The Perfect 30-Minute Workout

Hey folks, were back again with my favorite Aussie and exercise physiologist Kate Vidulich.

In part 2, I expressed the importance as Certified Turbulence Trainer to teach proper techniques that deliver RESULTS. I care about that for our trainers and our clients as part of the Ten Million Turbulence Transformation. This all starts with how we design and deliver our workout programs.

Today I’ll share with you my favorite workout that’s in the Home Workout Revolution.


Kate: So going back to your specific fat loss program design, do you still use traditional interval training?

Craig: Yeah. That’s a great question and I’m sure you asked that because we cover that so much on the weekend. Internal training still works. It’s still rocking. It’s still awesome. But the problem is most people in the Turbulence Training world, whether they’re from Canada, whether they’re from Wisconsin where we have so many clients and TT trainers, or whether they’re from somewhere really hot, it’s tough to go outside and do interval training. People don’t have equipment in their house. They tend to do jump rope or for whatever reason, they can’t do anything.

That’s why we, in the new Turbulence Training, in Turbulence Training 2.0, we moved away from traditional interval training, not because it doesn’t work but because the finishers are working as well, and taking less time, and requiring less equipment, and you can do it with hardly any space. That’s why it’s so fantastic and that’s why we moved to those 30-minute workouts with the finishers. It’s really, really awesome.

I still love interval training. I still have clients who love to do it so they do make their Turbulence Training workouts a little bit longer and that’s totally fine. But if they want to stick to the 30-minute sessions, then they’re going to go with the finishers, not the traditional interval training because by the time you get set up on a treadmill and you do a three or five-minute warm up and then you go back and forth on some speed, you really can’t do 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off on a treadmill or a bike or an elliptical machine, not that I would ever recommend the elliptical machine either because I think it’s cheats people out of results. But you just can’t switch the intensity that fast and so you’re looking at probably twice, even three times, as long for traditional interval training compared to using the finishers.

You can use finishers in so many different styles, upper, lower splits, swings and presses. You can use that Big Five that I mentioned. We’ll go through some four-minute bodyweight workouts in a bit but bottom line, interval is awesome but just a little too time-consuming. People don’t even notice. I didn’t notice till the weekend but you were involved in one of the most important interval training studies back when you were—were you a graduate study in Australia or were you an undergrad student when you were helping out on that interval training study?

Kate: I was still an undergrad student. You see it was like slave labor. That’s what they do in Australia. They use the undergrads to monitor, taking the subjects through these interval sessions, workouts. That was three times a week. They were doing 20 minutes of 12-second sprints and 8-second recovery which is very hard to replicate on an actual spin bike or the regular bike at the gym, you know the Air—I don’t which one of these because they were using the weighted—

Craig: It is impossible. It’s impossible to replicate at the gym. You have to have the specific setup where you can just drop the weight on the bike in a lab and nobody has those because they look so old school and nobody would want to use those. Now we talked about the human nature on the weekend and human nature test, for everybody listening, is why I don’t believe that elliptical machines work that well. It’s because if you had a hundred people and you took them to a gym where there was a hundred elliptical machines and a hundred treadmills, most of those hundred people would go to those elliptical machines because it’s human nature to go to the easiest thing. So these bikes that are used in the research studies that Kate did are hard. They look ugly and no one would use them because human nature says to avoid that stuff.

Back to the interval training stuff, just to finish off there, I still love intervals but it just does not fit the 30-minute plan as well as the finishers did.

Kate: Okay. So come on, you can’t stop there. Give us the perfect 30-minute fat loss workout. We’re dying to know.

Craig: All right, perfect. I think, and you’ve watched the videos—you weren’t there for the actual filming but the workout scenes from the intermediate right on through the advanced and expert levels of the new Turbulence Training 2.0 programs are my favourite workouts by far and poor Shawna Kaminski, who’s another certified Turbulence trainer, I put her through all of those. They were all brand new and they were all the toughest workouts.

I did that because she put me through this burpee jump rope challenge from the Home Workout Revolution Program, which is probably the hardest workout that I’ve done maybe in the last couple of years. It’s definitely still the hardest workout that I’ve done this year. If people haven’t watched that yet, you have to go to the Challenge Workout section of the Home Workout Revolution Program and watch the burpee challenge and watch me get my butt kicked. I am just dying by the end of that.

So I harboured a grudged against poor old Shawna and when she came down to film the workouts for the new Turbulence Training, I had all these diabolical and evil Turbulence Training workouts for her. If you have the new Turbulence Training, my absolute favourite workouts are the workouts in the C level, so Intermediate C, and Expert and Advanced C. They’re just really my favourite.

