Interview with Craig Ballantyne – Turbulence Training

Craig was kind enough to supply me with the following interview recently.

If you haven’t checked out any of his workouts before, they are definitely worth investing in, as have thousands of people throughout the world!

1) Hi Craig, thanks for taking the time to talk to me and my readers!
Give us a quick biog of yourself and how TT started?

Turbulence Training is the combined result of over 6 years of University study (including a Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology), 16 years of hands-on, in the trenches gym experience, over 5,318 personal training sessions, and careful scrutiny of over 723 medical research papers.
It started in 1999, when I was a struggling grad student at McMaster University in Hamilton , Ontario , Canada . We had just finished one of my graduate research studies and I was spending up to 16 hours a day in the lab analyzing my research data.
As a former athlete, I knew that I had to find a way to stay lean and muscular and avoid the fat gain that comes from working long hours in a lab and at a desk as a researcher.
The workouts were a combination of my experience and the research I was going over at that time.
Now we use even more bodyweight exercises and the workers are sometimes even shorter, but it’s all based on that original TT philosophy.

2) With so many diets, programmes, ideas out there, what do you think are the top 3 things that people do wrong when starting a fat loss/fitness programme? A few months back, I made a post on my blog saying people had to “buy-in” to the whole package (exercise, nutrition, and think about it
daily, integrating it into their lives, rather than just at workout times, if they are to achieve successful results.)

i) They cheat too much on weekends and snack mindlessly. Diet is the biggest factor in fat loss, and most folks cheat a lot more than they like to think.
ii) They do too much long, low-intensity exercise (i.e. low intensity cardio). You don’t need to do that much exercise to lose fat. Just focus on your diet and quick workouts instead.
iii) They neglect resistance training. If you really want to change your body, you need to do some resistance training twice per week. But again, most fat loss comes from diet, not exercise.

3) You talk a lot about the ‘social support’ aspect when setting out your fat loss goals. Can you tell us more why this is an important key towards your success?

It’s difficult for most folks to lose fat on their own. Worse, a lot of folks live in environments that are unfriendly to fat loss (friends, spouse, significant others, etc., want to eat bad foods and sit around).
So you must get support outside of your normal social circle. This can be online or at the gym, or maybe you could even find a nutrition buddy at work.
But it’s too hard to do it when you are the only one who wants to see you succeed.

4) What would your top 5 bodyweight and ‘gym’ based exercises be?

My big 5 fat loss movements are…
i) A squat-type movement (squatting, kettlebell swings, jumps, etc)
ii) A pushing exercise (pushups, dumbbell chest press, kettlebell press)
iii) A pulling exercise (pullups, dumbbell rows, bodyweight rows)
iv) A single-leg exercise (split squats, 1-leg lying hip extensions)
v) A total body ab exercise (Knee ups, planks, side planks)
That’s a well rounded total body, fat burning, body sculpting routine right there.

5) What are your top 5 foods that people should and shouldn’t be eating?

Should be eating…
– more fruits
– more vegetables
– more raw nuts
– more protein (to a point…but the average person doesn’t eat enough…but you don’t need to eat more than 1 gram per pound of lean body weight) Nothing specific…just a wide variety of whole, natural foods.
Should NOT be eating…
– liquid calories
– anything with added sugar
– anything with trans-fats
– processed carbohydrates

6) Can you give us a quick breakdown of what you ate today/yesterday?

A typical day goes like this:
6:30am – water and vitamin C before dog walk
8:30am – breakfast bowl of blueberries, pecans, a banana, a tbspn natural
peanut butter, coconut flakes. Green Tea.
11am – 4-egg omelet (omega-3 enriched eggs) with green & red peppers,
asparagus, broccoli, onion, mushrooms, spinach and a bit of cheese. topped
with salsa. Green Tea. Greens plus drink.
2pm – After a workout, I drink 2 cups of chocolate milk.
3pm – Lunch of salad and chicken and an apple and raw almonds.
7pm – Dinner of either:
chicken breast plus broccoli, asparagus, spinach and soup.
Amy’s Organic Chili plus added vegetables
10pm – raw nuts and apple or pear

7) If you’re aiming to put on muscle, how you should eat differently to a fat loss specific programme?

Eat more carbohydrates at all meals. Pretty simple.

8) Do/should you train women differently to men for fat loss? Are they
any exercises women/men benefit from more, or should perform more often?

Not really. Sometimes we just do fewer sets.

9) Should workouts for fat loss be a set followed programme, with weight increases each session, for say 4 weeks, or does a challenging, varied workout each time have the same effect?

It depends. There’s nothing wrong with sticking to the same program for 4 weeks straight (each program consisting of 2-3 workouts of course). But you can change the workout each time and still lose a lot of fat.

Thanks to Craig for his time during his busy schedule! Checkout his work at or his blog at


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: