Holy Grail Body Transformation Review

Friday, November 5th, 2010

The Holy Grail Body Transformation Review

When I first grabbed my copy of The Holy Grail Body Transformation Program by Tom Venuto, I DID expect the best.  I have known Tom since I started by online fitness business several years ago.  With his original Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle, my nutrition knowledge was already top-notch.  The real reason I wanted to test out this body transformation program was simple.

I’m tired of the typical bulk and cut cycles that are preached on the Internet.  I’m tired of gaining fat in the off-season and having to work hard to burn it off and just hold pace during the rest of the year.  I also am a glutton for new challenges as I get bored easily.  The idea intrigued me on many levels.

Here’s your chance to read this review and figure out if Tom Venuto’s Holy Grail Body Transformation System is something for you.

What You Can Expect

Part one starts out with the theory and science.  While many people may want to breeze over this section, I guarantee you it is not overly scientific or boring.  You need to understand the physiological process of body transformation and how you gain muscle and burn fat.  The whole nutritional program is based upon your ability to manipulate your nutrition to achieve the results you desire.

“Should you decide to pursue the Holy Grail, you are about to embark on a challenging journey. ~ Tom Venuto

Part two gives you the nutritional techniques to make this into reality.  Nutrient timing and nutritional periodization are discussed.  Your choices for the cyclical nutrition plan is the absolute core of the Holy Grail Body Transformation Program.  If you don’t get this right, it’s the difference between making a little progress and significant.  Sounds complicated but it is not.

Part three covers the weight training aspect.  There’s a program called “The New Bodybuilding” or T.N.B. workout.  In a nutshell, it’s an upper and lower body routine, twice a week, with different rep ranges, sets and rest periods.  You will be focusing on strength training and muscle hypertrophy, twice a week.  I found this to be very unique for my style of training.  Being a typical bodybuilder, I focused on split routines and a single goal.  While I’ve mixed and matched rest periods, sets and weights, this upper and lower body concept was a breath of fresh air.  Granted, it’s not a new concept by any means and for many people, they have done this style but if you have never tried it before, it’s interesting.

  • Upper and Lower body workouts; twice a week
  • Focused strength and muscle growth priorities

While the workout is great, it’s limited.  You will find that after 3 cycles of this program, roughly 12 weeks, you want to change it up.  Maybe do something entirely different.  The exercises listed are top-notch but for those who workout at home or the gym does not have the correct setup, you will be forced to mix and match your own program.  That is not a problem for most but it is a limiting factor.

But before I forget, you can use the nutritional outline in this Holy Grail Body Transformation Program with any workout program.  While it appears to be optimized for the T.N.B. workout, there is no barriers to using this concept with any other weight training program.  Which is the ultimate in mix and match in my opinion.

The book would benefit from something like Jeff Anderson does in his Optimum Anabolics program.  He lists several exercises for each body part and the user can pick and choose what to do.  This still allows the concept of the T.N.B. program to be completed but it would give much needed options for those who may not be able to do or have access to that piece of equipment.  It’s the only flaw I see in the workout section.

Part four talks about lifestyle factors that will and can effect your progress.

  • Sleep
  • Alcohol
  • Stress

Part five is a question and answer section.  After the first version which was done and completed during a Burn The Fat Inner Circle challenge, Tom Venuto took the hundreds of e-mails and put them into a Q&A format.  The latest version really drills down into things that are covered but maybe overlooked the first go around.  This turns out to be an immensely helpful chapter of the book.

In the appendix sections, you will find things like:

  • Sample meal plans
  • Calorie calculators
  • Burn the Fat 2.0 food database
  • The T.N.B. workout program

Please understand that if you aren’t versed in nutrition or just a beginner, this program may be a little too complex.  It does have sample meal plans but you don’t find an in depth coverage of nutrition for a lifestyle and the workouts assume you can handle yourself in the gym as far as knowing when and how to push yourself past limitations.  A person without 6 months of solid weight lifting experience would be best to stick with a more generalized program and not worry about body composition changes that are left to a more advanced athlete.

In summary, this is one of the most fun and nutritionally challenging programs I’ve tried in a decade.  I’ve seen my own body fat go from the lower end of average (14%) for a bodybuilder to a lean, 7.47% with a small amount of muscle gain, significant fat loss and gains in overall strength.  The Holy Grail Body Transformation Program bills itself as a body composition changer and if followed to the letter, it will do just that without making you feel starving for food or in such a low carbohydrate deficit you are walking around like a zombie with a constant low sugar, low carb headache.

