How To Drop 30 Pounds In 8 Weeks

Today’s post is from Craig Ballentyne, MS, CSCS … he talks about his experience training a Hollywood actress … and how he’d design a program for a major film star who had 8 weeks to lose 30 pounds.  There’s some great diet and exercise tips here to help you reach your fat loss goals … enjoy!

- Forest


Two summers ago, I worked with a great gal from Hollywood, Rachel Nichols.  Rachel did some TT workouts while filming a movie up here in Toronto.

That’s about it for me in terms of training Hollywood actors or actresses in person, but recently I was asked, “Imagine you’re working with a major film star who has eight weeks to lose 30 pounds of fat and build some muscle in preparation for the lead role in the latest Hollywood blockbuster. What do you do with them?”

Here’s my answer…

I would have control over every single thing that they eat. That’s the biggest ticket to success here. No booze, no excess sugar, and just giving them enough reward to stick with the program.

If this “star” is a typical overweight, sedentary individual, we’ll have no problem getting rid of 20 pounds of fat through nutrition.

As for exercise, we need to be consistent, and stick with our intensity principles. We would do 3 hard workouts per week using strength training followed by interval training with the program being centered around basic movement patterns done with free weights.

Everything is done in supersets in the workout to get more done in less time. For example, we might do a squat supersetted with a pressing exercise. I also like to pair free weight exercises and bodyweight exercises in supersets, for example, a dumbbell split squat paired with a decline pushup.

We’ll do 3 superset pairs, each for 1-3 sets, and stick to 8 repetitions per set. Then we’ll finish the workout with 6 hard intervals of 30-60 seconds (with 60-120 seconds rest between each).  This way, we are in and out of the gym in 45 minutes.

On “off days”, we’d still get at least 30 minutes, if not 60 minutes, of low-intensity exercise. But it wouldn’t just be slow cardio. Instead, we’d focus on low-intensity bodyweight training.  For example, if the actor can do a maximum of 25 bodyweight squats, 15 pushups, and 5 chinups, we would use easier versions of those exercises in circuits.

Here’s a sample 6 exercise bodyweight circuit that we’d do at least 3 times, doing 10 reps per exercise.

Wall Squat
Kneeling Pushup
Beginner Inverted Bodyweight Row
Stability Ball Leg Curl
Mountain Climber

After that, we might cross train with a variety of cardio exercises to avoid overuse injuries that occur when you repeatedly do the same activity and nothing else.

So that’s pretty much it. If he (or she) sticks to their nutrition, we’re as good as gold and the actor will be ready just in time.


Craig Ballentyne, MS, CSCS is the author of Turbulence Training for Fat Loss, a program designed to help busy men and women get maximum results in minumum time.  For more info, click the link below:

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One Response to How To Drop 30 Pounds In 8 Weeks

  1. Dave says:

    I notice you use "renegade rows".
    First learned then on another site and they work wonders…keep up the good job

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