The 20 Minute Workout

the 20 minute workout,

The 20 Minute Workout Ideas for Fat Loss

By Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Author of

If you're sick and tired of hyped-up weight loss workouts that don't deliver results, then you should read this interview where Strength Coach Zach Even-Esh grills me about advanced Turbulence Training methods for fat loss.

Zach Even-Esh: Craig, thanks for taking the time to talk to us. Tell us a bit about yourself, your clients and your training methods.

CB:Zach, I'm a Strength and Conditioning coach in Toronto and I am a contributing writer for Men's Health and Oxygen magazine.

I work with clients on advanced fat loss for people with busy schedules. I am also the Training Director at which provides advanced female exercise info.

Zach: We have a growing number of men and women that lead very busy lives but still want to train hard.

How do you train people like this and still manage to get good results?

CB:I use supersets, moderately heavy weights (6 to 10 repetitions per set), limited rest periods, bodyweight exercises and interval training.

the 20 minute workout,

These effective principles are the basis of my Turbulence Training philosophy.

It's also the basis of most of the 20 minute workout plans in my collection of programs.

Turbulence Training workouts are designed to jack-up the body's metabolism because of intense demands during the workouts.

After the 20 minute workout the body works hard (burn calories and repair muscle) to recover and return to a normal resting state. This is why I compare my Turbulence Training workouts to the Turbulence encountered on an airplane - a simple analogy that people like and find easy to understand.

I stick with traditional weight training exercises. However, it's easy to adapt Turbulence Training principles when using strongman and/or advanced bodyweight exercises.

For intervals, I stick with 30 seconds of exercise and 90 seconds of active recovery, although it may vary between workout phases and for athletes of different sports.

The good thing about heavy weights and intervals is the efficiency. You don't have to do either for more than 20 minutes to get a great response from your body and see results. The 20 minute workout is for the busy person looking to get lean, build muscle and lose fat. You can get a great workout and a shower in less than 30 to 35 minutes a day.

If you combine the 20 minute workout from Turbulence Training with the right nutrition you will be well on your way to success.

By the way, we have a special secret bonus for everyone that invests in the Turbulence Training program! Anyway, you'll see what it is when you start your Turbulence Training journey.

Zach: What would a typical 20 minute workout look like?

CB:Providing that the person is injury free, we will do a general warm-up circuit of bodyweight exercises (3 minutes) and then do warm-up sets for the first superset of exercises (2 minutes).

Then we will spend 5 minutes on the first superset pair ofexercises and then 4 to 5 minutes on another superset pair. We might finish up with a third superset pair or some abdominal exercises, and a 2 minute cool-down (if necessary - based on the individual's fitness level).

On non-weight training days, we would do intervals. It would look something like this:

  • 5 minute warm-up
  • 12 minutes on intervals
  • 3 minute cooldown
Thus, as you can see, you can get a lot done in a short amount of time. The 20 minute workout plan is exactly that - short and extremely effective.

Zach: What sort of nutrition approach do you use?

CB:I had Dr. Chris Mohr, Ph.D., design the Turbulence Training Fat Loss Nutrition Guidelines.

I strongly agree with Dr. Mohr's common sense approach and easy to follow principles. There's nothing extreme about his plan. It is very healthy and effective for fat loss.

I don't think people should exclude fruit from their diet when going on a fat burning phase (we should aim to eat at least 3 servings of preferably: berries, grapefruits, apples and oranges), but instead we should avoid white processed carbohydrates - the kinds that come from a bag or a box.

Foods that should be a part of every healthy person's nutrition plan:

  • Green Tea
  • Almonds
  • Broccoli
  • Berries
  • Variety of lean protein sources

In essence, for nutrition, just select healthy and whole natural foods.

Zach: Last question Craig. What's the greatest misconception people have when it comes to looking better when they come to you. I'm sure they tell you everything that they have been doing in hopes of getting results but the results just don't come. Are there any common mistakes that people make that you have noticed?

CB:I encourage people to be honest with themselves and realize they have to change certain things if they want to improve and get results.

Many people really just want me to "approve" their current workout method (eventhough it's clearly not working). However, in reality, they need to change their workouts drastically to get results.

Most people tend to think they are eating better and using a better program than they really are.

Even when most people make a list of their food intake (as I have them all do on, some people (including trainers that I train) still don't see the obvious problems in their diet.

I suppose it's human nature not to see our own shortcomings, so it's always helpful to have a professional review your training and nutrition.

Zach: Craig, I can't thank you enough for letting me pick your brain with questions.

CB:Always happy to help.


the 20 minute workout, About the Author

Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers and Oxygen magazines.

His popular trademarked Turbulence Training fat loss workouts have been featured in Men’s Fitness and Maximum Fitness magazines, and have helped thousands of men and women lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean in less than 45 minutes three times per week.

For more information on the 20 minute workout plans from Turbulence Training that will help you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment, visit

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