Over the course of 8 weeks, I personally have received many questions about this program myself.  So I’ve developed my own question and answer section.  A big thanks to Scott, one of my Facebook friends for drilling down the questions so that I would have something very specific to discuss.

Question and Answer Section:

QUESTION:

What kind of diet do you go on, in terms of calories, protein, fat, and carb ratios?

ANSWER:

Your calorie calculation requires you to figure out how many calories a day you will need for weight gain, maintenance and weight loss.  You will use either the Harris-Benedict Formula or the Katch-Mcardle Formula.  Nothing out of the ordinary here.  The reason you will want to know all three is that depending on the cylindrical diet plan you choose, you will have different calorie targets.

This whole plan revolves around the concept of Zig-Zag nutrition.  That’s where you have a few days below maintenance, then you follow it up with a maintenance or above maintenance calorie day.  You might choose the plan called the 3:1 Cycle.

That’s 3 days of 15%-20% below maintenance and 1 day in a surplus or 15% above.  Or you might choose a 3 day of surplus and 3 days of a calorie deficit.  There’s a few options depending on what your primary goal is for your macrocycle.  Meaning…

Are you trying to primary build muscle and burn some fat, or burn fat as a priority but keep muscle or maybe.. do the unthinkable and get leaner while gaining muscle?  The nutrition portion of this plan will guide you through all 3 options very nicely.

Proteins, Fats and Carbs will be in the standard.. 45%, 35%, 20% .  Focus is on higher protein for muscle retention and satiety.  The lower carbs is very comfortable with emphasis on carb tappering and burning fat without sending you into low or zero carb mode where you feel like a zombie.  The fats are there to keep your intake in-line with recommendations.

Where it gets REAL INTERESTING is the carbohydrate tappering plans (carbs specifically around workouts) and post-workout nutrition.  Rather than just having a standard set meal plan, the focus is on lowered carbs overall (200g per day) with a focus on most of those carbs coming into play before and after the workout.  This allows you to have plenty of energy for that specific time when you need  it most.  Most plans don’t take this into account.  It makes it a bit more specific to your goals.

Being on a continued lower calorie plan is a good way to lose muscle.  Being in a surplus too long and you gain fat.  This 3:1 style along with the others is just easy enough to follow without making every single day a “new” meal plan and overly complicated.

Nutrition in the Holy Grail Body Transformation Program is a top priority.  Get this right and you are almost guaranteed some significant results.

QUESTION:

What does the T.N.B. workout consist of?  Heavyweights 8-10 reps, light weight 12-15 reps?

ANSWER:

T.N.B. workout is an upper body, lower body workout, done twice a week.  The focus is on strength and muscle growth and that is accomplished by variable sets, rep ranges and rest periods.  Loading periods are cycled so that each week, you aim to be personal bests.  Your ranges for strength will be in the 5-6 rep range and muscle growth in the typical 8-12 range.  Strength phases will use a 5×5 method which is quite good for raw strength gains.  Lower volume will be used for higher rep ranges.

Week 1: Introductory loading

Week 2:  Base loading

Week 3: Overloading

Week 4: Shock loading

Week 5: Begin new cycle

After 3 cycles of this, you’ll need to switch up the exercises.  It’s a very detailed program that covers what most bodybuilders want.  Strength with significant muscle growth.  And while it may not be new to some (upper and lower body routines) it creates a nice foundation in which you can build upon to further create your own workouts.  The only thing I’d wish for is some easier method to create these sticking to the principles outlined.  It’s far too easy to start adding new exercises to the original program and you’ll end up in the gym for 2 hours.

In the current form, you can do this routine in about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

After the 3 use, Tom recommends either switch to a new program or continue to use the weekly workout schedule, set/rep parameters while changing some or all of the exercises.

QUESTION:

I work out at 3:45am everyday m-f and it drives me insane when everyone’s diet never takes in affect for people like me that workout first thing when they get up because tons of bodybuilders and trainer do that.  All the diets start out about eating breakfast, then a snack, etc then talk about working out at night. Some of us get up early and workout.

ANSWER:

Even if you do your weight workouts when you get up.. it’s IMPERATIVE to eat.  While cardio can be done on an empty stomach, weight training should not.  You need fuel for those workouts.  If you get up early, you should have some type of high protein, high carbohydrate breakfast and give yourself 30 minutes to digest the food.  You may need more time, maybe less.  Personally, I can eat a full meal and be ready to go in about 30 minutes.  But you need to be fueled for those workouts.

Many bodybuilders do workout early.  But if  you want to build muscle, you’ve got to fuel yourself.  Even the individuals I know who hit the gym at 5:00am still make time for a quick breakfast at 4:30am.  This breakfast can be as simple as raw uncooked oats, protein powder and an orange.  Plenty of carbs and protein for a weight training workout.

