QnA: Gluten-Free Diet and Exercise Substitutions

Oh dear…Bally the Dog just got back from camp (the kennel) and the owner of the kennel said he’s getting fat.

Looks like my mom has been feeding him too many treats this summer while he stayed with her. We’re going to step up the dog walks when I take him back to Toronto next week.  And he’ll eat less, too. My mom’s a softie when it comes to his begging.

But we all know diet is more important than exercise, right? So lots of nutrition to cover this week…important to help you get the right diet for your fat loss program.


Question: Hey Craig, what do you think of the gluten-free diet? – Mary

Answer: That’s a great question. I personally don’t follow the diet but if you’re a sports fan, you may know that US Open winner Novak Djokovic has been on a gluten-free diet this year and that has been attributed to his amazing run on the courts.

It’s possible a gluten-free diet helped him with:

1) Reduced systemic inflammation
2) Faster recovery time
3) Less immune system overload
4) Better nutrient absorption from food
5) Better gut motility and function

While I don’t know much about this type of diet, I know a gentleman down in Texas who does. His name is Peter Osborne, a chiropractor from near Houston, and I saw him speak last weekend in San Diego.

Wow, was he ever passionate about this type of eating. So I checked out his site, and he has a lot of articles on gluten free eating, including for weight loss, here:


Peter also has a gluten-free cookbook to help you out.

If you try it, let me know what you think.

Question: Hi Craig. Is there a certain formula i should use to figure out how many calories a day i need to lose fat? I have found a few on the internet, but since I am doing your programs, I would like to go by what you recommend.

Answer: For calories, I like this simple solution.

Step 1 – Find out how many calories you are eating now (with Fitday.com)

Step 2 – Improve the quality of your diet (more F&V)

Step 3 – If you are not losing weight, decrease calories by 10%

It sounds so simple, but it works, I promise you.

Question: Hello my name is Josh. I live in Texas, married with one young child (16 months). I have been overweight for as long as I remember. However after my fathers recent heart attack I have decided to not follow in his foot steps. so I started to change my diet and now looking to really get into working out.

at present: I weigh 275 lbs, 5’9”, 29 years old

My previous diet consisted of what ever I felt like with a bunch of soda. My current diet is a green smoothie (I follow a recipe of an apple, a pear, a hand full of spinach or kale, mixed in a blender with coconut water to make the smoothie) I have two a day one for breakfast and one at lunch.

I will eat mostly veggies at lunch and dinner with a little bit of meat and have cut out sodas all together. so far im doing good on this diet, however may need to tweak this a bit when I start the work outs.

Have had baseline blood work done and all levels are within normal limits so im good there. However my blood pressure in borderline high.

My goals are simple, loose wight, fat and keep it off.

Answer: Hey Josh, Welcome to Turbulence Training. Great to hear from you. I recommend eating more protein (consider adding some protein powder to the drinks – or have some eggs at breakfast).

Snacking on almonds between meals is fine.

I don’t want to discourage you, but your planned transition is a big one, and we want to make sure you have safeguards in there so you don’t fall back to old eating patterns.

Looking forward to your success. I’m sure your wife is proud of you. I know I am.

Question: You say that you used the TT for bodybuilding which was “one of the programs that helped you reach peak strength and mass of 194 pounds at 9% body fat”. Would this be a good place to start for my goals as described above. How many calories were you consuming?

Answer: At least 3500 calories per day. And this was back before I had my dog…or just around the time I got him. I was training clients from all morning, training around 2pm, and then training clients again from 3-6.

That was back in the after workout chocolate milk days, and 12-inch subway subs for lunch. Not as healthy as I eat now, but you have to cheat a little bit to get 3500 calories.

Those were the good old days.

Question: Can you give me alternative exercises for: Seated/Strap Rows, Chinups, Bulgarian Split Squat, SB Jackknife, and SB or Strap Pike?


  • Seated or Strap Row-DB rear delt raise
  • Chin ups  –db row
  • Bulgarian Split Sqaut -DB Split Squat
  • SB Jacknife – Mountain Climber
  • SB Pike or Strap Pike -Plank
  • Pull ups –DB Row


You know what, on the topic of Exercise Substitutions, let me give you a big, big list. This should cover most questions.

Let me know if you still need an alternative.

What can you use to replace the deadlift?

Answer: The only direct replacement is a dumbbell squat. Otherwise, just replace with any lower body exercise paired with a row.

  • For example, do a barbell lunge and DB row.
  • Or pair a Stability Ball Leg Curl + DB Row.


Question: What exercises can I use to replace lunges if I have knee soreness?

Answer:  First, see a doctor and have them diagnose the problem. Second, see a therapist and have them treat the issue. Third, see a trainer and have them assess where you need to work on flexibility and how you can include some “knee-friendly”
exercises in your workout program.

These exercises include:

  • Lying Hip Extensions (also known as Lying Hip Bridges)
  • Single-leg Hip Extensions
  • Lying Hip Extensions with your feet on the ball Lying Stability
  • Ball Leg Curls

For DB Incline Press – You can do…

  • DB Chest Press
  • DB Floor Press
  • DB Standing 1-Arm Shoulder Press
  • Dips with Knee-ups

For DB Chest Supported Row You can do…

  • DB Row
  • BB Row
  • Seated Row
  • DB Renegade Rows
  • DB Rear Deltoid Raise

For Dips with Knees-up – You can do…

  • Any version of close-grip pushup
  • DB Floor Press
  • DB Close-grip Press
  • DB Close-grip Floor press

For DB Chest Presses (of any kind)- You can do one of these:

  • Pushups
  • Close-grip pushups
  • Decline pushup
  • Elevated pushups
  • Off-set pushups
  • Pushups with your feet on the ball
  • Pushups with your hands on the ball
  • Spiderman pushups
  • Pike pushups
  • Decline close-grip spiderman pushups (really hard)

For DB Split Squats – You can do:

  • 1-leg lying hip extensions for beginners
  • High-rep Bulgarian split squats for advanced
  • High-rep split squats with your front foot elevated 4-6 inches
  • 1-leg deadlifts
  • 1-leg squats onto bench
  • 1-leg squats standing on the bench
  • Deepstep-ups
  • Reaching lunges

In place of bodyweight rows, you can do:

  • DB rows
  • DB elbow-out row
  • DB chest supported row
  • DB rear deltoid raises
  • Stickups/prone stickups/WYTs
  • Band rows
  • -Bb rows
  • Seated cable rows


In place of pull-ups and chinups, you can do:

  • DB rows
  • DB pullovers
  • Underhand grip pulldowns (kneeling) – replace chinups
  • Overhand grip pulldowns (kneeling) – replace pull-ups
  • Assisted chinups/pull-ups using machine


Back on track,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Certified Turbulence Trainer

PS – If you have a question, just drop by the TT FB page here to ask it:

=> http://www.TurbulenceTrainingFanpage.com

And don’t forget…just ONE DAY left to enter the 12th TT Transformation Contest here:

=> http://www.TransformationContest.com

You can win up to $1000 just for losing belly fat.

Hmmmm…I might have to get Bally to enter…