Turbulence Thanksgiving

vegan recipesSpending this weekend in Stratford – nice brisk fall weather – which I actually prefer to the warmer weather I just returned from in Orlando. What can I say, I just like Canadian weather better.

While traveling, I stuck to the vegan diet, however it’s tough not to lose weight on this program. But that should be good for you.

In fact, a vegan diet is virtually guaranteed weight loss.

Of course, as long as you don’t overindulge in sugar, you can lose weight on all kinds of diets. Check out this week’s best TT success story:

“Your training programs are the best. I needed to lose a few lbs and thought I would try it out. it was incredible. I lost 10 lbs in a month and did not really change my diet except to cut back on the sugar (which was hard to do for coffee). It worked. No more 6 day per week workouts for me.”
Don Held

Awesome, congrats Don!

As for my workouts, this week I’m taking a break from heavy barbell work to film a bunch of TT programs – follow along style. That way, you get to workout with me.

I’m also creating a special new program called, Bodyweight Bodybuilding, and I did Workout A last Sunday. TT Platinum Members will get this in December.

But after that workout I felt a little sick because I drank too much of a veggie drink before the workout…I’ll share that recipe later…but for now, let’s get started on your 7-day abs plan.

Click here to listen to this week’s ab workout call

Now for Turkey week transformation tips for folks in the US and A…

Monday – Nov 23

Transformation Tip of the Week:

If you fall “off the wagon” cut your losses, don’t worry about it, and get right back on track. Immediately. It’s minor damage that can be dealt with. Stay STRONG!

Almost every American goes overboard this week…don’t let one day become 37 days of bad eating and no exercise until the New Year.abs exercises

Just chill out and get back on track. Don’t wait till New Year’s Day to eat healthy again.

Workout A – TT Bodyweight Abs (Bonus)

Superset #1
1A) Reaching Lunge – 12 reps per side
1B) Spiderman Pushup or Regular Pushup – 10 reps per side or 15 reps

Superset #2
2A) Close-grip Pushup – 20 reps
2B) Side Plank Leg Raise – 10 reps per side

Superset #3
3A) Inchworm – 8 reps
3B) X-Body Mountain Climber – 12 reps per side
3C) Stick up – 12 reps

Advanced Interval Training Workout A (Details below)

30 minutes of fun activity. Now let’s investigate the…

“Fish oil fat loss controversy”

A research review from Obesity Reviews (Vol 10, pg 648 – 659, 2009) called, “Anti-obesity effects of long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids” caught my interest.

In this report, Australian researchers state their belief that omega 3 fatty neworangejuiceacids can reduce body fat in humans, but of course, they need more research.

You may even have heard other nutrition experts saying that fish oil causes fat loss, well…

Personally, I don’t believe it one bit.

And neither does my friend, Brad Pilon.

“I have zero belief that it will cause any noticeable changes in body fat. With regards to overall health, I think there are numerous health benefits to both DHA and EPA, but I also think that there is no reason to “mega dose” and that mega dosing with fish oils (like almost anything else) can actually be detrimental.”
Brad Pilon
Author, Eat Stop Eat

Don’t believe the Fish Juice hype!


Ah yes, hump day, and a major travel day for Americans. Plenty of potential for stress…but to avoid that…

Take a deep breath in through your nose and out through your mouth. planestrainsauto

And just remember, no matter how stressful your travel, it can’t be as bad as what John Candy and Steve Martin experienced in the classic, “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles”.

Workout B – TT Bodyweight Abs (Bonus)

Superset #1
1A) 1-Leg Squat – 8 reps per side
1B) Grasshopper Pushup – 10 reps per side

Superset #2
2A) Burpee – 10 reps
2B) T-Pushup – 8 reps per side
2C) Pushup Side Plank – 30 second hold per side

Superset #3
3A) 1-Leg Deadlift – 12 reps per side
3B) Spiderman Climb – 10 reps per side
3C) Chop – 15 reps per side

Advanced Interval Training Workout B (Details below)

Here’s a video of the Grasshopper push-up…


30 minutes of fun activity and Happy Thanksgiving to the TT American Readers!

You can still get some activity, even if the gym is closed. From kettlebell workouts to bodyweight exercises, there are no excuses!

And if you have some competitive relatives or friends who want to lose fat, consider this interesting incentive…

Last week I stumbled across an article on a financial website that discussed a unique research study.

The scientists separated dieters into groups, with one group “offered a chance to contribute between one penny and $3 into an account daily. The researchers matched the deposit and added $3 for each day a participant called in and reported a weight at or below their goal – with the understanding that only those who reached their weight-loss goal got to collect at month’s end.”

