Holy Grail
Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What is the overall premise behind the Holy Grail Body Transformation program? Specifically, what makes it possible that you could actually put on lean muscle while losing fat at the same time, given the fact that this is generally regarded as very difficult to do (you have even said so yourself, Tom).

The Holy grail is a nutrition and training system based on cyclical dieting - by planning periods of positive calorie balance and periods of negative energy balance you shift into and out of muscle building and fat burning. The net result over time is better body composition - more muscle and less fat.

The program also shifts within-day calorie balance by providing more calories at specific times around workouts and this type of nutrient timing has a very anabolic (muscle-building effect). (also if you eat more at certain times, the food almost never gets stored as fat, so in the holy grail, "timing is everything")

Last but not least, everything in the program is designed to optimize hormones which improve "nutrient partitioning" (which is where nutrients GO TO to in a surplus - into fat or into muscle and where energy COMES FROM in a deficit). So the holy grail helps direct nutrients into muscle cells and pull fat out of fat cells.

Question: I read your information on theHoly Grail home page, but I'm still wondering, is this program really suitable for women?

Absolutely. In fact, one of the big differences between the Holy Grail and other muscle gain programs is it avoids the classical muscle gain program problem: gaining fat along with the muscle, aka "bulking up." Many women DO want to gain some muscle (even if they prefer to call it muscle "tone"), but I don't know any women who want to get bulky. The Holy grail helps you develop lean, shapely muscle, NOT bulk

Question: Do we learn with the holy grail how to get a body "Brad Pitt Style?" I want to make sure not to look as a typical weightlifter and end up like Arnold in Pumping Iron. I prefer a slim look so I can buy normal looking clothes

Pro bodybuilders at the highest level typically use steroids and other drugs, so most people have the wrong idea about the type of muscle size you can realistically achieve. The Holy grail is not about getting huge, it's a muscle-building plan for the average guy or girl who just wants nice, lean muscle. Holy grail is also a NATURAL program so getting huge is not going to happen anyway.

As for a Brad Pitt in Fight Club or Troy (the movie) physique - that is a lot closer to what most guys want. Since the Holy grail program does NOT put you on bulking phases, you gain only lean body mass and you only gain the amount you want. This way, you look good all year round, you look good out of clothes, and you fit in and look good in nice clothes too.

Question: What is the difference between all your books and which one should I get Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle (BFFM)? The Holy Grail? (YES - I want to gain muscle and lose fat).

There ARE similarities, but the big diference is that BFFM is a fat loss program - BFFM is NOT a muscle building program per se. If your primary goal is fat loss, NOT muscle-building and if you have a lot of fat to lose, then BFFM is the better program to start with.

This new holy grail program is primarily about: 1) how to gain muscle while losing fat at the same time and 2) how to gain muscle without gaining fat. So, the Holy grail assumes that gaining at least *some* muscle is one of your goals. You can get all the info about the Holy Grail program on the Home Page

Question: Can I use the Holy Grail program if I have a lot of weight to lose? I'm a 37-year old male, 210 pounds. I just had my body fat tested and it's 24%. My goal is lose about 30 pounds of fat and it would be great if I could gain some muscle at the same time.

If you are overweight or if your body fat is still high, your best strategy right now is to get on a focused fat loss program such as Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle. Once your body fat is in the average or better range, then you would be ready to follow a program like the Holy Grail Body Transformation system and you'll get better results on the Holy Grail when you have a relatively lean body already. Suggestions: Men, ideally, get your body fat at least down to the "semi-lean" or "satisfactory" range (15-19%) before starting the Holy Grail program. For women, shoot for at least 21-25% body fat before starting the Holy Grail program.

Question: Will the Holy Grail Body Transformation Program work for a vegetarian?

Yes! But it does depend on what type of vegetarian you are. You can get plenty of complete protein from using dairy products or eggs daily (fish too, if you eat it). You can also mix and match your vegetarian proteins each day for the full spectrum of amino acids. However, this program was not designed for a pure vegetarian (vegan) who doesn’t eat any animal proteins whatsoever. It would require an entirely new set of specialty menu plans for that and you would have to come up with your own vegan meal plans based on what you do and don't eat. You will definitely be able to apply the overall concepts and principles of the Holy grail (nutrient timing and cyclical dieting for example), because they revolve around macronutrients and calories, not whether the type of macronutrients are vegan (ie, protein choices). Also, the Holy Grail training program will work great for just about anyone.

Question: What is minimum amount of training required on this program? I don't have much time to work out, but I'm VERY interested in trying to gain some muscle while losing some fat.

Ideally, I recommend 4 days a week of strength training for most people. Each session will last approximately an hour. However, for people who have very busy schedules or people who have lower recovery abilities, I teach some tricks for condensing your workouts without compromising your results. Instead of training each muscle group twice a week on the two day split, for a total of four weekly workouts, you can cut back to three days a week. You’re likely to see only minimal differences in results between the 3 and 4 day schedules. When you need to minimize your training time, for any reason, you can also cut back on the isolation/ secondary exercises and leave only the primary exercises in the routine. This could clip off anywhere from 15 to as much as 30 minutes off your strength training time, bringing the length of your workouts into the neighborhood of 30 minutes or so. Cardio is recommended three days a week in most cases for approx 20-30 minutes. That makes the optimal time committment about 5 hours per week of training and the minimum time committment about 3 hours a week.

Question: Is a gym membership and special equipment required for the Holy Grail program?

