Book Review: The Ultimate Guide to Body Recomposition, by Jeff Nippard, BS and Chris Barakat, MS, ATC, CISSN

Like most people, I think that I could lose a little weight, or build a little more muscle, or some combination of the two. So, imagine my shock when I discovered that there is a way to do both at once! And for the low, low price of $50? SIGN ME UP!

…Also, the fact that this will help me reach one of my Goals for 2021 didn’t hurt either.

One-Line Review:

Whether this will be the only book you read about nutrition, or merely the first, this e-book is worth every penny.

In-Depth Review:

Specs & Features:

Considering this is an e-book, There’s really only one quantitative spec that matters: page count. This book is 247 pages long, followed by another 19 pages of scientific references. Yes, that’s right. The authors of this book are very concerned with making sure their views and recommendations are not merely opinion, but based upon facts and reality.

Why Did I Buy This Book?

Simple. I’ve been fat all my life and I would like to see how the other half lives. This book promises to give me the tools to do exactly that. I decided to take a chance because I follow one of the authors’ YouTube channel and I really like his style. Cool, calm, un-emotional, and most importantly, backed up by science. There is absolutely zero bro-science here. It’s all facts, proven theories, and evidence observed from real-life subjects in rigorous studies.

Who Wrote It?

This book was co-written by Jeff Nippard and Chris Barakat. Thankfully the book has an ‘About the Authors’ section at the end, so I’ll just paraphrase from there.

“Jeff is a professional natural bodybuilder and powerlifter. With a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry, Jeff has gathered the requisite scientific knowledge to compliment his practical experience acquired through training and coaching.

Jeff has coached women’s bikini and men’s bodybuilding national and provincial champions, professional natural bodybuilders and nationally and IPF Worlds qualified raw powerlifters. He has presented seminars on Block Periodization, concurrent training and nutrition and training for natural bodybuilding in academic settings including the 2019 Ultimate EvidenceBased Conference, and at Lehman College and the University of Iowa. He has aspirations of completing a PhD in exercise science or a related field.”

“Christopher [Barakat, MS, ATC, CISSN] is a researcher in the Human Performance Lab at the University of Tampa where he teaches courses in Exercise & Nutritional Sciences. While finishing up his bachelor of science degree, he started coaching others who sought to improve their body composition.

After graduating [graduate school] with top honors and earning the Outstanding Student Award, he began to teach at the University as an adjunct professor and continued working on research projects. Today, you will find him still working in the lab, teaching in the Health Science & Human Performance department, and coaching his clients. Chris has coached physique competitors in all categories earn professional status and works with many athletes competing at the world championship level of natural bodybuilding.”

TL;DR – The authors aren’t muscle-bound idiots. They are highly educated, highly qualified, and have not only personal successes to prove their value, but have proven that they can replicate that success in others.

What Does It Cover?

Please ignore the toddler’s scribbling.

This book covers pretty much every aspect of nutrition, body composition, and gives examples of how to use the information. There is a ton of good info in this book, but every single chapter could be expanded into an equivalent or bigger book on it’s own. Just look at the chapter titles, and you’ll see what I mean:

  • Introduction
  • The Start Line
  • Tools of Titans
  • Belief Busting
  • Decoding Metabolism
  • Setting Up the Diet: Calorie Intake
  • The Art of Self-Coaching
  • The Skinny Fat Dilemma
  • Unpacking Macros and Micros
  • Solving the Mysteries of Protein
  • Solving the Mysteries of Carbohydrates
  • The Nutrition-Workout Link
  • Cardio: To-do or Not-to-do
  • Settling the Supplement Dilemma
  • Sleep: The Dark Horse of Body Recomposition
  • Weight Training – The Driving Force of Body Recomposition
  • Conclusion
  • Supplemental Materials
  • About the Authors
  • References

As you can see, the book covers basically every aspect of getting your physical appearance under your control.

What It Doesn’t Cover

This book doesn’t go very deep into working out. It does in the sense of teaching you what working out does for your body composition, but not much deeper than that. I expected this book to be a lot less about nutrition and more about how the minutia of exercise. I was surprised that there wasn’t any “hypertrophy vs strength” chapters or anything similar. I now realize that the kind of info I was expecting doesn’t really match the intended goal of the book. “You can’t out-train a bad diet”, so a book telling you how to get abs really should be 90% setting up your daily food intake.

If I had known what was in there, I might not have purchased it. And I’d be much worse off.

Finally, this book is pretty focused on the visual aspect of getting in shape. I believe that getting your appearance under control will help get your overall health on track as well, but that is not a main focus here. Just something to keep in mind.

Conclusion

This book is not a simple “eat this, not that” kind of work. It goes into the theory and mechanisms of each subject, giving you the information to make individual judgements and decisions. It doesn’t tell you how many calories to eat, but teaches you how to predict how many you should eat and refine those predictions over time. It teaches you how to measure and track body fat. This book doesn’t tell you why to think, it teaches you how to think.

As I said before, I think this e-book is worth every penny I spent on it. I plan on keeping it as a reference manual, if for no other reason than the scientific references in the back.

I do disagree with the authors’ opinions on dietary fat vs carbs, but they have Bachelors and Masters degrees in Biochemistry and Nutritional Sciences. I just listen to too much Joe Rogan, so I may be on the wrong side of this divide.

As you probably noticed in the pics, I have a physical copy of this e-book. The reason for this is that I am old school, and I like to read things printed on dead trees. I realize the enormous irony of typing that very sentence onto a web blog. Fight me. Anyway, moving on. I got the e-book printed out and bought a binder for basically another +$35. If I had looked at this book for purchase off a bookshelf for over $80, I probably would not have purchased it, but doing it piecemeal like I did distributed the costs enough that it was acceptable.

Wrapping Up

I will definitely be getting my money’s worth out of it. I discovered that I was getting half to two-third’s the daily amount of protein I should be getting, for my current goals. I’ve already seen my physique starting to improve and my strength in the gym going up more than I have ever seen it go up before. This will probably be the only nutrition-oriented book I buy for a long while, simply because it’s so thorough. I do plan on getting another book that should be a little more exercise-oriented, Body by Science. But that’s for another day.

Stay healthy, stay ready, and I’ll see you next Friday.

-S_S

2 thoughts on “Book Review: The Ultimate Guide to Body Recomposition, by Jeff Nippard, BS and Chris Barakat, MS, ATC, CISSN

  1. If you want to get more into the lifting and exercise piece of it, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding is actually a really good resource. He was obsessive about how to tweak various muscles with different lifts.

    Liked by 2 people

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