There is no benefit to weight training without adequate nutrition.  After being asleep and potentially catabolic with lower nitrogen levels, the last thing you want to do is induce more stress via weight training without proper pre-workout nutritional support.  Take the time for a short, quick breakfast to get some fuel into your system so you can attack the weights.  After that, support yourself with proper post-workout nutrition.

QUESTION:

Can you give like maybe a 2 day complete sample diet of what you eat on the meal to give some new ideas of what to eat. Right now I’m stuck on protein drinks, grilled chicken breast, green beans, and egg whites for pretty much my entire day.

ANSWER:

Oddly enough, the meal plans that come with the program are nothing out of the ordinary.  In fact, they actually matched my target calorie goals for both a deficit and surplus.  While it’s hard to believe, I have stuck with the defaults for two reasons:

  1. It makes life simple
  2. It makes like really simple

All joking aside, the one thing that had me pulling my hair out was the constant switching of high and low calorie days too often or different meals for every day.  While the variety was welcomed, it made it frustrating to grocery shop quickly and it made bulk cooking and planning an event not worth pursuing anymore after a couple of weeks.  This plan is not much more than eggs, chicken, fish, occasional beef, and vegetables.  It makes shopping a breeze.  It makes eating dull.

Now there’s options as the program comes with the standard Burn the Fat 2.0 food database.  Meaning, you have a list of foods in which you can substitute for any of the items.  Tired of Salmon?  Switch it for Tilapia.  Tired of turkey?  Switch it for Venison.

Bottom line, the plans comes with several sample meal plans for men and women, based upon some basic calorie goals.  There is a nice one that shows you the carb tappering method of nutrition that is discussed in detail.  Meaning, a fair amount of carbs before and after your training.  But not too much before and after.  Thus, you can keep a reasonably low carb plan but have plenty of energy specific for the workouts.  This is something missing in most meal plans today.  They hit macro-nutrient ratios and calories with a wide variety of foods but they don’t necessarily target those calories specific to a workout.  Just seeing the concept is enough for you to adjust any of the sample plans to whatever you might need.

Got a question?  Feel free to ask.  Tried this program?  Let others know your experience.

- marc david

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How To Gain Muscle And Lose Fat At The Same Time

Friday, September 17th, 2010

Holy Grail Body Transformation
a candid interview with Tom Venuto
www.holygrailpromo.com

Note: Tom Venuto is the author of Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle.  The original program of how to lose weight while building muscle.  It’s been called the Bible of Nutrition by many including myself.  It’s a constant reference on the shelf.  Now he has created a new program which takes some of the fundamentals in Burn the Fat to the next level.  It is called The Holy Grail Body Transformation System.

Now onto the interview!…

“How can I gain muscle and lose fat at the same time?” That’s right up there with “How do I get six pack abs” as one of the most frequently asked fitness questions of all time. The problem is, when you ask it, you get all kinds of conflicting answers – even from experts who are supposed to know these things. So what’s the deal? Is it really possible to lose fat and build muscle simultaneously?

Short answer: Yes, you can gain muscle and lose fat at the “same time.”

Long answer: It’s difficult and it’s complicated. Allow me to explain….

First we have the issue of whether you really lose fat and gain muscle at the “same time.”

Well, yes, if your definition of the “same time” is say, a month or 12 weeks. But in that case, you’re probably not gaining muscle at the “same time” literally speaking, as in, right now this very moment you are reading this, or 7 days a week, 24 hours a day for months in a row.

The best explanation for what’s really happening is that you alternate between periods of caloric surplus (anabolism) and caloric deficit (catabolism) and the net result is a gain in muscle and a loss in body fat.

You see, if you stay in a calorie surplus, it’s the body’s natural tendency for body fat and lean body mass to go up together. And if you stay in a calorie deficit, it’s your body’s natural tendency for body fat and lean body mass to go down together.

There may be exceptions, but the general rule is that it is very difficult to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time – the mechanisms are mostly antagonistic to one another. When it does happen, it’s almost always the result of “unusual conditions” – I call them X factors.

The 4 X-Factors

The first X-factor is “training age”
.  Ever hear of “newbie gains?” The less trained your body is and the further you are from your genetic potential, the easier it is to gain muscle. The reverse is also true – an advanced bodybuilder with 20 years experience would be thrilled just to gain a few pounds of solid dry muscle in a year!

The second x factor is muscle memory. It’s easier to regain muscle you’ve lost than it is to gain new muscle in the first place (ergo, the fat out of shape semi retired bodybuilder who starts training again and blows up and gets ripped “overnight”).

