In this article I’d like to give my review of Craig Ballantyne’s Turbulence Training interval training workout. I’ve known about this workout for a while as we use these style workouts in our fitness boot camp session here at Peak XV Fitness. Turbulence Training is based on body weight exercises so it is perfect if you have no equipment and very little space. Many of our clients use these exact workouts when they’re at home or staying away in hotels on business travel.
Ballantyne is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) like myself so I know he knows his stuff. He’s also a published author and has an M.Sc in Exercise Science so is indeed a very knowledgable guy. He is from Canada but has worked with people all over the world in his career. His protocols have been used by elite athletes and scientific institutes around the world for several years now and he’s a very respected authority in the fitness industry.
Turbulence Training is a fat loss programme based on high intensity interval training (HIIT) exercise workouts. HIIT training is also referred to as sprint interval training (SIT) and was made popular by the research of Tabata et al in the 1990’s. The workouts can be anywhere from 4 to 30 minutes long and alternate periods of higher intensity exercise with bouts of rest. The ratios of these two variables change depending on the criteria set by the instructor or coach. HIIT sessions are known to improve fat burning and lipid metabolism due to the levels of lactic acid produced in the blood.
Lactic acid is a by product of anaerobic respiration (without oxygen) and the increase in the lactate levels in the blood cause an increased secretion of growth hormone which increases metabolism and therefore aids positive body composition modification – otherwise known as fat loss. The only down side to this whole mechanism is that high levels of lactate in the blood will bring about severe fatigue and nausea which is not pleasant for the participant so to get the most out of this type of training modality requires very high levels of subject motivation to allow themselves to be pushed that hard. The theory of high intensity body weight workouts is based on reliable science and has much anecdotal support. The protocol is 4 weeks long and involves a comprehensive nutritional programme to help your metabolism shift into fat burning mode and also to support the workouts.
The workouts begin with a safe and sensible warm up which is not only important as an injury preventitive measure but also ensures that you get the best from your workout. The warm up is comprised of basic exercises like squats, push ups and a plank. These warm up exercises prepare the movements for the main workout through performing the movements at slower speeds and with lower resistances. While a general cardio warm up such as jogging or skipping is fine, it does little to properly prepare you for a highly intense workout where you will be overloading the muscles in very specific ways. A gradiated warm up which mimics the movements to be performed in the main workout is much more likely to prevent injuries and properly prepare the participant for their main training session. After the warm up is completed the real workout begins! The individual exercises depend on your own fitness level and whether you opt for the beginners programme or the advanced one. Generally the advanced programme uses much more progressive exercise versions than are used in the basic programme.
The Whole Training Workout
It is recommended that you do the workout 3 times per week with a rest week every 12 weeks, changing the programme every fourth week to a new exercise raining protocol. Each programme is split into two workouts and the workouts comprise a series of exercises that are put together as super sets to maximise their effectiveness. The workouts often require you to do a particular exercise for a certain period of time but often times a set number of repetitions is prescribed. Each workout is followed by a comprehensive stretch to help you recover from the session. Stretching is vitally important to prepare you for your next workout and in this series they show you a selection of effective stretches to both stop you getting injured in the first place and then also recover for the next session so that you get the very best from the programme.
I really like the whole protocol as it safe and effective. We use similar training programmes at our boot camps – the only difference is that we use more equipment and get our clients to do more sprinting drills. However, the TT circuits are geared for people with no equipment (just body weight) and little space where 50 metre sprinting isn’t practical! The workouts are varied so they’ll keep you interested and challenged but they are also achievable. This isn’t a programme that needs to be done every day of the week, in fact great results come form training as little as 3 times per week. I would argue that by putting more running or cardio style sessions into the protocol would yield better results but that’s just based on my experience of working with several hundred people hands on at our boot camps. The thing I really like about TT 2.0 is that it gives you such a variety of exercise choices so there is no reason to ever get bored. Also if you can’t do a certain exercise, for whatever reason, there is always an alternative for you to try. The workouts are really comprehensive and are very easy to follow.
The dietary recommendations are simple and effective and most of all they’re easy to stick to. I highly recommend this programme to anyone who is looking to drop body fat and tone up in as little as 3 months. Check out some of the case studies on the page below as they are pretty impressive.