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How Many Calories Do You Need to Burn for Fat Loss? October 14, 2010

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By Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Author, Turbulence Training

If you depend on classic aerobic cardio for fat loss, you probably spend 30 minutes on a machine trying to burn a set number of calories.

But does that work?

Does burning 500 calories per day cause you to lose 1 pound of fat per week?

Well, according to science, it should. But if it did, you probably wouldn’t still be reading this article.

Back in the day, I used to write a column on fat loss myths for Men’s Fitness magazine. Here’s a classic weight loss topic I covered.

Myth: I need to burn 500 calories each workout to lose fat.

Truth:
Possibly one of the worst inventions for fat loss was the calorie-counting monitor on treadmills, elliptical machines, and stairmasters.

Because of these, millions of men and women now obsess about the number of calories burned per session. You’ve probably even been one of those people, watching it creep up ever so slowly during a slow-cardio session. All the while knowing that you can wipe out a 30-minute, 300-calorie treadmill session with one fell swoop of the Krispy Kreme hand.

Too many people are brainwashed into thinking that if they don’t burn 300-500 calories per session, then they won’t lose fat. After all, that is what you’ve been told time and time again in those fluffy fitness/fashion magazines.

The problems with this approach to fat loss are numerous. First off, it’s difficult to say if the calorie counters are even accurate. A story on CBS news showed that cardio machines overestimate calorie burning by up to 20%.

Next, depending on slow cardio for advanced fat loss is relatively useless and at the very least, inefficient. It takes a long time for you to burn a lot of calories and one study showed that men who only used cardio training for weight loss ended up with a reduced resting metabolism. You are basically undoing the calorie burning by depending only on cardio. On the other hand, guys in the same study that used strength training didn’t suffer a reduced metabolic rate.

So what is the solution to burning fat in a faster, more efficient method? The answer is to use strength and interval training to burn fewer calories in less exercise time, but with a more intense form of exercise.

Your body will burn more calories after exercise (when you use intervals) than it does after you do slow cardio and your metabolism will stay high. Some experts refer to this as the afterburn effect. How do you do intervals? Well, you could sprint for 30 seconds and rest for 90 seconds and repeat that for 6 sets – using the bike preferably or treadmill if you are experienced with it.

Within that short time frame the intervals will cause your muscles to go crazy with activity (I call it a metabolic turbulence). This crazy metabolism boost causes lots of calorie burning after exercise to get your body back to normal. The result is you would end up burning more fat and more calories in the post-exercise period as your body tries to get things under control.

Now there is one time where you’d want to count calories, but that is when you are counting up and determining how many calories you eat per day. Again, you can wipe out an entire workout’s work in less than a minute simply by eating garbage. Without some structure and discipline to your nutrition, there is nothing that even my programs can do to help you lose fat.

So exercise nutrition control and interval training. These are the two anti-calorie counting methods that will help you lose fat and get lean.

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How to Get into Strength Training and Weight Lifting February 6, 2009

Posted by multisport man in Diet, Exercise, fitness.
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If you specialize in running or cycling or even swimming and triathlons, you may not put a lot of effort into strength training. But if you want to be big and/or strong, strength training can’t be beat!

Being unskilled in such an area, I set out to learn, and boy did I learn! If you want to learn like I did, here is where to go:

Strong Lifts
Huge strength training resource. Has how-tos for just about every worthwhile exercise there is. Plus good nutrition info. Read every single page of the site and then check out the forums to discuss strength training.

The IF Life
The IF Life is actually about intermittent fasting but has useful and practical advice about muscle building as well. Gotta love the “no nonsense” approach.

Gym Junkies
Like StrongLifts, Gym Junkies focuses on good, solid training methods instead of sissy junk. Plus there are high-quality instructional videos.

Fitness Black book
Good training and diet tips. But it’s worth reading just for enjoyment due to the awesome/hilarious writing style.

I thought I might end up with a big list here, but that was unnecessary. While I’ve seen hundreds of fitness and weight loss blogs, these 4 give you all you need to get into some strength training.

Stretch, Bend, 1, 2… November 9, 2008

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stretch and bend exercise

[Photo by Odalaigh on Flickr.]