The third X factor is genetics (or somatotype). Ever heard of the “genetic freak?” That’s the dude who sprouts muscle like weeds even when he’s on the “50-50 diet” (50% McDonald’s and 50% pizza)… and he never gets fat. (That dude chose the right parents!)

The fourth X factor is drugs. It would stun (or sadden) you if you knew how many people take performance and physique-enhancing drugs. I’m not just talking about pro bodybuilders, I’m talking about “Joe six pack” in the gym – not to mention those fitness models you idolize in the magazines. How did they get large muscle gains with concurrent fat loss? Chemicals.

I’m not a gambling man, but I’ll place a wager on this any day: I’ll bet that in 99% of the cases of large muscle gains with concurrent large fat losses, one or more of these x factors were present.

That’s not all! There are actually 5 more X factors related to your body composition and diet status (the X2 factors). But I’ll have to talk about those later.

So you’re not a beginner, you don’t take roids, you’re not a genetic freak and you have no muscle memory to take advantage of. Are you S.O.L? Well, I do want you to be realistic about your goals, but…

There IS a way for the average person to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time.

The Secret: You have to change your “temporal perspective!”

Traditionally nutritionists and fitness pros have only looked at calorie balance in terms of 24 hour periods. At midnight, you could tally up the calories like a shopkeeper closing out his register, and if the balance were positive, you’d say you were in a surplus for the day. If the balance were negative, you’d say you were in a deficit for the day.

But it’s entirely possible that you might pass through periods of “within-day” surplus where you were in a highly anabolic state (for example, you eat the biggest, highest carb meal of the day after your workout), and you were in a deficit the rest of the day.

If you did intense weight training, and you timed your nutrient intake appropriately, Isn’t it possible that you could gain a small amount of muscle during those anabolic hours, while losing fat the rest of the day? Granted it might only be grams or ounces – but what if you kept that up for a week? A month? Three months?

As you pan out and look at the bigger picture, what if most days of the week you were in a deficit for the entire day, and on some days you were in a surplus? If so, then isn’t it possible that over the course of the week, you’d have a small net gain of muscle and loss of body fat a a result of the caloric fluctuation?

These within-day and within-week phases are called microcycles and mesocycles. If you also had a primary goal with a longer term focus of several months, say 12 weeks or 16 weeks, that would be a macrocycle.

What I’ve just described is nutritional periodization. Some people call it cyclical dieting. it’s where you manipulate your calories (primarily by fluctuating carbohydrate intake, hence “carb cycling”) in order to intentionally zig zag your way through periods of surplus and deficit and create specific hormonal responses.

The end result: muscle gain and fat loss during the same time period!

I know that someone out there is having a hissy fit because I’ve only talked about calories: deficits and surpluses. Rightfully so. Calories matter but there’s more to it than calories – most importantly, hormones and “nutrient partitioning.”

If you’re in a calorie deficit you are going to pull energy from your body.The question is: From WHERE? If your hormones are out of whack and you’re eating crap, you could lose more muscle than fat in a deficit and gain almost pure fat, not muscle, in a surplus!

But WHAT IF you could manipulate within day energy balance, use nutritional periodization AND control your hormones with food and lifestyle strategies?

AHA! NOW you can see how concurrent muscle gain and fat loss are starting to look possible!

Make no mistake – concurrent muscle gain and fat loss is a difficult goal to achieve. The good news: difficult does not mean impossible. Or as George Santayana said, “The difficult is that which can be done immediately, the impossible, that which takes a little longer.”

The Holy Grail Body Transformation Program: How to Gain Muscle and Lose Fat at The Same Time

You can learn more about gaining muscle and losing fat at the same time in Tom Venuto’s new e-book called, “The Holy Grail Body Transformation System.”

You’ll learn all about nutritional periodization, cyclical dieting, hormonal manipulation, within day energy balance, nutrient partitioning, AND the all the X factors, including the 5 “X2-Factors” – which are the keys to gaining muscle and losing fat at the same time.

You’ll also get Tom’s new “TNB” training system, as seen in Men’s Fitness magazine (the complete, expanded version that Men’s Fitness didn’t have room to print).

Download your Free “Holy Grail Body Transformation Revealed” reports at:

www.holygrailpromo.com

Holy Grail Body Transformation

The Holy Grail of Body Transformation

- Marc David

P.S. - I’m currently doing the Holy Grail Body Transformation Program myself.  If you have any questions about the blog post above, feel welcome to drop a comment below. If you have any questions after you download and read (or listen to) the Holy Grail Revealed interview, you can post those questions specifically on the new Holy Grail protocol here.

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