Chris Lopez, the Original Certified Turbulence Trainer and TT Kettlebell Revolution Fat Loss Expert uses a system that helps you to gain lean muscles and lose weight while improving your body’s appearance and condition.
Being a father busy father of five, he understands that it can be difficult to find workouts for men and women who want to lose fat without all the extra effort of having to go to the gym.
I want to share with you an advanced fat burning workout that is one of the best programs I’ve come across in a long time. So for you busy mom’s and dad’s (and dog owners), here is something to help those who need to lose fat while on the go-go-go.
Craig Ballantyne: Chris, I don’t have any kids, let alone five kids. So tell me about the day-to-day fitness and fat loss challenges of busy parents.
Chris Lopez: Time and nutrition are the biggest obstacles to success. If you’re trying to eat clean and healthy, it’s tough to stay on track when there are cookies and chips in the house. Now I know people say that you shouldn’t be feeding that stuff to your kids, but I live in the real world.
All kids, at some point, enjoy their treats, and I’m not one to deprive them of that. The key for both struggles (lack of time and nutrition) is preparation – having a plan. You need to know when your time to train will be (for me, it’s 20-minutes around lunch time) and when your meal prep time is (Sunday afternoons).
Find the time, book it and try not to deviate from that.
Craig Ballantyne: OK, so what workouts are best for busy parents who want to lose fat?
Chris Lopez: Busy parents have to keep it SIMPLE.
The basic moves (squats, deadlifts, lunges, pushes, pulls) are the most effective. Using those movements with challenging resistance will always trump any move you can do on a wobble board or BOSU ball. The basics, coupled with fat burning intervals (sprints, barbell complexes, hybrid exercises, tabatas or body weight circuits) will give even the busiest mom or dad amazing fat loss results.
I never have more than 20 minutes per day to burn fat, so I alternate between resistance workouts and fat burning interval workout days.
Also, with the limited time, INTENSITY plays a huge roll. But QUALITY beats QUANTITY every time.
I also limit my rest time to no longer than 60 seconds between sets to get more done in less time.
Craig Ballantyne: What equipment and space do you need for your workouts?
Chris Lopez: I’m at the point right now where I could train a client in an 8×8 foot space…imagine something the size of an empty elevator. All you need is your bodyweight a space that big.
Craig Ballantyne: Any equipment?
Chris Lopez: Sure, a chin-up bar is a plus, and if you’re in a gym, that’s even better, but you can still burn a ton of fat without equipment. While many of my clients have decent home gym equipment, for the ones that don’t, I get them to buy a chin-up bar and I bring a kettlebell and a medicine ball for their workout.
By far though, my favorite piece of equipment is a set of blast straps.
Craig Ballantyne: Yeah, I have a set of those. Great stuff.
Chris Lopez: They’re so versatile. I can hook them up to a chin-up bar, a set of goal posts on a soccer field, I’ve even rigged them to the roof rack of our mini-van.
Craig Ballantyne: What’s a mini-van? Never mind. Tell me the best exercises you use, and tell our readers about some of the most overused exercises you see people wasting their time with.
Chris Lopez: Compound movements are the best ones to use (sorry for the trainer lingo…by compound movements, I mean squats, deadlifts, lunges, presses, rows, chins and their variations).
These, by far, cause the most “Turbulence”, as you might say.
One of my favorite exercises is using a combination of these exercises with a barbell in a hybrid lift. Over rated exercises, I find, are the ones that use only one joint, such as lateral raises, knee extensions, cable cross-overs – these are all fine and good if you’re a bodybuilder or have a lot of time to spend in the gym.
But I don’t have one client who has that kind of time.
And truthfully, all my clients, and myself, would rather be spending that time with their families.
Craig Ballantyne: Do you use any exercises that most other trainers overlook?
Chris Lopez: Too many trainers neglect the importance and effectiveness of bodyweight exercises.
Classic push-ups, chins, bodyweight squats and pistols are by far my favorites and are staples in all of my client’s workouts, even for beginners. They may appear difficult, but there are a lot of ways to modify the exercise to accommodate a beginner’s strength levels.
And everyone who does my bodyweight workouts LOVES them.
Craig Ballantyne: So what is your key to the success of all your busy parent clients who stay so lean and fit?
Chris Lopez: The key is the QUALITY of work.
Do the things that will give you the most bang for your buck.
Craig Ballantyne: As a busy dad, you’ve told me that you’ll work out anywhere, so give me a story about the strangest place you’ve worked out?
Chris Lopez: Funny you asked, the mini-van came in handy on this one. I was on my way to picking-up my 9-year-old from school one day this past spring. I had a really long day – I trained 9 clients that day in a 10-hour span – and was pretty much spent.
I was in for an even longer night with either a soccer game or practice in addition to making dinner for the family (what can I say, I like to cook).
I knew I had to get an endorphin rush to make it through the rest of the evening, and I hadn’t trained myself at all. So I got to the school early and setup shop in the parking lot.
Craig Ballantyne: You worked out in the parking lot at your kid’s school?
Chris Lopez: I had my blast straps, a 54lb kettlebell, and my sled.
I started with some mobility drills and a bodyweight circuit and then started training hard. I hooked up my blast straps to one side of the roof rack and opened the sliding sliding door of the van on the other side. I set up a superset of kettlebell snatches & push-up and then another of inverted rows and pistols.
I was really working hard and managed to build-up an audience of kids looking out their classroom window. When I was done, my daughter came out of class, and I had her sit on the sled with the kettlebell and did some drags for my metabolic work.
Craig Ballantyne: For all the parents out there that aren’t as fit as they want their kids to think, what is the best way to do interval training?
Chris Lopez: One of my favorites is using a Tabata protocol with kettlebell swings.
(Ooops, there goes my trainer lingo again…a “Tabata” is a series of eight 20-second intervals followed by a 10-second rest. So you go 20-on, 10-off, and do that 8 times for a total of 4 minutes.)
That’s “4-minutes from hell with a kettlebell“. But nothing beats sprinting on a track, in my opinion.
And all parents will love this one…
Doing a bodyweight circuit in the bathroom while the kids are having a meltdown is great stress relief. And burns fat too. Sometimes you just gotta do what you can to get away.
Craig Ballantyne: You workout in the bathroom a lot?
Chris Lopez: Not really.
I’m lucky because there are 2 or 3 schools in the neighbourhood with great outdoor facilities where I can do intervals. There’s just something about getting out in the sun and doing your workout. When I’m out there, I’ll usually go more for distance than for time.
I’ll start off with 400m runs and do 2 or 3, then drop down to 200m and do 3 or 4 and finish with 3 or 4 100m sprints (if I have anything left in the tank). Those 200’s really take it out of you – so that’s obviously not a beginner program. Safety first!
So there you have it! That’s all for today. Join me tomorrow where I share more inspiring fat burning tips.
Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, M.Sc.
Contributor, Men’s Health Magazine
Craig Ballantyne Athletic Consulting, Inc.