn 50 years old this year, but I’ve talked to a lot of younger guys who are doing strength and intervals as well, and they say the same thing.

CB: How do these workouts compare to others that you have done in the past?

The intensity is awesome. From the time I drink my pre-workout shake until I finish HIIT an hour or so later, it’s like I’m heading down the field on a long run, and I’m not going to let anyone keep me from scoring. I don’t stop for anything. If an area is being used, I just go to the next superset and pick the other one later in the workout.

I think the benefit is that it is very time-efficient and manageable, and it’s really hard to get bored with it.

CB: What are the health benefits you have achieved in your return to training?

In short, I have better health, stronger muscle (and more of it), great cardio endurance for my every day life, and I’m looking good.

Altogether, these benefits have helped me enjoy my life a lot more, and that’s the ultimate benefit as far as I’m concerned.

My life is much better disciplined now, and even when I cheat on my eating, I don’t worry about it any more. I know the commitment is strong, and I’ll get back. This has caused me to enjoy life to the fullest. Recently, I got into an elite musical performing group, and I find that I have much better stamina than before, and a whole lot more motivation to succeed and to live a better life.

Recently, you were made aware that I had given my body a break for a month or so. That went on a lot longer than I intended, and consequently, I put on about 10 pounds. I must say, however, that I knew all I had to do was start back on my workouts, and it would all come back to me.

CB: Thanks Todd, and keep up the great work with your fat loss workouts.


Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Author, Turbulence Training

Get your very own copy of Turbulence Training & the Nutrition Guide here:

Fat Loss Power of Food

Posted by Nigel Jeal | Posted in Articles, Diet, Nutrition | Posted on 26-06-2011-05-2008


By: Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

I know that most readers think that fat loss is all about exercise, but you must know that good nutrition is just as important for fat loss results. Making the correct food choices is your secret weapon in the rush to get the best body for summer. Eating right will help you lose fat and increase your energy dramatically, so that you’ll have plenty of stamina for social life, in the gym, and at work.

When I start working with clients, I have everyone enter their food intake on a nutrition tracking website to allow both of us to evaluate their nutrition. Some of the common problems that I see are:

1. Too many treats per day. As one client said, ”I still have one treat per day such as chips, a chocolate bar, a donut, or a rib sub each day, and sometimes I skip breakfast. But other than that, I think it is pretty good.”

If that’s the case, and you are trying to lose fat, then you will have a difficult time. You just can’t eat that many treats (read: garbage) and expect to get lean (unless you are 16 years old).

2. Skipping breakfast.

3. Not eating enough fiber.

4. Not eating enough lean protein and low-glycemic, low-fat carbohydrate sources.

5. Not eating much during the day and then eating a huge dinner.


1. Set the tone with the first meal of the day by consuming a lean protein source and high-fiber, low-glycemic carbohydrates. Fiber at this meal will help control blood sugar over the morning and can help modify appetite at subsequent meals.

2. Consume mini-meals to prevent starvation-induced meal binges and energy slumps.

3. Choose snacks that contain protein and fiber, such as almonds.

4. Keep your dinner moderate, and avoid high-calorie feasts.

5. Consume calorie-free beverages, preferably Green Tea or water.

6. Consume at least the recommended amount of fiber through vegetables, fruits, almonds, etc. But start adding fiber to your diet slowly and drink more water.

7. Try to improve your nutrition each day. This will help get you into healthy eating habits. Be consistent with your training and nutrition, and you’ll get results.

So here is your challenge. Start with one day and eliminate all of the processed foods from your nutrition plan. I want you to go one full day without foods containing added sugar, hydrogenated oils, or high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

If you do this, you’ll feel amazing and energized. You will probably have your best workout of the year and you’ll probably get more done at work as well.

Replace the junk with lean protein sources, fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains (such as oat-based products), water, and green tea. Make sure to log your food intake on and compare it to your regular eating. You’ll notice that it is very hard to overeat when you eat only healthy foods. And then next week, try going two days without processed foods.

Keep focusing on one improvement each day and soon you’ll have better nutrition habits and fast fat loss to go along with it…not to mention a new body!


Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Author, Turbulence Training

6 Ways to Prevent Holiday Weight Gain

Posted by Nigel Jeal | Posted in Articles, Cardio, Diet, Fitness, Nutrition | Posted on 22-06-2011-05-2008


By: Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS  

Obesity has worldwide problem. In fact, almost 2/3 of Americans need to lose weight and over 1 billion people in the world are overweight. If you are overweight, you need to lose weight and improve your health and fitness. And yes, this can still be done over the holiday season. Don’t wait for New Year’s day to start your weight loss resolutions.

There are a number of reasons for the increased incidence of obesity and overweight individuals, as suggested by American statistics, but also a number of workout and nutrition tips that can counter the effects of each bad nutrition and exercise habit that we have:

* It has been estimated that for every high-sugar drink you consume, you increase your risk of obesity by 60%! Soft drinks provide 33% of all added sugars in American diets.

Tip #1: Avoid drinking calories!

