Time for one of the most anticipated TT articles of the year – the annual workout report card. Not only is this a lot of fun – and humbling – for me, but readers love to know what TT workouts were the best of the best, and which ones were dogs.
Trust me, no other personal trainer is as brutally honest about their programs as I am. You won’t see any other fitness expert giving themselves a report card, let alone giving one of their workouts a C-, like you’re about to read today.
That said, there are also a lot of A+’s this year, more than ever before.
So get ready for a no-holds barred review of the 2012 Turbulence Training Workout roster. I point out my home runs and strikeouts in this completely transparent evaluation of all my monthly workouts.
Not every workout was brilliant, but there are always a few surprises, and of course, a couple workouts that hit totally LEGENDARY status.
Now you might find this a little shocking. Why would an expert point out his flaws?
Well, because, it is my moral responsibility to come through for you, my friends, and even my family members who use these workouts for their health and physical transformations.
I also owe it to myself.
Just as Dr. Evil didn’t go to Evil School for 6 years to NOT be called Dr., I didn’t go through 4 years of Kinesiology, 2 years of a Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology, and over a dozen years of training clients to NOT be the very best that I could be at helping YOU get results through fast, fun, effective workouts.
It is my reputation – and pride – on the line with each and every monthly TT workout, and this Report Card puts me in my place. Last but not least, if the roles were reversed, I’d appreciate fitness and nutrition experts who I bought from doing the same for me, being honest and open about what their best products were and which ones aren’t so hot. It’s only right.
(NOTE: I was inspired to do this report card by my friend, Porter Stansberry, who does this in his newsletter business.)
The Grade of each workout is based on customer feedback, my opinion of the program, my expectations for the program, and how many Transformation Contest winners used the workout. By the way, you can…
Here’s the 2012 TT Report Card…
Every January I put together the latest “Flagship” version of Turbulence Training and give it the TT 2K moniker (representing the year it was created). Two of my first, and still “BEST programs ever” are the TT2K3 and TT2K4 programs from the main
Turbulence Training manual that almost every TT reader has used at one time.
Last year, we borrowed cool training techniques from a professional bodybuilder and good friend of mine, Ben Pakulski. This has lead to the use of the four-number tempo beside most exercises in many 2012 TT manuals.
It would be a real shock for the January workout to get anything less than an “A”. Let’s take a look at some TT Member feedback:
“TT 2K12 Will Blow You Away & You’ll Experience a Burn Like Never Before”
Ranking Out of 10: 10
Your age (range) and gender: 37 year old male
Workout Positives: This is a great program. M-MRT will blow you away. It takes a little while to get your head around it but once you workout the squeezing technique you will experience muscle burn like you never have before.
For those of you with home gyms or limited equipment the M-MRT technique will also allow you to get more bang for your buck with less weight. Excellent program design and exercise progression. Beware the evil 2nd superset on each day. Optional interval days are a bonus. If your diet is in check this program will strip fat off you like never before.
Workout Negatives: I’m struggling to think of any. Um no deadlifts in the program…. I’m addicted to deadlifts apparently
Other Comments: This workout is very challenging and will make you feel things (physically perhaps emotionally) that you have never felt before. Very tough but very gratifying workouts which will have you walking out of the gym feeling pumped and full of energy still. Another classic for CB. – Peter J., longtime TT Platinum Member
This was a bonus workout for meatheads, and can be described as, “Old school meets new school with the science of metabolic resistance training blended with classic meathead training”. I liked this one, but it’s definitely for a niche TT readership.
“For the Holy Grail of Building Muscle & Burning Fat at the Same Time”
Ranking Out of 10: 8
Your age (range) and gender: 38
Workout Positives: I love a 3 day per week program and I particularly love the lower body/upper body/full body split. I find that it allows me to go hard and heavy but still recover really well. It has all your classic meathead exercises but it’s put together in a way that is very metabolic. It is certainly not a case of “meatheads only need apply”; this workout is for everyone wanting to challenge themselves.
I really enjoy this new m-mrt technique which has been employed for some of the exercises. It give you much more bang for your buck and really brings the mind/muscle connection back into focus. It really forces you to “will” your muscle to contract. I think it makes for a much more intense workout.
Workout Negatives: Not much to criticize to be honest. One thing it didn’t like and eventually changed was the order of a couple of exercises in workout C. This was my personal preference but I didn’t like superset 1 which was deadlifts and dips. The dips just didn’t feel right to me after the deadlifts for some reason.
