Book Recommendation: The Renegade Diet by Jason Ferruggia

Book Recommendation: The Renegade Diet by Jason Ferruggia

Book Recommendation: The Renegade Diet by Jason Ferruggia

1 comment 📅06 July 2015, 06:24
Share with your friends


By Damian Minichowski

Book Recommendation: The Renegade Diet by Jason Ferruggia

What is The Renegade Diet about?


The Renegade Diet (short “RD”) is an intermittent fasting offspring for weightlifters, bodybuilders and athletes by Jason Ferruggia (Source: The Renegade Diet)

The Renegade Diet (short name “RD”) is an intermittent fasting based nutritional approach, specifically designed for weightlifters, bodybuilders and all those, who are looking for a lean and muscular appearance (although one has to admit, that there is a great focus on health and such, this concept seems to be appropriate for athletes that don’t necessarily work out with weights, too). Speaking from a practical perspective the Renegade Diet can be titled as a derivate (or the next stage) of Ori Hofmekler’s “The Warrior Diet” (that one didn’t focus on maximizing muscle mass that much, as the Renegade Diet does – but on the other hand: Ori didn’t design this program for hardcore bodybuilders.).

What is “Intermittent Fasting”?

In case you haven’t heard of intermittent fasting (“IF”) yet – it’s a diet, that contradicts traditional bodybuilding dogma and in some special way it seems to be the exact opposite of the classic bodybuilding nutrition regimen. Let’s take meal frequency for example: While on a typical bodybuilding diet you’d usually eat several smaller meals (+5) throughout the day, while on IF you’d reduce the amount of meals to 3 and less (with 1 meal as the most radical solution, e.g. Warrior Diet)

On intermittent fasting you…

  • …fast either entirely or partially for the most part of the day (usually in a period with low intensity physical demand), although you’re allowed to drink as much as you want to as long as the beverages (e.g. coffee, tea, water) remain calorie-free.
  • …break the fast while preparing for a demanding physical task (e.g. hard labour or working out). Usually you spend between 16-20 hours in a fasting mode and have 4-8 hours reserved for eating (“eating window”).  

Intermittent fasting is no magic pill, so you have to hit your daily macros to ensure progress (e.g. a small calorie surplus to build muscle; a small deficit for fat loss). This nutritional approach is well suited for advanced athletes, who strive for bodily recomposition with maximum muscularity in mind (simple speaking: ↑ muscle & ↓ body fat). Losing fat and building muscle simulaneously was long time believed to be impossible for experienced weightlifters and bodybuilders (but doable for novice athletes for a short period of time while adaption occurs through a new, still unknown, stimulus to the body).

Well … and then Martin Berhkhan entered the spotlight and released his intermittent fasting based Leangains System for weightlifters and bodybuilders, which basically started a hype around IF. For the time being “not eating” (fasting) athletes weren’t really that frequent, because everyone thought you’d drop dead and lose a shit-load of muscle in no time if you don’t eat frequently.

What is the “Renegade Diet”?

Well, long story made short: The Renegade Diet is similar to its original form “The Warrior Diet”, which was created and written down by Ori Hofmekler in 2004. On the Renegade Diet the day is split into an Undereating Phase” and “Overeating Phase”. Ferruggia is quite generous in his Renegade Diet approach, since he admits that Hardgainers should be more flexible on the fasting part than regular folks (those who don’t have problems getting a ton of calories in a short period of time).

On the Renegade Diet, you usually fast (or undereat) for 20 hours and (over-)eat for 4 hours (“ori-style”). Bad eaters may want to start eating 2 to 4 hours earlier (16-18h fasts), while keeping carbohydrate intake fairly low to avoid insulin spikes. Furthermore, you should focus on natural and unprocessed foods with a high protein and moderate fat content. High glycemic foods are allowed, too if you’ve worked out, so there is quite some similarity to John Kiefer’s Carb Backloading – but with the slight difference, that Ferruggia says you should avoid heavily processed food (that might lack the micronutrients). Think beans, rice and potatoes for carbohydrate supply instead of sugar-rich classic junk food.

So, you may wonder about the differences between the Renegade Diet and the Carb Backloading principle. Fairly so.

Simple speaking, the Renegade Diet is all about digestive health and improving the efficiency of the second brain and nutrient uptake, while Kiefer’s goal is to reduce the efficiency of macronutrient absorption (so that you can slam the calories and create a big anabolic drive without getting fat) – the Renegade Diet is a clean version of Carb Backloading.

