Interview With Craig Ballantyne: The Lowdown On Metabolic Resistance Training
I’m really excited about today’s article. I recently got a chance to interview fitness expert Craig Ballantyne, the creator of the incredibly popular Turbulence Training workout system.
I got to ask Craig several questions on his new workout program TT Metabolic Resistance Training which is a workout program that shows you how to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time.
Enjoy the interview!
1) For everyone who doesn’t know, can you give us a brief overview of what Metabolic Resistance Training(MRT) is?
MRT is best described as a hybrid-fusion of bodybuilding set and rep schemes with an interval training twist all in a total body workout system.
So for example, anytime you use supersets or circuits to train with an elevated heart rate and insufficient recovery, you are doing metabolic resistance training.
2) Can you give a brief rundown of how a MRT workout is structured?
The TT metabolic resistance training workouts consist of hand-picked exercises (using dumbbells, kettlebells, bodyweight, and even barbell movements) put together in supersets or circuit fashion.
Each exercise is best performed in the 8-12 repetition range and there is no rest, or minimal rest, before moving on to a non-competing exercise in the superset or circuit.
You’ll start with the major muscle groups and work down to less complex exercises, including new- school total body abdominal exercises.
Now, you can include traditional interval training within the circuits, or you can use the futuristic metabolic finishers that have become standard in my MRT programs and are preferred by my clients because of the variety and because frankly, they are just a heck of a lot of fun to do.
3) But don’t you need to do long distance cardio to lose weight?
Long distance cardio is long, boring, and ineffective for losing weight.
And we can thank Drs. Tremblay and Bouchard, fat-burning researchers from the University of Laval up in Canada, for proving back in 1994 that short, burst interval training was much better than long, slow, boring cardio for fat loss. Interval training is a key component of MRT workouts.
[Here’s a video of Craig explaining what MRT is]
4) So what benefits does MRT have over traditional body part split training routines?
In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, Arnold Schwarzenegger popularized bodybuilding with his multiple-set, heavy weight, high-volume workouts.
And while the way Arnold trained is closely related to today’s MRT workouts, there is one flaw in how he trained and how you want to train for maximum fat loss.
You see, by focusing on just one body part per day at such a high volume (like Arnold did), only two things were going to happen…
First, if everything went according to plan, you’d build a massive amount of muscle. And second, what happened in most other cases (i.e. in people who were NOT using steroids), was that the high volume of chest exercises in one day would lead to shoulder injury. If it didn’t, then the high volume of shoulder exercises or back exercises in the next two to three days would cause shoulder injury.
The total body MRT workouts and less frequent workout schedule help you burn fat, get lean, and stay injury free.
5) Are there any differences between MRT and interval training?
There are big differences between MRT and interval training. Intervals refer to short, bursts of cardiovascular activity, such as running, biking, swimming, rowing, etc.
MRT is a total body, fat burning and muscle building workout, using resistance training exercises. This includes everything from classic bodybuilder exercises to bodyweight movements.
In addition, interval training is often a component of MRT workouts.
Both training methods have similarities, such as incomplete recovery between work bouts, high heart rates, and lots of sweating – and results.
6) MRT seems to be the “it” thing of 2011, do you see it going away any time soon?
Not at all. Of course, MRT has been around for decades, but it’s just now being polished and refined into the most effective and efficient fat burning workout possible.
We’ll continue to see MRT workouts evolve as smart trainers grasp the concept and implement new crossover ideas into the mix.
It’s an exciting time to be using MRT workouts for building a better body and losing fat. Lots of cool workouts and exercise variety is on the way.
Thanks for doing this interview with me Craig. If you’re interested on how to lose fat and gain muscle, then definitely check out TT Metabolic Resistance Training.