Who Would You Recommend This Workout To: This workout is for anyone looking for that holy grail of gaining muscle whilst burning fat at the same time. Although it is a “meathead” workout I think it leans more toward fat loss than muscle building. The workouts are quite time efficient, I would say just on or slightly over an hour including warmup, and at only three days per week would suit those with a tight schedule.
It will NOT suit those working out from home as it requires a variety of different equipment and substitutions would be a headache
Other Comments: Overall I great addition to the meathead stable. I gave it an 8 only because I gave Reformed Meatheads a 10 and for me that workout is a benchmark for this type of workout ie. fatloss for meatheads.
3) February 2012 – “TT Ballantynes Day Metabolic Muscle Massacre”: Grade A-
Craig’s evil brother Braigz CallEntyne strikes again with a SUPER ADVANCED workout that blends old school and new school with pure unadulterated eeevil. Again, very niched, and we definitely started out with some hardcore programs to kick off 2012. But that might be why they received such high marks!
“Really Challenging Workouts – You’ll be seeing stars!”
Ranking Out of 10: 11! – This has to be my favourite TT program ever along side with MRT. As the guy in Spinal Tap says “this one goes to eleven”!
Workout Positives: Variety! Lots of it in this workout. You won’t get bored. Really and I mean REALLY challenging workouts. You will see stars at times and wonder if the gym has decrease the amount of available oxygen in the room. Like CB says though don’t try this one if you’re a beginner.
Workout Negatives: This workout won’t increase your strength if that’s your goal.
Who Would You Recommend This Workout To: I would recommend this program to an advanced TT’er who wants to improve their conditioning and perhaps remove that last bit of stubborn belly fat (in combination with a good diet of course). NOT the best choice for those pressed for time as the workouts to drag out to a good hour not including warmup in my experience. Although we’re only talking 3 days per week to get some of the best workouts of your life so maybe you should suck it up…..
It is also best for someone with a well equipped gym because substitutions may become nightmarish if working from home.” – Peter J, Platinum TT Member
And another member chimed in to say:
“So, I actually changed my mind, and went a different direction and am just now doing this workout. I agree with your 11 rating 100%. I have done all 3 workouts the first time through. Workout C is really, really great. I mean, just all around destroyed me. – Husky Pete, TT Member
4) February 2012 – “Turbulence Forever & Turbulence Rises”: Grade B+
These two programs were my adaptations of John “Roman” Romaniello’s fat burning workouts that went with his Fat Loss Forever nutrition program (that he is now turning into a NY Times best-seller – watch for this in April of 2013).
Designed to experience the “whoosh” effect, Turbulence Forever uses density and lactic acid workouts for incredible results. And in Turbulence Rises, you’ll be moving from exercise to exercise, within minutes your body’s temperature control reaches its limit… as Dark Knight of Metabolism and Body Wonder of Fat Loss bring you an incredible workout. The workouts get a B+ simply because they just aren’t as good as the “TT Clash of the Titans” programs that John and I put together back in the day. Use those instead.
5) March 2012 – “TT Metabolic Madness”: Grade B-
You’ll get classic metabolic resistance training combined with your favorite finishers, all wrapped up in a new bodyweight challenge routine to finish off the week. This one gets a B grade because we just don’t have enough reader feedback to give it a true A. Perhaps there were just too many metabolic programs in a row, and readers wanted something different.
And now for something completely different, you get a TT program where I tell you to run long distances! But this is all based on strategery, of course, to prepare you for Tough Mudder runs. I completed two runs this year, and finished in the Top 10 for one of them.
I know what it takes to excel in Tough Mudders, and this program will get you fit. After all, it worked for my best friend, J-Roc, who finished the Toronto Tough Mudder with me in just over 2 hours.
In this program, you’ll get a great challenge workout (Adventure 500), plus two total body TT workouts, and a plan for gearing up to run the 10-12 miles of a Tough Mudder.
7) May 2012 – “TT Metabolic Resistance Training 2.0”: Grade A-
Close, but no cigar. This one is NOT as good as the original TT MRT 1.0, but it’s not like it’s “Revenge of the Sith” or anything. It’s still really darn great. You’ll get new exercises in workouts using the 4-number tempo and even squeezing techniques.
Let’s hear from one of our female TT members about her experiences TT MRT 2.0:
“Definitely one of the more challenging TT Workouts”
I’ve completed 2 weeks of this workout so far and these are my thoughts:
* It is definitely one of the more challenging TT workouts. The workouts keep my heart rate up pretty high during the entire time which I like because I truly feel like I’m working hard.
