A Turbulence Training workout

Turbulence TrainingJust as an example of where I’m at in my workout program, here’s the TT workout I did tonight. It comes from Turbulence Training for Fat Loss by Craig Ballantyne, Beginner Level TT, Workout A.

Strength training

(For each exercise, first number is weight in pounds or duration in seconds; second number is reps per set.)


[2 circuits]
Prisoner squat 0x10x10
Pushup 0x10x10
Split squat 0x10x10

[2 circuits]
Dumbbell squat 2.5×10; 5×10
Kneeling pushup 0x10x10

Workout A

[Superset A, 2 circuits]
Dumbbell squat 15x10x10
Pushup 0x10; [kneeling] 0x10

[Superset B, 2 circuits]
Dumbbell row 15x10x10 (per side)
Stability ball leg curl 0x12x12

[Superset C, 2 circuits]
Ab curl-up 5 secsx6x6
Side plank 6 secs x4x4

Cardio/high intensity interval training
(on Concept 2 Model D indoor rower)

5 minute warmup (842 meters) followed by stretches.

Intervals: 3×1:00/2:00r
(meaning 3 intervals of 1minute at subjective intensity of 8 out of 10, followed by 2 minute “rest” rowing)
for a total of 680 meters working + 1029 meters “resting” = 1709 meters

5 minute cooldown (853 meters) followed by a shower!


The full workout from “strength” warmup to rowing cooldown took me an hour. It was preceded by me figuring out how to do the stability ball leg curl, which I’d never done before, as I didn’t manage to acquire a stability ball (balance ball, Pilates ball, Swedish ball — what have you) until a few days ago. (It turned out to be a lot easier technique-wise than I’d thought.)

Oh yeah I also preceded the workout by a teensy bit of dancing just because of the song that happened to be up on my randomized “dance” playlist on my iPod: Bette Midler doing “I’m Beautiful.” I love that song, fastpaced & campy with a great message, which makes a perfect BBFM affirmation too: “I’m beautiful / I’m beautiful / I’m beautiful, dammit!” Hahaaaaaha. There’s a limit to just how random the iPod shuffles it though — all the rest of the music it happened on tonight came from the danceable Nordic music I’ve got, so no Blondie or Heart or Laura Love or Queer as Folk soundtrack, but plenty of Värttinä, Wimme, Hednigarna, & Garmarna as I sweated away. That’s no complaint though, really. I love that music. Just… well, the randomizing isn’t as random as it thinks it is, that’s all.

I’m pretty scrupulous about warmups & cooldowns for TT workouts, as Ballantyne asks people to be. His warmups for the strength stuff always ask for two circuits of the same three initial exercises (prisoner squat, pushup or kneeling pushup, split squats) followed by two circuits of the first regular superset done at 50% and then 75% of the “full” weight to be used.

It just happened that in this case, that meant one heckuva lot of pushups in close proximity. For the first time, I did the initial warmup pushups as full (not kneeling) pushups, but for the 50% & 75% (by which time my arms were getting set to crap out on me), I opted for kneeling; then returned to full pushups for the first go-round on Superset A, & back to kneeling pushups on the second go-round. I imagine I’ll get stronger — as indeed I already have to have done the full pushups at all today (in fact, three sets of 10).

The “50% & 75%” warmup for the dumbbell squats were a bit less than 50/75%, owing mainly to what a pain in the butt it is to try to change the weights on my old dumbbells. It’ll be lots easier to switch between different weighted dumbbells when I get the SelectTech dumbbells I ordered from Bowflex in a couple of weeks or so. Meanwhile, I just used 2.5 lb & 5 lb. plates for the warmup. That’s 2.5 and 5 lbs (& eventually 15 lbs) held in each hand.

By the time I got to Superset B, I was sweating freely, with sweat running down my nose & dripping on the floor when I was standing. Getting all over the lenses of my glasses too, annoying. But it was a great workout. I’m still on the piddly stuff, but it was working me, & at the same time as I was working hard & sweating like crazy, I could tell how much just a couple of prior weeks of the “intro level” of this TT had strengthened me, even with a week skipped between those workouts & this. (Though I had done some basic dumbbell squats & dumbbell military presses in the intervening week, just no TT.) Right now, though, typing, my arms feel all those pushups. More the pushups than the dumbbell rows, which went fine (& nice to have another exercise that’s a bit more familiar to me.)

The stability ball leg curl was interesting exercise: it has you on your back on the floor, the soles of your feet on the ball. You bridge your hips up, then roll the ball away from you so your legs are more or less straight, then roll it back in again — in & out, keeping yourself bridged up in the air the whole time — & having to maintain a balance with the ball rolling around.

I noticed with the side plank also that I have a lot more endurance for that exercise than I used to. So yeah, I’m coming along, slowly but surely.

When I hopped on my erg for the warmup row, wow, it felt so easy & drifty to me. The pace was pretty standard for me for a warmup or cooldown — I usually get from about 820 to 860 meters in for those five minutes. The intervals of course were a bit more intense. I always work ’em hard enough that by the time I’m done with the working part, & into the “resting” meters, I’m about ready to stop altogether & call it a night. But of course I don’t.

The working intervals broke down as follows:
1) 235m — ave. speed 2:07.6 sec/500m, 34 strokes/min.
2) 226m — ave. speed 2:12.7 sec/500m, 31 strokes/min.
3) 220m — ave, speed 2:16.3 sec/500m, 30 strokes/min.

You can see how I slowed down as I got tireder. But I’ve gotten a bit faster with these in the several workouts I’ve done 3×1:00/2:00r. Even without TT workouts, I do intervals sometimes — usually however many intervals of 500 meters followed by 1:00 minute “resting,” which in practice for me usually means a little more than 2 minutes working with 1 minute resting. Someday maybe I’ll get to being able to do 500m in less than 2 minutes, but it hasn’t happened yet.

I totaled 3404m during this TT workout (warmup + intervals + cooldown). But I also did a 15-minute row in the morning of 2883m (ave. speed 2:36.1/500m), making my total for the day 6112m — well over the 5000m/day I’ve been trying to row for Concept 2’s March Madness challenge.

I really enjoyed my shower afterwards. And my meal, with a DVD episode of “Angel.” And now this…. & now to bed.

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