Although one has to admit, that the Renegade Diet approach might not be suitable for every athlete, I am convinced that you should give it a try to see how your body reacts and how far you can take it. I, too, follow the guidelines of the Renegade Diet, therefore I can recommend it without a bad feeling. Granted, intermittent fasting might be difficult to apply if you goal is to enter the pro stage or if you want to build up sheer mass (without watching your bf%), but you should bet your ass that its possible to achieve the physique of a Greek god – which was already shown numerous times by many athletes.

Let’s see how the Renegade Diet performs practically: This is me in 2010 (left) with 64 kg (141 lbs.) and in 2013 with 89 kg (196 lbs.). While I may not be the most massive bodybuilder out there, I can clearly say that I feel really good with this physique as it already is. There is a difference of 25 kg (55 lbs.) in those two pics and while I wouldn’t say that all of it accounts for lean muscle, you can see that I’ve added quite some amount of it in those 3 years. I started out with the original Warrior Diet and then I switched over to the RD. Now you may understand why I am a big believer in intermittent fasting. :-)

Let’s see how the Renegade Diet performs practically: This scrawny little fellow on the left is me in 2010 with 64 kg (141 lbs.) and in 2013 with 89 kg (196 lbs.) on the right side. While I may not be the most massive bodybuilder out there, I can clearly say that I feel really good with this physique as it already is. There is a difference of 25 kg (55 lbs.) in those two pics and while I wouldn’t say that all of it accounts for lean muscle, you can see that I’ve gained my fair share of muscle in 3 years. I started out with the original Warrior Diet and then I switched over to the RD. Now you may understand why I am a big believer in intermittent fasting. 🙂

A more extensive review on the Renegade Diet (and Carb Backloading) will follow soon, so stay tuned.

About the Author: Jason Ferruggia

From the book:

“Jason Ferruggia is a highly sought after, world renowned strength and conditioning specialist based out of Santa Monica, California. Since 1994 he has trained more than 700 athletes from over 90 different NCAA, NFL, NHL and MLB organizations. He has also worked extensively with firefighters, police officers and military personnel as well as countless weekend warriors, Hollywood stars and entertainers.

Jason has proven to be especially skilled at helping people gain enormous amounts of muscle and shed body-fat as fast as humanely possible and is known for the incredible transformations he makes in all of his clients’ physiques.

Jason is a Live Strong advisor board member and the chief training adviser for Men’s Fitness magazine where he also has his own monthly column called The Hard-Gainer. He has authored over 500 articles for various other fitness related websites and magazines such as Muscle & Fitness, Men’s Health, Maximum Fitness, MMA SportsMag, Today’s Man, Muscle and Fitness Hers and Shape.

Jason has also written four highly regarded and controversial training books that have sold in more than 134 different countries worldwide. A regular lecturer and media consultant, Jason has given seminars all over the country on subject of fitness and performance enhancement, and his cutting edge training techniques have been featured on over 30 radios and TV stations such as CBS, ESPN, FOX, ABC, 1010 Wins: New York, America Tonight and many others.

Nearly two decades of extensive research, in-the-trenches experience and the ability to consistently deliver unsurpassed results have earned Jason Ferruggia a reputation as one of the top fitness experts in the world today.”

Book Preview: The Renegade Diet

The Renegade Diet - Frontcover“The Renegade Diet is a new nutritional approach based on scientific insights and million years of evolution. It contradicts everything you thought to know about nutrition and it is – so to speak – the most efficient plan for body recomposition, which was every created.

There are 3 major problems with most nutritional concepts out there:

  1. With most types of bulking nutrition you’ll build 0.5-1 kg fat mass for every kilogram of lean muscle. You get more muscular, but on the same time you get fatter – and therefore you need to cut down every now and then.
  2. With most types of cutting regimen, you’ll lose 0.5 kg lean mass with every 1-1.5 kg fat loss. You’ll get ripped but on the same time smaller, too.
  3. A lot of nutritional systems are hard to follow (the elimination of carbohydrates is too much for most (active) individuals already).

Despite those awesome shocking results followed by the Renegade Diet (“RD”) it is easy to follow and the least intrusive plan, you will ever try. Instead of eating the same monotonous foodstuffs, you will be able to feast on a day to day basis.”

