By: Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
You know who is your worst enemy in the fight against fat?
Well-meaning fitness professionals that don’t want to make you feel bad for being lazy and eating crap. That’s who.
They write articles about how “diets are bad”, how you can lift soup cans and get fitness model arms, and how you should exercise in the nice and easy “fat burning zone” to get results. Basically, they give you what want to hear – plenty of excuses for avoiding hard exercise and strict nutrition (the real keys to fat loss).
But I don’t. You’ll get no such excuses from me.
Here’s the real deal on fat loss. You have to work hard in your workouts and even harder on your nutrition if you want results. Or you can take the politically-correct easy way out and have the same body in 3, 6, and even 12 months from now.
Love me or hate me, I promise you results. Let’s take a look at why the PC-solutions don’t work…
Q: I’ve been told to exercise in my “fat burning zone“. What’s the best cardio method for weight loss?
Cardio is not the only solution.
Clearly it adds to the energy deficit and overall calorie balance that favors fat loss.
BUT it’s not the “be all & end all” of fat loss success – and that is anecdotally supported by the number of overweight distance runners.
I almost never recommend long, slow cardio…simply because no one I train or consult with has the time for this, and it doesn’t work any better than shorter, less frequent, more intense interval training sessions.
Five or six days of 45-minute cardio sessions in my fat-burning zone? Yeah right, like anyone has time for that.
If I told you that you could get the same results (or better, as recent research suggests) in three 20-minute interval sessions each week as you could from three or five 45-minute slower cardio sessions each week, which would you choose?
Yes, intervals feel about 10x’s harder than regular, slow, boring cardio. And yes, you won’t be able to read your people magazine when doing intervals. And you might breath a little heavy. So if you’re worried about sweating, than maybe fat loss isn’t for you.
But if you don’t mind going against the crowd, intervals are worth every second for the superior results.
Q: Should men and women train differently for fat loss?
Nope. Next question.
Seriously, the answer is no, but just to add to that, men and women don’t have that many differences when it comes to fat loss, so they both do well with the Turbulence Training style workouts.
Now here’s one reason why TT may actually work better for women than men…
More women tend to start Turbulence Training after having spent months or years using slow cardio and light (if any) weights. And selfishly, I could not be any happier – because when these dedicated women start using the shorter, more intense strength and interval sessions they make rapid progress and make me look like a genius.
The accolades come pouring in…I have dozens of testimonials from women thanking me for saving them TIME while helping them finally breakthrough stubborn fat loss plateaus (and eliminating the pain from their overuse injuries that occurred due to high volumes of cardio). Their words make me feel like a million bucks because the TT workouts are making these women feel like a million bucks.
That being said, I sometimes make small changes in TT workouts to adapt to a woman’s pre-conceived notions about strength training. Some women are very hesitant to lift weights. But you and I know that is necessary for bodysculpting, fat loss, and health benefits such as building bones.
So what I do is sub a few (not all!) of the weight exercises out and replace them with equal intensity bodyweight exercises. Some bodyweight exercises can be classified as traditional strength exercises (i.e. for a woman that can only do 5 full pushups, the pushup exercise is almost a max strength exercise). But women “mentally” deal with this type of strength training better than putting a dumbbell in their hands.
On the other hand, some bodyweight exercises provide more of an interval training effect (i.e. bodyweight squats). Either way, bodyweight exercises can put turbulence (i.e. “stress”) on the muscle and boost metabolism and help female clients get the results they want and deserve.
Q: What differentiates Turbulence Training from other programs?
That’s a tough question to answer, as there are other systems out there that give impressive results in an acceptable time frame.
I will say this however, I am extremely dedicated to Turbulence Training and the entire “fat loss” cause.
One of the factors behind my dedication is that I find the general concept of fat loss to be so simple, and yet millions and millions of people around the world have an incredibly difficult time achieving their goals.
I want to give them every possible resource available to them to elp them succeed.
So I am constantly tinkering with new workouts, exercises, and interval methods, and interviewing other trainers and nutritional experts for every single little fat burning advantage I can find. And that comes through in what I offer to the readers of my newsletters and clients that use my programs.
I said in a past newsletter that “Fat loss is easy, once you realize how hard it is.” You have to respect that it’s not something you put on “auto-pilot”. Taking the stairs at work instead of the elevator, parking 100 extra feet away from the door, and subbing 1% milk for 2% milk is not going to help you lose 13 pounds of fat in a year like the politically correct articles suggest.
You need a politically-incorrect plan to eat right 90% of the time (i.e. saying “no” when an office-mate brings in doughnuts) and you have to have the best workout plan available to you if you want to get the most results in the least amount of time.
And then you still have to have a plan to help you stick to those plans – and that should involve a social support group. There are many tricks and tips to success, so you always have to keep learning and trying to improve. And that’s what I help with in my programs and newsletters.
About the Author
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 Men’s 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 Turbulence Training website.