The researchers found that after 16 weeks, the group that “put money in the pot and had a chance to WIN” lost 14 pounds on average, versus 3.9 pounds for the study’s control group that didn’t put money in the pot for a chance to win.

Putting a little “skin in the game” could help you stick to your program with better results.

Last month I mentioned www.Stickk.com – a website that allows you to challenge yourself to succeed. StickK.com allows you to set a goal, but if you don’t make it, you have to pay out money to a friend or a charity. So again, it puts some monetary incentive into your goals.


If you aren’t fighting your way through crowds at the mall or too beat up from Thanksgiving day touch football, try this…abs workout

Intermediate “TT Abs 300 Workout”

Go through the circuit ONCE resting as little as possible between exercises.

Y-Squat – 15 reps
Plank to Pushup – 5 reps per side
Chin-Up with Knee-up or Hanging Knee-up – 10 reps
Side Plank Leg Raise – 10 reps per side
Stability Ball Jackknife – 25 reps
[Beginner] Inverted Row – 20 reps
Grasshopper Pushup – 10 reps per side
1-Leg Deadlift – 15 reps per side
Hanging Knee-up – 10 reps
Stability Ball Rollout – 10 reps
Close-grip Pushup – 20 reps
Forward Lunge – 20 reps per side
Underhand Inverted Row – 20 reps
X-body Mountain Climber – 10 reps per side
Stability Ball Jackknife Plank – 30 second hold
Spiderman Climb – 10 reps per side
Chop – 15 reps per side
Split Squat – 15 reps per side
Prone Stick-up – 10 reps
Spiderman Pushup – 10 reps per side
Burpees – 10 reps

Yeah, that’s a LOT of exercises…but only 300 total reps/seconds. Enjoy!

But be conservative…don’t do that if you are a beginner, or if you just ate 5 pounds of turkey an hour ago.

Social Support Saturday!
30 minutes of fun activity, and then enjoy this “kick in the butt” motivational quote from a classic scene in the movie, “Dodgeball”…

“Quit? You know, once I was thinking about quitting when I was diagnosed with brain, lung and testicular cancer, all at the same time. But with the love and support of my friends and family, I got back on the bike and I won the Tour de France five times in a row. But I’m sure you have a good reason to quit. So what are you dying from that’s keeping you from the finals?”
– Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong in dodgeball from Lynn on Vimeo.

Sunday – Plan, Shop & Prepare
30 minutes activity and then plan, shop, & prepare…

Now one of the most common questions I get is from folks is, “What kind of blender do you use?”

And the answer of course, is a Bass-o-Matic.

Just kidding.

I don’t actually know what kind of blender it is…just some no-name thing I got for about $60, and it works fine.

But everyone says a Vitamix blender is the best, so I might get one of those someday.

Last week before my big bodyweight workout, I made this morning blender drink:

1 banana, raspberries, blueberries, spinach, almond milk, almond butter, cb20easyveggiemealsebook20final4walnuts, cacao nibs. And I poured some over oatmeal and almonds.

If you want more blender drinks, smoothies, and veggie recipes, check out:

Easy Veggie Meal Plans

Next week!
Muscle building tips from Vince
Powerful mind-body motivation & inspiration
The truth about fruit and fat loss

To your success,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

  • The grasshopper push up is a great push up. It really works the obliques while working the upper body.

  • I have always been a smoothie girl but I recently noticed that you, or someone you posted about, added oats to their smoothie. Thought it was interesting so I tried this:

    banana, raspberries, frozen blueberries, almond butter, pecans, oats, and chocolate almond milk.

    Damn, it was good and I am almost thinking of doing the same thing for lunch!

    Thanks for the great info!

    • Craig Ballantyne

      The secret to liking something is never overdoing it. Hold off on the urge to have it again.

  • Cynthia

    FYI, I did very my first chin-up today. Today is a rest day, and as I was sitting on the couch feelin’ sorta fit, I thought, “hmm, wonder if I could do a chin-up…” I walked over to our chin-up bar and voila, a loud and sloppy chin-up. My husband and kids were laughing b/c they heard this loud “aaaaa-ggggh” and ran over to see what I was doing.

    TT gets all the credit for this. Been doing TT for 4 weeks now, and will continue on. Even when I was 10 lbs lighter and leaner, I wasn’t able to do a chin-up or pull-up. Thanks!!

    Next goal? pull-up!

    • Craig Ballantyne

      Congratulations Cynthia!

  • Chris

    Just curious, Craig, if you’ve omitted fish oil supplementation from your diet?