Let’s go through the Intermediate Workout C and change it up a bit. One thing we do to get a lot of results in 30 minutes is we cut out people spending five or ten minutes on a treadmill or an elliptical to warm up because that’s a real waste of time because it doesn’t prepare you for the specific strength training exercises that you have to do next. You have to go in and warm up your upper body even if you did that ten-minute walk on a treadmill. And your core temperature does not determine whether or not you’re going to get injured.

First of all, we cut ten minutes off most people’s workouts by not having them walk on a treadmill. We get them to go through a bodyweight circuit warm up. So what I really love, I love using the prisoner squat with perfect technique because it hits that upper back really hard and most people aren’t able to warm that area up without equipment because they don’t have a bar to pull on anything. So get that prisoner squat in.

Then you do some type of push-up exercise. Let’s do a closed grip push-up next which is really, I think, easy on the shoulder joint because you have your elbows tucked into your side, you’re working your triceps a little bit more. That’s a nice easy push-up. If you can’t do regular versions of those, do kneeling closed grip push-ups.

Now we’re going to get back up and we’re going do either a single leg RDL, which is something that I do for 15 repetitions every time I workout. That’s one thing that I always do. I do prisoner squats and I do single leg RDLs and then I do a bunch of lower body warm-up exercises then an upper body warm-up exercise.

And then I also like band pulls. I did band pulls today before I did bench press because that really activates the rhomboids and the muscles between the shoulder blades, which is an area that most people do not get enough activation on because they sit just like I am right now and

I’m consciously trying not to do them. I’ve been standing around and walking around but right now I’m sitting with my shoulders rounded forward. So I have to go in the gym to warm up my upper back with prisoner squats and band pulls so that I really open up and get some blood flowing to that upper back area.

I also did three rounds of stick ups every time I work out. The first one is always tight and at the 15 repetitions are terrible. The second one, I’m much looser and the third ones, I really have improved my mobility. That’s why I used to have shoulder problems when I was a kid.

When I say kid, I mean 18 to 22, or 18 to 25 actually. And then I just started paying so much more attention to proper warm-up and even now when I’m getting close to 40, I don’t have the shoulder problems that I had when I was 24 or 25, even though I still bench press, which is an exercise that can put a lot of stress on your rotator cuffs. Because I do that shoulder mobility stuff, I’m much healthier.

So we’re going to do that just for three to five minutes that round of circuit bodyweight exercises there. Then we’re going to move into our first working circuit, which is going to be 30 minutes of exercise per movement and we’re going to give ourselves 15 seconds of rest or transition.

Now if you’re more advanced, you can try and cut that 15 seconds down to nothing. If you’re a beginner, you can add that 15 seconds to make it 30 seconds or more and you’ll see in addition to the interval training, that’s the biggest difference that we made in the new Turbulence Training. We really cut down on the transition time between exercises and between at the end of circuits. We don’t actually use fewer super sets and more circuit in the new Turbulence Training, not because there’s anything magical about them other than the fact they allow us to get more work done in less time.

Yes, you can spread out this entire workout over 45 minutes and probably still get the same results. It’s just going to take you more time but our readers, our members and our clients wanted shorted workouts and if you can train people and get them amazing results in 30 minutes, you can double the number of people you train per hour which is so important.

So we’ve done our bodyweight warm-up. Now we get into our first circuit where we’re going to go lower body, then a pushing exercise, and then a pulling exercise. So it’s the first three exercises of our Big Five that I mentioned before. Now I really like the dumbbell reverse lunge. You can use the goblet style reverse lunge where you hold one dumbbell with both hands or a kettlebell at chest level.

You can use a barbell for this but in Turbulence Training you don’t see a lot of barbell exercises, not because I don’t like them but because they’re just not practical for most people to train at home, which is most Turbulence trainers, and also for most certified Turbulence trainers who drive around the city or go gym to gym and often don’t have access to a barbell. So we wanted to show all these variations for people just to do with minimal equipment.

I like the reverse lunge, a really fantastic exercise. It hits glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps but glutes and hamstrings more than most single leg exercises. In this one, we teach people to pull themselves back up. As opposed to pushing through the quadriceps to get back up, you step up and you pull up by using the hip extension motion and your glutes and your hamstrings work harder. So we’ll do 30 seconds on one side and then we’ll go immediately into 30 seconds on the other, then a 15 second transition. We’ll go down and something like an elevated push-up, or a deep line push-up if somebody’s advanced, or use a regular push-up if they’re intermediate, or we’ll use kneeling push-up for a beginner.