* In the USA, sugar consumption has increased from 26 to 32 teaspoons (between the 1970’s and 1998).

* Americans eat an extra 150 kcal per day now in comparison to 1980. In theory, this could lead to 15 lbs. of weight gain per year!

Tip #2: Avoid over-eating treats at parties. If you can’t have just one, don’t have any at all!

* Your obesity risk increases 6-fold if you watch more than 2 hours of television each day.

Tip #3: Stay active. Walk around the mall a couple extra times if it means you’ll avoid the couch and overeating at home. Stay busy, stay active, stay lean.

* Only 25% of individuals exercise moderately for 30 minutes each day, whereas 25% of the population does no exercise at all.

Tip #4: It’s not all or nothing. If you can only do 15 minutes of exercise, that is still better than nothing. Don’t stop all exercise just because you can’t do 30 minutes that day.

* Obesity continues to increase in the USA despite a continued decrease in the consumption of dietary fat. In 1994-96, fat accounted for 33% of total calories compared with 40% in the late 1970’s.

* In 1994-96, just over half of the population reported eating fruit each day while the consumption of processed carbohydrates (such as bread, snack foods, and cereals) has increased 110% since the late 1970’s.

Tip #5: Avoid processed carbs. Hit the veggie tray, the protein offerings, and the calorie free beverages at parties. If its rolled in pastry, don’t eat it.

* Milk consumption has decreased in children by 16% since the late 1970’s, while consumption of soft drinks increased by 16%.

Tip #6: Don’t keep soda in the house. If you don’t buy it, neither you nor the kids will drink it.

Stick to these 6 simle tips and you’ll stay lean over the holidays. Add in a little more exercise and you could do the impossible – you could lose fat over the holidays! Get started on a fast, efficient and effective program of strength training and interval training today!

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

Fat Loss Q’n’A Part 2

Posted by Nigel Jeal | Posted in Abs, Articles, Cardio, Fitness, Interviews | Posted on 09-06-2011-05-2008


By: Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

Most people don’t know that you can save time and your hard-earned pay by working out in the comfort of your own home. With Turbulence Training, you can avoid the hassles of commercial gyms (i.e. pushy sales people, smelly patrons, disgusting locker rooms, crowded parking lots, and out-of-the-way drives) while losing fat and boosting your metabolism with home-gym workouts.

And here are a few other common weight loss questions to help you choose the right approach to fat loss.

Q: I’m suffering through a major fat loss plateau right now. Will this help?

Some of the major reasons for fat loss plateaus include:

– Using the same workouts over and over and over again for extendedperiods of time.

– Not including enough high-intensity strength training and
interval training.

– And choosing inefficient isolation, machine-based exercises
instead of standing, multi-muscle exercises.

The Turbulence Training workouts have been designed with variety,intensity, and efficiency in mind so that you get more results in less time.

Your workout programs will change every 4 weeks, and you’ll use only exercises that train multiple muscle groups at the same time – thus burning more energy, and fat, with each repetition.

By changing the training intensity of your workouts, as well as
using a variety of repetition ranges for your lifting, and
including interval training, I guarantee that you will leave your
fat loss plateaus in the dust.

Q: I’m 50 years old, and no longer involved in sports. But I stay active with walking, biking and I even lift weights. But I want to lose my love handles. Is this program for me or is too intense?

Thanks for your email and question. We’ve had clients in their 70’s use Turbulence Training, not too mention the dozens of men and women in their 50’s and 60’s that have used the program.

So you certainly are a candidate for Turbulence Training, as long as your doctor has cleared you for exercise of course.

At 50 years young, you’ve got a long and healthy life in front of
you. But I also know that you don’t intend to slow down with age. You’ve got things to do and people to see, and that’s why you are probably like any other age group…and you want to get in and out of the gym as quickly as possible. So the three Turbulence Training workouts per week should be perfect for your lifestyle.

I guarantee that every age group, from young to old, will be
challenged and entertained by the variety of bodyweight exercises. In fact, I bet you’ll get a real kick out of doing exercises from your youth again.

I look forward to hearing how you like the workouts, and let me
know how many pushups you can do!
Q: Craig, I weigh over 250 pounds. Heck, it’s a lot closer to 300 pounds. I haven’t really exercised in a while either, but I feel pretty good otherwise. No aches or pains. Can I still do your Turbulence Training program? Will I be able to do interval training?

This is a really popular question. The good news is that I’ve
worked personally with many men that are over the 300 pound mark, and we’ve successfully incorporated the Turbulence Training principles into their workouts.

You just have to:

– Get clearance from your doctor that you are ready to start an
exercise program
– Start with the introductory and beginner Turbulence Training

I include beginner level workouts in all of my manuals. There are step-by-step guidelines on how to get started, including a
day-by-day 21-quick start guideline for beginners. It will show you how to turn your unhealthy lifestyle around in just three weeks.

As for the interval training, please remember this: It is all
relative. You don’t have to run sprints up a hill in order to call
your workout an interval workout.