    • Craig Ballantyne


  • Jose


    I just ordered the TT books recently after talking to Craig on Facebook, and this is my first time actually coming on here to catch up on what I have been missing. I am really happy to see GREAT tips and all sorts of motivational writing. I am very excited for this and enthusiastic about getting stronger. Cynthia, congrats on your first chinup! Tonight I was able to surprise myself and see that I can do 2 consecutively, on my own with no jump up (I weigh 228, haha so it was exciting). I am going to try going Vegan for a week. I have cut off alcohol for the following 4 weeks as well (crosses fingers). I know this is lifechanging, and I CANT WAIT!

    • Craig Ballantyne

      Congrats on the chin-ups!

  • Emilie

    When it says… “advanced interval training, – details below… I can’t find the “details” … is it on another page? Thanks … em

    • Craig Ballantyne

      Oops, sorry that shouldn’t be there. It refers to the advanced interval training info in the TT Abs manual.

  • Caroline

    Hi Craig,
    Any idea what, if any, impact having a high daily dosage of fish oil per day (6 capsules) may do to my weight loss/fitness ambitions. It is prescribed due to rheumatoid arthritis…which also has implications for my fitness routine. I often need to adjust what I do on a day by day basis to juggle pain and possible joint damage with a need to function as a mum to 3 busy children, and a desire to attempt to remain even remotely fit and (relatively) slim.

    • Craig Ballantyne

      Hi Caroline, I don’t think it will hurt your weight loss at all, but talk to your doctor about that. The health concerns are more with changes in the ability of blood to clot.

      • Caroline

        Thanks Craig 🙂

  • Fenella Pearson

    “Virtually impossible not to lose weight on a vegan diet”? I found it was an absolutely guaranteed way to lose MUSCLE! No body fat lost just MUSCLE! I note that the raw food guru of th 80s, Leslie Kenton, was obliged to ditch her raw vegan diet & eat low carb, & even wrote a book about it.

    The exercises are tough but effective, but I cannot build muscle without sufficient protein. The older you are, the higher the proportion of protein you need in your diet.

    • Craig Ballantyne

      Interesting. I am not losing muscle…could be the workout program and total calorie intake. I have not read the research that says the older you are, the more protein you need. That is new to me. Reference?

  • Oel Kram

    Absolute nonsense. You and your buddy need to read the research on fish oil. It may not be proven to effect weight loss in humans but there are no detrimental effects in healthy people. Believe the hype my friend it is one of the most important nutrients for the human body. Irresponsible.

    • Craig Ballantyne

      Hey bro, we didn’t say “don’t take it”. We said, “dont take too much of it”. Chill bro, chill.

      • Craig Ballantyne

        I will add, “the American Heart Association has warned against taking more than 3 g EPA/DHA per day without a physician’s supervision, as there may be some contraindications or side effects possible”…”Side effects include stomach upset, lowering blood pressure and thinning blood. This can be dangerous for those on blood-thinning drugs or with low blood pressure.”…and, “The AHA suggests that you consider a fish oil supplement (under the supervision of your healthcare provider) in order to get the recommend 1 gram of omega-3 fatty acids per day.”

  • Thanks for all your content Craig. You’re a master at keeping us on track with our programs. I’m looking forward to doing the 300 workout today.

    • Craig Ballantyne

      Happy to help!

  • Chris

    Craig – sorry to pester you with another fish oil question… as far as the health benefits go, what sources do you obtain your DHA intake from? I realize it’s importance is the latest hot topic. That is, if you concern yourself with that sort of thing.

    • Craig Ballantyne

      Not concerning myself with it right now.

  • Karine

    Thanks for the article… I love Abs workouts.
    I have a question. Not long ago, I downloaded one of your documents that I found online “30 days Fat Loss Program”. I LOVE IT! do you have any others that are similar to this one? I love it especially because it is a 4-day workout training regimen.

    Thanks a lot for sharing your knowledge with us all.


  • Laura

    Hi Craig,

    What’s the difference between the T-pushup and pushup to side plank?

    By the way, I ABsolutely LOVE your workouts and have been going hard at it since March. I was always someone who worked out WAY too much and never thought I’d actually see BETTER results from doing less! I have to thank you for helping me see the way and see my 6 pack!


  • Lee

    Hi Craig,
    Just wanted to thank you for your newsletter, e-mail updates.
    On the days that I have no other way to motivate myself, your e-mails are great kicks in the pants.
    On the days I can motivate myself, these e-mails just reaffirm what I’ve been up to.
    Again, thanks for what you do!


    • Craig Ballantyne

      Happy to help Lee!