fbpx ;

Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle: Advice from a Professional Bodybuilder


bodybuilding-advice-585Tom Venuto and I go way back. Not that he’d know me from Adam; it’s just that I bought his original Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle e-book back in 2003. Dog-eared and highlighted to death, my downloadable version has seen better years, hence I was first in-line to snag an updated and newly available hardback copy.

To make a long story short, Tom (since we are so close, I’ll drop the niceties) got inspired at an early age by none other than The Arnold. He fell in love with pumping iron, gained a bunch of muscle but held on to the fat. He soon figured out that working out wasn’t enough without proper nutrition, so he dove head first into the science of bodybuilding.

Before you stereotype Tom as one of those steroid-inflated, bulging-biceped, overly muscled man-machines, let me explain. He did attain tremendous success in the bodybuilding circuit, eventually taking second place at the Natural Mr. America and Natural North American contests — both stupendous achievements for a chubby kid with man-boobs. But his real satisfaction came from teaching others the tricks of the trade.


To be clear, the intention of Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle is not to create an army of physique athletes but to simply share their secrets. What Tom offers is sound, proven advice that works. From how to establish healthy habits, to identifying your body type (and working with those genetic strengths or weaknesses), to the fundamentals of nutrition, this is not a book for someone who wants a quick fix.

His chapters on goal setting, positive thinking and mental training are fascinating real-world concepts that can be used in all aspect’s of ones life. And the pages dedicated to macronutrients, while not exactly for late night reading, are written in an easy to understand, straightforward manner.

Tom doesn’t sugar coat. He believes that moderation is a good thing if you have a healthy definition of that term. For example, if you consider a Saturday night six-pack moderate, then you might want to be a bit more realistic about your health and fitness goals.

He does not promote a lifetime of calorie-counting, but he does believe it is “vital to understand and obey the law of calorie balance” and therefore suggests everyone should track their caloric intake at least for a few weeks to get a grip on how much they consume. (Case in point: the FDA’s current proposal to change the guidelines on nutrition labeling to more accurately reflect a true single serving size.)

A book written by a bodybuilder would certainly be remiss without information on weight training, and Tom does include his own program to follow if one is so inclined. It’s basic, it’s short and it works. Where you go from there is up to you.

If you are interested in acquiring strength, health, energy and self-confidence, then Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle is for you. Tom Venuto is not suggesting you train like a pro, just to have the mindset of one.

 Who out there is into traditional weight training? Let’s here from you! —Karen

FTC disclosure: We often receive products from companies to review. All thoughts and opinions are always entirely our own. Unless otherwise stated, we have received no compensation for our review and the content is purely editorial. Affiliate links may be included. If you purchase something through one of those links we may receive a small commission. Thanks for your support!