After reading the instructions, I must assume that the stick figure is one person in pose 1 and pose 2.

But to passers by, the sign might look like two people, if you get my drift… 😉

Pull Up Varition: The Mop Head Pull Up September 7, 2008

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Doing pull ups with ropes or other things hanging off the bar is a good way to build up extra strength.

But instead of buying designer products, here’s a better idea…

Just get some mop heads! Watch the video for full details.

Adrenaline-Boosting Workouts You Can Do At Home September 7, 2008

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You never know what you’ll find in a mainstream publication. It is usually a cheesy workout or some rehashed stuff we’ve seen a million times.

The latest article at MSN Health was decent – 7 Adrenaline-Boosting Workouts.

Some of the exercises are simple, and some are cheesy (i.e. using your bicycle as a barbell and doing military presses with it) but there are a couple I like.

My favorite was “2. Hoops Fat Blaster” to do on the basketball court. I’ve done basically the same exercises and they’re awesome for improving stabilizer muscles and strength.

One of the exercises was doing pushups but with one hand on a basketball. That gets you working hard! Then you repeat with the other hand on the ball. Good stuff.

If I was to add to that, I’d say do some squats with one foot on the ball! That would probably be even harder than doing a single leg squat!

Swedish Weight Loss Secret August 21, 2008

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By: Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS of http://www.TurbulenceTraining.com

For years I’ve been yelling and screaming about the importance of online social support (i.e. having Internet weight loss buddies).

And finally, after all these years, the Swedes have proven this weight loss secret (and no, it’s not just “eat fewer Swedish meatballs”).

Researchers at the world famous Karolinska Institute wanted to find out why some men and women succeed at weight loss while others don’t.

They studied many men and women using an Internet Weight Loss Club, and found that the people who used the site the MOST also LOST the most weight.

That means that going online for social support in your weight loss program is one of the most IMPORTANT things you can do.

You might not have the perfect home life, office environment, or workout buddies, but chances are you will find someone to help you on an Internet weight loss forum.

And the truth is, you won’t find another Internet Weight Loss Club as positive and helpful as you’ll find in the Turbulence Training Member’s area. Just listen to what this Turbulence Training member has to say…

“I have been using Turbulence Training for about 3 months now and am ecstatic with the results. The workouts require minimal equipment, you get great nutrition information and you get access to the online forum which is invaluable. Being able to actually communicate on almost a daily basis with the person who created the program is one of the best parts of TT, and there are plenty of other people on the site with tons of useful information who may have gone through similar experiences.

Since starting the TT program I have dropped 15 lbs, more than 5% bodyfat and over 3″ from my waist. I feel great and my energy levels are through the roof. I even feel this extra energy spilling over into other aspects of my life and making them better as well. All I can say is thanks CB not just for the fitness change but a great lifestyle change.”
Derek Kendig

We’re there to help you lose weight and inches. Stay strong with our help at TurbulenceTraining.com!

About the Author
Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and Oxygen magazines. His trademarked Turbulence Training fat loss workouts have been featured multiple times in Men’s Fitness and Maximum Fitness magazines, and have helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean in less than 45 minutes three times per week. For more information on the Turbulence Training workouts that will help you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment, visit www.TurbulenceTraining.com

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Note from multisportman: I think this is the same thing Coach was talking about with the bodyweight 1000 workout.

3 Fat Burning Diet Secrets August 20, 2008

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By: Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS of http://www.TurbulenceTraining.com

I recently got stuck in an airport due a delayed flight. But I didn’t end up eating junk food. In fact, I have a SECRET that can help you avoid cheating on your diet.

First, you have to be prepared. In fact, here are my meals from that day. My brunch included an omelet with vegetables, some grilled fish & peppers, fruit (pineapple, raspberries, blueberries, watermelon), and a V8.

A late lunch included a grilled chicken salad (2 breasts), jimaca, salsa, black beans, avocado (I substituted the salsa for the dressing). NOTE: Lunch was eaten at a Mexican restaurant. I said “no thanks” to the chips and salsa. So there you go, proof that you can eat healthy when you eat out.