And then we go into—in Intermediate Workout C, it told you do kettlebell swings. Well, we can either do kettlebell swings or we could do goblet squats, or we could do that pulling exercise that I mentioned before. So if you have access to TRX, perfect timing for a TRX move. Or you dumbbell one arm row per side. Then you rest 30 seconds and repeat that one more time because that’s just two circuits of that.

But as we talked about the Turbulence Training Certification program on the weekend, Kate, we’re finding out that you can get more results or just as much results with one set rather than three. You’ll probably see this in some of the future Turbulence Training workouts, dropping down from three to two sets if we have to. This research study suggests that you get 90% of the results with one set as you do with three sets and that’s great news for trainers. Now they can just go through a great warm-up and put their client through one hard set per exercise, and then move on and work through the workouts faster. Again, you train more people that way while getting them the same out of results.

But if you’re going for advanced muscle building and fat loss at the same time then you probably want to get in the second and third sets. So if you were doing of reverse lunges, advance push-up, the hardest push-up that you can do or your client can do, and then into that TRX or dumbbell row for your pulling exercise. It could be a bodyweight row with a bar. It could be the jungle gym rows, which is another great piece of suspension apparatus. That’s you exercise next. It could even be a T-bar row if you’re out of the gym and you have access to that.

So you do two circuits of that. We’re going to move into something that’d going to be a little more fast-paced now. So this place, we might do our goblet squat that I mentioned before or in an intermediate workout C, we had that one-armed dumbbell squat and press which is really a total body exercise. Or we learn the great exercise on the weekend which is one of my favourite right now, kettlebell front squat. Thanks to Chris Lopez who’s another certified Turbulence trainer.

Then we’ll go into something like a pull-up exercise, which is very difficult so the intermediate or beginning version would be an assisted inverted row if you haven’t already done that or you might do the dumbbell row, or you might do a dumbbell chest-supported row. So we have a huge variety in exercises. When we’ll go into something like a total body TRX tricep extension which is another one of my favourite exercises that also hits your abs really hard.

And then we’ll go in and do a fourth exercise with minimal rest between each and we’re doing each one for 40 seconds. We might do suspension curls or we might do another squat exercise or the goblet step up, another total body exercise here. So we do two circuits of that. Then we move in to about four to eight minutes of finisher time and I really love the finisher that we have at the end of Intermediate Workout C, which is one of our six or eight-minute bodyweight workout where you do squats, jumping jacks, and you’re doing on the 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off that the Canadian research study found worked better for cardio for getting results and fitness.

So I love the neutral stance bodyweight squats because it allows you to overload the quadriceps but as we’ve learned over the weekend, the total body extension is my very favourite bodyweight exercise for conditioning. So if you want to do a really hard conditioning bodyweight workout for a finisher, total bodyweight extension combined with push-ups, it’s the hardest version you can do for 20 seconds and then you recover for then 10 and then repeat that for two rounds.

Then you do four rounds of total bodyweight extensions, and then you repeat that one more time for each, that is your finished. You can use kettlebell swings in place of the total bodyweight extension. That’s a more technically advanced exercise but that’s a super exercise to go off and finish of your workout with.

So that’s your 30-minute workout. That is it, no interval training needed, just your two rounds of circuit strength training and then your finisher with bodyweight only. That’s how you get it done in the Turbulence Training and get your clients maximum results in a short amount of time.

Kate: Well, that sounds fun and awesome. You were talking about the total body extension. When I first saw the exercise, I thought what the hell is this move but once you actually try this and you do it correctly as well, I think, Craig, as you were saying before, getting the form right is really important but it’s a fantastic move because really any fitness level can do this. It doesn’t matter if someone has an injury or it doesn’t matter if they’re a female. Everyone can do this because its non-impact. It’s not going to get your heart rate up like you’re jumping but it doesn’t impact your knees and your joints which is think is a fantastic thing when it comes to—

Craig: I like to call it the fake jump because you do everything but jump. You move quickly, you do that quarter dip, you drive up, arms full up in the air overhead and you’re right, it’s very, very dynamic as opposed to squatting which is a little bit slower. So this is an explosive movement without the landing of the jump. That’s why I love it because once you get people to try it out, they realize how fantastic it is for the conditioning and fat loss interval training just with bodyweight only.

Kate: Absolutely. My clients are rocking out, doing this move. Initially, they were afraid people would look at them funny and now that they’re getting results doing these kinds of exercises, they are loving it. That’s a great move I think everyone should really get onboard with, the total body extension.

We covered a lot of great content today. To read why Turbulence Training is the best then jump to part 4 of this interview series.

Click here to listen to the call

Craig Ballantyne, CTT
Certified Turbulence Trainer