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The very best thing I have done in the area of personal development so far in 2009 is to get into better shape.
I did it with one of the most popular workout programs right now, Craig Ballantyne’s Turbulence Training for Fatloss.
Over the last four months I have used the program and by doing so I have reaped these pretty awesome benefits:
- I have lost 26 pounds. My belly is flat, I have lost quite a bit of body fat and 12 kilograms/26 pounds of weight since I last weighed myself in the very beginning of February (both I and friends/family were a bit shocked at how much I had lost, we were guessing that I maybe had lost half that weight over these months).
- My day to day energy has gone way up (at least doubled).
- I am stronger.
- I am more productive and find it easier than ever to be and stay positive.
- I may even look younger. One amusing side effect is that I also seem to look younger since I have had to show my driver’s license a few times over the last weeks in places where the age limit was 25 years (I’m 29). Haven’t had to do that in probably over three years.
Me – before and after
Here are a few photos of me. A bit of before and after I suppose.
To the left is a picture of me at a wedding in October 2008 (I couldn’t find an image that was closer to the start of my training, but I looked pretty much that way until February when I started with this program).
To the right is a picture of me from the beginning of May of 2009.
It’s pretty obvious that I was chubbier and just looking wider back then compared to now.
What is Turbulence Training?
Turbulence Training is a program consisting of workout videos you follow along with and downloadable guides with nutrition plans and workout plans by fitness trainer and writer Craig Ballantyne. Craig has written for magazines like Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness and Oxygen and been coaching people in Turbulence Training for years. You can see a picture of him and his dog Bally at the start of this review.
In Turbulence Training you combine brief weight lifting workouts focused on compound exercises – movements where you use many muscle groups – with about 4-6 intervals of running, cycling or body weight circuits to burn a lot of fat while maintaining/increasing your muscle mass.
Each workout takes only about 45 intense minutes all in all – this includes warm-ups and a cool down – and you do three of those per week. You shake things up and switch workout programs every fourth week to keep your body guessing – or in turbulence – and this makes it easier to keep losing fat and to avoid plateaus in your progress.
5 Reasons Why I use Turbulence Training
Besides the obvious positive health effects there are a few other good reasons why I chose Turbulence Training and why I am sticking with it. These reasons are also solutions to some of the most common reasons/excuses why people don’t get in shape and make regular exercise a part of their lives.
- You can do it at home. You can do Turbulence Training workouts at home right now. So I have no excuses to skip workouts. This is especially great here in Sweden where we have pretty bad weather a large part of the year. Instead of going to the gym or going out running I can do a 45 minute workout right here in my apartment.
- It’s cheap. I use two dumbbells and a stability ball for my workouts. But some of the body weight circuits can be done without any other equipment other than your own body. It doesn’t get much cheaper or simpler than that.
- You can do it quickly. Squeezing in three 45 minute workouts a week isn’t too hard, even if you have a busy schedule. You also save a lot of time and stress by being able to skip all the travelling to and from the gym.
- Concise and easy to understand instructions. I’m no fitness expert so I really appreciate that the workouts are laid out in a simple and easy to follow manner with pictures and detailed descriptions of each exercise. Craig also keeps things lean and focuses on the just essential stuff instead of padding out the various books in the program. He has also included a helpful Common Questions & Answers chapter in the main manual.
- Variation. I have found that since I have increased my own energy I have also become more restless. So I appreciate that you get to switch workout programs every fourth week. And that you never actually do the same workout on two occasions in a row since you switch back and forth between an A and B (and sometimes C) workout within every four week workout schedule. This keeps things interesting.
Body weight circuits instead of regular cardio
I really don’t like jogging. Or using a stationary bike. So it has been hard for me to be consistent with cardio training over the years. I have lifted weights pretty consistently but always stopped doing cardio exercise after a couple of weeks. Body weight circuits – my favourite part of Turbulence Training – do however fit me really well.
They are quick – only about 15 minutes per workout – and I can do them right here on my own floor. A bodyweight circuit is basically a number of exercises – like pushups, planks, running in place with high knees and sitting against a wall – stringed together without any rest. After you have done about 8 such exercises in a row you get to rest for just one minute.
Then you do them all over again. And after one more minute of rest then you do them one last time. So it’s three circuits, with only 2 minutes of rest all together.
It is pretty intense, I am usually sweating and breathing like crazy after each workout.
What I eat & 3 simple food tips
Craig says, like many other fitness experts, that your diet is the biggest part of what determines your fat loss. You can’t compensate for a bad diet no matter how much or hard you work out. So I followed the instructions from Craig’s nutrition plan and ate a lot of veggies, whole foods and kept an eye on my calories to make sure I had a calorie deficit in my daily diet.
A big lesson I learned about diet during these months was: don’t guesstimate.
This was the biggest mistake I made when I tried to lose weight in the past. I simply didn’t know how many calories I put in my body each day or how many I used.
So I realized that I had to monitor it in some way. The free calorie counter on Fitday.com helped me with this every day and I learned a lot about what I put into my body.
Two other simple tips that helped me to eat less was to eat from a smaller plate. And to eat slowly.
A meal takes thirty minutes or sometimes an hour for me nowadays.
This is a helpful habit if you want to lose weight because it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to register that you are full. The food has to reach the intestines before your body starts sending signals to your brain telling it that you feel full.
By slowing down the pace of your eating your brain can stop you before you eat too much.
Even with the help of these tips, I slipped and cheated a bit with candy and beer and it wasn’t easy on some days, But I did keep myself on track most of the time.
I found that an important thing was to not beat myself up if I slipped because then I would just feel worse and resort to eating more junk food or candy that day. A better and healthier choice was simply to nudge myself in the right direction again. One unhealthy day or lunch doesn’t mean much in the long run if you quickly get back on track again.
It’s not just me that got in shape
Although I am very happy with my own results so far I wanted to add a few other before and after pictures that kinda blew my socks off.
Jason, Catherine, and Hal have all been a part of the 12 week Turbulence Training Transformation Contests that Craig holds a couple of times a year.
Get your own copy of Turbulence Training
Update 2014: Last year Craig Ballantyne updated his program to what is now called Turbulence Training 2.0.
Here is what you get in the new and updated Turbulence Training 2.0:
- 24 follow along home workout videos. I wish I had these back in 2009 because they would have made things even simpler for me. Videos are so much better to see exactly how to do various exercises, what tempo to use and you simply just have to follow along with Craig as he does the workouts. Plus, you can watch them on your computer or easily bring them along and watch them on your iPad or similar device.
- The Turbulence Training Program Guide. This one will help you to know exactly what to do each week to get the body you want.
- The Turbulence Training Exercise Guide. In this bonus manual, you will get exercise photos and descriptions. Plus, you will learn how to you can use these workouts with your current favorite workout program if you have one. Not having to make drastic changes but using the Turbulence Training program to enhance your current program will make it easier to stick with it as long as you want to.
- The Turbulence Training Nutrition Plan. The nutrition plan will help you to keep things simple diet wise but also help you to quickly and easily maximize your eating for fat loss. And you don’t have to give up on your favorite foods to follow this plan which also makes it a lot easier to stick with it until you reach your goal.
- The Thermo 30 Workout Plan. In this plan you’ll learn how to turn your fat storing metabolism into a fat burning metabolism simply by exercising a few minutes per week. You’ll burn fat during your whole day even while you’re for example working or playing with your kids.
- Buff Dudes and Hot Chicks Program. In the final bonus guide you will learn how to get the lean and toned look of fitness models.
And Craig offers a 60 Day Money Back Guarantee with no questions asked.
So if you want to get in better shape over the summer and for life then…