The "T.N.B. Workout" - the training program featured in the Holy Grail, uses free weights including barbells, dummbbells and some machines. It is not mandatory to join a gym, but if you train at home you will need some basic equipment. To follow the program exactly as it's laid out in the manual, you would need access to: dumbbells, barbells, chin up bar, dipping station, cable pulley apparatus, squat rack, swiss ball (optional), adjustable bench, calf machine, back extension machine. If you don't have access to this equipment, you can still do the program, you'll simply need to make substitutions on the exercises. As long as you have barbells and dumbbells, you can find a substitute for almost any of these exercises. I would also highly recommend a chin-up bar and a fully adjustable bench for any home gym set up. space and budget permitting, get yourself a squat rack and you will have a heck of a nice home setup that will last you for years.

Question: Tom, is your Holy Grail e-book a general explanation of how the muscle gain plus fat loss process works, is it heavily nutrition based or is it a fully detailed workout plan for bodybuilding. If it has a detailed body building workout program can you describe the training plan in general.

The Holy Grail is not a complete A to Z bodybuilding system, nor is it for advanced competitive level bodybuilders. That would take another book. The Holy Grail body transformation system is a nutrition program based on cycle dieting and nutrient timing. The training plan works like this: The cardio plan gives very specific guidelines because it's important to properly manage the duration, frequency and intensity of your cardio when muscle growth and fat loss at the same time are your goals. The workout program ("The New Bodybuilding" aka TNB), is a periodized hypertrophy program calling for 3-4 strength training workouts per week on a upper/lower+abs split. It's a GREAT muscle building program for the majority of men and women, (general population). If you choose, you can use your own bodybuilding workout (like a body part split) routine in conjunction with Holy Grail nutrition system and that will give you GREAT results too (that's what I do - I use a 4-day split working 2 or at most 3 muscle groups per workout).

Question: How long does the program last? is this a 7-week program? A 12-week program? And what kind of results could one expect in a specified time frame?

There's no specified time frame. Conceivably, you could use the holy grail techniques as briefly or as long as you need to in order to reach your goals. We've sponsored a body transformation contest that ran 49 days and in just that short 7-week period, our contestants achieved amazing results. You can see some of those original before and afters on the home page and the testimonials pages and we'll be adding more as each new group finishes their first training cycle. In a longer period like 12-14 weeks, you could COMPLETELY transform your body composition and look like a different person; that's what happens when you gain muscle AND lose fat: If you just lose weight, you sometimes end up looking like a smaller version of yourself (or "skinny fat").

Question: Is this program more for beginners or advanced trainees? I've been training for 9 years and pretty much know what I'm doing, but I'm always looking for new ideas.

This is not a beginner level course. The nutrition program is actually much more complex and sophisticated than anything I've done before. Beginners should just focus on nutrition fundamentals and not worry so much about the details. The training program is not for beginners either - it's definitely tailored for intermediate or advanced trainees. However, the training is geared toward the average trainee. This is NOT an course on advanced bodybuilding training techniques. Also, I think that highly advanced bodybuilders should probably already have a grasp on post-workout nutrition, nutrient timing, carb cycling, and the periodization concepts in nutrition and training. If you're well-versed in all these areas, then you will already be familiar with most of the info in the Holy Grail system.

Question: What is the difference between this new version 2 edition and the original version 1 of the Holy Grail program?

The Holy Grail 2.0 edition has been expanded quite significantly since version 1.0: (1) NEW chapter (now the largest chapter) - part 5 with FAQ's that were sent in from all the people testing out the beta version, (2) Added schedules (weekly charts/tables) for carb targeting (aka floating high carb days) -- allows for more precision in integrating training with nutrition (if you choose to use this method), (3) discussion of alcohol added in the lifestyle factors section (inner circle members will have seen this info already in inner circle feature articles, but needed to be added because folks just wont stop asking me if its ok to have a "few drinks" while on the program - read it and weep, LOL) (4) introduction to the menus section added, (5) various minor changes made throughout book and a BIG addition (6) the audio edition, which is an audiobook, read by the author (me). Customers who purchased version 1.0 can get an upgrade of the version 1.0 to version 2.0 (e-book edition), by sending your purchase receipt/proof of purchase to customer service.

Question: I have your first book, BFFM and while I used it and it worked great for me, I started a new job and I now find it almost impossible to eat 5 or 6 times a day like a bodybuilder. But since I stopped following your BFFM (sorry Tom), I have put the weight back around my belly, which is extremely frustrating and demoralising because I was in such good shape in my BFFM days.

5-6 smaller meals per day is in my opinion, still the "best practice" particularly on muscle-building programs, because there are higher calorie days and spreading out the intake makes it easier for most people to hit the protein and calorie targets. That said, YES, you can cut back to fewer meals a day (3-4 m or 3 m + snacks or 3m + post workout drink)... provided you hit your daily macro and calorie needs. You have to hit your daily targets. If you do cut back your meal frequency, then the nutrient timing part of the Holy Grail program (particularly as it relates to food timing around workouts) will be especially important for you

Question: I am really interested in getting this book. But before I do that, I would like to know if I will have to use any special protein shakes and/or supplements to see results. Nowadays, it seems that all the fat loss programs say that you have to use protein shakes and supplements.

There are absolutely NO supplements required. You CAN use products like protein powder or creatine if you choose, and supplements like a basic multi vitamin and essential fats like fish oil can be helpful, but again, no supplements are required. By the way this program is not a promotional tool for supplements. I do not sell or even endorse supplements. Never have and never will.

Question: Is this program available in hard copy?

No, there is no hard copy. The holy grail program is 100% downloadable - the 109 page manual is a PDF ebook and the audios are MP3s. You are forwarded to a download page immediately after your order is accepted. No physical products will be shipped and this program is not available in stores.

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