* Workout A – I thought this was a great strength building workout. I like how the chinups come later in the workout for a different challenge as compared to doing them when the muscles are fresh. I also liked the combination of exercises in each triset.
* I found workout B to be the most difficult. I made it through the circuit 5x in the 40 minutes and by the end I was completely fried. I really appreciated the 60 sec rest in the middle of the circuit – it was definitely necessary. I also was grateful that the lunge jumps were only 20 seconds and not 30.
* Workout C is another tough strength workout. Again, I like the positioning of the pullups where they are not in the first group – I found it very challenging but managed to get 5 pullups per set which I’m very happy about. Maybe next week I’ll squeeze out 6 It was also very hard to do the max pushups at the end of the first group after doing the DB chest press.
* Workout D is a great circuit, but definitely not nearly as challenging as Workout B. I got through this one 5x as well in the 25 minutes. I like how there are both regular XBMC and SB XBMC and the SM Pushups – definitely a challenge for the abs.
* The only negative thing that I have to say about this workout is that it can be difficult to time in B and D. I have a GymBoss, but with almost all the exercises being 30 second intervals, I had to throw in a 5 sec interval in between in order to be able to get from one thing to another. Then there were the lunge jumps that were only 20 seconds instead of 30, plus the beginning triset of workout D that had 60 sec intervals in there as well as 30, and it became a bit tough. I also wanted to keep track of the reps I was doing, so I was trying to get back to my notebook in between each exercise to write that down. I ended up having my husband do the timing and the writing of reps for me the second week which helped a lot. – Anna D, TT Platinum Member
Another TT member added:
“That is a great summary and similar to my experience. I am also in the 2nd week. The timed intervals are challenging to set up on GymBoss since there are too many variables. However, if you have an iPad, you can get a Tabata app which works perfectly on these intervals. It is free. – Bobby L., TT Platinum Member for Years
7) May 2012 – “TT Xtreme Deeper Depletion”: B+
Really intense, so this one comes with a warning label (that might be the theme of the 2012 workouts!). This intense follow-up to the original Xtreme Depletion, you’ll discover a variety of squeezing techniques, 4-number tempo lifts and metabolic finishers. It gets the B+ rating because again, the original remains the better of the two. You can get the first Xtreme Depletion program in the TT archives as a Platinum Member.
8] June 2012 – “TT Bodyweight Cardio 5”: Grade A
Developed in a hotel room while attending Jason Ferruggia’s wedding, this new bodyweight cardio program includes the new 5 rounds of 5 exercises cardio circuit. It also gives you the first ever Bodyweight Cardio Gauntlet plus the BWC 500 challenge. Put it all together and it’s at least a “A”, if not better.
Listen, this is still a great workout, and it’s unique too, but when you’re comparing it against all of the other TT workouts, it just doesn’t measure up. But then again, some TT members disagree with me. What do YOU think? Let me know.
In the program, you’ll get new TRX exercises like the Burpee/TRX Row Combo and the TRX Vulgarian Split Squat, plus you’ll go through some touch bodyweight and TRX workouts that you can do just about anywhere.
10) July 2012 – “TT Power Fat Loss”: Grade B+
This workout was developed as a bonus to go along with Roman’s SuperHero Fat Loss program. It’s definitely a one-of-a-kind TT program. This advanced workout has power circuits including the DK Power Circuit, Depletion Circuit and even the Power Muscle-Building Circuit. Many TT members have been asking for something like this for years now, but because it is geared for a specific niche, I’ve downgraded it to a B+.
11) August 2012 – “TT O-Games for Gold Medal Fat Loss”: Grade C-
And so here it is. The worst TT program of the year. I should have known better than to try and be all gimmicky, but I swung for the fences on this. The exercise order is a little more random than my best TT programs, and the exercises have goofy names.
In the spirit of the big event going on this summer in London, TT O-Games was born including the TT Decathlon and the TT Triathlon Finisher.
Then again, maybe I’m being too hard on myself. What do YOU think? Let me know.
WINNER of the TT Workout of the Year Award!
This is an A++ workout, and it’s new and unique 30-minutes of Turbulence design signaled a shift to getting more done in less time. Let’s face it, I was getting a little long with the workouts early in the year. It was time to get back to basics. You’ll be shocked at what you can get done in just 30 minutes.
“It’s Perfect for Busy People and Trainers”
Thank you for this one Craig. Perfect sessions for busy people, and it’s a fantastic design for small group training too. Just wanted to mention that I’m using TT 30 Minute Thermogenic as the platform for my in-person classes. The classes are taking off, and you should see the sweat and effort my students put in. – Catherine Gordon, Certified Turbulence Trainer & TT Platinum Member
This is the new evolution of Turbulence Training. These metabolic workouts deliver the best results in minimum time with each workout lasting only 30 minutes or less.
