Zach Even-Esh: Craig, thanks for taking the time out of your insane schedule to talk with us. Tell us a little bit about yourself, your clientele and your overall training philosophy.
CB: Zach, I'm a Strength & Conditioning coach in Toronto and I write for Men's Health and Oxygen magazine. I work extensively with clients on advanced fat loss for busy people. I'm also the training director at grrlathlete.com where we provide advanced female exercise info.
ZEE: We have a growing number of hard core men and women leading busy lives but still love to train hard. How do you train individuals like this and still get kick butt results?
CB: I use supersets, moderately heavy weights (allowing 6-10 reps per set), limited rest interval periods, advanced bodyweight exercises, and interval training. These efficient and effective principles are the foundation of my Turbulence Training philosophy. Turbulence Training workouts are designed to crank up the body's metabolism because of the intense demands imposed during the workouts.
After the workout, your body has to work hard (i.e. burn calories and repair muscle) to fully recover and return to a normal, resting state (that is why I compare my Turbulence Training workouts to the Turbulence encountered in an airplane - a neat little analogy that people really like and find easy to understand).
I tend to stick with traditional weight training exercises, however, it is easy to adapt the Turbulence Training principles when using strongman implements and advanced bodyweight exercises. For intervals, I tend to stick with 30 seconds of work and 90 seconds of active recovery, although it will vary between workout phases and for athletes of different sports.
The great thing about heavy weights and intervals is efficiency.You don't have to do either for more than 20 minutes to get a great response. So if you are a busy executive looking to get lean, build muscle, and lose fat, you can get a great workout and shower in less than 30 minutes per day.
Combine Turbulence Training with the right nutrition, and you are well on your way to success. By the way, we've got a secret bonus for everyone that invests in Turbulence Training - although I guess it's not so secret anymore! Anyways, you'll see what it is when you start your Turbulence
ZEE: If you were limited to a 20 minute fat loss workout, what would that workout look like?
CB: Providing the individual is injury free, we will move through a general warm-up circuit of bodyweight exercises (3 minutes), and then into specific warm-up sets for the first superset of exercises (2 minutes).
Then we will spend 5 minutes on the first superset pair of exercises, and then 4-5 minutes on another superset pair. We might finish with a third superset pair or some ab work, and a 2 minute cool-down if it is necessary based on the individual's fitness level.On non-weight training days, we would do intervals. It would look like this:
The point is, you can get a lot done in a short amount of time.
ZEE: What nutrition approach do you use?
CB: I had Dr. Chris Mohr, Ph.D., put together the Turbulence Training Fat Loss Nutrition Guidelines. I strongly agree with Dr. Mohr's common sense, easy to follow principles. There is nothing extreme about his plan. It is very healthy and effective for fat loss. I don't think that people need to exclude fruit from their eating (in fact we should aim to eat at least 3 servings, and preferably berries, grapefruits, apples, and oranges), but instead we should avoid white, processed carbohydrates from a bag or a box.
Foods that should be in every healthy person's nutrition plan:
Basically, for nutrition, just choose healthy, whole natural food.
ZEE: Last question Craig. What is the greatest misconception that you find people to have when it comes to performing better and looking better when they come to you. In other words, they tell you everything they have been doing in hopes of getting results but the results simply aren't there. Are there any common mistakes going on here?
CB: Most of the time I try and get people to be honest with themselves and realize they have to change things if they want to improve. A lot of people really just want me to approve their current workout (when it is clearly not working). But in reality, they have to change their workouts drastically to finally get results.
And most people think they are eating better and using a better program than they really are. Even when most people they list out their food intake (as I have them all do on fitday.com), some people (including some trainers that I train) still don't see the obvious problems in their diet. I suppose it is human nature not to see our own shortcomings, so it is helpful to have a professional review your training and nutrition or even an honest, knowledgeable friend.
ZEE: Craig, I can't thank you enough for letting me grill you with questions.
CB: Always happy to help.