The Secrets of a True Fat Burning Workout
Everyone’s familiar with the term “Turbulence” as it applies to flying. You know to buckle your seatbelt when you hit turbulence because the airplane has to work very hard to re-position itself in the air. This is similar to how my Turbulence Training (TT) workout regimens work for fat loss.
Turbulence Training puts a huge “Metabolic Disturbance” on your muscles.
And then after the workout, your muscles have to work very hard (burning calories) to return your body to normal. That’s how “Turbulence Training” combines resistance training and interval training to help you lose fat and sculpt your body.
People using Turbulence Training find it much easier to burst through fat loss plateaus because of the “Turbulence”. Most programs are high-volume, low-intensity, and don’t stress the muscle the same way Turbulence Training workouts will do.
So when people switch from long, slow, boring cardio to Turbulence Training, you have a potent stimulus to kick-start fat loss – no matter how stubborn it was in the past.
Turbulence Training can be modified for the absolute beginner right through to the most advanced fat loss trainee. In fact, I’ve planned a progressive workout program (below) that takes you from getting off the couch all the way to getting ready for the 16-week advanced Turbulence Training workout plan.
If you are a beginner, start from the very start. Don’t get ahead of yourself. If you have been training for a while, but don’t consider yourself advanced, then start with the Intermediate Turbulence Training before you move onto the advanced workouts.
Once you have finished up the 16-week advanced program, finish with the new bonus TT2K6 workout, then use the Turbulence Training Fat Loss Fusion Workout that is one of the TT bonuses. That’s the top-end fat loss program for TT users.
The key principles of Turbulence Training are “Intensity”, “Variety”, and “Change”. These are the words that you often hear a trainer say to clients that are seeking to gain muscle and strength.
But how often are program changes recommended to people looking for fat loss? It’s more likely that the person is simply told to do more exercise and eat less food. Unfortunately, the results are never proportional to the increase in exercise or decrease in calories.
Most people need to do increase their workout intensity and change their program frequently. Variety is a key “principle” for fat loss in Turbulence Training. Your body “adapts” in response to training. The problem is that your body rapidly adapts to training.
Without variety, gains from a once successful program will soon diminish, indicating that your training program should be changed regularly. This makes perfect sense. Your body is very smart and efficient. If you ask your body to lift the same weight week in and week out, your body will only change enough in order to meet that demand.
In order to maintain continual fat loss and muscle gain, you must continually change your program variables. Constantly changing your exercises, the number of sets and reps for each exercise, and other variables all demand your body to adapt and expend more energy (and fat) to get used to it.
Beginners may be able to go 12 weeks (or more) before adapting to a program and reaching the point of diminished returns.
In contrast, advanced trainers may need to severely adjust their programs within as little as 4 weeks in order to maintain fat loss. The advanced trainee’s body has simply become too efficient in a low-calorie state and just won’t drop any more fat unless the training demand exceeds the body’s efficiency.
For veteran exerciser, stick with each program for a maximum of 4 weeks, then change, even if you are not experiencing a plateau in fat loss. Your changes can be as simple as changing the technique for some exercises, the length of your intervals, or the number of reps per exercise. Fortunately, Turbulence Training does all of this for you.
Turbulence Training focuses on intense exercise for a purpose. You’ll use resistance training to promote protein turnover, a higher metabolic rate, more calorie-burning, and a better body composition, all while cutting down your workout time. That’s the same reason we use interval training.
If you keep changing your program and including high-intensity exercise, your body will burn a lot of calories trying to keep up. In fact, the harder you train, the greater the increase in your post-exercise metabolism. That’s why you will get better results from performing sets of 8 reps than you will with sets of 12 reps or more.
This has been known for quite a while now as shown in an important study presented at the 2001 annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine:
In the study, subjects currently training with weights underwent 2 individual weight workouts at different intensity levels. In session 1, they performed 2 sets of 15 repetitions (for 9 exercises) while in the other session they performed 2 sets of 8 repetitions (for 9 exercises).
The results showed that the high intensity resistance training (2 sets of 8 repetitions) resulted in greater post-exercise energy expenditure.
The bottom line: Heavy resistance training has long been under-rated by those seeking to lose body fat, however it is likely the best type of exercise to improve your body composition because it promotes both energy expenditure and muscle growth!
Don’t believe that long, slow, cardio is the most important aspect of a fat loss program. Many successful trainers know that weight training and nutrition are far more important. In addition, interval training is an amazing adjunct to a fat-loss program focusing on resistance training.
Research conducted by Dr. Angelo Tremblay at Laval University in Quebec has shown that high-intensity interval training is more effective for fat loss than continuous low-intensity “aerobic” training.
A 2006 study out of Australia showed similar results. So work harder, exercise shorter, and you’ll burst through your fat loss plateaus. There’s no need to overuse aerobic exercise.
Sure, when you burn a bunch of calories during aerobic training, but once the cardio ends, that’s it. No more calories burned and no boost in metabolism. However, when you create a metabolic disturbance in the body, such as that from resistance training or interval training, you will have a more potent stimulus for all-day calorie burning, so you’ll burn more fat and get lean faster.
As for exercise choices, you need to concentrate on the basics. There are no shortcuts. Only consistent effort and hard work will bring you results. “Cutting exercises” such as pec-deck, biceps curls, and leg extensions shouldn’t be the focus of your weight training.
Exercises that require a lot of muscle mass (presses, rows, squats, lunges, and deadlifts) expend the most energy and signal the body for growth and repair.
It’s all part of the “Turbulence” plan for fast fat loss.
Resistance training and interval traning help you with your body transformation and will allow you to burn belly fat faster than with aerobic cardio exercise. Combined, resistance and interval training result in the greatest amount of Turbulence to your body, and therefore more fat loss!
Just say NO to cardio for fat loss,
Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Author, Turbulence Training