More shenanigans for Bally the Dog. He’s been spending the summer on the farm with my mom while I schlep across the world spreading the word of Turbulence Training

As a result, it has led to many adventures. Some are cool, like when he gets to chase the deer that come down to drink at the river by the farmhouse.

Others are a little scary, like when he chases the neighbor’s dog toward the road.

And then others are just plain mysterious…like the infection he had on the side of his face this week. Turns out he had an ear infection (a chronic problem) and he was scratching himself a lot, and got a little cut on his face which then probably got infected by the river water.

So now he has the dreaded plastic cone on his head. Probably sulking, too. But he was also the subject of a Facebook question, which I’ll get to in a second.

First, the training QnA…

Question: I have been REALLY enjoying the MRT program. A few of the routines call for reps of pull ups/chin ups/push ups to x number short of failure. Since I cannot do a single unassisted chin up or pullup (and very few “man” push least  the decline or other “specialty” ones) what would you recommend for reps on those or some alternative exercise instead? – Janice

Answer: Hey Janice, thanks for the feedback. Depends on available equipment…if in a gym, a set of 8-12 underhand pulldowns can replace chins, overhand pulldowns for pullups.

If you have an assisted pullup machine at your gym, use that.

If you are training at home with dumbbells, just use db rows.

For pushups, you can do them with your hands on a bench will make things slightly easier…or eccentric only pushups (control the descent for 5 seconds).

Alternatively, rest your legs on a stability ball. If you place your thighs on the ball, that will support a lot of your weight and allow you to adjust the resistance for your pushups.

Question: What strategies should I take to hit my goal to do 25 pullups?

Answer: Good question. To be honest, I’m not the best expert, as my max is only 21 chinups, and I wouldn’t recommend the program I used to do that.

If there is anyone who can help you achieve this goal, it’s Shawna Kaminski, a female trainer from Calgary who can do over 27 pullups.

Check her site here:


Question: What would you do with a client who has trouble performing a full extension (hands overhead) with the Stick-up exercise? – Chris

Answer: Chris, I actually had a client like that…he had a lot of mobility issues due to genetics and his work environment.

You just have to keep practicing, and also use band pulls, prisoner squats, prone stickups, and keep working on that area.

Your client should also look into physiotherapy to address underlying issues.

Question: What are the absolute necessities for a home gym? I live in an apartment so space is limited. I have two sets of dumbbells (10lb and 15lb) plus a stability ball and 15lb kettlebell, plus a yoga mat and foam roller. I run and usually do a TT workout 2 or 3 times per week. – Samantha

Answer: You have a great set-up.

If I had to build my own home gym, I’d start with adjustable dumbbells, perhaps the powerblock brand…ones that allow me to have up to 90lbs of resistance.

That would be the FIRST piece of equipment I’d get. It’s also pricey, too, but that’s where I’d start.

You can hit every body part with dumbbells and bodyweight exercises. For chest presses, you can lie on the floor. And you can do db rows in a staggered stance – no need for a bench.

After that, I’d get a pull-up bar, then a kettlebell, and then a ball.

I’m thinking someday soon I might leave the big city and get a big country home, and then build a wicked home gym in a 2-car garage…that’s going to be fun if it ever happens. Stay tuned…

Question: Who has a better 6 pack abs…You are Bally the Dog? – Daniel Woodrum, Certified Turbulence Trainer, from South Carolina

Answer: Daniel, right now, me. He’s spent the entire summer on holiday at the farm with my mom and I think lil’ poochy is getting fattened up a bit. He gets more ice cream there than he does in the big city with me. Not a lot of ice cream, but it might be enough to take him from 6-pack abs to just a 4-pack.

Time to step up his training when I get home,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Certified Turbulence Trainer

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


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


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

Hmmmm…I might have to get Bally to enter…

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Craig Ballantyne

Craig Ballantyne is the author of The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life. Craig has been a contributor to Men's Health magazine for over 17 years. Today he teaches his gift high-performing entrepreneurs how to squeeze more out of their days, increase their income, and make more quality time for their families in his Perfect Life Workshop and Work-Life Mastery programs. Craig used his own advice to overcome crippling anxiety attacks in 2006, and he'll teach you his 5 Pillars of Success so you can increase your income, decrease your work time, and live the life of your dreams. Learn more about Craig at