Table of Contents: The Renegade Diet


  • Over Two Decades Worth of Experimentation
  • A More Convenient, Effective Solution
  • The Birth of the Renegade Diet

Chapter 1 – Problems We Need to Fix

  • Low Testosterone Levels
  • High Estrogen Levels
  • High Cortisol Levels
  • Adrenal Fatigue
  • Poor Insulin Sensitivity
  • Toxic Liver
  • Severe Inflammation
  • High Acidity in Blood
  • Poor Digestion

Chapter 2 – Dietary Myths

  • Breakfast is the Most Important Meal of the Day
  • You Must Eat Every 2-3 Hours
  • Infrequent Eating Sends You Into Starvation Mode
  • You Need Ultra High Amounts of Protein to Gain Muscle
  • Skinny Guys Need to Force Feed Carbs All Day to Gain Muscle
  • You Need a Huge Excess of Calories to Build Muscle

Chapter 3 – The Basic Premise

  • The Hormonal Effects of Intermittent Fasting
    • Growth Hormone
    • IGF
    • Insulin
  • The Mental Aspect – Sacrifice & Reward

Chapter 4 – The Fasting Phase

Chapter 5 – The Under Eating Phase

Chapter 6 – The Over Eating Phase

  • What to Eat
  • Modifications for Muscle Gain
  • Carb Sources

Chapter 7 – Losing Fat & Gaining Muscle Simultaneously

  • Caloric Requirements
  • Fat Loss
  • Muscle Gain
  • Protein Requirements
  • Carbohydrate Requirements
  • Fat Loss
  • Muscle Gain
  • Fat Requirements
  • Post Workout Meals
    • Fat Loss Sample Meal Plan 1
    • Fat Loss Sample Meal Plan 2 – Simpleton
    • Muscle Gain Sample Meal Plan 1
    • Muscle Gain Sample Meal Plan 2

Chapter 8 – How To Fix Your Broken Metabolism

  • Add More Calories & “Clean Junk Food”
  • Extend the Overeating Period
    • Muscle Gain Sample Meal Plan – 16 Hour Fast / 8 Hour Overfeeding Period
  • Decrease Fasting Period
    • Muscle Gain Sample Meal Plan – 14 Hour Fast / 2 Hour Undereating Period / 8 Hour Overfeeding Period

Chapter 9 – Morning Training Options

  • Early Morning Training Sample Meal Plan – Extreme Fat Loss Focus
  • Early Morning Training Sample Meal Plan – Fat Loss Focus
  • Early Morning Training Sample Meal Plan – Muscle Gain

Chapter 10 – What I Personally Do

  • Sample High Carb Meal Plan
  • Sample Low Carb Meal Plan

Chapter 11 – Supplements

  • Athletic Greens
  • Omega 3 Fish Oils
  • Vitamin D
  • Transdermal Magnesium
  • Grass Fed Whey Protein
  • Branched Chain Amino Acids

Chapter 12 – 12 Step Quick Start Guide

Chapter 13 – Renegade Diet Rules

Chapter 14 – Shopping List

  • Protein
  • Carbohydrates
  • Fats
  • Herbs/Spices/Condiments

Chapter 15 – Training Considerations

Questions & Answers (F.A.Q.)

