Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Interview With Craig Ballantyne, Strength & Conditioning Coach

Interview with Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, M.Sc.

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, M.Sc. is a Strength and Conditioning Coach in Toronto, author of Turbulence Training, a contributing author to Men's Health magazine, and a member of the Training Advisory Board for maximum fitness and Oxygen magazines.

Craig's fat loss, muscle building websites feature his best-selling Turbulence Training for Fat Loss program and his membership site offers access to all of Craig's Trubulence Training workouts and video clips (for athletes, men, women, mass-building, and bodyweight-only workouts) and discussion forums.

Craig also has an advanced research background, which makes him a foremost resource to help improve client's health and wellness as well as their physical and mental performance.

P1: Hey Craig, first of all thank-you for taking time out of your schedule to talk with us. Can you let the readers know about your educational background, certificates, in the trenches knowledge, etc.? (We want to know the true Craig Ballantyne!)

CB: I live up in Toronto, Canada. You'd hate the winters Kenny, but it's a good


I spent 6 years in Hamilton, near Toronto, at a place called McMaster

University, ultimately getting my Master's Degree in exercise Physiology, as

well as becoming a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist.

That's where I spent most of my time with athletes, working with Rugby

players, a few hockey players, and some basketball and soccer players. Lots

of fun training for those sports.

I used my research background and experience training athletes to come up

with my Turbulence Training for Fat Loss program, taking a much different

approach to fat loss compared to the ineffective slow-cardio, low-intensity

programs that are still popular.

P1: How have your degrees and certifications helped advance your professional career?

CB: Unlike many coaches, I'm a big believer in formal education for trainers. I

think most of the fads, silly equipment, and ineffective programs are a

result of trainers not having a full understanding of basic neuromuscular


If you understand how a muscle responds to a training stimulus, and what is

required to produce adaptations in the body, you won't get suckered into

squatting on a ball and other exercises in futility.

I know my University education has helped me far more than any certification

I've ever had.

P1: How exactly did you get into strength training?

CB: I dunno, just started way back at age 16. York Universal set in the

basement, traded that in and started free weights after a few months. Read

all the muscle magazines. Learned more at University. Really started

figuring things out in the Master's Degree, and really feel I see the big

picture now.

So all this has led to Turbulence Training, which is a fusion of

bodybuilding, bodyweight, and athletic training methods to help people burn

body fat and get fit. Again, totally different from the inefficient marathon

mentality that has been popularized by the aerobics and cardio crew.

P1: You are known for your incredible program Turbulence Training, a no nonsense, easy to follow plan for true body composition transformation. How and when could you implement Turbulence Training for athletic performance versus body transformation?

CB: There's very little difference between the Turbulence Training for Athletes

and TT for Fat Loss.

Each program uses a bodyweight warm-up. None of that walk on the treadmill

to warmup your core-temperature BS. Since when does the temperature of your

ass determine your performance and technique in strength training? Never. It


So we do a general bodyweight warm-up. The only difference between fat loss

and athlete training is we'll probably do more bodyweight exercises and more

lateral movements for the athletes to prepare the groin for lateral strength

or interval training.

Then both programs follow that up with strength training.

P1: Can athletes gain muscle but not lose speed with Turbulence Training?

CB: Certainly, and if they lose body fat they will really get faster. Body fat is dead weight. You can't afford to be carrying excess fat if you're an athlete.

P1: What is the role of nutrition for athletes and performance training to get stronger and faster?

Nutrition is the #1 factor for fat loss, and it ranks only behind training when it comes to getting stronger and faster. Proper nutrition is part of the recovery process that most athletes don't pay enough attention to.

Eat as much healthy food as possible, and stay away from junk.

P1: Could you give some advice to those athletes and trainers that are just beginning a structured weight program?

CB: Learn how to do the movements with bodyweight only first. In fact, spend some time getting good at the difficult bodyweight exercises first, such as pullups, bodyweight rows, 1-leg squats, glute ham raises, and advanced pushups.

Then slowly move into structured weight training. You shouldn't follow high volume bodybuilding programs. They will leave you sore and fatigued and not able to train. Low volume, high intensity strength training is the ultimate goal for an athlete's strength program.

P1: Craig, you are published everywhere! What advice would you give to anyone interested in writing articles for a major publication?

CB: My advice is not the best. I just find the people i want to contact and then bombard them with ideas - not full articles, but ideas - catchy, hook ideas that will raise their eyebrows. Or I ask for an introduction to a new contact from one of my old contacts.

P1: Who has influenced you the most in your professional career and what did you learn from them?

CB: University professors. Once you learn the basics, you should be able to get "it", and most importantly, you won't "fall under the spell" of a single coach if you simply understand neuromuscular physiology.

P1: Could you explain to us your training philosophy and what are your goals as a sport performance trainer?

CB: Get an athlete stronger, make sure they are able to move with co-ordination,

don't hurt them, don't interfere with their skill training, and just focus on their physical weaknesses. That is what I want to do with my programs for athletes.

P1: You are always busy with something new, what new projects can we expect from you in the future and where can we find them?

CB: I have my seminar for fitness experts that want to succeed online, www.OnlineSuperProfits.com and I'll be adding coaching groups to that aspect

of the fitness business in 2008.

And I am continuing to increase the number of athletes and everyday people

using my fat loss programs from www.TurbulenceTraining.com, as well as my

unique monthly workouts from www.TTmembers.com - one month it might be

advanced bodyweight training, the next month fat loss for women, then a

muscle building program, or even a kettlebell workout.

Showing people and athletes how to get results fast so they can spend their

time doing things they love and need to do, not spending hours in the gym.

P1: Any final statements you would like to add, and please don't > hold back...lol?

CB: Strength training is pretty simple. It's not rocket science. So don't make

it out to be harder than it is.

If you want to get strong, seek out the strong. Find out what they do - and

you'll quickly find out the basics are the foundation of any successful


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