How to Choose Workout Programs

Posted on 01. Feb, 2009 by in Exercise

Last Thursday, I did my very last workout for my current Turbulence Training (TT) workout, “Fusion for Fat Loss.” If you are not familiar with Craig Ballantyne’s (CB) TT principles, he recommends that people should change workout programs every four weeks. This is a necessary step because the human body adapts to whatever stress we put it against such as exercise, eating a reduced calorie diet, etc. After this adaptation happens, our bodies would not respond as well to the same stimulation (e.g. same types and quantity of exercises). But, four weeks is a long enough period that our body still gets enough stimulation from the exercises but it is not too long that our body will completely get used to it.

So, after that boring but much needed bit of information, I am about to tell you about my quest in choosing my new workout program for the next four weeks. At some point, I was confused as to which program I should be doing because I wanted to gain some muscle but I still had some fat that I wanted to get rid of (and the fact that there are just too many TT workout programs available to Platinum members doesn’t help…lol). Basically, losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time is possible but one scenario would be more favored than the other. For instance, if I focused on losing fat (especially my belly fat), I would lose may be 3 pounds of body fat and only gain 1 pound of muscle in four weeks if I choose the right program and follow the proper diet. Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining. But, as a person who is closer to my body fat percentage goal, some parts of my body are skinnier compared to others and quite frankly, I don’t want to look anorexic. Thus, my need for more muscle.

I have decided that I am still going to work on reaching my goal of 17-18% body fat which means that I am still going to focus on the fat loss side of the equation. Now, I just have to be conservative with everything that I do from here so that I get to keep whatever muscle I have now and possibly gain a little bit during the next month.

When I chose my workout program, I carefully looked at the number of repetitions per exercise and the types of muscles each exercise will hit. For instance, I am looking for 8 repetitions for one exercise and then as many as 12 repetitions for another because muscle hypertrophy (or growth) is most efficient at the 8-12 (sometimes more) repetition range based on the current concensus in the fitness industry. At the same time, I look for exercises that will target some of my skinnier areas such as my arms where I need more muscle. Having this in mind, I look for a program with arm exercises but also with enough exercises that will give me a full body workout.

After much deliberation, I decided to go for the newest Turbulence Training workout, “Buff Dudes, Hot Chicks.” Yes, it sounds cheesy but is sure looks tough. Just to give you an idea, here is the workout that I am doing tomorrow.

Superset #1
1A) DB Walking Lunge – 8 reps (2-0-1)
• No rest.
1B) Stability Ball Ab Pike – 10 reps (2-0-1)
• Rest 1 minute before repeating 2 more times for a total of 3 supersets.

Superset #2
2A) DB Bulgarian Split Squat – 12 reps (2-0-1)
• No rest.
2B) 1-Leg Stability Ball Leg Curl – 8 reps per side (1-0-1)
• Rest 1 minute before repeating 2 more times for a total of 3 supersets.

Superset #3
3A) DB 1-Leg Calf Raise – 10 reps per side (2-0-1)
• No rest.
3B) Plank with Arms on Ball – 30 second hold
• Rest 30 seconds before repeating 2 more times for a total of 3 supersets.

Superset #4

4A) Stability Ball Rollout – 8 repetitions (3-0-2)
• No rest
4B) X-Body Mountain Climber – 12 reps per side (1-0-1)
• Rest 1 minute and repeat 2 more times for a total of 3 supersets.

10-Minute High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Workout

Unlike most TT workouts, this program comes with an additional superset compare to the traditional TT workouts with only 3 supersets. Well ok, CB has a note that Superset #4 is optional but I just might do it too! But, CB also recommends to take things easy during the first week on any workout program. So, I plan to only perform each superset twice for the coming week.

Another feature of this workout is the shorter HIIT session. This means that I am minimizing the cardio that I am doing and focusing more on strength training which works best for my goals. This way, most of my calories will be spent during my strength training sessions and hopefully build more muscle afterwards provided that I take in enough protein in my diet to support muscle repair and growth.

So then, I have a question for the people who happen to read this post, do you follow a specific workout program? If so, what factors do you consider when choosing one? If you aren’t working out yet, read this article from Krista at for some motivation. Also, please feel free to comment or give me feedback. I’d love to hear from you.

Up next, I am going to review my goals that I wrote down 4 weeks ago. Stay tuned to find out how I did. Until then, good luck with everyone’s journey!

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  • This new workout you chose looks like a good one!

    The title alone says it all! Haha.

    Seriously though, if you want to improve on your arms – you can do so by adding 3 minute arms in the end instead of the ab circuit in #4, Anna….

    then for off days…work on your core with TT specific ab workouts like the 6 minute abs or the 200 med ball challenge….

    As far as program selections…I personally prefer any program geared towards fat loss or conditioning. why? Because I can always count on those workouts as my sure bet to stay lean or lose more weight because on workouts for mass, I really feel my muscles need food to repair more…so the tendency for me personally is to eat everything in site!!! Hahaha!! Different when you’re on a fat loss program…you’re not focused on getting big but keeping some leanness about you and keep the fat off or continue keeping it off. If I lose muscle, it’s probably because my nutrition isn’t good. You’ll be surprised how much muscle you can keep and still lose fat on a fat loss program. 3 weeks in so far and I’ve gained about 3 lbs of lean mass yet my BF went down by .5%. that’s what I want. I don’t want to look anorexic either so this is a good thing.

    Again any program I select must have some form of interval training, circuits or supersets in it for me personally.

    Great blog, Anna…keep it going!

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