My snacks at the airport included raw cashews, red delicious apple, raw almonds, as well as a banana and more almonds later on my flight.

Without my preparation, I would have been outta luck, and stuck eating M&M’s (the peanut kind, of course) and greasy take out food at the airport. So what’s the secret? Accountability.

I’ve committed to telling the world about my diet and workouts, so I can’t set a bad example or break my promise to you by eating junk food.

I’m holding myself accountable to you. By doing this, I’m going to be more focused on eating healthier than ever, because I don’t want to have to report to YOU that I’m cheating on my diet.

I also need to eat well and research the best options so that I can pass along little insider nutrition tips to you, such as these tips.

1) Most people don’t know that the peanut butter they feed their kids (& themselves!) is filled with two of the nastiest ingredients in the world, and those are Trans fats (the “bad” kind of fat) and sugar. So you should choose Peanut Butter that contains JUST peanuts as the one and only ingredient.

2) My favorite canned food is Amy’s Organic Chili. I usually stick with Medium, but sometimes I go spicy.

3) I add a little of Mrs. Renfro’s Organic Salsa to almost every meal I eat. A little bit with my morning omelet, a little with my chili at lunch, and a little with my BBQ chicken at night.

By the way, you should follow my lead and start posting your daily diet and exercise somewhere for someone who is holding you accountable.

For many people, being ACCOUNTABLE to others is their #1 way to stay motivated and on-track with their diet and exercise program.

You see, I’m committing to you that I’m going to post all of my meals each day, showing you how to eat fast, nutritious foods even when you are traveling or really busy. Accountability is one of the major MOTIVATION SECRETS to success.

About the Author
Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and Oxygen magazines. His trademarked Turbulence Training fat loss workouts have been featured multiple times in Men’s Fitness and Maximum Fitness magazines, and have helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean in less than 45 minutes three times per week. For more information on the Turbulence Training workouts that will help you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment, visit www.TurbulenceTraining.com

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Note from multisportman: if you are reading this because you want to lose fat and see your six-pack abs, then take a look at this other post, “never do crunches again” which has way better exercises

Never Do Crunches Again July 28, 2008

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If you want to have a flat stomach or 6-pack abs, you never have to do another crunch or sit-up ever again.

In fact, the truth about abdominal crunches is that they are useless, ineffective, and even damaging to your spine. The latter fact is covered in great detail by Dr. Stuart McGill in his book, “Ultimate Low Back Fitness & Performance”. His research will shock you (and the scare the bejesus out of you) if you are one of those gym-rats who spends 30 minutes on abdominal crunching type movements.

I found out crunches are useless the hard way, spending ten minutes per day on crunches back in my 3rd year of University, but to no avail. They didn’t do anything for my abs.

That year I stumbled across interval training and total body abdominal exercises. Finally, it was these training secrets that helped me change my torso from regular fit college-aged male into cover-model six-pack abs worthy.

We’ve talked about interval training before here at THB, so let’s focus on the total body abdominal exercises to help you build a better looking torso without doing so at the expense of your low back health.

For beginners, the 3 exercises you must master are called, “The Plank”, “The Side Plank”, and “The Bird Dog”. Now I’ll be honest, these aren’t the most exciting moves in the world, but they will put you on the track to flatter abs and a healthier low back.

For intermediate fitness and strength, you can graduate to exercises such as Mountain Climbers, Plank with your Forearms on the Ball, and Stability Ball Jackknives. There are also at least a half-dozen advanced pushup exercises that will work your abs as well as crunches ever could!

Finally, if you are advanced, some of my favorite abdominal exercises include, Cross-Body Mountain Climbers, Chin-ups with Knee-Ups, and Stability Ball Rollouts.

Here’s to the new era of CRUNCH-FREE abdominal workouts.

About the Author
Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and Oxygen magazines. His trademarked Turbulence Training For Abs workouts have been featured multiple times in Men’s Fitness and Maximum Fitness magazines, and have helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean in less than 45 minutes three times per week. For more information on the Turbulence Training workouts that will help you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment, visit www.TurbulenceTrainingForAbs.com

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P.S. This is a note from multisportman – check out this info on Turbulence Training for Abs for more details.

