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Tom Venuto is one of America’s most recognized experts when it comes to fat loss, diet, and nutrition. His “Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle” (2002) e-book was a smashing critical and commercial success, with over 200,000 downloads from ClickBank alone.
Venuto’s latest effort, the highly charged “The Holy Grail Body Transformation Program: How to Gain Muscle and Lose Fat at the Same Time” was recently released in beta form to his “Burn the Fat Inner Circle” members, and is now available to the general public.
Concurrent muscle gain and fat loss have always been “The Holy Grail” for physique athletes. Now that the issue has crept into mainstream consciousness, can Tom Venuto’s new e-book really deliver the goods?
Why Tackle Simultaneous Muscle Gain and Fat Loss as a Subject, Tom?
Venuto admits that he was motivated to dive into the controversial “muscle gain + fat loss” debate to counter exaggerated and false claims by powerful bodybuilding, fitness (supplements), and weight loss interests. Multi-million dollar ad campaigns continue to sucker unsuspecting victims. That has to stop now.
Known as a science geek trapped in a champion bodybuilder’s frame, Tom Venuto uses top-notch research to back his main claim:
In general, simultaneous muscle growth and fat loss is difficult, but not impossible.
As someone with over twenty years in natural bodybuilding and fitness, Venuto’s personal experiences have taught him the value of bringing science-based results to regular folks.
While casual readers and less dedicated fitness types and may scoff at Venuto’s approach, scientific research and verifiable claims can spur regular folks like us to meaningful action.
A decade of results supporting real gains by real people on both the muscle gain and fat loss fronts were the final triggers for his e-book.
Changing the Goal Posts.
When it comes to body transformation goals, Venuto recommends one of the following four (4) choices:
1. Focused fat loss (Recommended for overweight people.)
2. Focused muscle gain (Recommended for skinny people.)
3. Fat loss as first priority, with concurrent muscle gain as a secondary goal.
4. Muscle gain as first priority, with concurrent fat loss as a secondary goal.
The Holy Grail presents an integrated plan for achieving each of these goals with appropriate combinations of training, diet, nutrition, and recovery time.
“Timing is everything”
Sometimes, people are blessed with the right factors (i.e. age, genetics, previous fitness experience, etc.) that make them predisposed to achieving both muscle gain and fat loss.
For example, Venuto quotes a study where sedentary, overweight males made tremendous gains over a 14-week period (on average, gained 9.5 pounds of muscle mass; lost 16.3 pounds of body fat) using steady-state cardio and a very ordinary resistance program.
Life just isn’t fair!
By stretching our definition of time, it becomes clear how people can manipulate “controllable” factors like caloric intake with carbohydrate cycling. As Venuto states, our bodies are in a constant state of flux (caloric deficit, caloric surplus, protein synthesis and breakdown etc.). Our job is to use our intelligence wisely over days, weeks, and months – whatever time it takes to achieve our goals.
“For everything there is a season.”
Tools at Our Disposal.
There’s no such thing as an even playing field when it come to the human body. Tom notes factors like drug use, current body composition, and dieting status that give some people an (unfair) edge.
Still, you are more than capable of achieving your goal naturally with the right combination of:
- Strength training
- “Smart” cardio
- Adequate recovery time
- Nutritional periodization, i.e. what time of day to eat, what to eat, and what amounts to eat.
- Cyclical dieting strategies (caloric intake)
- Ideal hormonal environment
- Energy partitioning (i.e. surplus into lean muscle tissue; deficit withdrawn from fat tissue)
My Final Thoughts
Tom Venuto deserves our respect for trying to move the debate away from weight loss to body transformation. Certainly, there are monied interests in the diet industry (e.g. Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig, etc.) that would love nothing more than to keep Venuto’s ‘Holy Grail’ under wraps.
Think of how General Motors (GM) helped suppress electric car production in the 1990s…
At seventy-four pages, “The Holy Grail Body Transformation Program: How to Gain Muscle and Lose Fat at the Same Time” is a deceptively meaty read, even though over thirty pages are devoted to exhaustive appendices (Meal Plans, Calorie ‘Cheat Sheet’, Nutrient Database) and Tom’s “The New Bodybuilding” bonus.
BTW, the workout bonus can be used to achieve the Holy Grail, although it is not for the meek of heart…
Yes, your head will hurt a little during the first read – even if you are an exercise science major or fitness professional!
However, if you can grasp nutritional periodization and cyclical dieting, commit to a serious resistance training program, and make some major lifestyle adjustments (especially with your sleeping habits and stress reduction), it will only be a matter of time before one and possibly both desirable goals are achieved.
Who is “The Holy Grail Body Transformation” for?
1. Anyone prepared to give up on “weight loss” and embrace body transformation as a way of life.
2. People looking for a disciplined, science-based approach to either muscle gain or fat loss, and happy to accept “bonus” results with the secondary goal.
3. Don’t care about muscle gain or fat loss? No problem, the meal plans and nutrient database themselves are worth the e-book price.
Chris’ ‘Holy Grail’ Rating: 9 stars out of 10.