You might simply increase your treadmill walking speed from 3.3mph to 3.6mph for 1 minute and then drop it back down. Those are the correct intervals for your relative fitness level. As you improve, you will be able to work harder. But never worry about comparing yourself to others.

Also, Dr. Chris Mohr, Ph.D., has included specific calorie and
protein recommendations for overweight individuals. The TT Fat Loss Nutrition Guidelines will keep you on track for fat loss in 2007.

Q: Has your Turbulence Training program worked for women, or is it just for male fat loss? I want a program that works on my butt, not just my biceps. Help!

Don’t worry, the Turbulence Training program is not gender
specific. All of the great exercises that are in the program will
work on the muscle groups that both men and women want to focus on.

After all, who doesn’t want a firmer butt, flatter abs, and a
better chest?

Best of all, the efficient and effective exercise group that I
mentioned earlier includes squats, lunges, presses, and rows. These exercises are essential for both men and women, and will give you the total package regardless of gender.

And don’t forget, the scientifically-proven Turbulence Training workout manual has used by hundreds of women to burn fat and sculpt their body.

Get in, get out, get lean,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Author, Turbulence Training

Fat Loss Q’n’A

Posted by Nigel Jeal | Posted in Abs, Articles, Cardio, Fitness, Interviews, Nutrition | Posted on 06-06-2011-05-2008


By: Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

Q: How fast can I lose weight while using a truly effective fat loss program? Can I lose 10 pounds in a weekend like some of the diet plans claim?

Doctors recommend losing fat at a rate of 1-2 pound per week. At the end of a good 12 week program, you can expect to lose 12 pounds of fat. But since you didn’t gain the fat overnight, you also won’t lose the fat overnight. Commit to long term goals and enjoy the process of developing proper nutrition and exercise habits.

With one of those “10 pound weight loss juice diets”, you might lose some weight, but it won’t be fat. And you’ll quickly gain it back. Those are just too good to be true.

Q: Do I have to do crunches and sit-ups while on this program?

No you don’t. Crunches and sit-ups are not the best way to lose fat. To lose fat, you simply need to eat properly, avoid excess calories, and use fat blasting intervals/cardio. In fact, crunches and sit-ups can stress your spine, so I like to use “spine-friendly” core training exercises (the Ab curl, plank, side plank, and bird dog) as an alternative method for training your mid-section. And you can do those all at home without fancy pieces of equipment. All you need is your bodyweight.

Q: But I’m a full-time worker and mom. How do I fit exercise into my day?

Try to commit to at least 30 minutes of exercise per day.

If you are a beginner and stressed for time, simply do three 10-minute bouts of exercise per day. Heck, you could even do six 5-minute walks per day. Everyone can fit that in…

If you can devote a full 30 minutes straight to exercise, you can alternate between strength training and cardio training days if you are limited to 30 minutes. However, if you can get an hour of time 3 days per week, perform both cardio and strength training together.

Beginners should start with several 5-minute blocks of exercise each day. After all, everyone can make room for 5 minutes of exercise. Once you move into more serious workouts, you might need to experiment with different exercise times so that you can workout without disrupting your family’s events. Fortunately, there is no magic exercise time. As long as you are consistent, you will get results.

Many people have had great success by getting up early and doing the workout before everyone else gets up. Alternatively, you can do it after the kids go to bed or during a break in the day. Schedule your workout like any other important appointment so that you don’t neglect the exercise sessions. You’ll find that the exercise will give you more energy throughout the rest of the day.

Q: What do I do if I can’t get to the gym?

You won’t even need to go to the gym to lose fat. There are dozens, if not hundreds of bodyweight exercises you can do at home. And the workout potential is exponential if you have a couple of dumbbells at your disposal. There are hundreds of dumbbell exercises you can use to sculpt your body.

Q: Hi, I’m an overweight woman (180 pounds) and I was wondering if I should still eat 1oz of protein per pound?

Hi, first, just to clarify its grams per pounds, not ounces. Second, here are the limits from Dr. Chris Mohr found in the TT Nutrition Guidelines

“Since women have less overall lean body mass than men, they won’t require as high an amount of protein each day (0.8g of protein/lb of body weight will suffice). This value is still in line with the recommendations for strength trained athletes. For obese individuals, just as with the calorie estimations, the protein calculations will also be over-estimated.

Therefore, in my opinion, I would put women at a maximum of 150g of protein per day and men at a maximum of 200g of protein per day. Because being obese does put them at risk for diabetes, this would also impact kidney health, so obese individuals don’t need the additional urea being filtered through if in fact they do have diabetes.”

Q: I’m new to the whole “working out thing”. What is Turbulence Training? How would you describe the workouts?
Turbulence Training is combination of more effective methods (Strength training and interval training) to help men and women get more effective fat loss results in less workout time.


TT uses supersets and interval training because they are time-saving methods. The workouts also only use the best exercises so that clients don’t spend more than 3 hours per week in the gym. 

Get in, get out, get lean,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Author, Turbulence Training