Oh the horror – first there’s the nightmare ab circuit in workout A followed by the evil addiction circuit in workout B and then the addiction circuit in workout C that will make your triceps scream. It gets a “+” because of the cover, which Bally the Dog and I think is hilarious. Maybe it deserves Grade A status? What do YOU think?
Members said, “This is one of the best workouts”
“The only thing that probably could have been better is taking the ab circuit out and doing it as an off day routine to maybe twice a week? Otherwise, it’s a nice change of pace and I like the duration of the workouts – a staple of TT. 30 minutes – you’re done. I would have liked to change the RDL’s into a deadlift but that’s cool…i’m hoping in november there will be some deadlifting in it….” – Andy A., TT Member for years
“October Halloween Havoc – This was one of the best workouts I have done. It keeps the mind and the muscle engaged through out the workout. Loved it. It doesn’t bore anywhere in between and also there is enough recovery for each muscle. I dropped the body fat % by 1.5% in 3 weeks. Thank you so much.” – Kiran, TT Member
14) November 2012 – “TT Meatheads 100 Rep Challenge”: Grade B
For the 100th monthly TT workout (I’ve been creating these since October, 2005!), you get a 3-day program that you can use on a 7-day schedule and each workout ends with a 100-rep challenge to celebrate the 100th TT workout.
15) December 2012 – “TT Meatheads Off-Season”: Grade B
This was a bonus workout to go along with Vince & Ben’s Hypertrophy Max program, and frankly, my inner-meathead wanted to give this an A+. However, member feedback suggests otherwise. Regardless, it was a great Christmas gift for every meathead. This unique program uses old-school bodybuilding moves including the infamous Bicep 21’s.
One TT Member said, “I gained 5 pounds and Workout B gave me a huge pump!”
Workout Positives: I gained 5 pounds during this time. This workout had some exercises that I had not done in a while (SG Deadlift, Sumo Squat) that really challenged me. It was a “nice” change. Workouts A & C really had my legs shaking. 90% NS squat paired with DB RDL & WG BB Row paired with Rear lunges had me ready to hit the floor. A good feeling when they are done. Workout B gave me a huge upper body pump. I felt HUGE! Curls-21 gave a good burn. Lots of good core work- direct & indirect.
Workout Negatives: The volume was more than I was used to. 5×10 on Bench! I tend to like the strength focused workouts, but I like to change it up once in a while. – Luwarren, TT Platinum Member
Sometimes an amazing movie is released in December, and it never really has a chance at winning an Oscar in February because it was “too late to the party”. You might say the same thing about this program. It’s amazing, and certainly can make a case for TT Workout of the Year because it’s another A++ workout.
This 4-day/week program uses the 20-10 method based on research published in “Applied Physiology Nutrition and Metabolism” with 4-minute blasts of bodyweight exercises.
“Great workout, Craig. My husband and I just finished the first week and we’re loving it. I’m definitely feeling it today on the first of the two-in-a-row off days!” – Heather, TT Platinum Member
“Gave the 20-10 Revolution program a go. Yes, I found out that 20-10 is a legit program. I had some trouble completing 4 rounds of push-ups. I did the workout in my apartment. Like the pace of the workout. Sweat like crazy!” – Charles M., TT Platinum Member
It’s a classic, and became the foundation for the new Home Workout Revolution system, which is now the most legendary of ALL Turbulence Training workouts, even though it’s only been out for 4 weeks!
2013 is going to be a record year for Turbulence Training and your results. Believe it or not, after 10 years of Turbulence Training, and almost 20 years of creating workouts, my sessions are still getting better and better.
Just imagine what you’ll get in the next 12 months!
Don’t forget, not only do you get access to EVERYTHING I’ve ever created, but EVERY workout that I’ll create in the next 12 months.
Now that’s a huge deal at less than 77 cents per program PLUS the ability to ask me all of your training questions in the TT Members area.
See you on the inside,
Craig Ballantyne, CTT
Certified Turbulence Trainer
PS – But hurry, the Ballantyne’s Day sale on this offer…
…ends on, that’s right, Ballantyne’s Day (incorrectly known as Valentine’s Day in many countries outside of Scotland and Canada).
It’s the BIGGEST deal in the history of Turbulence Training.
PPS – If you want to read the 2011 Report Card…
…you can find it here: