By Mike Westerdal
Whether it’s due to the long cold winters or a generally more active lifestyle, Canada has a penchant for turning out some of North America’s most successful and widely-recognized strength and training coaches. Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, M.Sc., is no exception.
Hailing from Toronto, he is one of the industry’s most respected strength and conditioning coaches and is a member of the Training Advisory Board for Men’s Fitness magazine. His fat loss expertise and workout tips are featured every month in Men’s Fitness.
As a renowned strength and training coach, Craig works with a number of high profile athletes and is was a consultant to Rugby Canada helping the National Team prepare for the 2007 World Cup. He has authored numerous books and has even written a chapter on coaching for the new International Youth Coaching Association certification textbook.
Thanks to his extensive background in research, Craig stays on top of the latest cutting-edge training and nutrition strategies that help elite athletes, casual weightlifters and individuals from all walks of life improve their health and wellness, along with their physical and mental performance.
His latest work is entitled Turbulence Training 12-week Home Workout Revolution, which he specifically developed for guys who really want to get in top shape but find it difficult to get to the gym every day.
Craig has based his Home Workout Revolution on his highly successful Turbulence Training principles, which have proven time and time again to be among the most successful strategies around for building muscle while shedding unwanted fat.
Gyms are both a blessing and a curse. On the plus side, gyms are a fantastic, one-stop spot where you can perform cardio and strength training in one location. Most gyms offer a great selection of both strength training machines, free weights and cardio equipment. Some even offer classes, access to fitness trainers and other amenities such as pools or racquetball courts.
But on the other hand, for many guys they are a curse because often times, gym membership can run upwards of $100 a month or even more. Some require lengthy contracts that are nearly impossible to break.
Another problem with gyms is that due to their location or tight job or family schedules, a lot guys find it just plain difficult to work gym time into their daily schedule.
In working with countless clients over the years, Craig realized that gyms presented a major fitness hurdle for a great many individuals—but at the same time, he found that there were few practical home workout routines that would provide the results that men really want to achieve. With that in mind, Craig devised his TT 12-week Home Workout Revolution program.
In designing the program, Craig combined his very successful Turbulence Training techniques with extensive research into exercises that could easily be performed in the home without the need for expensive or bulky equipment.
The end result is a program that is built on short-burst, metabolic workouts that are the ultimate fat loss key to finally shredding the most stubborn fat and keeping it off – forever.
Craig’s TT Home training strategies are based on his 20-10 ultimate fat loss revolution system, ladder workouts, bootcamp-style workouts and more. The system includes bodyweight circuits and supersets, bodyweight/abdominal workouts, challenge workouts, ladder workouts and others.
The TT Home Workout Revolution is comprised of 12-week cycles for beginning, intermediate and advanced trainers. The in-home Revolution workouts are performed three days a week, with the assumption that you will ‘stay active’ the remaining four days—in other words, just because you train really hard for three days, it doesn’t mean you can be a sloth the other four. The idea is to stay moderately active on all days, not just training days. That doesn’t mean that you can’t rest—it just means don’t take the ‘resting’ to extremes.
Most of the routines have two different workouts “strung” together. If you only have time for one workout, then you just use the first workout shown for that day. Another great aspect of Craig’s program is that if you prefer, you can incorporate the Revolution system into your existing routine so that you can keep doing what you’re doing, while ramping up your body’s fat burning systems.
Craig does not excellent job of explaining the overall program and his descriptions of the exercise are top-notch. Even the most beginning athletes will be able to learn to perform the movements properly, just by following the directions and looking at the pictures that are included for each exercise.
Craig also includes some excellent nutrition information and a number of outstanding ‘bonus’ workouts that truly make this program not only one of the most effective around—but also a great bargain in terms of what you get for your money.
If you are one of those guys who really wants to build muscle, increase your strength, improve your flexibility and shed unwanted fat and pounds but just can’t get to the gym, then Craig’s TT 12-week Home Workout Revolution might be just want you need.
I recently reviewed a training regimen developed by two long-time trainers, Scott Sonnon and Ryan Murdock. Both guys are award-winning martial arts masters and from the looks of them have plenty of experiences in the military too.
TACFIT Commando: Hardcore Tactical Fitness Secrets of the Special Ops is their effort to introduce their unique trainings style to a broader audience. It’s not for the faint of heart though—this looks like some serious training that demands lots of guts and stamina. Let’s take a closer look and see what it’s all about.
The TACFIT Commando approach focuses on developing functional fitness, not just the “beach muscles.” Functional fitness develops the entire body and places a strong emphasis on developing your core. When you are “functionally fit” the body’s systems work together in harmony to produce really superior results. And that’s exactly the way that Scott and Ryan present TACFI—each element of the program is designed to work synergistically with the other elements. The TACFIT Commando routine is presented as a series of “missions” that together comprise the entire program.
The first part of the book describes the four elements that are integral to the TACFIT Commando program: High Intensity Fat-Burning Circuits; Complex Skills that promote “neurological sophistication;” Real Tactical Applications; and Injury-Proofing and Active Recovery. These elements are essentially TACFIT Commando’s foundation.
The TACFIT Commando program is cycled using a 7 x 4 training protocol. This approach helps you to avoid plateaus and keeps the gains coming. There are three different variables at the heart of the 7 x 4 training protocol: Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE); Rate of Perceived Discomfort (RPD); and Rate of Perceived Technique (RPT). These are ranked as “No,” “Low,” “Moderate” or “High.”
The TACFIT Commando workout schedule varies each day beginning with a no intensity day, followed by a low intensity day, followed by a moderate intensity day, which is then followed by a high intensity day every seven days. This pattern is follow for four weeks, which makes up the 7 x 4 training protocol. The perceptions of intensity are of course subjective because what is intense for one person can be a walk in the park for someone else. As you progress and your stamina improves, then your perceptions of intensity will change. So because your perception of what constitutes moderate intensity versus high intensity will change as you move through the program, you are constantly progressing.
The exercises are performed using a modified version of the Tabata method. If you’re not familiar with the Tabata method, it’s a series of short periods of very high intensity followed by short periods of lower intensity. The TACFIT commando method involves 20 seconds of very high intensity exercise, followed by 10 seconds of rest. This cycle gets repeated eight times for a total of four minutes. Each day of the “mission,” the training follows this pattern with six different exercises. When you’ve finished all 8 rounds, you rest for 1 minute, then move on to the next exercise. Yeah, that sounds easy on paper but just try and you’ll feel differently, trust me.
The book lays out the entire program for you. Everything you need to know is right here. Every seven day period follows the same pattern of no intensity through high intensity. The book provides you with an incredible variety of exercises to perform—you won’t get bored. The exercise descriptions are clear and easy to follow and include pictures so you can easily learn to perform the movements. The authors include some great charts that provide some very useful information about heart rate, intensity and complexity.
Most of the exercises presented in the book are body weight exercises but nonetheless, for the bodybuilder there is a lot of value to be found here. For example, TACFIT Commando can be something that you work into your regular bodybuilding training routine to mix things up and keep your body from hitting a plateau. Another good strategy would be to take the basic concept of TACFIT Commando and swap out the body weight exercises with free weight or dumbbell movements—just make sure you’re careful with how much weight you use so you don’t knock yourself or someone else unconscious. So even for the bodybuilder whose primary goal is to size and strength, there is a lot to be gained from the TACFIT Commando program.
In any case, TACFIT Commando is built on a foundation of sound knowledge and practiced principles that produce results. So if you’re looking for something to really challenge yourself, you ought to definitely be checking out TACFIT Commando.
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