Fat Loss Owner's Manual

Turbulence Training is a structured routine that I came up with that allows you to get the most results in the least amount of time, no matter what your goals. That's why I am able to create Turbulence Training for Fat Loss and Turbulence Training for Mass.

Turbulence Training has evolved from both scientific principles as well as personal experience. And it originally came to me in a dream in University. Just kidding. The truth is that during my graduate years at University, I was searching for an efficient and effective way to stay lean while keeping my strength and mass even when I did not have time to train as often as I would like.

So I based the program on what I had read in hundreds of strength training and fat loss studies, as well as my countless past workouts that I had logged faithfully over the years. From that research and my results, Turbulence Training was invented. The principles of Turbulence Training are:

1) Lift heavy weights.
Heavy strength training stimulates what is called muscle protein turnover. This is important for two reasons:
a) It causes extra calorie burning outside of training.
b) It stimulates muscle re-modeling (it will help keep muscle while in a state of reduced calories, whereas lighter reps and a lesser stimulus to the muscle won't have the same muscle maintenance effect).

For most people, 8 reps is often lower than what they regularly use, therefore they build strength and muscle while reducing calories and burning calories with intervals. It works great even for advanced guys, but the results are almost magical for the average person because they tend to train with high reps and light weights. Thankfully, because so many people are using such poor programs, they make me look like a genius when they switch to my Turbulence Training routines.

2) Interval training is more effective for burning body fat and maintaining muscle mass than regular cardio.
I think this is most true when it comes to the last couple of pounds of body fat. Interval training is what separates people with 15% body fat from those people with the lean, athletic look. If you want to lose that last ten pounds, you will do it best with interval training in your workouts. Interval training also builds better sport conditioning and "everyday fitness" that is more practical to life (i.e. how often do you have to run more than 20 minutes at a slow pace vs. how often do you sprint up 3 flights of stairs?).

3) Non-competing supersets allow you to do more work, with less fatigue, than supersets of similar muscle groups or even traditional antagonist groups.
This allows most people to continue making strength gains even when they reduce calories. It also allows you to get more work done in a shorter amount of time. That's why Turbulence Training is so efficient and effective.

4) Variety.
The Turbulence Training workouts are changed every 4 weeks, and sometimes every 2 or 3 weeks. My training template is simple to adapt and easy to modify for the creation of an endless number of workouts - a great thing to know if you are a personal trainer or simply someone that loves to workout to improve their body.

How is Turbulence Training different from other programs?

I found that most fat loss programs were deviating from the main goal. Some programs tried to be so hardcore that all they were concerned with was making someone puke. That will help you lose your lunch weight, but if you can't complete the workout, how good could it be? Making someone puke doesn't accomplish as much as my structured programs that actually stimulate the body to change.

Other fluffy fat-loss programs however, are all about high reps and slow cardio. That might give you some muscle endurance, but it doesn't't help you keep your strength and muscle, or really shed your fat. The programs that really get on my nerves are the ones that promise a toned body by doing a few sets of curls with soup cans. Get real! That will never work. You have to train hard to get the body of your dreams.

And I won't lie, with Turbulence Training, you have to work hard, but the results are worth it. You have to lift heavy enough to stimulate muscle growth & muscle turnover and you have to do intervals at a level that you will find uncomfortable, but tolerable. With the heavy lifting and intervals, you will burn more calories outside of the training session than you would with any other program. And that is the magic behind Turbulence Training.

I call this effect, "Turbulence", and use the analogy of the turbulence that a plane must fight against to right itself in the air. The harder your body has to work to return to normal, the more calories and fat it will burn and the more changes your body will make (i.e. you will build muscle and lose fat). It's all about adaptation. And you'll adapt to the TT workouts by getting leaner, fitter, and stronger.

Craig Ballantyne trains athletes and executives in Toronto, and writes for Men's Fitness magazine.