  • Why can you only eat 1-2 servings of fruit per day?
  • Do green vegetables count towards my daily carb goals?
  • Why do you recommend brown spotted bananas?
  • Why is dairy so bad?`
  • I am having a though time with the fasting in the morning because I am starving. I know coffee would curb my appetite and help this but I don’t want to use any caffeine or stimulants. What should I do?
  • How can I do this diet as a vegetarian?
  • How can I do this diet as a vegan?
  • How do I cycle carbs if I train every day?
  • Can I eat flax seed oil?
  • Can I use artificial sweeteners?
  • How much coffee can I drink per day?
  • Can I have a tablespoon of heavy cream in my morning coffee?
  • How low can I drop my fat intake?
  • What oils are safe to cook with?
  • Is glutamine a worthwhile supplement?
  • How often can I or should I have a big cheat meal?
  • If I stay ripped naturally and my goals is to gain 20 pounds of muscle can I eat pizza, pasta and ice cream every night?
  • Why is whey protein limited to 25 grams per serving?
  • Can I go straight Paleo on the Renegade Diet?
  • How much fat can I lose in one week?
  • I can’t eat enough calories in the four hour window and when I do I feel bloated all night. What can I do?
  • If I train at 11am shouldn’t I be replenishing my glycogen stores immediately and eating all my carbs right after the workout?
  • Can I eat nuts during the under eating phase?
  • I feel great in the early part of my fast but by 11:00-13:00 I get shakes/jitters. What would you do to combat this?
  • I thought that having carbs at night interferes with growth hormone production when you’re sleeping. Yes? No?
  • I am an old school bodybuilder and can’t believe that eating any less than two grams of protein per pound of bodyweight per day will work. Are you sure about that?
  • Do you place any restrictions on sodium use?
  • I have a strongmen competition coming up the next week.
  • If my goal is mass gain can I add carbs to the undereating phase?
  • Are there any other fruits I can eat besides cherries and berries?
  • How do you feel about avocado in my salads?
  • On the days I don’t eat eggs, can I have two protein shakes?
  • What should I do if I have sports practice first thing in the morning?
  • I looked into a few farms in my area and while they are organic and free range, they do sometimes substitute with grains. Your thoughts?
  • Will I experience faster fat loss if I cut all carbs completely?
  • Can I still use BCAA with a cup of coffee before my workout if I train at night?
  • What if I don’t know my body-fat percentage? How do I figure out my carbohydrate needs?
  • Should I take additional fiber?
  • I heard there is no such thing as an essential carbohydrate. Can I just eat protein and vegetables instead of adding in potatoes, yams and rice?
  • What other carbs can I have besides potatoes, yams and rice?
  • Do you recommend using a scale to weigh my food?
  • What are some easy ways to get some calories in if I’m struggling to meet my daily needs?
  • Can I take supplements during the morning fast or should I wait until the undereating period begins?
  • Do you have any good resource for helping me track my daily food intake?

About The Author


Well, what else there is I could say regarding the Renegade Diet? I would lie if I didn’t admit that this book was a great help for me in the last few years. I was (an still am) a big fan of the original approach, the Warrior Diet, but Jason made some useful tweaks and improvements, that make this type of intermittent fasting based diet a sound approach for weightlifters and bodybuilders alike.

What could’ve been done better? I was a little bit disappointed because there was no list of references. For novices, it might be a little bit difficult to do further research and you have to believe Jason for the most part of the book. If you like science and referenced guides you might miss something in here.

Anything else? The Renegade Diet is available in digital form only, so don’t hope for a hardcopy, bro. You can pay conveniently with PayPal and – last time I checked – the digital copy cost approx. $19 (17,27 €). There is also a money back guarantee (60 days) if you aren’t satisfied with what you get, so there is nothing to lose (and muscle to gain).

It’s easy to read and easier to implement. Sure, there might be some technical lingo, but if you’re familiar with terms like “glycogen stores”,  “insulin sensitivity” or “triglycerides” you shouldn’t have big problems in understanding what’s going on there.

If I should ever write a book about nutrition and dieting you can bet your ass that it would be heavily based on Ferruggia’s Renegade Diet. Take a shot, read it and then … get ripped and huge.

Buy “The Renegade Diet” by Jason Ferruggia

Discuss this interview on the forums

AesirSports on the web – follow us on our other social media channels, too:

Don’t miss out the latest articles: Subscribe our Newsletter NOW!

Subscribe to our newsletter and get FREE updates about muscle building, fitness, health and nutrition. Enter your email address below and make sure to never miss an article again in the future.

Picture sources: The Renegade Diet / Jason Ferruggia

About the Reviewer – Damian Minichowski

Damian “Furor Germanicus” Minichowski is the founder and mastermind behind the bodybuilding and nutrition online magazine Aesir Sports ( & Besides numerous authorships Damian is writing for several well known and respected weightlifting and fitness magazines. He authored more than 200 articles about bodybuilding, training, training philosophy, nutrition, health and supplementation already.

Damian worked as a long-term fitness coach in local gyms. Currently he is working as a consultant for a supplement manufacturer. His profession lies in evidenced-based article writing and revolves about one of his biggest passions in life – Physical fitness, nutrition, supplementation and health.

People who landed on this page, looked for the following search terms: Review Ferruggia, Review Renegade Diet, Book Renegade Diet, Intermittent Fasting Renegade Diet, IF Renegade Diet, Ferruggia Renegade Diet.

Share this article:

1 Comment

No Comments Yet!

You can be first one to write a comment

Leave a comment