Marion Jones, Steroids, Strength Training, and Female Fat Loss
Marion Jones, Steroids, Strength Training, and Female Fat Loss  
By: Craig Ballantyne, CTT
Certified Turbulence Trainer

So it is official. Marion Jones, the American gold medalist from the Sydney Olympic Games, has admitted to cheating and steroid use. Jones developed her muscular, fit, low-body fat physique through hard training, but used a little edge to get to the top of the world. Unfortunately, this little edge meant steroids, and therefore, cheating.

But there are lessons to be learned from Miss Jones. First, sprinting or interval training is a great way to lose body fat. Even without steroids, this type of intense training is far more effective than long, slow, boring cardio for fat loss.

In fact, there are 3 important fat burning factors that everyone will ignore now that we know Marion Jones used steroids. Let's give credit where credit is due. Jones worked hard, ate right, and used advanced training methods such as interval training and strength training to build her body and burn her belly fat.

With interval training, you burn fat during the workout and also during the recovery period. Its no question that Marion Jones had a fast metabolism thanks to her speed training. So the next time you are thinking about a workout, forget about long, slow cardio, and use interval training instead.

Interval training is pretty simple. It just means doing periods of short, intense exercise followed by periods of light exercise. Of course, do a warm-up and cooldown before and after the workout, respectively. For a detailed interval program, see the Turbulence Training program.

Marion Jones also used strength training to build her low body fat percentage physique. However, there are not many details about her strength training program, because her steroid pushing coach did not want her to tell anyone about it. It would not be surprising to learn that Marion Jones used squats, lunges, and other multi-muscle lower body exercises to build her beautiful, and powerful legs, and also to help burn fat.

Research from the Journal of Applied Physiology shows that resistance training can double post-exercise fat burning. Marion Jones would have benefitted two-fold by her training regimen when it comes to fat loss.

First, interval training would burn more fat, and second, strength training increased fat burning and her metabolism. Both strength training and interval training are used in Turbulence Training to help men and women lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean.

And finally, there was third component to Marion's fat loss success even before you can consider steroids. Along with interval training and strength training, Jones was serious about her nutrition. She probably had a schedule meal plan, eating several times per day. Jones probably had a good breakfast each morning. She probably had a scientifically formulated post-workout shake of protein and carbohydrates.

Has Marion Jones made a big mistake? Absolutely. In fact, she has made several - including lying and using steroids. And she will learn some

But just as important, we can learn some valuable fat loss lessons from what Marion Jones did honorably. And that is train hard, with interval training and strength training, as well as eat right with whole, natural foods, a structured meal plan, discipline, a good breakfast, enough protein, and a post-workout shake of protein and carbohydrate.

Use the lessons of what Marion Jones did right to help you with your fat burning program. Don't worry, you won't bulk up because you are not using steroids - instead, you will just burn fat with resistance training and interval training.


Craig Ballantyne,
Author, Turbulence Training

About the Author

Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and Oxygen magazines. His trademarked Turbulence Training fat loss workouts have been featured multiple times in Men’s Fitness and Maximum Fitness magazines, and have helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean in less than 45 minutes three times per week. For more information on the Turbulence Training workouts that will help you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment, visit

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