“Strength Training for Fat Loss” (Book Review)

Nick Tumminello’s new book is a helpful resource for new lifters and experienced coaches alike.

Metabolic conditioning (metcon) has been growing in popularity for the last few years. As either a method for fat loss, or simply a popular and fun way to train (think: CrossFit), many people have been taking on this fitness method. In his new book, Strength Training for Fat Loss, Nick Tumminello discusses the details of using metcon workouts to get lean.

About the Book

Strength Training for Fat Loss opens by concisely explaining several reasons to lose a little extra fat. It then goes into the use of strength training for fat loss and why developing your muscle is important, even for women. This part of the book also details what Tumminello calls the “three C’s” of metabolic strength training: circuits, complexes, and combinations.

No book on fat loss would be complete without some discussion of diet, the cornerstone of being lean. That topic is covered next, and again, the information is brief but informative. The eating style Tumminello supports is one of balance, which is dead on.

The bulk of the rest of the book is dedicated to delineating the three C’s. Most of the information is in the form of detailed exercises that you can combine into a series of back-to-back lifts to stoke the metabolic fires. The book also includes warm ups, cool downs, and sample workouts. It’s got everything a beginner to intermediate lifter might need for years of progress.

Who This Book Is For

Tumminello is an educator by trade. Not only that, but he also has a lot of experience in the fitness and nutrition fields. This background allows him to disseminate complex information in a way that’s easy for the average person to understand. This skill shines through in his book. Nick provides quality information to the experienced coach, such as the right coaching cues to use and the best ways to describe concepts, as well as the brand-new trainee. It’s a hard line to walk, and Tumminello does it well in this book.

The book is clearly directed towards people who want to burn some fat, whether it’s a lot or just a little. However, regardless of your specific goals, the workouts presented will also be fun if you like metcon-style workouts.

Also, as a coach, I find Tumminello’s way of simplifying things can serve as a guide for educating clients. There are many coaches out there who may be fit themselves and enthusiastic about what they do, but struggle to explain some of the concepts of healthy eating or exercise to their clients. If this sounds like you, this book might serve a different purpose for you.


While I think this book is great for beginner and intermediate lifters, and will serve coaches well too, experienced lifters won’t gain a lot from this book. There might certainly be some tidbits here and there or a variation of an exercise you forgot about a few years ago, but you probably won’t learn a lot of new information.

That point leads me to a major pet peeve of mine in fitness writing. The concepts in the book are described as “new.” There are new concepts in fitness and nutrition, and these can be found in science. The basis of this book isn’t something new, and as noted above, many experienced fitness buffs and coaches will already be familiar with most of the concepts. I have no problem with bringing known information together into one source and explaining it in detail as Tumminello has done, but it’s misleading to call it new.

That said, the content of this book is highly suitable to most fitness enthusiasts. Even better, it’s fairly priced, particularly when compared to other similar books on the market that don’t have the volume and quality of information this book has. If you’re looking to add some tools to your repertoire and want an experienced coach and educator to guide you through the process, Strength Training for Fat Loss is an ideal option for you.

Strength Training for Fat Loss is available for $21.95 at Amazon.com.