One of the best things about being a Certified Turbulence Trainer is that the entire system is based on the latest scientific exercise and nutrition research, rather than textbooks that are 20+ years old (steady state cardio for fat loss ring any bells?)  Craig Ballantyne, founder of TT, has a Masters Degree in Physiology and is a CSCS (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist) and has conducted research studies of his own at McMaster University. Craig spends hours every month pouring over the latest scientific journals and incorporates the information into the programs he writes and then shares the information with his trainers so that we can implement new, effective methods (and dispense with any that are proven to be ineffective) into our own training programs.

See below for some interesting studies shared in the TT Inner Circle Newsletter.

Seniors Need to Get Strong!

Researchers tested 6763 older adults and found that just 16.1% met strength training guidelines.  Of the 9 tests administered, 27.8% of participants struggled with 5-9 of them while 38.5% struggled with 1-4 tests.  The researchers concluded, “Strength training is uncommon among older adults and even less common among those who need it the most. The potential for strength training to improve the public’s health is therefore substantial.”

It’s never too late!  

(Reference: Kraschnewski, et al.  Is exercise used as medicine? Association of meeting strength training guidelines and functional limitations among older U.S. adults.  Prev Med. 2014 May 27)

Breakfast is NOT as important as you think!

For years, researchers have been telling us that you MUST eat breakfast if you want to lose weight.  Maybe not…283 participants were randomly assigned to skip breakfast or eat breakfast.  The results shockingly found that breakfast isn’t all that important.  Both groups saw weight loss results, with the NO-breakfast-eating-group developing better overall eating habits.

My advice: From my experience, it doesn’t really matter WHEN you eat your first meal, skip breakfast if you like. But make your first meal, whevenever you eat it, as NUTRITIOUS AS POSSIBLE!

(Reference:  E.J. Dhurandar, et al.  The effectiveness of breakfast recommendations on weight loss: a randomized controlled trial.)

Best Ab Exercises

Are you still doing dozens of crunches in the hopes of getting flat, washboard abs? 

Traditional crunches are old news, and not good for your back, so let’s take your ab routine to the next level with the following 4 Best Ab Exercises. 

The most effective ab exercises strengthen your core as a whole –which helps prevent dreaded back pain, increases your agility and, of course, makes you look good. 

In your new ab routine the focus is on quality over quantity. A few concentrated movements are always more effective than dozen and dozens of old fashioned crunches. 

1) Plank: When performed correctly, a simple plank is one of the most effective ways to tighten your entire core. Proper form is key. Keep your back flat and your belly button pulled in toward your spine.  

Lie face down on mat resting on your forearms, palms flat on the floor. Push off the floor, raising up onto your toes and resting on your elbows. Keep your back flat, in a straight line from head to heels. Tilt your pelvis and contract your abdominals to prevent your rear end from sticking up in the air or sagging in the middle. 

2) Mountain Climbers: This vigorous variation of a standard plank kicks the core tightening up a notch. Angling your knees toward the opposite shoulder is a great way to work the obliques.

Place your hands wider than shoulder-width apart on the ground in a push-up position. Bring one knee to your chest and then back to the starting position, alternate each leg quickly. 

3) Side Planks: In yet another variation of the fantastic plank, Side Bridges are much more challenging that they appear at first glance. While the focus is mainly on your obliques, due to the stabilizing nature of this exercise, you’re also working your entire core as a whole. 

Put your feet and legs together as you lie on your right side. Place your right arm under your body and lift your upper body so that your right elbow is directly under your shoulder. Your left hand should be resting on your left hip. From this position, slowly raise your hips from the ground until a straight line is formed from your ankles to your shoulders. Hold the position for a moment, slowly return to the starting position, and repeat.

4) Stability Ball Rollouts:  This one targets the “six-pack muscle” or Rectus abdominins.

Start by kneeling high in front of a stability ball, hands in loose fists on top of the ball.  Squeeze the glutes tight and contract the abdominal muscles, then push the hips forward to start the ball rolling in front of you. Continue rolling the ball out until it is under your elbows and your body is quite horizontal.  If you feel a lot of pressure in your low back before getting all the way out, stop and roll the ball back.  Your abs are still working over the shorter range of motion, I promise!

Even the best exercise routine in the world is fruitless if you throw away your results with sloppy eating. Remember to keep your meals lean by avoiding processed carbs, packaged foods or fried items. Fill up on lean proteins and fresh vegetables and reward yourself with organic, seasonal fruit. That, my friend, is lean living! 

Ready to take your fitness results to the next level? Call or email me today and we will get you started on an exercise program that’s designed to deliver massive results. Come on, you deserve it!

Easy Chia Pudding Recipe

Love this stuff!  Good enough for dessert, healthy enough for breakfast.

2 Tbsp. chia seed

1/2 cup almond milk

1/2 cup coconut milk

1 Tbsp. shredded coconut

1 tsp. maple syrup

1/2 cup fruit (I like berries)

Add all the contents, except berries, to a jar with a lid, and shake well.  Add berries after shaking. If using a sturdier fruit, like mango or pineapple, can add before shaking. Refrigerate 4 hours or longer.  The chia seeds plump up, sort of like tapioca, and give it a pudding-like consistency.  Yummy!  Serves 2….if I feel like sharing.