Men’s Health Workouts Exposed

The other week I worked on several workouts and stories for Men’s Health.The bad news is that everything gets edited down because of limited space in the magazine. The good news is that today you’ll get the full uncensored, unedited, fully exposed version of my answers and workouts.

Let’s start with how to maximize fat burning on Super Bowl Sunday. This is nice timing because you can use these tips for Thanksgiving or any weekend.

Question: I’m a reporter for Men’s Health magazine and looking for a workout that guys can do to maximize their metabolism on Super Bowl Sunday.

When you know that you’re going to spend a large portion of the day sitting, drinking and eating, when should you time your workout? And what exercises will rev up your metabolism so that you can best burn off all the nachos, wings and beer? Thanks so much! – Julie

Answer: Hi Julie, happy to help.

First, diet is more important than exercise. As you know from the “Eat This, Not That” MH book, it takes hours and hours of exercise to burn off a single fast food meal (let alone an EPIC meal time and entire day of fast food and alcohol).

I tried to convey that message in this video here…too bad we couldn’t send this link to everyone:

That said…SuperBowl Sunday requires EPIC workout for EPIC meal time.

I recommend a challenge workout. This could be a medley of strongman events, or a bodyweight challenge (like my TT Bodyweight 500 that was featured on a few years ago), or a kettlebell circuit challenge, etc.

I’d even be willing to suggest a 60-75 minute workout period (including warm-up), which is much longer than the 45 minutes I usually recommend.

Bottom line – If you are having an EPIC meal time day, here’s your EPIC workout plan.

Do a big warmup, then some heavy lifts, then some kettlebell conditioning, and then bodyweight circuits. If available, finish off with sled pulls or prowler pushes.

Make an event out of it with your friends. But don’t be stupid and train outside your limits…no point in hurting yourself and then being on the “DL” for game day.

Do this anytime of the day. It won’t matter if it is first thing in the morning or the last thing you do before eating.
That’s not the main concern.

What matters is training hard with slightly more volume and more exercises that usual. This could make for an EPIC day and great yearly ritual.

Alternatives plus bonus ideas:

a) play soccer or basketball before (not in addition to the above workout, but in place of).

I know both Thanksgiving and SuperBowl Sunday are based around the big football game, but you’ll burn 3 times more calories playing soccer or basketball than pickup football.

For Canadians, play road hockey. And make sure you organize some kind of tournament format so one group of guys can brag about being champions at dinner.

Bonus points for making your own trophy.

b) Second bonus idea: workout at half-time of the game and do an arm workout…you’ll get a crazy pump from having all those calories in you.

NOTE: Do not do if you’ve been drinking. That would be stupid.

Julie/MH: Does working out before the game help you to maximize the post-workout caloric burn during the game?

Answer: Well, um, more than working out after the game. So, yes.

Julie/MH: Would you recommend tweaking your Saturday workout in preparation? Would you recommend working out on Saturday morning or Saturday night?

Answer: I would not recommend training very hard on Saturday.

Julie/MH: Could you give an example of a kettlebell circuit that would be good to do during the 60-75 minute workout?

1A) KB Snatch – 10 reps per side
1B) KB Swing – 20 reps
1C) KB 1-Arm Press – 10 reps per side
1D) KB Goblet Squat – 20 reps
Rest 1 minute. Repeat 2-3 more times.

Enjoy the EPIC-ness of this.

Question: I’m doing a last-minute edit of a MH feature in which you’re quoted. The article has probably the worst ab circuit I’ve ever seen — 14 spinal-flexion exercises that look like they would wreck even a healthy guy’s back.

You aren’t quoted in that section, but if you have a TT for Abs special I can throw in there, you will be. Maybe 5 minutes’
worth of core work? – Lou

Answer: Sure thing. Here you go:

Stability Ball Plank -30 seconds
Stability Ball Jackknife – 20 reps
Stability Ball Rollout – 12 reps (3 second eccentric) Side Plank – 40 seconds per side

Repeat up to 2 more times.

Question: I work with Adam and Mike at Men¹s Health and am working on a feature for Jan/Feb about a quiz to help readers figure out if their workout is really working and I was hoping for your input please.

Ideally we could figure out 10 questions readers should ask themselves and the answers would help them to upgrade their workouts.

I’m thinking it’s a combination questions about motivation, as well as performance.

I’m looking for insider stuff that you actually use to diagnose whether a workout is working with clients, but I’m thinking it’s things like:

Do you look forward to going to the gym?

Our answer: we explain you have to find stuff you enjoy doing

Etc. Look forward to hearing from you. – Ben

Answer: Hey Ben, happy to help. Here are my suggestions.

1) Are you bigger, stronger, or faster now than you were 4 weeks ago (4 week comparisons are a good interval).

2) Do you know how many pushups you did 3 weeks ago on Friday?

  • Explain how important it is to keep some kind of journal, and if not, you’re wasting your time.

3) Do your photos look better than 4 weeks ago

  • You should take photos every 4 weeks.

4) Can you do 5 pullups, 30 pushups, and a 2 minute plank?

  • Those are good benchmarks for the average MH reader

5) Are you fitter and faster than the guys you know who don’t workout? –

  • That’s what its all about, right?

6) If your buddy invited you on an all expenses beach holiday in 4 weeks, would you be ready?


That’s it for MH-exposed.

But about that last question, can you answer YES! to it?

If not, what are you doing about it?

What’s the fastest way to burn fat? Metabolic Resistance Training.

Specifically, the TT Metabolic Resistance Training workouts:

Let’s get lean,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Certified Turbulence Trainer