Best Weight Gain Supplements July 10, 2008

Posted by multisport man in Exercise, Sports Nutrition, Supplements, Training, weight gain.
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Many skinny guys undoubtedly wish to build up weight in the form of muscles and not fat. For those wanting to gain weight and muscle use weight gain supplements to accomplish their goal. Supplements come in different varieties and flavours which includes tablets, syrups and powders etc. All these supplements commonly consist of protein but of different types and in different ways. Proteins are mostly preferred for body building because they consist of amino acids.

Protein is most popular among all the weight gainers because the body absorbs it very fast. Therefore people get results before too long. Egg protein is also very popular for weight gaining because it is easily consumed and is completely dairy-free. Apart from this protein family some other weight gain supplements are also available which can be mixed with bananas and milk for some tasty weight gainer.

The most nutritious among all these supplements is Glutamine. It generally comes in powder flavour which is mixed with water or pored in the form of shakes for easy drinking.

Creatine is another weight gainer supplement commonly used by most bodybuilders as it has scientifically been proven to be effective in muscle development. It is a natural productive acid which resides inside our body and provides us with more energy. Therefore consuming it in large amount provides a huge amount of energy and stamina which helps for those heavy workouts. It also helps for mental fitness and makes brain functioning more finely tuned.

Some meal replacement products are also available which helps for quick weight gain. Normally these supplements are in liquid or tablet forms which can be taken easily. Meal replacement products generally consist of vitamins and nutrition’s and a large amount of antioxidants which makes blood circulation faster and is helpful for those who lack the time to consume the necessary caloric intake for each day.

It is necessary to have these weight gain supplements on the doctor’s advice only as they may create some unexpected side effects. It’s a good idea to collect information about what supplements you are taking and any differences they are making so you can track progress.

Three Common Mistakes Made When Starting a Home Fitness Program July 2, 2008

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Home fitness programs are great, but it can be hard to get started if you are new to serious exercise, or just don’t have the motivation. Read this article and make sure you don’t make these mistakes…

Three Common Mistakes Made When Starting a Home Fitness Program

(Article By Christine Harrell)

Home fitness programs can burns fat and tighten tummies in a fun and exciting way without ever having to leave home. However, the simplicity of a home workout program often leads to simple mistakes that cause the program to be ineffective, or even to stop using the program altogether. Avoiding these mistakes will have you looking better, feeling better, and losing inches off your waste in no time.

Overzealous Starting

Home fitness programs are designed to use a full routine of dance moves to tilt, tuck, and tighten your body into the shape it was meant to be in. Often times, people forget the basic rules of starting a fitness program. To prevent hurting yourself and get your muscles responsive to the exercise, warming up is a necessary step each time you start a routine.

The intensity of the entire program also means that it is critical to start out gradually, one program at a time. You might feel good after completing the first program, but if you overdo it, you will definitely notice it later. This cuts into the enjoyment of the program, reduces its effectiveness and may cause you to throw in the towel before you’ve reached your goal.

Failing To Use The Tools Provided

Many home fitness programs come with several helpful tools to help you use the program properly and see results quickly. The nutrition guide helps to ensure that you are eating the foods you need to keep up with the program.

The variety of different routines included in the fitness program keeps things interesting and works different isolated muscle groups. To help you figure out which program to use each day, some home fitness programs come with a power tracker that when used properly, allow you to get the best results possible with the program. If at any time you begin to lose willpower or have questions, many offer online support groups to help.

Inconsistency

Not using a home fitness program on a regular basis is one of the biggest mistakes anyone can make when using a home fitness program. It takes all of the hard work that you have already put into the program and tosses it right out the window. Muscles need to be used on a regular basis to keep them building, and when workouts are missed these muscles relax and begin to regress to their former shape.

Getting off to a good start with a home fitness program is the best way to ensure you will achieve results. Start with a good warm up, make use of the additional tools, and use the system on a consistent basis to keep you going with the program and get the results you have long been after. When you have reached your goal, set a new one and keep going!

Author is a freelance copywriter. For more information on Hip Hop Abs, visit http://www.extremebodyworkout.com.