I’ve used various tools in my quest to become better over the years. I’ve tried and kept many natural health principle’s as well as used many exercise programs to build muscle and burn fat.
I’ve done traditional bodybuilder exercises, walked, done endless cardio and implemented High Intensity Interval Training. I’ve tried running and I’ve done a few different boot camps in recent years.
My guest for this interview is the creator of what I like to think of as the simplest yet most effective method to end hours of cardio and use your very own body weight to build muscle and burn fat at the same time.
Craig Ballantyne is a certified strength and conditioning specialist and contributor to Men’s Health Magazine. He’s on the Inside Fitness training advisory board as well as Oxygen magazine training advisory board and has a background as a personal trainer in the Toronto Canada area.
Craig is the creator of Turbulence Training and I’m glad to have him here today to discuss his program and how it can help you achieve your ultimate physique.
Part 3 – Who Is Craig Ballantyne?
I know you contribute to Mens Health magazine and a couple of fitness advisory boards.
How did you get interested in fitness and what’s your fitness training background?
Did a lot of sports as a kid, mostly soccer and hockey. Started lifting weights at 16, and was a subscriber to the “classics” – Flex, M&F, MD, and MuscleMag – for a long time (and Men’s Health and Men’s Fitness as well).
I knew at a young age, 16ish, that I wanted to do something in this area, but until the end of my Master’s Degree, I was focused on being an NHL strength coach.
However, I just ended up training more “Men’s Health”-type readers (busy, needed fat loss, could only do bodyweight or dumbell stuff) than hockey players, so I moved towards that area of expertise.
In fact, I worked with more rugby players than hockey players, even working with the Canadian National Rugby Team in 2005, but eventually I had to make a choice, and stopped working with rugby players at the end of 2006.
What I’ve done though is take “athlete training principles” and incorporate them into fast fat loss workouts.
Personally, I continue to lift weights, doing the basic exercises (squats, deadlifts, bench presses, chins, pullups, etc). Three lifting sessions per week, and I stay very active on my offdays, walking my dog up to 3 hours per day.
I’m always trying other people’s programs and new types of training.
For example, I did a lot of kettlebell workouts last summer. I liked some of it, didn’t care for other parts, but if you want to do a great interval type workout when you don’t have a lot of space, kettlebell swings and snatches are great.
Learn how to do those correctly, and you can burn fat anytime, anywhere, even during the cold, cold months of a Canadian winter.
What kind of dog?
I’ll add an extra “cold” to your “cold, cold months of Canadian winter”. I’m not sure if you read on the blog here, but I recently took up kettlebell training myself. I do my walk in the morning and then finish it off with 15 mins of kettlebells swings and snatches.
I’m working on a few other routines, but I want to get the basics down first. The first time I did a swing, I threw my back out.
So, a couple of questions regarding Mens Health, Oxygen and Inside Fitness (because I really want to know)
What is your association with Mens Health, Oxygen and Inside Fitness?
I’ll start with Men’s Health. They are my main association, and right now I’m doing a huge project with them called the “Belly Off Program”.
They are using my Bodyweight 500 program as their main fat loss program.
Check it out here:
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I’ve been working with Men’s Health since the summer of 2000, when as a graduate student, I first sent them one of my old CB Athletics newsletters.
Lou Schuler, author of many fitness books, was the editor at the time, and he was learning a lot from Charles Poliquin and Ian King at the time, and therefor was changing his approach to fitness.
My newsletter happened to be along the same mindset, and he really liked a tip I gave on shoulder training I think.
From there, he kept assigning me little bits, and I was working closely with Adam Campbell, who is now the fitness editor.
One of the main reasons I did so much work for them was simply because I got back to them quickly!
If you don’t already know, magazine folks are OVER-worked and UNDER-paid, so anything you can do to make their lives easier is greatly appreciated.
So I developed a strong relationship with them.
Then Lou left and Adam jumped over to Men’s Fitness, near the end of 2002. So I went with Adam.
Eventually Adam went back to MH, and I did too, for the start of 2006.
Now I go down there and film video clips for them every once in a while. For example, if they have an article on Jason Statham’s workout, I’ll go down and film all the exercises for the website version of the article.
I’ve done this for their 300 workout and their Brady Quinn article. So I guess I’m into acting now too, having played Quinn and Statham in their workouts.
So that’s MH.
For Oxygen, I’m actually out of the loop now, having last written for them in the summer of ‘07. All I did was profiles of fitness competitors, such as Jenny Henderschott (sp!), Ali Metkovich, Jamie Eason, and others. Interesting stuff interviewing those girls.
(I started working with Oxygen because I was also writing for Maximum Fitness, which is owned by the same company.)
And finally, I give Inside Fitness an article whenever they are publishing an issue. I think they give out Inside Fitness at supplement stores.
So that’s my writing background.
I have to say that I don’t read MH. I know of it, and have read it years ago, but nothing recently at all. I don’t really buy magazines (nor watch TV for that matter). I was interviewed in MH back in early 2000’s… 2002 or 2003 I think.
I want to know more about the bodyweight 500 but before we get into that, I want to first discuss your 300 program.
We’ve both seen the movie and I’m sure a lot of readers have seen the video’s of the actors getting in shape at Gym Jones. You designed a 300 workout which was in Mens Health I believe.
We spoke about this by email a few months ago but want to bring it up again here for everyone to read about.